Thursday, February 25, 2021
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

LPR's View of the
Vice Presidential Debate

October 19, 2020 --

LPR's con law professor in college, the constitutional scholar Leonard W. Levy, advised us students to "strike while the iron is hot."  LPR has taken his advice in writing this piece soon after the conclusion of the October 7 vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris, moderated by Susan Page of USA Today.

The first question LPR has, about the mechanics of the debate is: how was it determined that Sen. Harris would be the concluding speaker?  Was it by coin toss?  Did Ms. Page decide to give the last word to Sen. Harris.   Another question: was the time used by the candidates divided equally or did one participant have a time advantage?   

The last question is:  HOW CAN TWO MINUTES CONSTITUTE SUFFICIENT TIME TO ANSWER WEIGHTY QUESTIONS ON GOVERNANCE TO ASSIST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN CHOOSING THEIR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP?

So far as LPR is aware, the only place two minutes gives people sufficient time is in Orwell's dystopian novel "1984," where the allotted time -- the "two minutes hate -- was sufficient for government workers  (everyone was a government worker) to express hatred of individuals, or peoples, as directed by Big Brother.

As it was impossible for LPR to take cogent notes of the first debate between the presidential candidates, during their free-for-all, it was unnecessary for LPR to take notes of what the vice presidential candidates said during their debate. 

The only moment of passion occurred when Sen. Harris told the vice president not to lecture her. 

LPR believes that Mr. Pence should have answered with passion in reply to at least one question from moderator Page.  More on that, below.

Last LPR, it was suggested that a referee blow the whistle on the moderator, as well as on the debates, should she go offside.  LPR believes that moderator Page, by at least three of her questions, indicated bias against the president.

Moderator Page asked the vice president to comment on the existential threat posed by climate change.   The vice president should have answered, in LPR's view, "Ms. Page, if you are saying that climate change presents a threat to human existence, I must disagree, most strongly.  Our planet is far too big to see the destruction of human existence.  And, if you will allow me to include a reply based on my faith, I am confident that the Almighty would never destroy humanity.  Didn't he make that promise to Noah, after all, following The Deluge?"

As this question implies the possibility that climate change could end human life, I believe this question indicates a bias in favor of the Biden-Harris ticket.

Moderator Page also asked the debaters what they would advise states to do should Roe v. Wade be overturned. This question implies the possibility that confirmation to the Supreme Court of Judge Amy Coney Barrett will result in overruling the Roe decision.  This question thereby carries with it an anti-Trump bias, and Vice President Pence should have said so.  Only an anti-Trumpist would claim that Roe v. Wade will be killed with the confirmation of Judge Barrett to the high court.

The last anti-Trump question, clearly, from moderator Page was the penultimate question to the candidates: what would you do if the president loses the election and refuses to leave the White House. Vice President Pence should have begun his answer expressing outrage that Ms. Page should imagine such nonsense.  His actual answer began with reference to the more than three years of opposition to the Trump presidency, but the vice president should have added that the "rejectionists" have, even before the inauguration, denounced our duly-elected President Trump as "illegitimate," a "dictator," an "authoritarian," "a threat to our democracy," -- pointing out, further, that the "Rejectionists" continue with lies, based on hatred, including the grievously false charge we just heard from the senator to the effect that the president has a low opinion of the military and did nothing to prevent bounties given the Taliban for killing our servicemen and women.     
 
LPR believes that Mr. Pence should have gone on to say that the election of Biden-Harris will destroy our founding legacy of liberty for a system of governance based on oppressive and repressive socialism.  

 One further indication of anti-Trump bias was in the moderator's question about "white supremacy."  It is the, foulest of lies, of anti-Trump propaganda,  that the president has ever spoken well of white supremacists.

In sum, LPR strongly believes that Vice President Pence came across as too self-contained in his responses and believes, at best, that this 
two-minute-per-answer "debate" resulted in a slight win for Sen. Harris, because of the bland  answers from  the vice president, with the moderator providing evidence of anti-Trump bias. 

In LPR's view, a referee is still badly needed to blow the whistle on anti-Trump bias from the moderators of the remaining presidential debates.

P.S.   Two minutes for answers?   Might as well have a debate limiting responses to yes - or no.