Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, October 9, 2020
In my opinion, Vice President Mike Pence defeated Senator Kamala Harris in Wednesday’s vice-presidential debate. Undecided voters in Frank Luntz’s polling group agreed. Usually, vice-presidential debates don’t matter. However, considering Joe Biden’s declining mental ability, it may be different this year. We may have been watching the Democratic Party’s real presidential candidate. The media’s takeaway: It’s unfair to expect her to live up to the same standards as white men.
The debate had two attention-getting moments. One was when a fly landed on Mike Pence’s head. It was probably the occurrence most often discussed on social media. David Frum used it in a column calling the Vice President “the man who pretended not to notice.”
The other was when Kamala Harris replied to an interruption from Mike Pence by saying firmly, “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.”
There’s nothing remarkable about this. If Mike Pence had been debating a white man, no one would have mentioned it. President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden repeatedly interrupted each other during their debate. Joe Biden even told the President of the United States to “shut up,” and few journalists bemoaned his lack of civility. Mike Pence was respectful during the debate, and Senator Harris and Vice President Pence spoke for almost the exact same amount of time.
Nonetheless, journalists and activists praised Kamala Harris as if she had overcome some great barrier. It is reminiscent of when Elizabeth Warren (another Democrat with questionable ethnic credentials) kept talking in violation of Senate rules and turned herself into a progressive heroine. Just like Elizabeth Warren’s incivility became a T-shirt slogan, so too has Kamala Harris’s. You can also buy the coffee cup.
The assumption is that Kamala Harris suffers because of her race or sex, but if she were white, let alone a white man, we might never have heard of her. The media treated her like a martyr.
“A telling dynamic of the debate was the way Harris repeatedly confronted Pence for interrupting her,” said The Atlantic. “She drew a chorus of amens from women on Twitter, since most of them could relate to being put in the awkward position of having to maintain their poise as someone tried to undermine them.”
“Pence appeared obnoxious, condescending and not altogether present in the moment as he ran roughshod over the two women on the stage and kept addressing issues the moderator had moved on from,” said the Hollywood Reporter. “If Trump did his best to get his picture under the definition of ‘alpha male’ in the dictionary last week, Pence’s portrait might be found under the ‘mansplainer.’”
CNN’s Van Jones said Kamala Harris had to “walk that tightrope that all women of color have to walk,” and called Mike Pence a “mansplainer-in-chief.” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos made a similar remark.
“America hates to let Black women speak,” said the Washington Post. The overwhelmingly positive coverage Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama enjoy would suggest otherwise. Nonetheless, Twitter was full of similar comments:
I don’t think VP Pence’s mansplaining and over-talking is doing a lot to narrow the gender gap, unless it is also turning off more men as well.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) October 8, 2020
“But I would like equal time.
I’m still speaking.”
~Women & Girls #VPDebate
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) October 8, 2020
Just going over it all in my head. The way Mike Pence constantly interrupted and spoke over @KamalaHarris was the prime example of white male supremacy and its common dismissal and disrespect for black woman.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 8, 2020
However, some viewers found Kamala Harris “snarky,” “rehearsed,” and “abrasive.” Joe Biden supporters may have enjoyed Kamala Harris making condescending faces for the camera, but many ordinary Americans probably found it off-putting. The combination of arrogance and supposed victimization defines politicians like Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar. They flaunt their power but complain about racism or sexism when they don’t get their way.
— amorphous (@loneamorphous) October 8, 2020
One key point of the debate was Kamala Harris’s refusal to answer whether a Biden Administration would “pack the court” by adding new justices to the Supreme Court. Yesterday, former vice president Joe Biden refused to answer this question, saying we will know his answer “when the election is over.” The answer is surely yes.
Senator Harris clearly thought her sex and race were very important. “I was elected the first woman of color, and black woman to be elected attorney general of the state of California,” she said, “where I ran the second largest department of justice in the United States.” She said that Joe Biden “recognizes the beauty in our diversity.” This was odd considering that the senator’s last T-shirt slogan (“That little girl was me”) was about her claim that Joe Biden opposed school busing. She also invoked Charlottesville and falsely claimed that President Donald Trump “refused to condemn white supremacists.”
Mike Pence said she had “conveniently omitted” that while President Trump said there were “fine people” on both sides at Unite The Right 2017, “he condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists and has done so repeatedly.” He defended the Trump Administration’s record on criminal justice reform. He also turned Kamala Harris’s record against her. The vice president claimed Kamala Harris had “increased the disproportionate incarceration of blacks in California” when she was attorney general of California. The vice president’s counterattack left Kamala Harris visibly shaken, much as Tulsi Gabbard’s did during the primary.
The senator again evoked Charlottesville in conclusion, saying that it was “one of the reasons Joe decided to run for president.” Not long after the debate, Black Lives Matter supporters were smashing windows in a Milwaukee suburb. Even if one falsely blamed Unite the Right demonstrators for all the violence in Charlottesville, it has been dwarfed by what has engulfed our country almost every night. The Unite the Right demonstration has become mythically important, while reporters downplay, ignore, or justify leftist terrorism, violence, and attempts to seize local authority. Kamala Harris said she was a part “of those peaceful protests” to achieve “that ideal of equal justice under law.” This is the attractive way to explain the movement to whites.
Senator Harris also said that “seven members of President George W. Bush’s cabinet are supporting our ticket” along with Cindy McCain and John Kasich. Progressives, let alone socialists, could not be happy about that answer. Senator Harris appeared to be appealing to moderates, while relying on her sex and race to ensure she’s not abandoned by the Left.
Mike Pence said American police did not have an “implicit bias against minorities” and denied that America is “systemically racist.” However, he also said there was “no excuse for what happened to George Floyd.” Whites came up only in a negative context. No one mentioned immigration.
Where does this leave us? President Kamala Harris had a worrying thought. She repeatedly mentioned “Russia” during the debate, making the unproven claim that the Russian government put “bounties on the heads of American soldiers.” I suspect Kamala Harris’s vision of American “unity” would involve calling white advocates the domestic enemy and Russia the foreign enemy, thus justifying extreme methods against both.
However, Kamala Harris didn’t seem formidable Wednesday night. She didn’t look or sound well-informed, intelligent, or thoughtful. Instead, she showed her true self — a middling politician who has power because of race and sex. Vice President Pence, in contrast, was poised and well-prepared. In conventional terms, this contest wasn’t even close. Kamala Harris “won” the debate only if you’re grading on an affirmative action curve.