Perhaps I am prejudiced since I have met and spoken with Tim Kaine, or perhaps I know too much about Mike Pence's virulently anti-LGBT track record and his desire to make right wing Christianity the de facto established religion in both Indiana and America as a whole. Whatever, the thought process, I find it bot frightening and ironic that many have dubbed Pence the winner of vice presidential debate based on his composed demeanor while giving little weight to the fact that the man lied almost incessantly and denied Trump statements and actions that all have been documented on video. Perhaps Pence's lying comes from having little option given the vulgarity and unfitness of his running mate. Or perhaps it stems from his conservative religious beliefs that seeming motivate Christofascists to lie more than nearly anyone else. Kaine's style may have been lacking, but what he said was 95% or more true. A piece in the Washington Post looks at Pence's supposed "win" that was won by lies and a denial of objective facts. Here are highlights:
The Indiana governor’s background as a talk radio host helped. Bigly, one might say. He was a smooth and amiable happy warrior. Tim Kaine
He acted incredulous when Kaine correctly pointed out that Trump has called Mexicans “rapists,” NATO “obsolete” and said women who get abortions should be punished somehow. Pence pointedly declined to defend Trump’s offensive statements about women or his racial attacks on a U.S.-born federal judge of Mexican descent, opting to change the subject.
Amber Phillips writes that “Pence spent most of the debate defending a Trump that doesn’t exist.”
National Review Executive Editor Rich Lowry argues that he won but with this caveat: “Pence evidently decided to pretend that he is on a ticket with an utterly conventional Republican … [and his] sidestepping of Trump is the big asterisk on his night.”
And in a case of the pot calling the kettle black, Pence repeatedly attacked Kaine and Clinton for running “an insult-driven campaign.” But he did it with a smile.
On foreign policy especially, Pence’s talking points underscored just how far outside the GOP mainstream Trump remains. Pence said the United States should be willing to attack the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and he called Russian President Vladimir Putin “a small and bullying leader.”
As David Gergen put it on CNN, “Pence will not fare well with fact checkers, but his poise and polish played well with voters,” For better or worse, style counts a lot in these debates.”
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni might capture the zeitgeist best: “It wasn’t exactly a vivid performance, but it was an eerily consistent one, and it answered the question of how a man who supposedly prides himself on his virtue defends a running mate who is often bereft of it. He sets his jaw. He slows his pulse. He practices a bemused chuckle, perfects deafness to anything he prefers not to hear and purges from his memory anything he doesn’t want to own. That included the whole grotesque cornucopia of Trump’s slurs and bad behavior, which [Kaine] had studied up on exhaustively, knew by heart and kept throwing at Pence, pressing for the barest glimmer of shame or the slightest hint of apology. It was pointless — a point that Kaine himself made about an hour into this exercise in futility. Substantively, it was galling. Strategically, it may well have worked.”
In his own way, Pence is as morally bankrupt as Trump himself.