The Vice Presidential debates were last night, and yes, I watched the whole thing. It wasn’t that difficult. Tim Kaine had been given the role of attack dog and did his job well. Mike Pence was given the role of deflector in chief, and he tried really hard.
Listening to the talking heads, and reading some reviews in blogs, it appears that most want to give the debate to Pence for his calm demeanor. As a former high school debater, I don’t recall calm demeanor being one of the points we were scored on. Since my memory fades, I did look up the things judges look for in a debate and found this list:
- Factual accuracy.
- Assertions are not arguments.
- Actually address your opponent’s points.
- Don’t go over time.
Ok, we can ignore going over time because they are professional politicians, not well disciplined school children, but the rest of the points should still apply. I don’t see calm demeanor listed, not even “looks presidential”, or, “I wish he was our candidate”.
For ninety minutes Mike Pence refused to defend Donald Trump’s racial, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic slurs and projected policies. It was almost like Pence was deaf, but you knew he wasn’t because he answered the moderator’s questions with attacks on Hillary, not Trump solutions.
If the debates were designed for us to get to know the candidates better, I think they succeeded. I think we saw Tim Kaine’s Jesuit training, particularly when they discussed Rowe vs. Wade. While personally opposed to abortion, Kaine realizes that it is an overreach by the government to allow the party in charge to dictate to women whether or not they should give birth. Despite his personal views, Kaine supports the law.
Pence, on the other hand, signed into law in Indiana a provision allowing businesses the right to refuse service to gays, on religious grounds. I imagine Pence displayed a very calm demeanor while imposing his religious view on millions of others. The news agencies must have reported at the time that Pence won the “being a governor thing”.
I hope to God that the media gets over the idea that slapping lipstick on a pig makes the pig more attractive. This is a race that doesn’t need to be close, not if we are who we say we are. Of course, if we are all just toadies willing to do anything to please our psychotic overlords, let’s keep it close, media.
When the Donald takes over, the media’s job will be greatly simplified. They’ll just read the news supplied by the ministry of information. No need for reporters, analysts, fact checkers, heck, probably won’t even need multiple networks. I pray that the media realize they have a stake in this election too, and soon.