[US Elections] Vice-Presidential Debate
October 7, 2020 5:30 PM   Subscribe

Tonight starting at 6 p.m. pacific time is the 2020 Vice-Presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence; there's a C-Span livestream.

Feel free to discuss it here and share interesting takes on it as it happens. Just remember to follow our community guidelines and content policy.
posted by cortex (489 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is apparently the "plexiglass barrier" that they're using to keep the candidates "safe". Note that the moderator gets...nothing.

They shouldn't even be in the same room, but this is a farce.
posted by explosion at 5:45 PM on October 7 [21 favorites]


Love the first response to that tweet. “Don’t care, won’t be voting anyway.” Then WHY THE F@&$ ARE YOU COMMENTING?
posted by caution live frogs at 5:52 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


Harris is going to wipe the floor with that smarmy styrofoam statue, but no matter who "wins" the debate, both sides will have shown America exactly how compassionate and diverse they are in a time when more Americans are realizing the importance of those virtues.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:53 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Note that the moderator gets...nothing.

Lovely. Looks like they’re going with the Japanese variety show model, seats in a half circle with a plastic barrier between seats, all opening into way too small area where everyone is essentially just breathing directly on everyone not sitting immediately opposite them.

(Mrs. Ghidorah has started giving me dirty looks when I sigh in exasperation when I see this idiocy on TV shows she’s watching)
posted by Ghidorah at 5:53 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Wow. Pence is in the company of TWO women!
posted by wabbittwax at 6:05 PM on October 7 [18 favorites]


It will be awesome if the moderator from USA Today gives them crayons and paper to draw an infographic on their position on an issue.
posted by snofoam at 6:05 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Pence is a smarmy asshole, as long as he's a dismissive asshole towards a woman the fundies will still love him.
posted by benzenedream at 6:06 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Pence looks puffy.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:06 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Lovely. Looks like they’re going with the Japanese variety show model, seats in a half circle with a plastic barrier between seats, all opening into way too small area where everyone is essentially just breathing directly on everyone not sitting immediately opposite them.

Eh, it's about the size of your average supermarket cashier's plexi shield (if they have one).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:07 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


They should put a giant casino smoke fan over him to suck the air away.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:07 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


They're getting scolded for the previous debate? Okay.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:07 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


He's already losing it. He's glanced over to see her ignoring him five times now. Couldn't even wave to the audience until he saw her doing it.
posted by Harry Caul at 6:08 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


I’m drinking if anyone wants to join me. Bourbon?
posted by jquinby at 6:08 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


I like the frequent reminders from the moderator that this should be "without interruption" and should be "civil".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:08 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


Is it the custom for the Vice President candidates to be seated for the debate? I don’t remember seeing that previously, so why this time?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:08 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Oh, I don't like that she's not answering the question.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:09 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Cheney and Lieberman sat down. I don’t remember the ones between now and then.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:10 PM on October 7


hey, groundwork and pivot
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:10 PM on October 7


LOL filler
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:10 PM on October 7


It is - I also remember watching Cheney and Lieberman seated at a small table with...Russert?
posted by jquinby at 6:10 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


I’m drinking if anyone wants to join me. Bourbon?

Anejo tequila. Cheers!
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:10 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Have a feeling that this will be a very strong night for Harris.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:11 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


A person of culture, I see.
posted by jquinby at 6:11 PM on October 7


I hope she pushes back on the China travel thing. It absolutely was not a total ban on travel from China (as if the virus was checking passports or ticket class), and it didn't matter because travelers were coming from other places that were already infected. NYC, for example, was infected by travelers from Europe.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:12 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


What is wrong with Pence's eyes? They look red. Harris should put a mask on when he's talking.
posted by Blue Genie at 6:12 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


2016 and 2012 VP debates were seated, 2008 was not. Not sure how they decide but certainly seated has been common so nothing unusual there.
posted by thefoxgod at 6:12 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Wow. That’s an oldie. Plagiarism.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:13 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


What is wrong with Pence's eyes?

Evil corrodes.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:13 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


Always be in what heart?
posted by snofoam at 6:14 PM on October 7


some primo gaslighting by Pence
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:14 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


...aaaand here’s the superspreader question.

Pence: homina homina homina
posted by jquinby at 6:16 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


He is so unctuous. Why does anyone respond positively to that, regardless of their beliefs on policy or values?
posted by PhineasGage at 6:16 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Effective moderation there, getting people willing to follow the rules (Harris) to be quiet, and helplessly asking people who will just ignore them (Pence) to pretty please stop talking.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:16 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Fighting against the wind for oh so many debates over the last..... 25 years or so?

TURN THE FUCKING MIC OFF! I don't care who it is. If they talk over the mod two to three times, cut it.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:17 PM on October 7 [35 favorites]


“Sure we’ve had a quarter of the world’s deaths but it could have been worse! Way to go Americans!” Is a very strange argument.
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:17 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


I hope she pushes back on the China travel thing. It absolutely was not a total ban on travel from China (as if the virus was checking passports or ticket class), and it didn't matter because travelers were coming from other places that were already infected. NYC, for example, was infected by travelers from Europe.

Lol I flew back from the UK in late Feb and the only thing the customs officer said was "You haven't been to China have you?" and waved me away.
posted by maggiemaggie at 6:17 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Christ, these useless moderators. Just shut Pence down when he won't stop talking. Why are the moderators so spineless? Just loudly tell him to stop until he stops.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:17 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


Turning off the mic is not going to happen.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:18 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


He sucks. He needs to stop going over his time. I agree, TURN OFF THE MIC! Have we learned nothing?
posted by sucre at 6:18 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this won’t change anyone’s vote.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Harris will portrayed as a bitter, angry woman by the right. Pence will be portrayed as what he is by everyone else.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


Is Susan going to moderate this debate or not.
posted by theonetruebix at 6:20 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


Waiting for a shoggoth
posted by jquinby at 6:20 PM on October 7 [14 favorites]


I don't think they're going over time any worse than normal here, nor talking over each other more than normal. But it's been a long time since I've seen normal, so...
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:20 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


At some point Pence will open his mouth wider than is humanly possible and a serpent will slither out, leaving the empty husk of his corporeal form to stand in a frozen scream until his handler takes it away on a hand truck.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:21 PM on October 7 [44 favorites]


Is Susan going to moderate this debate or not.

