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It certainly would have been more lively…

Having had time to think about the vice presidential debate, sample some of the Internet commentary, and most importantly, read the transcript (here), there are a few additional observations that might be worthwhile to consider.  As with the first presidential debate, a reading of the transcript makes even clearer how little depth there was to Kamala Harris’ comments, and just how wide was the margin of Mike Pence’s victory.  Harris’ relatively few “gotcha” lines were all clearly rehearsed, information Harris did not know, but crammed prior to the debate.  Pence’s comments, however, were clearly not rehearsed and were merely part of his substantial storehouse of knowledge and experience.  I suspect most people could tell the difference, but due to my background teaching speech and debate, the difference was glaring, particularly in print.  The transcript also revealed with crystal clarity just how biased Susan Page’s questions were, and how long.

Some are asserting Pence, by frequently running over his allotted time and being scolded by Page, stole speaking time from Harris.  Not so much:

Again, the transcripts makes the reason even more plain: if Pence did not frequently run over his time, and if he did not force Page to allow him, upon occasion, to rebut Harris, the balance of speaking time would have substantially favored Harris, which is doubtless exactly what Page intended.  When the deck is stacked against you from the start, it’s prudent to use reasonable tactics to level the playing field.

Let’s turn to some commentary to see what others are thinking.  John Fonte, at The American Mind makes a good point about the nature of the election:

The 2020 election is, indeed, a ‘battle for the soul of America.’ Like 1860 it is a regime election. And there is one overriding issue: Is the American way of life something essentially good that should be vigorously affirmed and defended, or is the actually existing America (its principles, people and culture), a deeply flawed regime that needs to be ‘systemically’ transformed?

It’s also a Pelosi election, where you’re going to have to elect Biden and Harris to see what they’re going to do to the country.  They’re not going to willingly admit it, and as Harris tried to do, they’re going to lie about their true intentions.  For example, Harris repeatedly denied she and Biden would raise taxes.  Honest, not media, fact checkers have had time to look into that:

A related issue is her debating technique:

Harris also repeatedly said there would be no fracking bans, and she and Biden never said such a thing.  Riiiiight:

Part of her attack on Trump was the claim he did nothing about so-called bounties on the heads of American soldiers levied by the Russians.  Again, not so much:

It appears that allegation was just another in a desperate, weekly barrage of “bombshells” that would, once and for all, destroy Trump.  That they’ve all been false to date bothers Harris not at all.  Here’s Michael Goodwin at The New York Post, pretty much the anti-New York Times:  

Going into Wednesday’s showdown, Mike Pence had two big jobs. One, to defend the Trump administration’s record, especially its response to the pandemic. Two, convincingly paint the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket as the most radical national nominees a major party has ever put forward.

Mission accomplished. Pence is a skilled and disciplined debater, and his understated manner masks a killer instinct. He was always good, terrific at times and put on a clinic in how to methodically carve up an opponent.

By all means, take the link to the transcript, and you’ll see what Goodwin and I mean.  He also has Page’s number:

Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today, followed in the footsteps of many of her predecessors by playing an outsize and inappropriate role. She did that with her questions, which sounded like they were ripped from the headlines of the Trump-hating Washington Post and New York Times.

Posed as questions, they conveyed an obvious sense of favoritism to the Democrats’ agenda.

Goodwin is clearly a master of understatement.  Very important too in any debate is what is unasked and unsaid.  The two moderators thus far have been careful to avoid any topic that would give an advantage to Trump or Pence, topics like the riots and lawlessness, the fecklessness of D/S/C governors and mayors, and their unconstitutional Covid mandates and restrictions.  To whatever degree—very little–this topic has been raised, it has always been framed in the media as Trump’s fault he does not ignore the Tenth Amendment and act like the dictator they commonly call him, and would surely call him if he acted unilaterally to restore order in Chicago, Seattle, Portland and other D/S/C hell holes.  They have also, of course, avoided foreign policy, where Harris and Biden are in deep, deep trouble, and Trump’s many accomplishments.  Trump has received three separate nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, and unlike Barack Obama, for actually accomplishing meaningful peace (Obama got his for being Barack Obama, something the Nobel committee later regretted) where others have failed for decades.

Let’s visit Conrad Black at American Greatness:

The incumbent, Mike Pence, was an easy winner on substantive points and general demeanor. The only question he did not really answer was how the administration is going to protect people with pre-existing medical problems if it succeeds in a judicial rejection of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). He effectively replied to the customary Democratic falsehoods about the failures of this administration’s management of COVID-19. More importantly, as the evening wore on, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Senator Kamala Harris, was more and more frequently reduced to the default page of the Democratic campaign: defamatory mudslinging against the president.

