The VP Debate Recap You Never Knew You Needed

You’ve probably read a lot of debate recaps since Tuesday evening, so what could possibly be unique about mine? Well, I dislike both VP candidates, and I loathe this election with the intensity of a thousand flaming Hells so I’m fully prepared to be overwhelmingly unpleasant… plus I have a glass of wine and a couple hours to kill, so I’m writing it regardless.


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After both forgettable men entered the stage – one sporting the personality of a dollar bin book of cheap one-liners, and the other a Rorschach test – the debate took off with the enthusiasm of an elderly sloth.

Roughly 30 minutes in, various acquaintances began expressing their love of Pence… That “distinguished and eloquent man of character,” that “well versed conservative,” that “impassioned, persuasive, and articulate” politician. My Facebook page looked like a truck of Thesauruses crashed into the Delirium ward. The comments section of each post read like a valedictorians yearbook; “I’ve known him for years, he’s my friend. I always knew he was a bastion for conservative principles,” said my drunk friend before she got out her karaoke machine and prepared to perform a moving rendition of God Bless America (I’m assuming).

Then there were the Tim Kaine fans, and they – of course – thought he was great. I, however, thought he had the unpleasant disposition of dyspepsia. He’s the personification of a sinus infection, and the level of boredom I experience while listening to him is almost painful. I’ve only known of one other human being who is more dedicated to the art of interruption than Tim Kaine, and that’s Donald Trump. On top of the uncomfortable lack of manners – which only served as a reminder that Election 2016 has zero redeeming qualities – his comments were obnoxiously rehearsed and robotic.

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On to the debate itself:

Tim Kaine

Kaine: “She worked a tough negotiation with nations around the world to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot.” 

One problem: Hillary wasn’t actually working in Government when the Iran nuclear deal was reached last year, however, she was the Secretary of State in 2012… Just in case you forgot. And to say that it “eliminated” their nuclear program was almost as funny as his suggestion that Hillary Clinton would be a “you’re hired” President for the umpteenth time isn’t funny. Find a new joke, Tim.

Kaine: “You’re not going to cut taxes. You’re going to raise taxes on the middle class.” 

This is not true, however, Trump’s tax plan – as I’ve explained before – doesn’t really matter. I don’t feel like explaining it again, so here’s an excerpt from a previous post:

Trump’s plans on trade (“fair trade” vs. “free trade”) would make Americans face higher prices on various imported goods, including vehicles and everyday necessities. Using tariffs and discriminatory taxation to his advantage because Capitalism is soooo yesterday’s GOP – I’m sure Lenin is getting quite the kick out of us. And his tax plan would never make it past the welcome mat because you can’t dramatically cut taxes across the board and increase spending… because math. Tax plans are like a bakery without an oven, if you don’t have an oven it really doesn’t matter what you mix up because you’ll never be able to sell your product. If you don’t cut spending, nothing matters.

In short, Trump’s economic plan: Let people keep more of their tax money so that they can pay higher prices for everyday necessities and products because of tariffs. Then spend money we don’t have to boost the military, create yet another government run healthcare system (plus the cost of undoing Obamacare), deportation costs (read here), a giant wall, plus all of the eminent domain cases that come along with the wall, rebuild aging infrastructures, triple immigration enforcement, etc., etc., etc…

In general, Kaine didn’t really budge the needle much. He didn’t gain voters, but he certainly didn’t lose them. His abortion stance is gross, yet expected. And the dramatic posts “calling him out” for disrespecting life will fall on deaf ears for anyone who has listened to the GOP candidate talk about Hispanics, minorities, women, and refugees like they’re zoo animals for over a year. It would be like your friends staging an intervention to confront you about your unhealthy eating habits at a Cheesecake Factory during Happy Hour. Pointing to someone’s moral depravity while the GOP has their pet Gollum sitting on a stack of Playboys over in the corner while devouring beauty queens is only going to make the GOP as successful at portraying themselves as the morally superior party as Lindsay Bluth was at making Dip-A-Pet a viable business.

Mike Pence

This is when the fun begins.

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Undoubtedly I’m going to get the “You were so much harder on Pence than Kaine,” comments. So before I even get into my thoughts on Pence, I’d like to say a few things about such comments.

