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Well gentle readers, I did it again so you didn’t have to.  This debate, in contrast with the Trump/Biden cage match in which Trump pulled Biden through the mesh inch by inch, was quite civilized.  As always, I took voluminous notes, annoying the Manor cat who did not get to be picked up and petted when she thought it appropriate.  That’s about every half hour.  In the interest of brevity and mercy I’ll keep it as brief as possible—you know I’m not terribly good at that, right?–and tomorrow, will follow up with commentary on commentary.  I’ll also be adding some appropriate commentary from Stephen Greene’s drunkblogging at PJ Media.

Winner: Vice President Mike Pence.  He demonstrated why, if Donald Trump is reelected, he should be the Republican nominee in 2024.  Calm, collected, in command of the facts and events.

Loser: Moderator Susan Page of USA Today.  If you suspected the moderator, whoever they were, would be in the tank for Harris, would throw her softballs, would interrupt and harry Pence, Page would not have disappointed.  I am beyond, way beyond, suggesting such people should be ashamed of their lack of balance and integrity.  Finding either in a contemporary “journalist” is now approaching the category of once-in-a- millennia miracles.

Voted Most Likely To Annoy Pretty Much Anyone: Senator Kamala “Comma-la” Harris.  What is it with Democrat/Socialist/Communist female politicians and shapeless, dark pantsuits?  What is it with D/S/C female politicians and blatantly fake sincerity and normal emotions?

I’m going to nominate Harris for best performance revolving around inappropriate and cringe-inducing giggling, cackling and laughing, eye-rolling, smirking, scowling, and generally over the top mugging.

Susan Page:

As expected, her questions were virtually all framed for the benefit of the Harris/Biden ticket, and all were quite lengthy.  The questions assumed wrongdoing or incompetence by Trump, or exactly supported D/S/C narratives, giving Harris an easy answer.  Also as expected, she frequently interrupted VP Pence, particularly when he was badly damaging Harris.

Harris constantly repeated the “200,000 killed by the virus” bit, directly blaming Trump and Pence for those deaths, and Page joined in, mentioning it herself, while framing questions to help Harris.

One of her frequent tactics was to give Harris an easy question that allowed her to savage Trump, but try to cut off Pence by asking an entirely different question, which forced him to use some of his two minutes to respond to Harris.  This allowed her to cut him off when he tried to answer her question after responding to outrageously false Harris attacks.

Particularly ridiculous was a question about whether either Pence or Harris had talked with Trump or Biden about what to do in the case of presidential disability.  She framed it by talking about Trump’s recent illness, completely avoiding Biden’s dementia.  Apparently she has never heard of the Constitution, which does speak to that issue with specificity.  This can only be understood as an opportunity for Harris to use the Coronavirus to attack Trump, which she tried to do throughout the debate.

She framed another question by saying, as though it were fact, Trump’s doctors were covering up and lying about Trump’s condition.  Don’t voters deserve to know the truth?  There was of course, no question about Biden’s frequent “lids,” and about no medical information whatsoever about his obvious dementia.

She framed another question by saying a rapid recovery was not happening. The economy is terrible, and in a stereotypical D/S/Cs headline, said “hardest hit are latinos, blacks and women.”  Not quite:

At one point, Page asked a question of Harris, gave Pence no opportunity to respond, and immediately asked another, different question of Harris.  She never failed to allow Harris to directly rebut Pence, but did not extend the same courtesy to him.

Page did bring up Biden’s lies about the Green New Deal, pointing out it was on his website, which was her token “serious” question to Harris.

On healthcare, her question framed Obamacare as more vital than life itself, and assumed without it, anyone with a pre-existing condition was dead.

Set Up Question:  “Is climate change an existential threat?”  Guess who got to answer that first?  Guess what she answered?

Her climate change question to Harris, an absolute gift, framed it as science saying wildfires and hurricanes are “record setting,” and “man made climate change” has made them all worse!

Her question regarding the Breonna Taylor case was framed to make police officers look like murderers, and presumed the only proper answer was the social justice anti-cop narrative. Harris did not disappoint.

There was much more, but her final question was supposedly from one “Bricklin Brown”—I’m unsure if this person exists and of the spelling—supposedly an 8th grade girl who spoke about all the adults arguing, and can’t we all just get along?  This question was an obvious set up for Harris, which I’ll address shortly.

All in all, a predictable, and shameful performance.  Rather annoying such people are entirely incapable of feeling shame.  To be absolutely fair, I’m sure Page believes everything she thinks and says are only what all right—left—thinking people should think and say, not biased at all.

