The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Pence v. Harris: Less Heat, More Light

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on October 8, 2020 14:19

2 users

The debate between Vice President Pence and Senator Kamala Harris may have appeared sedate on TV, but it shed plenty of light on differences between Republican and Democratic candidates in 2020...

Last night's televised debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris provided a marked contrast to the contentious Trump-Biden Presidential contest.

Instead of brawling elderly men, viewers saw polite professional politicians disputing debating points in a manner familiar to those who watch House and Senate coverage on C-Span.

Initially, Senator Harris seemed to garner an advantage by aggressively criticizing the White House's Coronavirus response in the light of President Trump's hospitalization. VP Pence didn't respond forcefully to accusations that his White House Coronavirus Task Force had failed, which I found disappointing.

In fact, the US has lower case-fatality rates than most advanced countries, including Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy...you name it. If you get sick in the USA, you are simply less likely to die than almost anywhere else.

Incredibly, although President Trump's remarkable recovery at Walter Reed Hospital provides a dramatic illustration for the superiority of COVID-19 care available in the United States, VP Pence didn't note it.

Likewise, when Senator Harris cited Canada's lower overall death-rate, VP Pence didn't point out that Canadian politicians weren't encouraging mass protests and rioting, didn't tell their contact tracers to ignore anyone who attended such events, and their provincial governors didn't send infected patients into nursing homes -- as happened with Democratic governors in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. 

If more Americans have the disease, maybe it's due to Democratic governors and mayors pursuing dangerous policies that spread it?

Dissapointingly, Pence instead confined himself to glittering generalities or tributes to "the American People."

Perhaps VP Pence is too close to fight, due to his personal experience. Whatever the explanation, I think he missed an opportunity to stop Democratic fear-mongering over the pandemic for good. (Later, he came back by accusing Joe Biden of plagiarizing President Trump's plan but it seemed too little, too late.)

On the other hand, that was the only only weakness VP Pence showed during the debate. His behavior was impeccable, he didn't even seem annoyed by a fly sitting on his head, truly unflappable.

Senator Harris alternatively appeared overly emotional, alternately accusatory or inexplicably smiling and laughing,  declaring she wouldn't take a potentially effective vaccine if President Trump endorsed it, falsely accusing the President of supporting white supremacy, attacking the US military, and flip-flopping on issues like fracking and the Green New Deal.

Among her most off-putting rhetorical moves was Senator Harris's declaration that she "would not be lectured" by VP Pence, a feminist dog-whistle if I ever heard one, later picked up by George Stephanopolous on ABC--who accused VP Pence of "mansplaining," apparently oblivious that he was the one doing the mansplaining.

No amount of extra help from moderator Susan Page could protect Senator Harris from her self-inflicted wounds, and in the end, she demonstrated VP Joe Biden made a mistake in choosing her.

Senator Harris proved last night that she does not add value to the Democratic ticket.

 

 

 

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on October 8, 2020 14:19

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: LA Times
1

What's on TV Wednesday, Oct. 7: Kamala Harris and Mike Pence in the vice presidential debate; MLB Baseball playoffs

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest