Debates 2020

The Pence-Harris Debate Was a Model of Civility, Evasion, and Obfuscation

Politeness is nice. Answering questions would be even nicer.


Last night's vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris was much politer than last week's raucous rumble between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. It was also much less entertaining and only slightly more substantive, largely because both candidates followed the time-honored tradition of refusing to answer inconvenient questions.

Civility is important. Some viewers may have rolled their eyes as Pence talked about the close friendship between the late Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. But our political dialogue and social relationships would be much improved if more Americans took Pence's point seriously.

Ginsburg and Scalia, Pence noted, were "polar opposites on the Supreme Court," one "very liberal" and the other "very conservative." Yet "the two of them and their families were the very closest of friends." The lesson: "Here in America, we can disagree. We can debate vigorously, as Senator Harris and I have on this stage tonight. But when the debate is over, we come together as Americans."

While that might sound corny, there is no other way for ideologically opposed people to live together in peace. At a time when nearly everything is politicized, when mutual hatred between left and right demands that everyone pick a side and avoid fraternizing with the enemy, that message needs to be heard more.

Pence not only preached civility but modeled it. "I want to congratulate you…on the historic nature of your nomination," he told Harris, the first African-American woman to appear on a major-party ticket. "I respect the fact that Joe Biden spent 47 years in public life. I respect your public service as well."

Such graciousness should not be remarkable, but it is especially striking when compared to the venomous, overheated, take-no-prisoners rhetoric of Pence's running mate, who cannot even manage to feign respect for his opponents. It is impossible to imagine Donald Trump saying anything nice about someone who crosses him or poses an obstacle to his ambitions.

Trump's rude, crude, babyish behavior may be amusing, but it is not conducive to rational debate—or any sort of debate at all. A man who cannot contain himself when he hears someone express an opinion with which he disagrees, who cannot even keep his mouth shut until that person finishes a sentence, is incapable of having a meaningful discussion. Trump's supporters may think his boorishness shakes things up and lays bare important truths, but in practice it reveals nothing but his personal shortcomings.

While Pence presents himself as an imperturbable mensch, Trump presents himself as a petty, intolerant, excitable asshole. Although I'm not sure I want to have a beer with either of these men, one of them is clearly capable of keeping his cool when he encounters people who disagree with him. The other one clearly is not.

But civility is not everything. While Pence and Harris were generally polite to each other, both of them repeatedly dodged perfectly legitimate questions, an exasperating habit with a long history in American politics.

Regarding COVID-19, moderator Susan Page asked Harris this: "What would a Biden administration do in January and February that a Trump administration wouldn't do? Would you impose new lockdowns for businesses and schools and hotspots [or] a federal mandate to wear masks?" Harris used nearly all of her time to attack the Trump administration's response to the pandemic, never addressed lockdowns or a federal mask mandate (which Biden wishes he could impose but admits he couldn't), and closed with a vague reference to Biden's "national strategy for contact tracing, for testing, for administration of the vaccine."

Page asked Pence why the per capita COVID-19 death rate in the United States is "higher than that of almost every other wealthy country." It is an interesting and important question, but Pence did not want to answer it, so instead he praised Trump's response to the pandemic, mentioning his restrictions on international visitors and the ramping up of the country's initially pitiful virus testing capacity.

Page asked Pence about a White House reception for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett with "no social distancing" and "few masks" that "seems to have been a super-spreader event for senior administration and congressional officials." Pence did not want to talk about that, so instead he expressed "great confidence in the American people and their ability to take that information [about COVID-19 precautions] and put it into practice."

Page asked both candidates whether they had discussed "the issue of presidential disability" with their running mates—a real concern given the advanced age of both men (Trump will be 74 on Inauguration Day, while Biden will be 78) and the president's COVID-19 infection. Neither Pence nor Harris offered a meaningful response.

Page asked Harris whether the $4 trillion in tax hikes that Biden plans might "put the [economic] recovery at risk." Harris did not answer, even to deny that it would.

Page asked Pence whether Americans should "be braced for an economic comeback that is going to take not months, but a year or more." Pence talked about Trump's tax cuts, the economy's pre-pandemic performance, and Biden's plan to raise taxes.

Page asked Pence if he agrees that "man-made climate change has made wildfires bigger, hotter, and more deadly and [has] made hurricanes wetter, slower and more damaging." Pence would not say, only promising that "we're going to continue to listen to the science."

Page asked Pence if he agrees with Harris that "climate change poses an existential threat." Pence acknowledged that "the climate is changing" and again promised that "we'll follow the science."

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Page asked Pence, "what would you want Indiana to do? Would you want your home state to ban all abortions?" Pence talked about Iran and praised Barrett as "a brilliant woman" who "will bring a lifetime of experience and a sizable American family to the Supreme Court of the United States."