Kamala Harris:

Her smirking and other histrionics were not only annoying, but distracting.  It was a demonstration of why she couldn’t even win her home state in the D/S/C primary, and why she had to drop out early.  Like Hillary Clinton, she’s as fake and annoying as they come, and like Clinton, she’s infinitely flexible: if you don’t like her policy stances, they can be changed.  Remember, this is the woman who called Biden a racist, and said she believed the women accusing him of sexual improprieties—until he called her to be his VP nominee.  She also has a very tenuous relationship with the truth, even more so than more politicians, which is why even D/S/Cs rejected her.  Accordingly, I’ll focus on her lies:

She kept dropping the number of Covid deaths, blaming Trump.  Obviously, no one person can be blamed for deaths from a virus, other than Mario Cuomo, whose policies actually killed thousands of elderly in New York City (he’s now denying he ever made that policy).

She brought up the $750 Trump tax hoax, which even the media immediately dropped, and then made an accusation about Trump “being in debt” to some mysterious entity, and shouldn’t Americans know all about it, altering her voice and expression to make it—whatever it was—seem nefarious.  It was rather like a politician exclaiming: “my opponent masticates three times a day!”

She claimed Harris/Biden won’t raise taxes on the middle class and lied about Biden’s pledge to immediately repeal the Trump tax cuts, which gave most Americans a $2000 tax break. Obviously, repealing those cuts would raise everyone’s taxes by that amount.  She claimed repealing those cuts would allow Biden to use the money to “invest”—D/S/C for “tax”—“in the American people.”  How would he invest?  Clean energy, renewable energy, infrastructure, free college for everybody, and cutting all student debt by $10,000, etc.

Biden fixed the great recession, and Obamacare is an economic miracle.

Some of Harris’ most over the top outrage and mugging occurred when she repeatedly denied she or Biden ever claimed to ban fracking or do away with fossil fuels.  Why, they would never do anything like that!

Harris claimed Trump’s China policies have cost “lives, jobs and standing.”  She said China’s president is more respected than Trump.  Among D/S/Cs, certainly.

She also said America lost “300 jobs” (?!) due to Trump’s China policies.

We are, by the way, less safe because Trump dropped out of the Iran deal, because the Iranians are building nucs, which we know beyond any doubt, thanks to Israel, they were doing all along.

She also brought up the Russia hoax, Trump listens to Putin, yada, yada.  Of course if Biden is elected, the people perpetrating the worst case of genuine sedition in American history will all go unpunished, and the hoax will live forever.

Kayla Mueller’s parents were in the small audience, and VP Pence made moving comments about Kayla.  Harris immediately affected one of the worst examples of fake sincerity and sorrow I’ve ever seen and apologized to them—sort of–saying Biden and Obama feel the same way.  I’m sure they do.  I shook my head at her cruel stupidity.  We’ll see what Pence did with that shortly.

In several of her more outrageous lies, she brought up the “loser and suckers” lie, demonstrating excruciatingly bad fake anguish, and the bit about Russian bounties on Americans.  She also perpetuated the egregious Charlottesville lie, again with C movie anguish.

She also claimed Trump wouldn’t disavow white supremacists at the last debate.  I suppose that one is destined to have the legs of “hands up; don’t shoot.”

How dare Pence bring up her record as a prosecutor!  She was a model, a model I tell you, for what the Harris/Biden administration plans to do “for [to] America.”

“Implicit bias does exist!”  She didn’t have to say they’d immediately revoke President Trump’s executive order eliminating that racist abuse in the federal government.

Trump is subverting our democracy, and during his first debate: “Trump openly attempted to suppress the vote!”  Unsurprisingly, she did not explain what he did to accomplish that feat.

In her closing statement, she brought up Charlottesville again. Trump’s statement, you see, is why Biden chose to run, and he’s going to be a bi-partisan president, said with a look of faux-sincerity and concern.

The 8th grader question was obviously a set up for Harris.  In the last week, Biden has been all about unity, and how he will sit down with people at the White House, which will bring everyone together, and he’ll unify the nation.  Harris said Biden will lift everyone up.  He usually does:

Mike Pence:

Attacked by Harris, whose overall claim was that Trump and Pence’s utter incompetence murdered 200,000 Americans with the Coronavirus, Pence calmly and competently explained that everything—there wasn’t much—Harris claimed she and Biden would do, he and Trump have already done.

He said he trusts the American people to do what is right for them, and Harris/Biden want more lockdowns and wants mandates/power.  He really nailed her on her vaccine nonsense:

The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if a vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable. Senator, I just ask you, stop playing politics with people’s lives.

He also absolutely destroyed Biden with this:

We actually do know what failure looks like in a pandemic. [the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic] Before the end of the year, when Joe Biden was vice president of the United States, not 7.5 million people contracted the swine flu, 60 million Americans contracted the swine flu.

He added that the death toll would have been far higher than 200,000 if the Swine Flu hadn’t turned out to be much less virulent than Covid, and Biden’s own Chief of Staff admitted it was blind luck, because they did everything wrong.

In response to Harris’ whining non-Coronavirus plan, Pence made a zinger, the most noteworthy quote of the debate: 

When I look at their plan that talks about advancing testing, creating new PPE, developing a vaccine, it looks a little bit like plagiarism, which is something Joe Biden knows a little bit about.  

That one really stunned Harris, who sputtered a little, but couldn’t rebut it.

After one of Harris’ lies about her record and intentions on fracking, Pence said:

You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

That left a mark.

Responding to Page’s egregious climate change set up question, Pence produced the best Republican answer I’ve yet seen.  He acknowledged the climate was changing, but what’s the cause?  What should be done?  He noted America has made more progress on the environment than the countries in the Paris Accords—Harris said she’s immediately rejoining that farce—because of our free market economy, natural gas and fracking.  He said we must deal with wildfires with better forest management, noting even Gavin Newsom agreed with him, and there are no more hurricanes today than there were 100 years ago.  He also said the Trump Administration would always put jobs and America first.

Harris denied the Green New Deal was anything to do with her or Biden, and he replied it’s on their website, and she was the original sponsor, with AOC, for the Green New Deal in Congress.

Pence noted Harris was one of only 10 senators that opposed the USMCA, and in 2019, Newsweek called her the most liberal senator, even left of Bernie Sanders.  That one stunned her.  He followed by saying Trump stands up to China, which is to blame for Covid-19.

Using part of his two minutes on another topic, Pence explained Biden and Harris criticized the killing of Solemani, and Biden didn’t want to kill Bin Laden.  There was no rebutting that.

He also absolutely nailed Harris—very kindly—for her attacks on Kavanaugh, and expressed the hope the confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barret would be more dignified.  Good luck with that.

Pence managed to directly ask Harris if she planned to pack the Supreme Court.  Page had no intention of asking that question. Harris dodged it, making a Lincoln analogy with a broad smirk, obviously a line she had been waiting to use.  He asked her again, and she said: “Let’s talk about packing the Supreme Court,” as though she were about to give an actual answer, and dodged it again.

After one of Harris’ Charlottesville lies, Pence very calmly replied that the media often selectively edits things he and Trump say, just like Harris did, and he told the truth about Trump’s Charlottesville comment.  It was also a subtle slap at Page.

In response to the 8th grader’s question, Pence said we can disagree, but when the debate is over, we can come together as Americans:

We’re going to work every day to have a government as good as our people.

Another great line, primarily because it’s true.

Final Thoughts:

Mike Pence was the adult in the room in Salt Lake City.  His calm and confident demeanor carried the day.  Just as Trump had to debate Biden and Chris Wallace, Pence had to debate Harris and Susan Page.  And just as Trump dominated the evening, so too did Pence, though with his own style.

After Harris’ obviously, cringingly fake pseudo apology to the Muellers, Pence noted that they said if she had been kidnapped under Trump, he would have rescued her.  If humanly possible, he surely would.  He also noted that Obama and Biden had the opportunity to rescue her, but delayed for a month.  When they finally allowed our operators to act, they found she had been moved a few days earlier.  Normal Americans should have nothing but disgust for Harris.

Where Harris mugged, eye-rolled, giggled, laughed and cackled, and badly expressed concern and sincerity, Pence effortlessly commanded the stage.

Page early noted Harris and Pence were seated 12 feet apart, and separated by not one, but two, Plexiglass screens about 5’ high.  The virus is airborne, but never mind; this is political/health theater!  Pence and Trump want you dead; Harris and Biden are virtuous and use Plexiglass!

Much of America got to see Kamala Harris, and any rational viewer had to understand she’s a very unimpressive person.  She tried to get in her personal history, and played the race card, but there are very good reasons she didn’t make it through even the middle rounds of the D/S/C primary process, and they were all on display.  She is not a modest person, but has much about which to be modest.

Certainly, the debate was more about policy than the first, and Harris, accidently I think, revealed some of the things she and Biden are going to do if elected.  She’ll be getting a dressing down about that, I’m sure.  We still know little more about the Harris/Biden agenda—explicitly expressed by either candidate–than we did at the first debate, and when Harris repeatedly dodged the question about court packing, Pence said the answer was they absolutely intend to pack the court.  Harris had no reply.

Another very bad, no good, terrible day for the media, a bad night for Kamala Harris, and a good night for Mike Pence.  More tomorrow.