A Few Thoughts on the Vice-Presidential Debate (with No Mentions of the Fly or Pinkeye Except Here in the Title)

No, Kamala Harris did not do what we all hoped she would at last night's vice-presidential debate. She did not treat Mike Pence like a hostile witness at a Senate hearing and eviscerate him from tiny nutsack to tensely smirking mouth, bathing in his blood and gore as it poured out of him, a goddamned warrior queen unapologetic in claiming the spoils of her battles won. Fuck, we all wanted that catharsis, of seeing this smug Jesus-huffing hypocrite brought to his goddamn knees and begging to fellate Harris's strap-on before she soundly fucked him. We know we're not getting that out of any of the debates between Biden and Trump (if there are any more - and there shouldn't be), so we hoped this would be the brutal ass-kicking that this criminal administration so richly deserves.

Alas, it was not. But that doesn't mean it was entirely worthless.

First, there was a friggin' woman of color in a debate for the second-highest office in the land. That's some history book shit, and we should never hedge on celebrating Harris for that. In one of his more simpering moments of fake sincerity, even Pence said, "I also want to congratulate you...on the historic nature of your nomination." It was one of the only times in the entire evening that he was right.

See, what Harris did was clearly demonstrate, and even say, that there is no case to be made for a second term of Donald Trump. His murderous response to the coronavirus crisis proves that "this administration has forfeited their right to reelection," Harris said. And, frankly, there is little else that needed to be said. It should be that simple: if you fuck up this badly, you get fired. The only reason to support Donald Trump is if you really like cruelty: If you want more tax cuts instead of spending on infrastructure and housing and jobs programs and education; if you want to outlaw abortion and send women to their deaths; if you want to take health care away from people at all, let alone during a pandemic; if you want to end the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Harris hammered Pence on the rank incompetence and savage indifference and wanton evil of the Trump administration, especially when it came to the pandemic. What answer is there to "Whatever the vice president is claiming the administration has done, clearly, it hasn’t worked, when you’re looking at over 210,000 dead bodies in our country"? The right response is "You know what? You're correct. We fucked it all up." 

Instead, Pence offered platitudes about "the American people," saying repeatedly that "the American people" support Trump, even though he hasn't broken 45% approval since he was first inaugurated, or that "the American people know that this is a president who has put the health of America first," when 65% say that Trump failed in the COVID response and he's lost support since he got the goddamn virus, or that "Obamacare was a disaster, and the American people remember it well," even though 62% say they support the Affordable Care Act. It's almost as if the only people Pence considers "American" are the ones who blindly follow Donald Trump, which, of course, is absolutely what the whole administration and the Republican Party believe.

Harris had some really great moments of pointing out how Trump and his gang are just a bunch of dolts bumblefucking in the dark through every crisis and creating ones of their own. "There is a weird obsession that President Trump has had with getting rid of whatever accomplishment was achieved by President Obama and Vice President Biden," she said, which might have been the first time a lot of people who aren't living on Twitter thought about that idea, that it's the one and only goal that Trump has ever had in office besides soothing his ego and his greed. 

And the other thing Harris offered that Pence did not and could not was plans for the future, a vision for what a Biden administration would do when it comes to the pandemic and health care and jobs and taxes and a whole bunch of stuff. Yeah, it was sloganeering with no depth during the debate, but that's the way our modern bullshit debates go. Head over to the website for details. 

In contrast, Pence had no goddamn plans for a second term, no goddamn hopes or dreams or ideas, because Trump is bereft of such things. He is a huckster who only exists for the moment when he'll say whatever he wants to close a deal and take your money. Shitty, ineffective moderator Susan Page asked Pence, point blank, "Tell us specifically, how would your administration protect Americans with preexisting conditions to have access to affordable insurance if the Affordable Care Act is struck down?" And, of course, Pence didn't even attempt to answer. Earlier he had said they have a plan for preexisting conditions, but, as I've said, they don't have a plan because if they had a plan, they could show us the goddamn plan. That's what it means to have a plan. 

Pence was a sexist, preening dick, lying through his pursed lips as he refused to abide by any of the rules of the debate. We should never forget that Mike Pence is an awful human being in general, a right-wing talk radio host who said that LGBT people don't deserve civil rights, that biblical law is more important than secular law, and that the cartoon Mulan is liberal propaganda. When he was the terrible governor of the terrible state of Indiana, he refused to allow a needle exchange in a town that was having an HIV outbreak for two months and then he prayed on it before he agreed to a small program. Pete Buttigieg absolutely destroyed him to a stunned Fox "news" anchor just yesterday, asking why a supposed evangelical Christian would agree to run with someone who was caught fucking a porn star. That's because Pence is a fucking power-hungry piece of shit.

Harris had many chances for a kill moment, where the voice in her prosecutor's head must have been crying out, "Finish him!" She didn't because she didn't need to. No one was going to watch a man who looks like a diseased mummy speaking lies with forced sincerity and think, "Oh, he convinced me to vote for that orange trash can who yells at us all the time." Biden has the lead. She just needed to maintain, which she did, and demonstrate that she could be president, which she far exceeded the bar on. 

And let's not forget, as several women of color said on CNN and elsewhere, the double burden of her sex and her race meant that she'd be judged completely differently if she got her rage on with Pence. She could have easily ripped him to shreds, torn off his arms and beat him to death with him. Instead, her jabs of "I'm speaking" came across like a woman who was talking for all the women who are fucking sick and tired of men like Mike Pence, who see themselves as naturally ordained by God and/or their penis to wield power over women. She simply wasn't putting up with his shit, and she was saying that she shouldn't have to.

At the end, there was clearly a bitch on that stage, and it wasn't Kamala Harris.