Page asked Harris what she thinks California, which she represents in the Senate, would do if Roe were overturned and whether she thinks there should be "no restrictions on access to abortion." Harris' response was mostly about other subjects, although she did say, "I will always fight for a woman's right to make a decision about her own body." That was not an answer to either of Page's questions, although at least it had something to do with abortion.

Page asked Pence how the Trump administration will "protect Americans with preexisting conditions" so they have "access to affordable insurance if the Affordable Care Act is struck down." Pence said nothing relevant to that question, although he did introduce a completely different but timely issue: If Barrett is confirmed and Biden wins the election, he asked Harris, "are you…going to pack the Supreme Court to get your way?"

Harris, like Biden, was determined not to answer that question. "Let's talk about packing the Court," she said at one point, which seemed promising until it became clear that she was referring to Trump's judicial appointments, which are hardly analogous to an act of Congress that would expand the Supreme Court to accommodate Democrats' policy preferences.

Given all the times that Trump has implied the presidential election will be fixed and his refusal to say he will respect the outcome, Page wondered, "what steps" would Biden and Harris take "if your ticket wins and president Trump refuses to accept a peaceful transfer of power"? Although that was a perfect setup to decry Trump's irresponsible and fact-free predictions of systematic election fraud, or even to actually say how Biden would respond to the situation described by Page, Harris instead bragged about "Republicans and independents" who support her ticket and urged her audience to vote.

Page asked Pence to consider the same scenario. "If Vice President Biden is declared the winner and President Trump refuses to accept a peaceful transfer of power," she wondered, "what would you personally do?" This was an opportunity for Pence to assure Americans that Trump would never behave that way. Instead Pence expressed confidence that he and Trump will win the election, so there will be no need for a peaceful transfer of power.

The questions that Pence and Harris refused to answer were clearly relevant to the decisions that voters will make next month, and some of them—concerning, for example, the Trump administration's understanding of climate change and Democrats' aspirations to transform the Supreme Court—are pretty damned important. But it seems unlikely that we will ever get straight answers on these subjects from either ticket.

Unlike the insults, cross-talk, and constant interruptions that dominated last week's presidential debate, this sort of evasion and obfuscation has been typical of political discourse in this country for as long as I've been paying attention. It is nice that Harris and Pence showed basic respect for each other last night. It would be even nicer if they extended that respect to voters by giving them information they have a right to expect.

NEXT: Mike Pence Shows the GOP’s New Obamacare Strategy: Pretend It’s Already Gone

Debates 2020 Mike Pence Kamala Harris Donald Trump Joe Biden Election 2020

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173 responses to “The Pence-Harris Debate Was a Model of Civility, Evasion, and Obfuscation

  1. People have already decided, they are already voting, so no these debates don’t fucking matter one bit. They are a waste of time. And also note you failed to mention it was Biden who first interrupted, not the other way around. Go watch it again. He was pulling the same stunt from 2012 with Ryan. Biden is a fucking tool and he knows nobody cares what he does because he’ll be gone anyway.

    1. There is a smell of desperation in the air.

      1. It seems to be permanent in your vicinity

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      2. I don’t think so. But you do. Funny how happy you are at the prospect of a Biden win. Yet, you expect everyone to believe you are not a Prog.

        What annoys me most about you is your lying. Stop pretending to be something that you are not.

      3. That isn’t me.

        1. It’s you to T.

      4. How can you smell it over your stench of your intentional ignorance? Or do you want a citation?

        1. Are you trying to turn asking for evidence into some kind of weakness? What’s next, “books are for wussies”?

          1. No. I’m pointing our your willful ignorance. You can’t take even 5 seconds to look for information that contradicts your bias. You even admitted you dont bother watching what you comment on yesterday. Youre intellectually uncurious. Aka wilfully ignorant.

            1. Cool story, bro. I am not watching a one hour video, most of which is not relevant to the point Paul was trying to make.

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  2. I had much more of a problem with the way the moderator, Susan Page, framed the questions. I expect non-answers from politicians. What I don’t want are biased moderators.

    1. This. I mean, let this sink for a second: the supposedly neutral moderator literally posed questions straight out of the DNC’s playbook. Not a single one of those questions meant to pry into Kamala’s policies and stances, since each and every last one of them were designed around anti-Trump talking points.

      I don’t even know which one of them were more blatantly transparent, Kamala or the modemocrator lady?

      1. She brought up multiple controversial statements and asked Pence to respond. She didn’t bring up one controversial statement from Biden and ask Kamala about it.

      2. It was more than obvious the moderator was biased to the left.

        On the Supreme Court, Page didn’t ask the most important question of all whether Harris and Biden would expand it to include more justices. Instead, she asked what would happen to abortion rights if the court overturned Roe v. Wade.

        Moderator Chris Wallace let Biden off the hook at the presidential debate when he refused to give a straight answer, and Page didn’t even bother asking Harris.