If you interrupt the fascists, even when they're flaunting or breaking the rules, you're just not being civil and the debate is obviously biased thanks to leftist media shills who don't let the right wing run roughshod over everyone else.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:21 PM on October 7 [17 favorites]


Pence on the vaccine was politically savvy, but also entirely dishonest.
posted by porpoise at 6:21 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


OK now he is going on way too long
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:22 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Pence's ability to lie and mislead while speaking in a calm, bland fashion is what makes him so dangerous.
posted by nubs at 6:23 PM on October 7 [60 favorites]


Uggggggh, I hate that smug human thumb masquerading as a vice president.

This is what I tell people about Mike Pence all the time, from my time in Indiana, he is a radio talk show host. He can focus on talking points. He CANNOT answer questions. He's bad at the pivot -- because he's not smooth at pretending to talk about the question before pivoting to his talking points. And American political media (and these debates) are SOOOOO defanged that he never, ever gets pressed on a question. If he hasn't memorized the talking point, he just won't answer the question. Ever. And nobody really holds him to account for it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:24 PM on October 7 [43 favorites]


So, okay, neither of them are going to answer the question about presidential disability?
posted by theonetruebix at 6:24 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


The swine flu thing was bullshit.
posted by jquinby at 6:24 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Harris was at least tangentially related, talking up her experience and ability to handle the job.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:25 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Sometimes the answer to prayers is no.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:25 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Of course. If the swine flu was more deadly, then they'd have responded differently. But it wasn't so they didn't.
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:26 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


What is the moderator doing?!?
posted by Fritzle at 6:26 PM on October 7


Really, it doesn't matter what either of them say here tonight. Given the polls right now, Pence needs an absolute grand slam performance here to even move the needle in the election, and so far there has been nothing near that. Unless Harris makes some unbelievable blunder, there's almost no chance of that happening.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:27 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


....Was that jump from health to taxes an obvious ploy or was it a judo move?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:27 PM on October 7


She's not doing her job. She needs to ride herd on them much harder than she is.
posted by sardonyx at 6:28 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


More elections (or debates) should be settled by judo.
posted by Bektashi at 6:28 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


You know what this debate needs? A panel of celebrity judges and a big gong.
posted by jquinby at 6:29 PM on October 7 [22 favorites]


And nobody really holds him to account for it

This isn't an accident of the Republican party, it's the whole goddamn point. There isn't anything else there, there is no other principle except the howling ravenous black hole that demands not only privilege but a total absence of accountability. Bind the outgroup, protect and privilege the ingroup.
posted by wildblueyonder at 6:30 PM on October 7 [38 favorites]


I don’t think Harris is doing a goid job here, but it’s not like I’m not gonna vote for her. Pence tends to come off much smoother imo, but he’s also cold in his delivery.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:30 PM on October 7


A camel of celebrity jugglers and a pig bong!
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:30 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


I trust that Mayor Pete's Pence impression was on point.
posted by Not A Thing at 6:30 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Gee, after the rapid posting of incredulous reactions to blatant insanity from the last debate, I feel like you are all watching bushes grow, or paint dry.
posted by njohnson23 at 6:31 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


As to the moderator, I’m not sure there’s anything they can do. These are skilled politicians, used to answering to no one, so they’re gonna choose when to obey rules.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:31 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


And also a guy with a bag on his head: The Unknown Pundit
posted by jquinby at 6:32 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


I think Harris is doing well frankly
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:32 PM on October 7 [17 favorites]


Why do they get to sit but the Presidential candidates have to stand?

Shouldn’t the older people get to sit?
posted by lon_star at 6:32 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


There's really not much to react to here. This is a much more traditional debate where both sides give bland non-answers, with maybe a couple of eyebrow-raising lines.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:33 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


I feel like I am living in a different universe now than the one I was in when the last debate occurred. No way that was last week.
posted by Bektashi at 6:33 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Well, relying on people to not understand the difference between mean and median income is a reasonable strategy, gotta say.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:33 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


C’mon Harris, call him a lying sack of shit
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:34 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]



You know what this debate needs? A panel of celebrity judges and a big gong.


A button that just plays a recording of this:

At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
posted by nubs at 6:34 PM on October 7 [21 favorites]


C’MON!
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:34 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


So I guess Pence just gets to keep taking overtime and Harris' time.
posted by theonetruebix at 6:34 PM on October 7


Who are the people who are voting for Democrats and support fracking?
posted by larrybob at 6:36 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


Good for her.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:36 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Pence is driving the bus here and Harris is just reacting to bullshit lies.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:36 PM on October 7


If someone (such as this moderator) says "some economists" claim higher taxes on the wealthy and an economic stimulus plan will discourage entrepreneurs and hurt the economy, it's the equivalent of saying "some scientists" dispute global warming. Sure, some economists might claim that, but not any credible ones. It's really an irresponsible way to frame a question about the economy.
posted by theory at 6:37 PM on October 7 [30 favorites]


Pretty sure that's a plagiarism .
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:37 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


Pence has the charisma of wet cardboard. His only role in this administration is to signal to the Evangelical voter that Trump is totes got their back. Honestly as long as Harris can avoid coming off as "angry" or any of the other likely adjectives that will be thrown at her as a proxy for being a woman and a PoC she'll do fine. Keep in mind Biden-Harris don't need to move the needle they need to keep Trump-Pence from moving the needle. Especially since this administration seems to be aiming to score a huge amount of own-goals in the closing stretch.
posted by vuron at 6:37 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


Fracking is done regardless of what the US federal government decides to do. It will never be economical again.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:37 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Lol, uninterrupted
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:39 PM on October 7


I think Pence meant "continue to listen to the science [and call it a hoax]".
posted by theonetruebix at 6:39 PM on October 7


No one’s going to be swayed by this. As someone else said, Pence is a thumb with a smile.
posted by Farce_First at 6:40 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Harris is doing great. To me she is both likeable and competent. She’s getting her talking points in, but making good enough connections to the questions in cases where she wants to talk about something else. Pence is basically struggling against reality. Swine flu? Could even a single person compare that to what is going on? Can you even remember which year it was?

The big win is that Harris is more appealing by far than the other three candidates, which both boosts Biden and makes his age irrelevant. He could resign on the first day in office.
posted by snofoam at 6:42 PM on October 7 [11 favorites]


freshest hot takes in Chat. Get your hottakes.
posted by Marticus at 6:42 PM on October 7


As someone else said, Pence is a thumb with a smile.

I think it's more of a closed-lip grimace.
posted by theonetruebix at 6:43 PM on October 7


So I'm delayed by by some value of minutes, and I just got to the vaccine part, and may I say that Senator Harris has the best "Bitch, do not make me put my hair up." face of all time.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:43 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]




I can't even believe they thought trying to do a Trump style gish gallop with Pence was going to work. Trump can't even pull off that nonsense anymore and he actually knows how to play an audience.
posted by vuron at 6:44 PM on October 7


Who are the people who are voting for Democrats and support fracking?
I yelled the same thing and my spouse reminded me "centrists live in Pennsylvania and like fracking."

My response: well fuck them. Fuck them. F..FUCK THEM. Then I went and got tequila.
posted by abulafa at 6:44 PM on October 7 [15 favorites]


Honestly, if a Veep debate _does_ sway your vote, there's something fundamentally wrong happening.

Vice-President is a sufficiently toothless job* that it's been judged as somewhere you can stuff the likes of Mike Pence and feel secure that they're not going to do anything significant for the duration.

* unless the POTUS is above-average likely to die in office, which is one of many reasons why Palin was the worst choice in the universe.
posted by delfin at 6:44 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Do the hottakes come with whipping cream?
posted by njohnson23 at 6:45 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


"Who are the people who are voting for Democrats and support fracking?"

It pushes the needle a little tiny bit in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan -- but yeah, it's probably not going to NEED to be banned, the economics on oil have shifted a LOT. (There are also a lot of ways to ban frakking without banning frakking -- impose the costs of drinking water cleanup on the companies doing the frakking, f'ex. Nobody will ever do it again.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:45 PM on October 7 [15 favorites]


Get that "AOC" out of your mouth! She's "Representative Ocasio-Cortez" to you!
posted by J.K. Seazer at 6:45 PM on October 7 [18 favorites]


"no more hurricanes than 100 years ago"?

FUCK YOU PENCE!!!

We're one away from the largest amount of Atlantic Hurricanes seasons EVER! That season was 2005. Katrina, Rita, Wilma were all in that season. I've only evacuated twice this hurricane season. I may have to do it again as early as tomorrow.

So, again, a big hearty, FUCK YOU PENCE!!! Climate change is a thing, you jerk.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:46 PM on October 7 [26 favorites]




Pence really cannot answer the climate change question, and it's incredible that he got to slide with that. "We'll follow the science, honest - they want to raise your taxes."
posted by aspersioncast at 6:47 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Kamala Harris being talked over by a mediocre white man and then calmly demolishing him is the most relatable thing I have ever watched as a woman.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:47 PM on October 7 [81 favorites]


What’s thIs Chat the kids are talking about these days.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:47 PM on October 7


Speaking of 200,000 people who aren't coming back, Mr. Vice President...
posted by emelenjr at 6:48 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Nope, tapping out at, let's see, 6:50pm my time. Have fun.
posted by theonetruebix at 6:48 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


After the criticism Trump got for talking over his opponent and moderator, Pence talking over his female opponent and female moderator is not a good lewk.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:48 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Pence’s bullshit might work if things were going well, but they’re not.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:48 PM on October 7


Wow, 5 "Thank you Mr. Vice Presidents," and Harris has to help the moderator out.

Absolutely brutal.

It's doubly annoying when all Pench does when he goes over is to keep lying.
posted by porpoise at 6:48 PM on October 7


Pence is turning back to the same points over and over again. And the moderator needs to get tough with him going over time.
posted by vrakatar at 6:49 PM on October 7


Links at the bottom of the page, or under More in the header.
posted by Marticus at 6:49 PM on October 7


Nah, his base will LOVE him talking over Harris.

But the base isn’t enough.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:49 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Harris is clearly the kind of person I would trust to look after my country for eight years. I wouldn’t trust Pence to look after my tortoises for the weekend.
posted by snofoam at 6:49 PM on October 7 [32 favorites]


The fracking issue is 100% a swing state issue in the rust belt (particularly Pennsylvania). Basically what Pence is doing is saying Biden is going to take away jobs from good honest Pennsyltuckians. It's bullshit just like the false pledges of bringing back coal was bullshit but on the off chance that there are undecided voters in swing states that just happen to be in resource extraction industries what Pence is trying to do is to scare them away from the scary Democrat.

In a normal election that would be somewhat viable but completely fails to indicate to the roughly 30million unemployed with the Trump plan is to dig their way out of the hole.
posted by vuron at 6:50 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


It's hard for me to believe that this debate will have any effect. People will see what they want to see. My Twitter follows are all praising Harris for threading the needle (assertive, but not too assertive) while my Twitter hatefollows are comparing her to hated middle school teachers and crowing that she looks "deeply uncomfortable" because she is "losing badly."

Just show an inkblot for 90 minutes. Same result, much less painful, and way less COVID-19 circulating.
posted by prefpara at 6:51 PM on October 7 [30 favorites]


On mobile, i got no chat link.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:51 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to patch Pence, he's used up the 3 sentences that are in his 2kb of ram and there's nothing else
posted by StarkRoads at 6:51 PM on October 7 [26 favorites]


I can't believe he keeps throwing "her own" facts at Harris. I'm sorry, this is from the "alternative facts" administration, and Harris keeps taking it. If Pence can keep citing USA Today, Harris can say "according to fact-checkers, Trump has lied over 5,000 mtimes (or whatever the current number is)."

I know she's trying to remain calm and not be angry or bitchy or any of the other words that get thrown at women, but come on. Call the liar a liar.
posted by sardonyx at 6:51 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Brandon - https://www.metafilter.com/chat/ but it’s sort of hard to use on mobile
posted by jquinby at 6:52 PM on October 7




She is way more likeable than I expected. I follow her on social media, and I don't necessarily love what I see. It's very bland politicianish. I actually have not seen her in debate, yet. She is great.

I'm 1000000% blue, but I work in pretty rural areas and I've got a good sense of what my rural family sees in politicians. Harris is doing well. Pence... I hate to say it.. is doing ok, too. But Harris is really doing well.
posted by weed donkey at 6:57 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


Pence has nothing new here. That’s the fatal flaw, imo. He’s slewing the same bullshit and it’s not enough.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:57 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


As a Pennsylvanian who spends time in the middle of the state, I can attest that fracking is _great_ for jobs for the people who come from out of state to work at fracking sites.

For actual Pennsylvanians, not so much.
posted by delfin at 6:58 PM on October 7 [19 favorites]


And yeah, let’s get rid of moderation, ‘cause they’re useless.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:59 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


If I was checking Pence's responses like I do my (non-native, second language learner) students' essays, it would just be a haze of red ink about "not connected" and "has no earthly relation to the topic at hand" comments, followed by a sigh of exasperation and the sound of a bottle opening.

Yes, my 12 year old EFL students can stay on topic better than the VP.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:00 PM on October 7 [13 favorites]


Remember when AlGore got dinged for sighing? That’s Pence staking his head.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:00 PM on October 7


They really need to cut off the mic when the time is up.
posted by SillyShepherd at 7:01 PM on October 7


Why couldn’t Harris sit there looking at her watch, while moving her finger on her other hand to follow the second hand?
posted by njohnson23 at 7:01 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


"Thank you, Vice President" only needs to be said once. If he can't wrap up his sentence within a couple seconds it's, "Ok, we're over time. Next queston." And just proceed to the next question regardless of whether or not he keeps talking.
posted by theory at 7:01 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


^ shaking
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:01 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Cut his damn mic. this is bullshit.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:01 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


._.
posted by jquinby at 7:03 PM on October 7


FFS, Questions should be answered and not going back to a prior question. AGAIN! I will say that for any debate and any person involved in the debate.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:04 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


New format: soundproof Quiz Show-style booths, with the wrinkle that every time you lie or interrupt five gallons of water go into your also waterproof booth.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:04 PM on October 7 [30 favorites]


Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
Your time is up.
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

That needs to be a t-shirt.

“ Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Your time is up.”
posted by Big Al 8000 at 7:04 PM on October 7 [26 favorites]


A quip about Trump’s five deferrals would be nice.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


On one level it is totally unfair that Pence drones on and the moderator is ineffective at reigning him in. On another level, I wonder how many women have been motivated to vote Republican tonight? Getting to speak for more minutes doesn’t win the debate.
posted by snofoam at 7:06 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


I can't even believe they thought trying to do a Trump style gish gallop with Pence was going to work. Trump can't even pull off that nonsense anymore and he actually knows how to play an audience.
posted by vuron


Only a friendly audience.
posted by Pouteria at 7:07 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Aaaaand I’m done. There isn’t enough bourbon to keep me from yelling at the screen. Can we just secede and get it over with?
posted by Farce_First at 7:07 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


She’s about to school his ass.
posted by SillyShepherd at 7:10 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


Kamala looks gleeful. Get him!
posted by zardoz at 7:10 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


I just wish to interject that following this thread is infinitely better than actually having to watch and listen to the debate. I simply don't have that much wine on hand...
posted by jim in austin at 7:11 PM on October 7 [23 favorites]


I suspect that men in the viewing audience are reading Pence as dominating, but I think that for women, a woman of color yet again being spoken over, patronized and gaslit by the whitest of male mediocrities is playing much differently.
posted by scrump at 7:11 PM on October 7 [51 favorites]


So..... they looked at the polling response to Trump's performance last week, and decided that it was a good plan to repeat it? Or can these guys genuinely not control themselves? Is this the result of being effortlessly at the top of society's food chain for 70+ years?
posted by Capybara at 7:11 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


I really don't quite understand what the Trump/Pence game plan is for this debate. It's almost like they are trying to pretend they are ahead by several points in the polls and they can just play scare tactics against the "socialists". Sending out the deputy mansplainer in chief is not going to magically help win back the suburbs or convert the white college educated female voter that is breaking increasingly in favor of the Democratic party.

Yes they were able to somehow win a base only election in 2016 but that was in a different environment and there is zero indication that this is going to be a low turnout election, in fact every sign seems to be suggesting that it's going to be a high level of turnout. Simply put in a high turnout scenario the blue base outnumbers the red base by a considerable margin even if the geographic distribution in terms of the electoral college is less than ideal.

Either all the public polling is completely off (and there is absolutely nothing to suggest that poll after poll are using suspect polling methodologies) or the Trump campaign are basically saying "I roll to disbelieve the polls" and plowing through as if everything wasn't increasingly stacked against them.
posted by vuron at 7:11 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Either all the public polling is completely off (and there is absolutely nothing to suggest that poll after poll are using suspect polling methodologies) or the Trump campaign are basically saying "I roll to disbelieve the polls" and plowing through as if everything wasn't increasingly stacked against them.

It worked last time.
posted by tclark at 7:14 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


This is mostly bad
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:14 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


There is a fly on Pence's head....
posted by wats at 7:17 PM on October 7 [48 favorites]


They should add up all the time that each person goes over their allotments and give it to the other person at the end for uninterrupted remarks (ie. mic off)
posted by piyushnz at 7:18 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


I hope it wipes its feet afterwards.
posted by njohnson23 at 7:18 PM on October 7 [27 favorites]


Even the fly on Pence's head knows he's full of shit.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:18 PM on October 7 [17 favorites]


There’s a fly on Pence’s head? Attracted to the shit he’s spewing I guess
posted by caution live frogs at 7:18 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


I think it's stuck in his hairspray
posted by mr_roboto at 7:18 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


Kamala Harris being talked over by a mediocre white man

"Mediocre" has become a popular put-down, and I don't like it. It's like an insult Ayn Rand would lob around. It's this close to calling somebody a pleb, or a commoner.

All that being said, by whatever measure you calculate "mediocre," Pence falls well short. He is an Eldritch horror in a gray man suit.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:18 PM on October 7 [15 favorites]


He's got a fly on his head!
posted by valkane at 7:18 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Neither of them are knocking it out of the park, but she seems to be getting stronger as the slog goes on.
posted by vrakatar at 7:18 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


I'm 1000000% blue, but I work in pretty rural areas and I've got a good sense of what my rural family sees in politicians. Harris is doing well. Pence... I hate to say it.. is doing ok, too. But Harris is really doing well.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Pence is doing okay tonight. He's a slick politician and these things are like child's play to him.

