First things first. TOMORROW is the last day to register to vote in New York State. If you or anyone you know has not yet registered, now is the time. All the information you need is right here:
Senator Kamala Harris squared off against VP Mike Pence last night for their only debate and it proceeded predictably. Pence went with the Big Lie right from the start, making ridiculous and grandiose claims about Trump’s handling of the pandemic and the economy, claims that flew in the face of the lived experience of most Americans. Harris went after Trump and Pence for their abysmal failure on Covid, most notably 212,000 Americans dead (and counting) on the Trump team’s watch. As usual, Pence interrupted Harris, “man-splained” certain answers in a self-righteous tone, constantly demanded that she answer HIS questions, and continued to talk beyond his time limit. In fact, Harris continued to speak after her time was up on 13 occasions, while Pence went past his time limit on 45 occasions–often way past. Harris also had to navigate the female-candidate minefield of not being mean or angry, but not being too relaxed or glib, but not being too aggressive or pushy, while not being too passive or deferential. And she did a splendid job. Here’s an excellent review of the debate in Slate by Christina Cauterucci:
Not to take away from Harris’s excellent performance, but it was also notable that a fly landed on Mike Pence’s white hair as he answered a question and it seemed to stay there for a very long time. Social media’s been buzzing with fly-themed memes ever since:
“There’s only one candidate I trust with my larvae’s future. Biden.”
Perhaps the most concerning moment of the debate came when Pence evaded a question about what he would do if Trump lost the election but refused to concede. Pence instead talked about how the Democrats refused to accept the 2016 election by pursuing the Russian investigation and impeachment. But of course, the Democrats and Hillary DID concede the election and only later, when it was discovered that the Trump campaign was lousy with Russian contacts and unAmerican activity did Democrats support the investigation already underway by the FBI (staffed mostly by Republicans). Pence and Trump are desperate for the public to forget the actual facts of this timeline and scandal, and instead are clearly using the Mueller investigation as a pretext to refuse to concede the election. “They were mean to us in 2016 so we will trash 230 years of American tradition and refuse a peaceful transition of power.” Traitors.
It’s doubtful that last night’s debate will move the polls much but there’s one overarching feature we need to keep in mind. Every single Democratic female candidate and/or politician is ultimately viewed the same way by Republicans. As Slate noted in a tweet last night, “Right-wing media called Kamala Harris ‘smug, condescending, snarky, insincere,’ and said ‘her smirking isn’t helping.'” Democratic women are eventually smeared and demonized in every conceivable way. Hillary’s character was so poisoned for thirty years that many conservatives actually believed she ran a satanic pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor basement. The name of every prominent Democratic woman eventually become a single-word smear that conservatives all embrace. Pelosi! AOC! (Translation: They’re evil!) The Trumpublican party is obviously racist, but it’s also profoundly misogynistic, as last night’s debate reminded us. Harris has become the current lightening rod for GOP hatred and venom towards women.
Meanwhile, Covid continues to run rampant in Trump’s plague-house. It was reported last night that at least 34 staffers and other people in Trump’s orbit are now infected. ABC news broke the story, citing an internal White House memo. And the deadly spread won’t end anytime soon. It’s only a matter of time before someone in the immediate web of infection dies. But Trump is clearly more concerned about his image and re-election than the lives of the people around him.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”