        Pence pushes Harris over whether Democrats would protect abortion rights by packing Supreme Court Pence raised the issue several times, and Harris refused to answer, and Page let it slide. That’s a major mistake and voters deserve to know the answer — or at least have the candidates embarrassed by their failure to give one.

        Page did have time for questions about climate change and whether it’s an existential threat, the Breonna Taylor case, and, in the most outrageous example, what would happen if Trump lost the election and refused to accept “a peaceful transfer of power.”

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    2. Agreed, and I think Pence is a tool. Page asked a mixture of stupid questions and questions framed as a criticism of the Trump administration. Harris didn’t have to answer for anything.

    3. Susan Page was very pro Biden and anti Trump, and refused to ask Harris the most important questions, so Biden had to so, then Page wouldn’t let Harris answer by claiming the debate had to move on.

      “While Pence presents himself as an imperturbable mensch, Trump presents himself as a petty, intolerant, excitable asshole.”

      Sullum similarly demonstrated his disdain for Trump.

      1. Oops, “Biden” should be “Pence” in my post above about Pence having to ask Harris the key questions (that she refused to answer).

      2. Page is writing a biography on Pelosi. Debate commission is a joke. Next moderator interned for Biden.

  3. Harris’ unending condescending attitude wasn’t particularly civil.

    1. Well, at least she kept her malevolent cackling at a minimum… but the evil smirks and body language gave her away.

      1. Excuse me, I’m speaking!

        1. Ah yes, that magnanimous lecturing and womansplaining, I bet it’ll convince a horde of independents to run and vote for the Biden-Harris ticket.

          1. Harris is HilLIARy in henna-face.

            1. And, somehow, with even less charisma.
              She’s like the anti The Rock

              1. Acceptable substitutes for The Rock:
                -Terry Crews
                -Ryan Reynolds

                1. And if you want to be gender consistent: Rachel McAdams

                  1. Rachel McAdams is the answer to several questions.

      2. Yes, she’s quite the condescending smirking asshole. Who would have expected it from a whore?


      3. Yes, I noticed that she wanted to give Pence withering looks, but she was too far away and he wasn’t paying attention. That was the most hilarious feature of the debate.

    2. Harris already has a likeability problem, and this debate didn’t do her any favors with independents and undecideds. She was horribly condescending. Of course, to listen to the MSM post-debate wrap-ups on every network but Fox News, you’d think she gave a stellar performance worthy of a future president.

      1. I thought she was bullied and mansplained to?

        1. Based on MSM and Twitter, I thought she came in 3rd place to the fly.

  4. Shouldn’t you be doing … breathless … reviews of “Cuties”?

    This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs.

  5. “Vice President Pence, what is your plan to control the weather?”

    Ask stupid questions, get stupid answers.

    1. Pretty much this.

    2. He would ask Mother to join him in praying on it a spell, of course!

      1. Which has a better record of effectiveness than cutting CO2 emissions.

        1. +1000

      2. Yeah, I’ll pray with Pence.

  6. Just how effing bad that lousy orange man can be? I mean, that’s what you wanted to tell us Sullum, right?

  7. Trump’s rude, crude, babyish behavior may be amusing, but it is not conducive to rational debate—or any sort of debate at all. A man who cannot contain himself when he hears someone express an opinion with which he disagrees, who cannot even keep his mouth shut until that person finishes a sentence, is incapable of having a meaningful discussion.

    You know who else it’s impossible to have a meaningful discussion with, who wants to cancel you, who won’t let you speak on a campus, who riots if you try to speak publicly, who shouts you down if you say something they don’t agree with, who incessantly calls you a racist and a sexist and a bigot, and who’s been doing this a lot longer than Trump?

    Trump isn’t a cause of incivility in public discourse, he’s the result of it. Remember when George Bush was a racist Nazi bigot? Remember when John McCain was a racist Nazi bigot? Remember when Mitt Romney was a racist Nazi bigot? Yeah, we stopped defending ourselves against charges of being racist Nazi bigots because we know it’s not true and now we’re engaging in the same sort of name-calling you’ve been engaged in for 40 years. But, sure, we;re the ones being uncivil.

    Fuck you.

    1. Quit whining, bigot.


      2. Winter is coming, gecko. Shouldn’t you be hibernating?

    2. “You know who else it’s impossible to have a meaningful discussion with, who wants to cancel you, who won’t let you speak on a campus, who riots if you try to speak publicly, who shouts you down if you say something they don’t agree with, who incessantly calls you a racist and a sexist and a bigot, and who’s been doing this a lot longer than Trump?”

      And the standard reply is “well I don’t know about all that but Trump….”

      Sure he’s an asshole on many levels, but I sincerely hope he gets another four years, and another big round of judges. It’s not that I like Trump [honestly, who does?] but he is [if only by proxy] the best thing going as far as preserving any degree of liberty, Reason elites be f’n damned.

      1. It’s not that I like Trump [honestly, who does?] but he is [if only by proxy] the best thing going as far as preserving any degree of liberty, Reason elites be f’n damned.