He's got a fly on his head now, y'all
posted by wondermouse at 7:19 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


That fly wants his turd
posted by The Power Nap at 7:19 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


Perhaps a chess clock should track the speaker’s time, and once your allotted time for the entire debate is up, you’re done.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:19 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


Uh

He's got a fly in his hair
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:19 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


Even the fly that just landed on Pence's head has had enough of him.
posted by essexjan at 7:19 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


It's really got this demonic feel to it!
posted by nobody at 7:19 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Fly update: The fly flew away.
posted by wats at 7:19 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


That fly is my hero
posted by wondermouse at 7:19 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


oh yeah there's a bug on his skull.
posted by ovvl at 7:19 PM on October 7


OMG THE FLY

IT'S STILL THERE
posted by miles per flower at 7:19 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


His forehead is awfully sweaty.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:20 PM on October 7


Also, I think Harris has had a tremendous debate thus far, and has knocked it out of the park completely.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:20 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


"Mediocre" is an especially common put-down in Black media, so it's really not coming from Ayn Rand.
posted by TwoStride at 7:20 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


I'm not looking for a pile on, I'm literally surprised that the notion that systemic racism is a thing isn't at least taken as given at this point. Like, I know it's an inconvenient truth, but coming at it as if it's up for debate is... Very 2015.
posted by abulafa at 7:20 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Fly on Pence's head!
posted by marimeko at 7:20 PM on October 7


yes
YES
the fly is stuck
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:20 PM on October 7 [14 favorites]


Let's hope flies can't spread COVID.
posted by essexjan at 7:20 PM on October 7


Flop sweat.
posted by njohnson23 at 7:20 PM on October 7


You know, maybe it's the wine talking but honestly Harris is getting me excited to fill the fuck out of my ballot. If turnout is the goal, and I think it is, she's doing her job. As a democrat I'm used to being disappointed but I need to not give up hope, and she's selling me on the fact that she wants to move the country closer to the country I wish it could be.
posted by j.r at 7:20 PM on October 7 [15 favorites]


He flew away! That fly will be famous tomorrow. Kamala can say "No flies on me!"
posted by valkane at 7:20 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Sometimes you have to be careful when selecting a new name for yourself. For instance, let’s say you have chosen the nickname "Fly Head."Normally you would think that "Fly Head" would mean a person who has beautiful swept-back features, as if flying through the air. But think again. Couldn’t it also mean "having a head like a fly"? I’m afraid some people might actually think that.

--Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts
posted by knotty knots at 7:21 PM on October 7 [14 favorites]


Won't either of them actually talk about Breonna Taylor? Goddammit. I expect it of Pence, but Harris, too?
posted by zardoz at 7:21 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


She did talk about Taylor, though?
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:22 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


Good for Harris for standing up to this moderator.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:23 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


My mom is terrified of Pence, and I understand why.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 7:24 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


Like a fly takes to shit...
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:25 PM on October 7


Better questions, but still terrible moderating.
posted by TwoStride at 7:26 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Pence was decisively smoked tonight by Harris.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:26 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


There is a fly on Pence's head....

there are thousands of them in his head
posted by philip-random at 7:27 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


Answer the question, Pence!
posted by SillyShepherd at 7:27 PM on October 7


It does not matter what he says ever again. He’s the fly on head guy forever now.
posted by Lord_Pall at 7:28 PM on October 7 [30 favorites]


When you're watching a zombie movie, sometimes carrion flies are a great visual indicator for the cast to tell when one of the people nearby is actually one of the walking, living dead.

Not that I have a reason to bring that up now.
posted by delfin at 7:28 PM on October 7 [45 favorites]


Are we sure that fly wasn't his familiar?
posted by tclark at 7:28 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


Did Pence exhale the fly like Beelzebub?
posted by prefpara at 7:28 PM on October 7 [15 favorites]


Regarding moderating: everything is negotiated. Certainly this milquetoast moderator was selected because the R's didn't figure she'd stand up very hard and the D's figured she'd at least not be openly partisan. And Susan, I'm sure, honestly believes she's doing her real part to make a difference and behave responsibly.

But yeah, the patriarchy is super strong in this moderation.
posted by abulafa at 7:29 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Instant fact check: they didn't try to impeach him, they did impeach him.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:29 PM on October 7 [30 favorites]


He has one minute and uses 20 seconds of it to say nothing relevant, but will then want another three minutes when his time is up.
posted by essexjan at 7:30 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


The SNL skit will inevitably be some variation of a swarmy white guy mansplaining to Maya Rudolph endlessly in some sort of boring monotone while "Harris" tries to avoid rolling her eyes too much at the endless mansplaining. The moderator will also get completely torched as well.

It won't be funny per se but will probably go a long way towards reinforcing the quick brushstrokes especially for everyone too busy to actually watch this mess that Pence is a boring but slightly less asshole variant of Trump and that Harris is unfortunately having to share a stage with someone completely outclassed by her.

All the lies and run on sentences used to avoid answering questions or giving Harris uninterrupted time to talk really won't help move the dial it will just confirm the essential fact that Pence is throughly unlikeable unless you exist within his whitest of white surroundings.
posted by vuron at 7:31 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Does anyone have any ideas on how to get rid of this terrible bipartisan debate commission and replace it with an actual nonpartisan commission? Could the League of Women Voters or someone step in?
posted by benzenedream at 7:33 PM on October 7 [13 favorites]


Harris is really doing a good job of standing her ground, taking no shit, and putting forward her vision.

Pence is just trying to score points and blaming the party that's not in power for what's happened over the past three years.

Then again, in our nation's politics Harris would be far-right and Pence would be laughed off the stage.
posted by happyinmotion at 7:33 PM on October 7 [11 favorites]


Both parties worked to get the League of Women Voters out of the debates.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:34 PM on October 7 [11 favorites]


happyinmotion--what country is that?
posted by zardoz at 7:34 PM on October 7


Excuse me why is pence’s wife not wearing a mask?
posted by SillyShepherd at 7:34 PM on October 7 [14 favorites]


The SNL skit will inevitably be some variation of a swarmy white guy mansplaining to Maya Rudolph endlessly in some sort of boring monotone while "Harris" tries to avoid rolling her eyes too much at the endless mansplaining. The moderator will also get completely torched as well.

Don't forget someone running around them in a fly suit.
posted by star gentle uterus at 7:34 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


And family time: Harris's husband wearing a mask, while Mother is not.
posted by TwoStride at 7:34 PM on October 7 [13 favorites]


SNL needs to book Jeff Goldblum, stat.
posted by Marticus at 7:35 PM on October 7 [36 favorites]


that sucked. pence really makes a lot of mileage on talking over women like they're not there.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:36 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


By tomorrow that fly is the new Ken Bone.
posted by axiom at 7:38 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


There should be a countdown clock on the screen, and when it hits zero, they are done.
posted by TheOtherOne at 7:39 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


We regret to inform you the fly is racist.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:39 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


"We regret to inform you the fly is racist."
posted by tonycpsu at 7:39 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


I wish Harris had drawn blood more, but letting Pence be Pence has its own merits.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:40 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


In a just world, maggots would next erupt from his forehead wrinkles.
posted by y2karl at 7:40 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


Hey, I dunno about you guys, but I've heard people saying the fly is a racist. (Note, this would have been much funnier if I were faster, and it were two comments up.)
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:40 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


More and more people are saying the fly is racist.
posted by Marticus at 7:42 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


There are fine flies on both sides
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:43 PM on October 7 [14 favorites]


Cloak of Flies
Prerequisite: 5th level

As a bonus action, you can surround yourself with a magical aura that looks like buzzing flies. The aura extends 5 feet from you in every direction, but not through total cover. It lasts until you’re incapacitated or you dismiss it as a bonus action.

The aura grants you advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks but disadvantage on all other Charisma checks. Any other creature that starts its turn in the aura takes poison damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 0 damage).

Once you use this invocation, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.


So if we're statting this election in D&D 5e terms, Pence is a Warlock. This explains his dedication to his Patron and his love of short rests.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:44 PM on October 7 [16 favorites]


Bu-bu-but black flies can't be racist!
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:44 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


This one goes out to Kamala Harris tonight: There Ain’t No Bugs On Me.
posted by Sublimity at 7:46 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Is there a Pence fly gif with the text WHITE SUPREMACIST ROBOT yet?
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:46 PM on October 7


Biden’s tweet about the fly wins the day. LOL
posted by kira at 7:47 PM on October 7 [24 favorites]


Pence being a rude dick was almost certainly done as a way of needling her into somehow losing her cool and thereby confirming to middle America that Harris is an "angry Black woman" and thus you really really need to be scared that since Biden is apparently older than the hills and senile that at any moment you could be looking at 47.

Of course this completely forgets that this is a career prosecutor and that generally those types of lawyers are good at seeing through such transparent tactics.

It's just another example of the Trump campaign trying to win all the these small tactical victories when the fundamentals of the battlefield make such tactical choices increasingly irrelevant. The Trump campaign needs a game changer and while the VP debate was unlikely to provide that they are simply running out of time and Biden already has a built in excuse to bail on the next debate because Trump is almost certainly still infectious and nobody is going to believe him if he claims otherwise.
posted by vuron at 7:48 PM on October 7 [12 favorites]


Well, his boss is the Lord of them, right?
posted by sexyrobot at 7:49 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Prepare for the media to spend way too much time talking about that fly.
posted by adept256 at 7:50 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


https://youtu.be/QtTR-_Klcq8
posted by AJaffe at 7:50 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


SNL needs to book Jeff Goldblum, stat.

Or Ric Ocasek.
posted by snofoam at 7:51 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


Of course this completely forgets that this is a career prosecutor and that generally those types of lawyers are good at seeing through such transparent tactics.
I mean, she's also a black woman who has spent years in US politics and the US and, like, the world. I suspect that she has a ton of experience dealing with condescending white men without losing her cool.

I suspect that the fly is going to be the only thing anyone talks about tomorrow. VP debates never matter very much, and this one won't be any exception.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:52 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


So did Harris win, or the fly?
posted by nubs at 7:53 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Or Ric Ocasek

RIP
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:55 PM on October 7 [11 favorites]


My mother-in-law is obsessing over Pence’s eye. She’s convinced he’s hiding The Rona.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 7:55 PM on October 7 [12 favorites]


Fly 2024
posted by GuyZero at 7:56 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Pence: upstaged by a fly.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:56 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


I'm terrified that Pence was trying to infect Harris, and through her, Biden, and that he may succeed.
posted by orange swan at 7:57 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


Pence unveils his new “Mike is a Super Fly Guy” urban outreach campaign.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:00 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Any clean-cut white-haired white man wondering what to dress up as for Halloween just needs to stick one of these on his hair and he's done.
posted by essexjan at 8:00 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


News report: Fly busts myth that Pence doesn’t have any black friends.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:03 PM on October 7 [30 favorites]


Trump and Pence are champions of Nurgle

Exactly. Everyone is always going on about "Blood for the Blood God" and silly "Skulls for the throne" nonsense. It's beyond clear that Nurgle is in ascendancy, and has been for a while. Khorne is so passe, so George W. Bush. All praise the plague papa!
posted by Ghidorah at 8:04 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


Strong professional woman fighting to overcome the entitlement of a mediocre white man. It was the 2020 version of the Ed Grimley job interview.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:05 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


There's no reason Biden and Harris need to be in the same airspace in the next month.
posted by cmfletcher at 8:05 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


The fly is named Lieutenant Brisby T. Onions, per my friend who actually wrote the book on Marlon Bundo.
posted by lauranesson at 8:05 PM on October 7 [12 favorites]


They both did not answer direct questions, and deflected on a few occasions. This is the first time I have ever watched Pence, I spared myself that. He is like a poor copy of his boss, like the printer is low on ink, and there isn't much detail, or substance, just loyalty, a silver retriever.

Of course, I admire Kamala, you know she has it.
posted by Oyéah at 8:06 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Why wasn't Karen Pence escorted out? She was maskless!
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 8:07 PM on October 7 [17 favorites]


It would be pretty funny if the notoriously germaphobic Trump can no longer look at Mike because he had a fly on him. I’d hate the media to target Trump with stories of flies carrying disease etc. Yeah that would be terrible. Forget I mentioned it.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:08 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


In terms of charisma, I would definitely say Kamala, then fly, then Pence.
posted by snofoam at 8:11 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


Fly busts myth that Pence doesn’t have any black friends.
There are so many jokes that can be made about this, let's not go down this road.
posted by cheshyre at 8:11 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


Harris: history lesson!
Pence: not now
Harris: I. Am. Speaking.
posted by doctornemo at 8:13 PM on October 7 [13 favorites]


The fly was one of a squad of sentient flies sent back from the year 2396 to help right historical wrongs. In this case it was reprogramming a few of Vice President Pence's neurons to avoid a glitch which would have revealed him as an android from 2197, and put our whole timeline in danger.

Time Flies
This fall on ABC
posted by MrVisible at 8:13 PM on October 7 [30 favorites]


Because I was curious, a little history from the League of Women Voters on their ouster.

I'd love to hear more about ways to replace that barely functioning compromise factory. But... I guess we need to keep the democracy intact first.
posted by abulafa at 8:15 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


The Truth Over Flies.

Yes, they did it that quickly.
posted by Freen at 8:16 PM on October 7 [15 favorites]


Report: 10/7/20

Dear Mother,
As we had discussed, I had to talk to two of them. I believe our covenant still sacred as you were there, sharing breath with me unencumbered. There were cameras and you can check them. I hope you have arranged for my bedtime snack, as I feel funny inside. What a day!
posted by lauranesson at 8:17 PM on October 7 [17 favorites]


The fly even has its own twitter account
posted by piyushnz at 8:17 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


LOL Biden's social media intern is on it tonight! They've already registered flywillvote.com
posted by TwoStride at 8:21 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


Nobody programmed Pence to notice small insects. You could probably hit him with a spitball and he wouldn't react to that either.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:21 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


CNN just ran a “Breaking News: Fly lands on Mike Pence during the debate” graphic live on air. One of the Panelists actually said “I hope the fly goes into quarantine”.

I think this fly thing has (six) legs.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:22 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


It's just another example of the Trump campaign trying to win all the these small tactical victories when the fundamentals of the battlefield make such tactical choices increasingly irrelevant.

I thought it was funny how Trump spent much of the first debate clumsily trying to split Biden away from his progressive supporters, and then tonight Pence clumsily tried to tar them with the same brush, what with calling Biden a "cheerleader for Communist China" and Harris "even more liberal than Bernie Sanders", and repeatedly bringing up that boogeyman "Green New Deal". What's the deal with that, anyway? Is the big scary "Green New Deal" the meme du jour in conservative propaganda?
posted by J.K. Seazer at 8:24 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


And they say Utah is fly over country.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:25 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


There's no reason Biden and Harris need to be in the same airspace in the next month.
posted by cmfletcher


I will be very annoyed indeed if the Dem campaign lets them be in the same building until at least Jan 21st. And not even then. Not before they are vaccinated seems the only sane choice.
posted by Pouteria at 8:26 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


I guess that fly means we're on to the next Plague of Egypt. Looking forward to the three days of darkness, I really need the break.
posted by ZaphodB at 8:31 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


This is bound to add more fuel to Trump's accusations that he was bugged during the last election
posted by theory at 8:32 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]




I missed the debate: what's the buzz all about?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:39 PM on October 7 [18 favorites]


CNN instant poll of debate watchers (38% Dem, 33% Ind, 29% Rep):

Who won the debate?
59% Harris
38% Pence

Favorability before:
56% Harris
41% Pence

Favorability after:
63% Harris
41% Pence

Is Harris qualified to be president?
63% yes
36% no

Is Pence qualified to be president?
65% yes
34% no
posted by Rhaomi at 8:43 PM on October 7 [14 favorites]


Movie idea: reboot of The Fly where transporter accident fuses Pence and fly at genetic level. Horrific new Pence-fly creature is completely indistinguishable from pre-accident Pence.
posted by snofoam at 8:44 PM on October 7 [11 favorites]


“Qualified to be president” feels like a metric from a bygone era
posted by wabbittwax at 8:44 PM on October 7 [56 favorites]


Those last two stats, particularly when contrasted against the first three questions, are sure racism/sexism writ large.
posted by bcd at 8:44 PM on October 7 [51 favorites]


"Qualified to be president" is not a high bar these days.
posted by Marticus at 8:47 PM on October 7 [14 favorites]


I dunno, I think you're ruling out the "Apparently anyone is qualified to be president" respondents. Edit: oops, yeah, that
posted by Brak at 8:48 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Found this article on fracking, Pennsylvania and Biden
posted by larrybob at 9:02 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


The fly was one of a squad of sentient flies sent back from the year 2396 to help right historical wrongs.

Maybe it was there to protect Harris with PSI Shield Σ against the minion of Giygas.
posted by biogeo at 9:03 PM on October 7 [9 favorites]


Pence mansplaining Harris’ own résumé to her is the most Utah thing ever.

Lazy Susan holding only Harris to the rules and trying not to hurt Pence’s feelings is the most Salt Lake City thing ever.

That fly caught in the hairspray was the most University of Utah thing ever, and for once I am tremendously proud of my alma mater.
posted by armeowda at 9:15 PM on October 7 [12 favorites]


More CNN poll results of debate watchers:

Percentage who said Harris won:
69% of women
48% of men

Percentage who said Pence won:
30% of women
46% of men

Who did a better job defending their running mate?
64% Harris
34% Pence

Who spent more time attacking opponent?
36% Harris
56% Pence
6% both
posted by Rhaomi at 9:20 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]


omg i can't weven stop laughing at theis one omg lolo zoom in enhance! (sltwitter)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:22 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]




This is apparently the "plexiglass barrier" that they're using to keep the candidates "safe". Note that the moderator gets...nothing.

They shouldn't even be in the same room, but this is a farce.


The debates will continue until morale improves.
posted by adept256 at 9:36 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


K Harris was much better at framing than Joe, she was good at getting right to the point.