  • Kaine was being Kaine. He’s a liberal, we knew this. He’s pro-abortion, we knew this. He’s pro-gun control, we knew this. Sure, we learned that he interrupts more than a potty training toddler at bedtime, but policy and opinion wise, he is who he is and there weren’t any shocking revelations.
  • After being dedicated to exposing Hillary and friends for the vast majority of the time I’ve spent writing in politics, you’ll have to excuse me if I turn the bulk of my attention to the cancer currently threatening the life of a movement that is more important than one election.
  • There are three statements that rank somewhere between nails on a chalkboard and celebrity relationship news in terms of annoyance, here they are:
    “I’ll care about what cops do when the BLM movements starts caring about black on black crime.”
    – “Sure, Trump did ——, but Hillary did ——.” 
    – “You’re a conservative, why are you focusing only on our own side.”
    There’s an obvious reply to each statement, and I honestly don’t understand why it even has to be said. However, it’s 2016 and way too many people have caught a case of the Dale Gribbles (we’re not sure if it’s curable yet), so I’ll explain: We expect more from those in law enforcement than those on the streets, as we should, and we shouldn’t be setting the bar at Hillary, because obviously, and we should demand better behavior from our own side (you know, since it’s supposed to represent us and all).

I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to let myself, or my movement, be affiliated with a flippant, ignorant, dangerous, racist, and sexist fascist. That’s more important than an election.

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Bonus piece of advice: Stop making excuses for your own side by pointing to the other side. You’re not five.

Back to Pence:

I’ve seen less dodging go down at a dodge ball tournament. Every time the name “Donald Trump” was uttered, Mike Pence looked like the guy who wants his Mom to stop bringing up that time he brought a prostitute named “Sparkles” home to meet the family.

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Kaine: “The Trump campaign management team had to be fired a month or so ago because of those shadowy connections with pro-Putin forces. Governor Pence made the odd claim, he said unarguably Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Obama. Vladimir Putin has run his economy into the ground. He persecutes LGBT folks and journalists. If you don’t know the difference between dictatorship and leadership, then you got to go back to a fifth-grade civics class.

I’ll tell you what offends me…”

Pence: “Well, that offends me.” 

That feeling when you get called to the carpet for defending the Al Capone of world leaders who likes to off his political adversaries:

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Kaine: “These guys — and Donald Trump have said it — deportation force. They want to go house to house, school to school, business to business, and kick out 16 million people. And I cannot believe…”

Pence: That’s nonsense. That’s nonsense.”

Except it’s not nonsense, and anyone with access to Google can prove that it’s not nonsense. The following quotes aren’t nonsense either:

Kaine: “Donald Trump during his campaign has called Mexicans rapists and criminals.”

Kaine: “He’s called women slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting. I don’t like saying that in front of my wife and my mother.”

Kaine: “He attacked an Indiana-born federal judge and said he was unqualified to hear a federal lawsuit because his parents were Mexican.”

Kaine: “He went after John McCain, a POW, and said he wasn’t a hero because he’d been captured.”

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His reply?

Pence: “I mean, to be honest with you, if Donald Trump had said all of the things that you’ve said he said in the way you said he said them, he still wouldn’t have a fraction of the insults that Hillary Clinton leveled when she said that half of our supporters were a basket of deplorables. It’s — she said they were irredeemable, they were not American.”

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What exactly did Hillary say?

“To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.”

“Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but they are not America but the other basket … are people who feel that government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures,” she continued. “They are just desperate for change … they don’t buy everything he says but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different”

So you see, Hillary gave a list of qualifications for the “basket.” Which included “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic,” etc. Then she noted that “unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people – now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.” See, she’s talking about specific people… Nay, legitimately deplorable people. She also walked back the “half” estimate.

Additionally, she said they were not “America,” as in they don’t embrace and emulate American ideals.

And, well, they don’t.

On top of that, “deplorable” – by definition – means “deserving strong condemnation.” By any sane measure of morality, those who are basket dwellers – “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” – do indeed deserve condemnation. Those who are not basket dwellers, disqualified by her own statement, do not deserve condemnation.

This victim card has expired, Pence, stop trying to use that as an excuse to continue disregarding the horrific statements made by your running mate. The only reason why there are t-shirts and “PROUD DEPLORABLE” Facebook posts from your fans is because they all want to fulfill the needs borne of their martyr complex.

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Now, the portion about Faith truly was beautiful, except I just have a few questions:

Pence: “Well, it’s a wonderful question. And my Christian faith is at the very heart of who I am. I was also raised in a wonderful family of faith. It was a church on Sunday morning and grace before dinner.”

What does the Christian faith at the heart of who you are say about your refusal to help Syrian refugees out of fear?

Pence: “But for me, I would tell you that for me the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief that — that ancient principle that — where God says before you were formed in the womb, I knew you, and so for my first time in public life, I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life.”

Except for innocent refugees, right? I won’t keep addressing this, because I already wrote an entire post on it that you can read here.

As for the 2016 presidential run, Pence didn’t deal with the substance of Trump’s remarks or big government ideals because Pence is far too busy preparing for 2020.

Pence broke with Trump on Russia, characterizing Vladimir Putin — whom Trump has repeatedly praised as a strong leader — as a “small and bullying leader.” He avoided directly defending some of Trump’s most controversial statements, instead focusing on Hillary Clinton and at times shaking his head when Tim Kaine recited things Trump has said, indicating that Trump hasn’t really said them. He talked at length about his belief in the anti-abortion cause. He spoke of cutting spending, reducing deficits, and preserving a soluble Social Security, causes that have defined small-government Republicans in recent years, but hardly animate Trump’s campaign.

Pence knows deep down that Trump is insane and the opposite of a conservative, yet he’s still running with him. If I’m right, that makes Pence an opportunist and betrayer of conservative principles. If I’m wrong and he doesn’t realize that about Trump, then he’s far too ignorant and out of touch with conservative principles to be considered in 2020. Don’t fool yourself into believing otherwise – cough cough, Erick Erickson – because that will just ensure a repeat of 2016. Pence should be seen as untouchable by Conservatives, terminally infected with Donald Trump’s toxic candidacy.

Actions speak louder than words, guys, and Pence chose to partner himself up with Donald Trump amidst waves of racism, sexism, and big government ideals colliding with the “conservative principles” you once assumed he had. HE made that choice. HE made the choice to defend a madman. HE made the choice to disregard his supposed principles.

Those of you singing his praises, and disregarding the blatant lies, as well as the way he evades responsibility, are behaving like a battered woman who refuses to believe that her abusive husband is a bad guy.

Stop it.

All in all, this debate was worthless and destructive. Pence “won” because Kaine is weak and childish, and Conservatives are apparently just as naive with their politicians as the other side. If this is how the rebuilding of Conservatism is going to go after November 8th, well…

not good fallontonight steve higgins

20 thoughts on “The VP Debate Recap You Never Knew You Needed

      • I very much agree with your never trump tweets. Here is one very obvious thing I’ve not seen anyone else mention about trump’s locker room telling excuse, that you both agree with and may wish to amplify: No #HB2 supporter should vote 4trump, the perverse despicable trump is *exactly* the creep WOMEN DO NOT WANT IN THEIR #HB2 GOP NORTH CAROLINA LOCKER ROOM? How is this not a super obvious talking point?


  1. Pingback: The VP Debate Recap You Never Knew You Needed — The Collision Blog – Elementary Politics News

  2. I am afraid that to describe this as “snark” is like saying that Juvenal was “catty”. I’d call it Swiftian moral indignation of the highest order and a tonic for troubled times. Thanks, Jonathan, New York

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your npr segment was atrocious, i will blame the likes of you when our constitution is stripped of its freedoms from the supreme Court appointees clinton appoints. You are not relevant, you are doing this country and the conservatives in it an enormous disservice by spouting off like you did this afternoon. Im sure you felt really important (rolls eyes).


  4. I heard your interview on NPR today on the drive home today. I was completely stupefied that you would prefer political suicide, by squandering you vote for a non-entity, than face the fact that, DJT is the only hope we have to stop our country’s slide into the “dustbin” of history. For what? a couple of off-the cuff remarks by a coarse, boorish, egotist? So, F’ing what? How does that compare, in any way, to the political lifetime that Hillary has spent selling out America and the American people to the highest bidder?


  5. I very much agree with your never trump tweets. Here is one very obvious thing I’ve not seen anyone else mention about trump’s locker room telling excuse, that you both agree with and may wish to amplify: No #HB2 supporter should vote 4trump, the perverse despicable trump is *exactly* the creep WOMEN DO NOT WANT IN THEIR #HB2 LOCKER ROOM? How is this not a super obvious talking point?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! I just heard about this blog on NPR today. I must say, I am impressed. As a (mild) supporter of Hillary who voted twice for Obama (who lives in my neighborhood) I came prepared to disagree with you about everything.
    But I don’t.
    So Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m a liberal, but for the sake of our democracy I hope sane conservatives like you can take their party back from fascists and opportunists. It’s one thing to have people you disagree with being in charge (and we all have experience with that) and quite another to have a destructive movement based on catering to our worst instincts run the show.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amazing blog. I left the Republican Party because it was going down the rabbit hole. I should be laughing at the culmination of the crazy creation, but I am sad. As a conservative I have no where to go. There are many independents that sure would like a Conservative Party… leaving behind the deplorable as so aptly described by Clinton.
    Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Saw your interview with Chris Hayes. Thank you so much for saying with passion the way I’ve felt for years! Congratulations. Look forward to the blog/twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was very impressed by your blog! Although I usually lean towards liberal ideologies, I think we all move slightly towards the center as we get older. That means being a grown up and compromising with other grown ups. The only upside to Trump’s belly flop into American politics has been this scenario where smart, non-evil Americans who would usually hate each other for political reasons can find some common ground (even if that common ground is defeating a shared enemy/racist masogonitic idiot).

    Liked by 1 person

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