        Isn’t that a pretty good reason to like him?

        1. At the end of the day, yes.

      2. QUT…Your last paragraph really nailed it.

        1. Yup. The alternative terrifies me more than John McCain did. Couldn’t bring myself to vote for Obama but I will vote for Trump. On every policy issue Trump is equal to or more libertarian than the Ds, their newfound enthusiasm for open borders notwithstanding. I’ve praised Jacob’s reporting many times. Did so today as a matter of fact. But he and all of his Reason Colleagues are blinded by TDS. I don’t care if Trump is an asshole. If the Democrats take power it’s game over. They will destroy what little is left of liberty in the U.S. They are openly promising to do just that.

          1. That’s it in a nutshell. The Republicans are idiots and greedy poseurs, but the Democrats are Eldritch horrors and those idiotic, greedy poseurs are the only thing in their way.

    3. Did someone steal Jerryskids handle? I thought he was more thoughtful and less “angry-tea-bagger”.

      But to whomever Jerryskids is now. Both sides have lost their civility. IIRC the current state of affairs started with Clinton/Gingrich and proceeded downslope from there. Now everyone is a commie/Marxist/fascist/nazi etc. It means nothing more than “I disagree with you sir” in modern parlance.

      1. Everything he says here is correct.

        1. Agreed. But it’s completely one-sided. Don’t you guys get tired of winging about the same exact thing day in and day out? Stir the pot a bit.

      2. Lefties and their utter ignorance. Borking didn’t become a verb for no reason. Ted Kennedy going to russia to beat Reagan isn’t civil.

      3. I wanted to steal Jerryskids handle but I wasn’t sure which portmanteau to Identify with. Jerry Skids? Jerry’s Kids? So many baffling possibilities.

    4. Trump is a man. “Don’t be afraid of the coronavirus. Scientifically accurate. Getting back to normal while it’s still possible is the most important issue now.

  8. “Page asked Pence why the per capita COVID-19 death rate in the United States is ‘higher than that of almost every other wealthy country.’ It is an interesting and important question…”

    No, it isn’t. It’s a statement dressed up as a question.

    1. It is also completely untrue. The US death per million is eleventh in the world and behind several European nations. How do you answer a question that is based on a false assumption?

      Moreover, the interesting question is why were the death rates in a couple of states so high such that without them the US death rate plummets to the bottom of the world. That is the sort of question that Sullumn and Page are both two stupid to think of and too dishonest to ask if they did.

      1. He could say that the question was wrong.

        1. Why defend a dishonest question? Oh wait. It is you.

          1. Defend a dishonest question? How has it been established that it is dishonest and not simply mistaken.

            Pence, the head of the COVID-19 task force, should be readily able to cite facts to set the record straight. Who cares if the question makes wrong assumptions or was even purposely a lie (not established at all that it was, other than your say-so) , it is just a prompt to get Pence to speak on the topic and prove himself competent and knowledgeable.

            1. “How has it been established that it is dishonest and not simply mistaken”

              Yes, because the questions just pop into the moderators head during the debate and totally aren’t extensively researched and tested beforehand.

              1. So, is Pence supposed to hold his breath until he turns blue because the moderator asked a loaded question? Why wouldn’t he simply take the question as a prompt to correct the record?

      2. Well said. If you take out the shithole Democrat led states (or even just the worst two), the US death rate drops well below almost all comparable Western European countries. And who knows how we compare to China since they’re lying about their cases and deaths? Based on independent reports, the death total in Wuhan alone is about 10 times the official estimate for ALL of China.

    2. Short answer: because there are financial incentives for classifying deaths as being caused by the rona.

    3. If Pence was any good at all, he would have explained how we’re counting everybody with any corona in their system as a corona death, and our tests are cranked WAY TO HIGH.

    4. Because those other countries didn’t have state governors ordering nursing homes to take in covid patients?

      PA is the only state that’s been upfront about this. 70% of their covid deaths were nursing home-related. NY, NJ, MI are still not being honest about it.

      1. “Because those other countries didn’t have state governors ordering nursing homes to take in covid patients?”

        Plus those other countries weren’t paying doctors and hospitals extra, if their patient deaths were classified as WuFlu related. Any chance of the death figures not being complete bullshit, left the barn after that HHS edict.

    5. Of course it’s a question, and one the head of the COVID-19 task force should be able to answer.

      1. With what? “Sorry Susan, but you’re lying”?

        1. Yes.

    6. Exactly

  9. It is official, however, that Pence won the debate and won by such a wide margin there is no way to spin it any other way. Reason has trotted out the “well they both lost” bullshit article. They would never write an article admitting that Pence won. And would have ten articles celebrating a Harris win or anything that could be spun as a win.

    1. I suppose no “self respecting” journalist who aspires to acceptance by the chattering class can ever admit anything that might be construed as favoring Trump. That would most definitely got them kicked off the party circuit and possibly demonized as a slack jawed clinger, for life.

