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V P Debate

October 5, 2016

[Update 10/6] As Greg Dworkin put it (dkos):

Here is how VP debates work: if your base is bigger than theirs, and you are ahead, and your base is more pumped by the debate than theirs, you won. And the thing I like about Team Clinton is when they stick the stiletto between your ribs, you don’t know you’re bleeding until the next day. 

As Thoreau would put it: I see that blood flowing now.

Judd Legum (ThinkProgress) saw it yesterday (including immediate Clinton ad!), and so did Greg Sergent (WaPost).

Ha! No wonder Kaine seemed so “eager” and appeared to be enjoying it so much.

*    *     *     *

Just a note to mark it in the plot line.

My main points: Kaine began with the idea that H wants to make a big positive difference in people’s lives. I wish he had gone full Bernie with that, throughout the 90 minutes. Show some spirit, some passion. Inspire people to make the effort to vote. Meanwhile, he did point up the stark differences between the parties (see below).

I don’t see how this debate did anybody any good. Maybe it helped a few likely voters solidify their impression of the candidate for whom they are most thinking of voting, or against whom.

Pence’s main goal was to get a head start on the 2020 R presidential nomination. I think he did that. He didn’t need to defend T, because he knows that T is not going to win, and is indefensible (sing it: “Indefensible, that’s what you are….”). Furthermore, defending T’s lunacy would not win points among the Rs who will control the party after T (the fascist superbillionaires among us).

I thought P did an excellent job of being his most politically attractive self: staunch conservative on domestic and foreign policy, xtremist conservative on social issues such as abortion. A man of self-control and godly discipline. A man of such obviously sincere faith that it is hard to know for sure if he is sincere. A washed-white evangelical supremacist in lamb’s clothing who doesn’t mind peeking out from under it. “A wolf in disquise / A man’s eyes” (to quote myself). A Righteousman who is deeply caring about humanity in almost every gesture and facial expression, whatever his political acts may be. A man who is not beyond lying about his achievements as governor of an obscure state, or anything else, anywhere else; Sarah Kendzior, St. Louis, Globe and Mail, really gets it:  he lies as easily as T, but in a complementary style).

He did not do enough, in the way of criticizing H, re. trade and need for change. But that doesn’t matter for 2020.

Kaine’s main role on the ticket is to bring in VA and PA (in PA because he is famous among its many Catholic voters for his thoughtful faith and faith-based service to humanity). I don’t think he hurt that effort; in fact his statement about faith/politics was perhaps as good as JFK’s in WV, and his insistence that a woman should be trusted to make her decision about abortion was powerful. Surely, in his context, he was suggesting that God trusts her. Along with P’s marked disagreement, that was an important moment that clarifies the difference between the parties as well as the candidates.

It doesn’t make any sense to think in terms of a “winner” of this debate. Neither hurt his candidate’s actual chances, and each achieved his purpose.

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