D/S/C operatives and talking heads are claiming Pence refused to answer as many questions as Harris, rather a “yeah?  Well he did it too!” kind of response.  The transcript reveals what actually happened.  Page’s question framing gave Harris many opportunities to attack Pence.  Harris would answer question A, and Page would ask question B, forcing Pence to use much of his two minutes for question B rebutting Harris’ false question A attack.  With mere seconds left, he didn’t have time to fully answer question B before Page cut him off.  This happened frequently.

Amber Athey at The Spectator US also noted the Pence win:

Vice President Mike Pence emerged from the 2020 vice presidential debate Wednesday night with a sound victory over challenger Sen. Kamala Harris. The debate was, of course, calmer and more focused on policy than the presidential debate between Trump and Biden last week. Although it may seem surprising that such conditions would work in favor of the bombastic Trump administration, Pence’s unflappable demeanor and meticulous preparation proved to be his big advantages of the night.

I suspect much of Pence’s preparation was merely reviewing things he already knew.  Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection really dinged Harris:

Harris’ campaign to win the presidential nomination was over, and ended with a massive flop before voting started. Harris was rewarded for her failure with a nomination to be Vice President. But there’s still no there, there, her intellect still is a mile wide and an inch deep, and she proved it again tonight.

Harris repeated numerous lies about the ‘both sides’ Charlottesville and calling coronavirus a “hoax, but was ineffective in making arguments.

A laugh and a giggle is not an argument. There’s still no there, there.

Indeed.  I didn’t address Harris’ comment about Abraham Lincoln not nominating a Supreme Court candidate with 27 days left before an election.  She sprung that one with a grand smirk, obviously having laid in wait to use it.  I didn’t address it because it sounded false, so I did a bit of digging, and so did Tyler O’Neil at PJ Media:

Kamala Harris must have been so proud of herself. During the vice-presidential debate on Wednesday, she argued that President Donald Trump should not have nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and she cited as her precedent none other than Abraham Lincoln himself — ‘Honest Abe.’

‘In 1864… Abraham Lincoln was up for reelection, and it was 27 days before the election, and a seat became open on the United States Supreme Court. Abraham Lincoln’s party was in charge not only of the White House but the Senate,’ Harris began.

‘But Honest Abe said, ‘It’s not the right thing to do. The American people deserve to make the decision about who will be the next president of the United States and then that person can select who will serve for a lifetime on the highest court of our land.’

As with so much else Harris said, this too, particularly her characterization of what Lincoln supposedly said, is either false or grossly misleading.

Harris was correct that when Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney died on October 12, 1864, President Lincoln did not nominate his successor, Salmon P. Chase, until after the election. This had nothing to do with letting ‘the next president’ choose the nominee, however.

As National Review‘s Dan McLaughlin explained, Lincoln delayed because the Senate was not in session when Taney died. In fact, the Senate session ended on July 4, 1864, and did not convene again until December 5, 1864. ‘It was once common for the Senate to be out of session for much of the summer and fall,’ McLaughlin wrote. The Senate session calendar confirms this.

As McLaughlin noted, Lincoln nominated Chase on the very day that the Senate reconvened, and the Senate confirmed him that day.

Hmmm.  Nomination and confirmation in a single day?  If it was good enough for “Honest Abe” and the Senate, it ought to be good enough now, should it not?  What’s that you say?  The facts don’t fit the D/S/C narrative?  Imagine that.  Gropin’ Joe Biden did say they believe in truth over facts…

Lincoln did not delay the nomination out of some high democratic principle. He certainly did not do so in order to prevent President Donald Trump from nominating a successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg 156 years hence. He did so because the Senate was out of session…

The media is also accusing Pence of “mansplaining,” which in this context is best understood as a Republican man soundly trouncing a D/S/C woman, while acting entirely as a gentleman. An example:

If Harris won, would she be womansplaining?

I certainly roll my eyes whenever I hear it.

It’s always nice to see rational people, which includes women, though gender isn’t really supposed to exist.

I’ll leave you, gentle readers, with one final thought.  During the debate, Harris expressed faux outrage that Pence would dare criticize her tenure as California’s Attorney General.  She was the very model for what the Harris/Biden Administration are going to do to America.  Just as John Gabriel appreciated all the racial healing of the Obama Administration, he appreciates Kamala too:

I’ll see you tomorrow with something new.