    2. Poor, persecuted CACLLs. The whole world is conspiring against you and you are all victims.

      1. It really is squawking at this point. Rmac is right.

      2. What the hell is “CACLLs”?
        Some new insult against the unwoke from the Daily Kos crowd?

        I googled it and nothing definitive came up.

        1. conservative and conservative-leaning libertarians

    3. it was as they say in UFC….”smash time”…Harris was a joke. You know when they talk about the “fly” who won…

      Now let’s see Biden’s meds..and if he can actually recovery from covid…he is an old beta…we need strong Alpha..

  10. As one person said of the Trump/Biden debate, things became so contentious that a debate almost broke out.

    1. Fortunately, Chris Wallace was there to make sure that didn’t happen


    Meanwhile BLM showed up to riot and terrorize a small suburban community in Wisconsin last night. I wonder how many of them are out on bail thanks to Harris and her staff.

    1. Like Charlottesville, all that was “mostly peaceful”.

    2. Is the mainstream press even covering this stuff anymore?

    3. Second time you’ve posted about this today. How has any affiliation been established between the rioters and Black Lives Matter?

      Black Lives Matter doesn’t organize riots in the middle of the night. They organize speeches, rallies, marches. Nobody has to organize a riot.

      1. Just a complete parody at this point.

      2. “Black Lives Matter doesn’t organize riots in the middle of the night. They organize speeches, rallies, marches. Nobody has to organize a riot.”

        OK, so I’m not supposed to be looking in that direction, but your attempt to offer another failed entirely.

    4. Well they really had no choice. Trump refuses to condemn white supremacy

  12. “Deeply disturbing’: Feds charge six militia members in domestic terror plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer”

    The press calls everybody who doesn’t like the government a “militia” and everything they do is called a “terrorist plot”. When someone who likes the Second Amendment plans a pancake social, the press might call it a terrorist plot.

    Regardless, it would not surprise me to see real militias become a big thing again IF IF IF and when Biden is elected. The militia movement of the 1990s really got going because of Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Clinton’s assault weapon ban. IF IF IF and when Biden is elected and pushes through his anti-gun agenda, we should expect to see a resurgence in militia activity and enthusiasm–for reals.

    1. Even people who don’t like guns should think twice about the likely consequences of “The Biden Plan to End our Gun Violence Epidemic”.

      Because I think heroin and crack doesn’t mean I’d support anything and everything the police and the military might do to stop it–and there’s no good reason why people who don’t like guns shouldn’t be the same way.

      1. I think heroin and crack

        Does Hunter Biden sniff your hair?

        1. “Because I think heroin and crack [suck] doesn’t mean I’d support anything and everything . . . ”

          —-Ken Shultz


    2. If Biden wins we will first see an orgy of violence rioting and looting all over the country in suburbs and other places thought to be white and Trump supporting. People think Biden winning will stop the riots. It will just embolden the rioters. The rioters couldn’t care less about Biden and Biden winning will show the Democrats’ they can win with the riots going on. Once there is a Democrat in office, the media will either refuse to cover it or blame it on something else. The fear that Trump might actually call in the feds on them is the only thing holding the leftist mobs back right now. If Biden were President they will run wild in places you never thought they would. The local authorities ability to stop them will be greatly reduced by a now Dem run DOJ who will threaten any cop who shoots a rioter or arrests someone who claims to be a protestor with federal civil rights charges.

      After the country gets a dose of that, you will see the rise of a right wing version of Antifa. And then it will be on. And once that starts it is going to be very difficult to stop.

      1. “After the country gets a dose of that, you will see the rise of a right wing version of Antifa. And then it will be on. And once that starts it is going to be very difficult to stop.”

        This. Oh my God, this. We really don’t want to open this door. And we’re about to.

        Only it won’t be the right-wing version of Antifa. It’ll be a version of the White Hand. Death squads, IOW. And it will be amazingly personal.

        1. It’s rather extraordinary that there hasn’t been a lot of this kind of thing happening over recent months. I suspect the reason is because Trump is in the White House. If the pandemic were happening under Biden, the extreme right side of that equation wouldn’t be taking this as calmly as they have. Taking Trump out of the White House removes a shit-ton of legitimacy for an awful lot of really nasty people–even if they don’t buy into him per se. Subconsciously or otherwise, Trump being in the White House means that it’s still possible for populist types to have a say in government. Remove that from the equation, and their toleration for progressive government may evaporate completely.

          When people lose faith in the belief that it’s possible for liberal institutions to reflect their beliefs and ideas, they don’t give up on their beliefs and ideas. They give up on liberal institutions.

      2. South America c. 1950s.

      3. The irony is that they will run wild in places Biden won during the primaries.

    3. What terminology would you use?

      Sorry people took the precise things you believe and have been hysterically ranting about and acted on it. I don’t know what you expected.

      1. They’ve worn the expression out, Tony.

        I’ll wait for the facts to come out.

      2. Well, given that at least one of the guys was fervently and almost Tony-like opposed to Trump…

    4. Who says the FBI doesn’t have anything to do anymore? O/u on the number of Feds involved in germinating that asinine plot? I’ll go with 2.5 out of the 6 charged.

      Kidnapping? LOL. Why not just canoe her fucking skull from 300 yards instead? Sends exactly the same message as these idiots were trying to send with some half naked kidnapping. And how absolutely convenient that this breaks less than four weeks before the election.

      1. I typed ‘half-baked’ kidnapping, but hey, half-naked kidnapping would likely be more terrifying.

    5. “The press calls everybody who doesn’t like the government a ‘militia’”

      I hope you can see the irony that this is exactly analogous to all the links posted here to “BLM” rioters who have no affiliation with BLM.

      1. “I hope you can see the irony that this is exactly analogous to all the links posted here to “BLM” rioters who have no affiliation with BLM.”

        Got a cite where someone did that rather than a cite where you claimed they did, since the folks didn’t have notarized membership cards?

      2. “I hope you can see the irony that this is exactly analogous to all the links posted here to “BLM” rioters who have no affiliation with BLM.”

        If there’s any irony here, it isn’t because I’m doing the same thing. I’m both questioning whether they’re really militia and leaving open the possibility that maybe they are. Is that what you’re doing with BLM?

        1. Yes. And nobody has ever, ever followed up with any “yes, they are affiliated with BLM, here’s how we know”. Instead, the modus operandi is to insult me or to mis-characterize the point I am making as my being pro-BLM.

    6. How is it that we know so much about a plot that didn’t happen and can actually work up a prosecution…

      But we cannot manage to prosecute anyone for the national conspiracies to commit riot, mayhem, arson, murder….. Where the actual acts have actually occurred and are actually on video?

    1. Asked whether she thought it was time to invoke the 25th Amendment because of President Donald Trump’s illness, Pelosi said she didn’t want to talk about it right then.

      “If you want to talk about that, we’ll see you tomorrow,” said Pelosi, who then questioned why the White House has refused to reveal when the president had his last negative Covid-19 test.

      The 25th Amendment provides for procedures for transferring power to the vice president in the cases of the president’s death, incapacitation, removal or resignation.

      —-Paul’s link

      If they seriously tried to invoke this ahead of the election, that might turn the polls in Trump’s favor.

      If the Biden campaign hasn’t already called Pelosi to beg her to shut up, Biden should fire his campaign manager.

      1. If zpelosi is talking about it, the polls probably aren’t in their favor…

      2. Trump probably knew he was sick before he debated Biden. That’s attempted murder in some books.

        1. Yes, and tell everyone that, Tony.

          Make sure to tell everyone you know that we should vote for Biden because Trump tried to murder him with the coronavirus.

          The voters need to hear that coming from progressives–and they need to hear it over and over again. So, tell them all!

        2. That’s attempted murder in some books.

          Your half-finished foray into speculative fiction doesn’t count.

          1. But enough about Russian election meddling.

        3. “That’s attempted murder in some books.”

          Name one.

        4. LOL.

          I swear. 2020.


        5. “…That’s attempted murder in some books…”

          Those would be the books kept by Madoff?

        6. Tony you forgot to append IANAL

          Maybe put a little heart between I and A

        7. at least he admits that Biden is a frail old coot who would be better off in a home. I’ll take it.

      3. When silicon and botox seep into the brain bad one can become irrational it seems…

    2. She must really, really, really, really hate President Trump.

  13. and Page never had the balls to demand that either of them answer the question asked. What a waste of time

  14. >>who cannot even manage to feign respect for his opponents

    T is a businessman in a sea of graft agents I hate why would I want him to feign respect?

  15. What percentage is there in either candidate telling the truth? Libertarian candidates generally do a much better job of telling the voters what they plan to do “when elected” and you see where it gets them. If you can’t give an answer that 51% of voters are in agreement with, then best to ramble and dodge.

    1. That’s why I wish we were better at rambling and dodging.

  16. As far as Harris goes, I’ll quote noted political theorist, Taylor Swift:

    She’s not a saint and she’s not what you think, She’s an actress,
    She’s better known for the things that she does On the mattress,

    1. And a bad actress at that – a poorly programmed robot

  17. Harris is a middling arrogant witch.
    She’s insufferable.

    1. She turned me into a newt!

      I got better…because she’s only a *middling* witch.

  18. Blows my mind how anyone could consider voting Democrat in their current configuration.

    They’re literally hold different opinions on every issue. No consistency. Plus they’re literally and clinically insane.


    /rips diagnosis paper hands it over gently.

    1. Many of them were Demiceats back before the crazy started.

      As Ken Shultz had noted, the non-Woke, non-SJW Dems overwhelmingly voted for Biden in the primaries.

  19. “Politeness is nice. Answering questions would be even nicer.”

