Thursday, October 8, 2020

Harris started hot and then let Pence escape and evade


M.Klonsky pic

The much anticipated V.P. debate turned out to be a dud with Pence ducking and dodging every question and SenKamala Harris overly restrained and moderator Susan Page failing to go after him. 

I liked Harris a lot better in that primary debate back in June, when she went aggressively after Joe Biden for his backward role in the school integration battles of the '70s. Remember her devastating line, "that little girl was me."

Last night she started hot. 
Well, the American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country. And here are the facts. 210,000 dead people in our country in just the last several months. Over 7 million people who have contracted this disease. One in five businesses closed.  We're looking at frontline workers who have been treated like sacrificial workers. We are looking at over 30 million people who in the last several months had to file for unemployment. And here's the thing, on January 28, the vice president and the president were informed about the nature of this pandemic. They were informed that it's lethal in consequence, that it is airborne, that it will affect young people and that it would be contracted because it is airborne. And they knew what was happening, and they didn't tell you. 
But then cooled off. 

Should have been BOOM! DEBATE OVER! But it wasn't. Instead, Trump's loyal V.P. was allowed to repeatedly escape and evade, steal time with long non-sequiturs, violate time limits, mansplain issues of race, criminal justice, China, and the economy, and put Kamala on the defensive on so-called, "court-packing."

Pence's outright lies were received with skeptical smiles but mainly went unchecked with little or no follow-up questioning from Page or anticipated counter-attack from Harris.  

Eg...Pence, defending Trump and himself on their failure to control pandemic-spread, praised D.T. for his supposed suspension of all travel from China. He lied. Thousands were exempted from the partial ban. Plus it was travelers from Europe, not China, who brought the pandemic to NY.

On the environment: Pence's claim that "our water is among the cleanest in the world" went unchallenged, except of course, from what I imagine were thousands of fist-shaking viewers in Flint, MI. 

He went on to deny the existence of systemic racism in the U.S., in effect supporting Trump's ban on teaching about the history of racism in schools or anti-racism training in the workplace.

Pence stonewalled Page's question about whether or not he and D.T. would accept the election results if they lost. Page quickly moved on and Harris didn't pursue. 

Trump's current squashing of a bi-partisan COVID-relief bill in order to fast-track his supreme court nomination never even came up. 

And so it went. 

Interesting side note: The term "the American people" was used 57 times in just two hours, mainly by Pence. I cringed every time he said it, knowing that he was using the term to represent his base of mainly white, male MAGAs.  
PENCE: I think the American people know that this is a president who has put the health of America first...But when you say what the American people have done over these last eight months hasn't worked, that's a great disservice to the sacrifices the American people have made... and I'm going to speak up on behalf of what the American people have done...President Trump and I have great confidence in the American people and their ability to take that information and put it into practice...We told the American people what needed to be done and the American people made the sacrifices. 
We sure as hell did sacrifice...212K dead. 


Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley castigated Pence after he invoked the nickname AOC for Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during the debate. 
“Pence you are obsessed,” the Massachusetts congresswoman wrote. “She’s a prolific legislator, a historymaker, a movement leader, I get it. But stop being so familiar. Titles matter & she’s earned hers. It’s CONGRESSWOMAN Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AUTHOR of the Green New Deal.”

But the most likely takeaway, the thing people will long remember about this debate, was the fly that landed on Pence's head and offered us viewers a few moments of hilarity, diversion from the two-hour nothing-burger on the stage.

I doubt if anything else that occurred on that stage will move the needle by even a point.

With COVID-stricken, steroid-addled Trump's announcement yesterday that he won't participate in the next presidential debate, last night's event will likely be the last of this campaign's televised debates. 

Fine with me. 


  1. I thought Senator Harris was strong. She's a gifted prosecutor, and I trust that she knows how to let a guilty man convict himself with a jury. We weren't fooled.

    Her insidious opponent was Susan Page. There was that moment when Page saw that Pence was about to jump in on Harris. Page pre-empted him by interrupting Harris - a man can't get respect from women voters if he won't let them speak. Better for Page, a fellow Republican, to do the dirty job.

    Granted, there might have been an anthropological explanation: she was a powerful female stroking the ego of the silverback male. Page saw that Pence was about to talk over Harris at the climax of an incisive criticism of him. She defaulted to primate behavior. Jim Dandy.

    Along came a fly, who provided us with two minutes of Truth about the man and his party; the party Susan Page sat there and decided she should rescue, if Pence couldn't do it - the silverback Republicans.

    1. With total respect for and agreement with your views on fracking, there are about a thousand things above it on America's To Do list, things to do to convert the country to a progressive move forward. Fracking is one of many nits, compared to the death of rural newspapers and the resulting void...for only one example.

      Ending fracking doesn't educate anyone. It doesn't convert anyone. It doesn't change minds. Trump would love for the candidates to jump on that bandwagon.

      I see no need to let Trump dictate the terms of the dialog.

  2. On foreign policy, especially regarding China, Harris attacked Trump and Pence from the right and sounded like an old cold warrior. She accused Republicans of being too soft on China and “losing the trade war." She's scary.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.