ATTACK DOG KAINE VS. CALM, REASONED PENCE
WHO WON DEPENDS ON THE MEANING OF “WON”
Because Indiana Governor Mike Pence came off at last night’s debate and as a calm, composed and reasoned man while Virginia Senator Tim Kaine came off as a foaming-at-the-mouth Chihuahua attack dog, most of todays’ news outlets are declaring Pence the winner. Same with all the legitimate post-debate polls. (Pence: 52%; Kane 48%) Oddly, a CNN focus group of undecided voters said that Kaine won the debate but that’s neither here nor there. And while I disagree, I can accept this as the outcome.
But in checking around for post debate poll numbers this morning, I came across this web site:
With the headline:
And the key item of interest on The Last Refuge site:
Immediately following this headline is a list of 21 web sites where – at least from the title of the piece – one supposes that these are all links to articles and news reports about who won last night’s Vice Presidential debate.
Except they aren’t. (A big clue about the legitimacy and objectivity is the inclusion of the Drudge Report at the top of the list.) What they are is a series of 21 web sites where anyone with a computer and an internet connection can vote on “Who Do You Think Won The Vice-Presidential Debate, Governor Mike Pence or Kreepy Senator Tim Kaine?” This is the same “polling strategy” that allowed Donald Trump and Fox News to proclaim that Trump won the first Presidential debate. Fox, by the way, in a rare bow to honesty, chastised its news readers who were using such click sites to proclaim that Trump had won.
For me, I appreciated what Kaine did by endlessly pushing Pence to defend his boss’ policies and pronouncements. Pence deflected to Hillary in response, ignored Kaine’s taunts or simply remained silent. I think Kaine did an admirable job of displaying just how “deplorable” The Donald is to the point of making the Republican Vice Presidential candidate look downright uncomfortable and squirmy in the face of Kaine’s challenges. The post-debate Trump surrogates last night, were all cheering about how Pence “stuck to the issues” and did not “take the bait” as their leader did against Hillary Clinton. What “issues” they seemed to hear Pence talking about escapes me unless they were talking about Pence positioning himself for a 2020 presidential run or the issue that Hillary Clinton caused the birth of ISIS.
In any event, Tim Kaine did exactly what he was tagged to do: stick Pence with the task of defending Trump. And Pence either could not or would not do so. I found it embarrassing. If I were Trump I’d be very pissed at his performance. But this isn’t going to be the post debate chatter from Trump or his surrogates.
Lost in the spectacle of Kaine’s attacks and Pence’s weaves and dodges, was the record of Mike Pence both as Governor of Indiana (where before Trump selected him as his running mate he had racked up so much animosity by the folks in Indiana it was predicted that he would lose his re-election bid) and as Congressmen. Pence is one of the most fervent, radical, arch conservatives in the nation. With thanks to Mother Jones magazine, his record includes the following:
§ 1. In March, Pence signed a bill into law requiring burial or cremation for aborted fetuses.
§ 2. Last month, Pence said he'd like to "send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history."
§ 3. Pence signed a 2015 bill permitting Indiana business owners to cite religious beliefs as a reason to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers.
§ 4. As Indiana's governor, Pence slashed Planned Parenthood funding, arguably contributing to one county's HIV outbreak.
§ 5. During his 12 years as a congressman, Pence voted against nearly every piece of environmental legislation.
§ 6. Pence voted to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.
§ 7. Pence voted for opening the Atlantic up to offshore oil drilling.
§ 8. As a congressman, Pence gave a floor speech advocating the teaching of creationism in public schools.
§ 9. Pence wrote an op-ed arguing that "smoking doesn't kill."
§ 10. Pence has advocated the use of public funds for conversion therapy, a discredited and potentially harmful form of anti-gay therapy.
§ 11. Gov. Pence funneled $3.5 million in Indiana's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds, intended for needy families with children, to crisis pregnancy centers, which counsel women against having abortions.
§ 12. Gov. Pence refused to comply with Obama administration rules aimed at reducing prison rape.
§ 13. As congressman, Pence voted in favor of a bill that would have allowed for the detention of undocumented immigrants seeking hospital treatment.
§ 14. Pence co-sponsored a bill in Congress that would have eliminated automatic citizenship for children born on US soil to undocumented parents.
§ 15. Pence was one of 31 governors to oppose the resettlement of Syrian refugees in his state, declaring that state agencies wouldn't cover the cost of some social services for Syrian refugees. His behavior earned him a strong rebuke from a panel of three federal judges, including one whom Donald Trump put on his Supreme Court nominee short list.
This is the record of Donald Trump’s pick as his Vice President. Pretty impressive isn't it? And this is the guy we want taking over if the President becomes incapacitated? Yeah. Right. Governor Mike Pence makes Ted Cruz look like a liberal teddy bear in comparison.
So another debate is history. Me? I’m looking forward to next Sunday’s Presidential community forum where Trump can use his sales skills to convince folks that he is the man who will lead us all to the Promised Land. It should be fun!!