    Not being a lying bitch would be pretty cool, too.

  20. Why wouldn’t you want to have a beer with Pence. I doubt he would start ranting and raving like most leftie Bolsheviks do. Might be a nice rational respectful discussion. Is it because he was a Catholic or now a more protestant Christian?

    Coming from the “Cuties” guy I do wonder if you have some deep seated anti Catholic issues..maybe old country grudges..who knows.

  21. “Page asked Pence why the per capita COVID-19 death rate in the United States is “higher than that of almost every other wealthy country.” It is an interesting and important question, but Pence did not want to answer it, so instead he praised Trump’s response to the pandemic,”

    I had hoped Pence would point out policies imposed by Democrat Governors in northeastern states significantly increased Covid deaths at nursing homes and the nation’s overall death rate.

  22. The Joe Biden campaign has scheduled a town hall–for Biden alone–on the same day that the debate with President Trump was scheduled.

    “The network says that Biden has agreed to participate in a town hall Oct. 15, the same night the debate was scheduled to be held.”

    —-Hollywood Reporter

    “ABC Schedules Joe Biden Town Hall in Lieu of Second Presidential Debate”

    If that’s a good indication of Biden’s intentions, he doesn’t plan to debate Trump again.

    1. I think the change to a virtual format was to provide cover for Biden. Now he can sit in the basement being coached from offscreen.

      1. I wonder if the media pointed out this.

        1. It was right there on the CNN chyron:

          “Biden may not be mentally comp…LOOK A SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!…Trump bad”

      2. This isn’t doing much for Biden’s legitimacy if he wins.

        This is giving the impression that Trump is being railroaded.

        1. This is?

          Not the fact that we now have the smoking gun that the entire Russia thing was indeed a hoax, it indeed was personally approved of by Herself and the CIA and FBI and Obama all knew it before any of this immense violation of a whole bunch of civil rights even started?

          Not the fact that Obama, Biden, and presumably hundreds of other people all knew it was actually a hoax, and not one of them came forward for 4 years… Even as we spent tens of millions of dollars investigating.. even as they attempted to remove Trump from office based on a hoax.

          Hell, Biden was personally involved in framing Flynn. And he never came forward… Not as Flynn got fired. Not as Flynn lost his life savings and his home defending himself against a corrupt prosecution. Not as Flynn faced jail.

          And still, he has not even been questioned on it.

          This is a libertarian site. Getting framed for a crime is a big deal around these parts. Participating in framing someone is a big deal. Not speaking up when someone is wrongly prosecuted is a big deal.

          The idea that even one single person who wears the libertarian label is willing to overlook this is horrifying.

          Forget supporting Trump. There is no way anyone who calls themselves a libertarian could entertain any election strategy that involves Biden getting anywhere near the levers of power. (And I am under no illusion that he was anywhere near the real seat of power that did these things. But even just the Flynn frame job should be more than enough to permanently disqualify him)

          1. To average people who have not kept up with events and might vote either Democrat or Republican–to them? Yeah, you start talking about the Russians, the FBI, Comey, and Flynn, and their eyes glaze over.

            You point out that Biden refuses to debate Trump, and they start wondering why–what’s Biden afraid of?

            1. I wonder.

              I watched a lot of people today talk about how Pence was condescending to Harris and mansplaining.

              People are sadly and terrifyingly easy to manipulate.

            2. I think he’s talking about Reason

              1. I started with everybody, but pivoted to reason and libertarians, because I cannot fathom the notion that using the government to attack political rivals in such a blatant and public ways over many years does not even move the needle for people who put civil liberties at the top of the list.

  23. You know what would be even nicer? Asking questions that are actually relevant and not some partisan loaded question talking point. (There were actually a few of those in this debate, so Kudos)


    Harris is a prosecutor. We have riots that are being caused by prosecutors on her team refusing to prosecute allies who are rioting. Could have asked about that

    Harris mentioned the Atlantic story as proof. It has been roundly debunked by every person present. Could have asked her about her campaign coordinating with the Atlantic on a false smear story. Could have asked her how they managed to get a testimonial from a parent responding to the story published in a TV spot within hours of the story.

    Also… We just learned that Obama was personally involved in spying on Trump using the FBI and CIA. We just learned that the Director of the CIA personally informed Obama that Clinton herself approved a plan to discredit Trump with a disinformation campaign designed to smear him as working with the Russians, way back in July of 2016. We also know that Biden was personally involved in a plot to frame incoming DNI Flynn for invented crimes. Could have asked her if she would have prosecuted someone for those crimes when she was a prosecutor.

    Could have asked her about Biden’s ties to China and Ukraine. Could have asked what evidence she would have needed to prove foreign collusion… Which she has personally alleged against Trump based on made-up evidence that we now know was a hoax, and still is not remotely as strong as the evidence against Biden, which includes specific actions taken and millions of dollars in wire transfers.

    Could have asked Harris why she accused Biden of being a racist right to his face on national TV if she didn’t believe it.

    Could have asked Harris about her slander of Kavanaugh..

    Could have asked Harris about her slander of Nick Sandmann.

    Could have asked Harris specifically about tax cuts that allowed companies to bring over a trillion dollars back to the US from overseas.

    Could have asked Harris about any one of a number of “cuts to the environment” that have helped business without perceptible impact on the environment.

    Could have asked Pence to defend cutting regulation.

    Could have asked Pence to defend refugee policy

    Could have asked Pence to defend lack of new wars….

    1. Most of those topics are either topics that progressives have determined are irrelevant or “conspiracy theories”, have already been addressed, or are simply not interesting. That’s not partisanship, it’s just stupidity.

      Within that stupid framework, the moderator did try to be fairly even-handed, even though she was on a first name basis with “Kamala”.

  24. C’mon Reason Harris isn’t an African-American she’s a first generation immigrant. She’s not even African she’s Jamaican and part white to boot. She’s also not a natural born Citizen. Actually she shouldn’t be a citizen at all because her parents weren’t permanent residents when she was born.

    1. Not just any Indian, an Indian from the Brahmin class, a hereditary, privileged Indian upper class, an identity her mother brought with her. And in the US, she grew up in the American Brahmin class of Stanford and Berkeley academics.

      Kamala is a textbook image of hereditary, racial, and class privilege. For her to lecture others on their “privilege” and claim that she is somehow tied to the oppression of African slaves in the US is ridiculous.

  25. Now that I think about it, I think Trump should ask Flynn to cut an ad. Talk directly to the American people about how Joe Biden personally worked to frame him for a crime he did not commit.

    He should directly ask him why he did that.

    He should directly ask Biden why he did not speak up when he was indicted by prosecutors on bogus charges.

    He should directly ask Biden why he did not speak up when prosecutors threatened his family if he dared to fight the illegitimate and false charges.

    He should directly ask Biden why he stood by and did nothing as corrupt prosecutors bankrupted him and put him in jail.

    He should look directly into camera and say “Joe Biden, you helped frame me for a crime that I did not commit, even after your own FBI spent months illegally investigating me and reported that they could find absolutely no evidence of any crimes. You stood by and watched as I lost my job, my house, my life savings and my freedom as a result of your actions, and you did nothing.

    You claim to be for justice. You claim that you will protect the American people.

    But you did not protect me. You did not protect justice. You corrupted the government and the justice system. You cannot be trusted to be the president.

      1. Cyto’s great, isn’t he? When I say I don’t read the articles, but only the comments, it’s because of great commentary like his. This is a hobby for him—and it crushes 90 percent of the work of the professional writers this magazine chooses to publish.

        That would be a fantastic ad. Though first, you’d have to remind the public who General Flynn is.

        1. Agreed.
          Cyto hits the nail on the head every time.

    1. Care to explain what is libertarian about defending a Russian agent who has been protected at every step by an administration with disturbing ties to Russia? What is illegal about the FBI investigation? He pled guilty! What’s illegal is the prudent pressuring the FBI to drop the investigation. This is all kinds of fucked up and all you care about is Trump’s allies getting off the hook.

      Apropos of nothing Flynn is a Qanon supporter.

      1. We already know that every thing you just said is a hoax. This has been completely documented from beginning to end. You don’t have to keep parroting your talking points.

        1. For those who don’t know, Obama sent Comey to have the FBI investigate Flynn during the transition. They spent months trying to pin something on him and came back with nothing.

          In a 2017 meeting at the white house, the FBI told Obama and Biden that they found nothing derogatory about Flynn and we’re closing the file. Obama personally directed them to continue with an interview designed to set him up for lying to feds charges or at least get him fired. Biden personally recommended trying to use the Logan act against him.

          They all knew it was a hoax. Not just knew, but we’re personally and directly involved in ordering that he be set up for an illegal prosecution. The only reason they got a guilty plea was because they threatened to do the same thing to his family if he declined to plead.

          Every step of that is documented in their own words and handwritten notes. Sally Yates, who Biden is likely to choose as AG was personally involved and knew it was corrupt, so she wrote CYA memos. But did not come forward to reveal the hoax. Just covered her own ass

          And you think allowing them to take over the executive branch is acceptable?

          1. And Google thinks that nobody uses the word “were” anymore. Not sure why they think we’re would have been better … But it is impreasive tech.

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  27. I’m impressed that neither moderator thought foreign policy was worth mentioning at all but climate change…THAT is a vital topic.

  28. Susan Page? Who is her husband..isn’t he a far leftie commie?

  29. Kamala Harris has the mentality of a stripper asking to perform behind Plexiglas for the Vice Presidential debate. No doubt she expected Pence to stuff a twenty dollar bill in her g-string, but Pence could see the fumes emanating from Harris’ nether regions and would not approach without wearing a hazmat suit.

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