Pence was also good at framing, but virtually every statement that he made was a lie.
posted by ovvl at 9:38 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


> Those last two stats, particularly when contrasted against the first three questions, are sure racism/sexism writ large.
> "Qualified to be president" is not a high bar these days.
> I dunno, I think you're ruling out the "Apparently anyone is qualified to be president" respondents.

But if that interpretation is correct, then it just reflects racism and sexism even more, because the very reason that bar is now so low is because roughly a third of Americans would rather have a hateful, narcissistic buffoon in the White House than a black man or a woman.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:38 PM on October 7 [24 favorites]


For that matter, I don't trust Donald on a stage with Biden. He's proven that he gives zero fucks about infecting people and I honestly believe he'd give it a shot.
posted by adept256 at 9:38 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


I'm done being afraid of these fuckwits.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:41 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


For that matter, I don't trust Donald on a stage with Biden. He's proven that he gives zero fucks about infecting people and I honestly believe he'd give it a shot.

This. If Trump ran over and tried to lick Biden during the next debate I don't think many people would even be surprised. Maybe they'd be surprised at Trump running?

And the the headlines would describe Biden trying to run away as both candidates being childish.
posted by Garm at 9:44 PM on October 7 [7 favorites]




The fly was likely the VP of the third party Republic-Ant party crashing the debate. Ant/Fly 2020.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:46 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


Flygate is my biggest takeaway.
posted by nestor_makhno at 9:48 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]


The fly probably bailed Pence out of some criticism of his bullying talk over the women.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:50 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]




More CNN results:

The debate made you more likely to vote for:
26% Biden
20% Trump
55% neither

Opinions on the next presidential debate format:
32% say hold it in person (6% of Dems, 67% of Reps)
47% say hold it remotely (64% of Dems, 25% of Reps)
20% say don't hold it on the 15th (28% of Dems, 8% of Reps)
posted by Rhaomi at 9:52 PM on October 7 [2 favorites]


Pence is a dunce but did you really expect Trump to pick a running mate that was smarter than him?
posted by robbyrobs at 9:52 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]


The median age in the United States is around38.3 years. Biden's "plagiarism" "scandal" was from 1982, when half of the country was five or younger. (I mean, fuck, I'm an old, and I was in high school.)

And this is after IMFLOTUS "borrowed" Michelle Obama's 2016 DNC speech for her 2016 RNC speech.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:54 PM on October 7 [8 favorites]


Opinions on the next presidential debate format

I believe the preferred MetaFilter format, broadswords in a pit, would've won if listed as a choice.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:58 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


...roughly a third of Americans would rather have a hateful, narcissistic buffoon in the White House than a black man or a woman.
posted by J.K. Seazer


They lost their damn minds at a half-black (half-white) man.

Imagine their reaction to an all black man, let alone an all black woman.
posted by Pouteria at 10:04 PM on October 7 [4 favorites]


Pence is a dunce but did you really expect Trump to pick a running mate that was smarter than him?

Between the coronavirus red eye and the languorous common house fly, I just wasn't expecting Trump to have picked a villainous sidekick out of Stephen King's The Stand.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:10 PM on October 7 [18 favorites]


an all black man, let alone an all black woman

A. they don't differentiate, really, the whole idea of race is intrinsically tied to this kinda white identity. B. this "100% X" thing gets really scary really fast.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:18 PM on October 7 [26 favorites]


My favorite part was when Harris took zero shit from that skinsuit in a Judi Dench wig.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:20 PM on October 7 [10 favorites]


The worst of this for me was the reminder that a shitload of people eat up Mike Pence's calm, smirking, back-of-the-class AM radio assholery, and some of them held their nose and voted for Trump because of it.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:31 PM on October 7 [19 favorites]


Biden's "plagiarism" "scandal" was

given all the diabolically imbecilic shit we know about Trump's past, distant and recent, that nobody's talking about anymore for some reason or other, how the fuck is this even open to rational discussion?
posted by philip-random at 10:55 PM on October 7 [20 favorites]


Trump and Pence are way down in the polls. Pence needed a resounding win, the kind that would have the pundits all a-flutter for a few days.he didn’t get that. Kamala did well and held her own quite nicely. But if you’re Trump, and you desperately need this win, and instead everyone is talking about a fly... yeah, the night ain’t going good for ya.
posted by azpenguin at 11:03 PM on October 7 [3 favorites]


This. If Trump ran over and tried to lick Biden during the next debate I don't think many people would even be surprised. Maybe they'd be surprised at Trump running?

two elderly presidential candidates getting into a fistfight on national tv seems pretty on-brand for 2020 tbh
posted by um at 11:11 PM on October 7 [6 favorites]


Just a side note: I have been occasionally watching South Korean news on Youtube because South Korea has been very rational about the Coronavirus from the beginning (having lots of experience from having gone through three previous coronavirus pandemics).

Anyway, in one of the news reports they briefly talked about Kamala Harris. What was interesting is that they referred to her as Asian, which, since her mother is from India, she is. She isn't typically talked about as Asian in the US, so it was interesting that in Korea, in this news report they did refer to her this way.

I'm not exactly sure the implications. Having the largest population group on the planet identify with a (potential) US VP in some way is probably a good thing.
posted by eye of newt at 11:33 PM on October 7 [28 favorites]


As someone else said, Pence is a thumb with a smile.

Hey now, thumbs are useful.
posted by loquacious at 12:56 AM on October 8 [20 favorites]


There interposed a Fly -
With Blue - uncertain - stumbling Buzz -
Between the light - and me -
And then the Testing failed - and then
I could not CDC -

posted by adept256 at 12:58 AM on October 8 [19 favorites]


This video (YT link) of Pete Buttigieg leaving Fox News Hosts Speechless is really fun to watch.
posted by dog food sugar at 1:19 AM on October 8 [50 favorites]


Harris: I. Am. Speaking.

I like that as an idea for a T-shirt too: "I. Am. Speaking."
posted by Paul Slade at 1:29 AM on October 8 [11 favorites]


This video (YT link) of Pete Buttigieg leaving Fox News Hosts Speechless is really fun to watch.

That channel is a little weird. It seems to be a music promotion company that has taken to dipping a toe into politics for, oh, the past 8 months or so.
posted by axiom at 1:50 AM on October 8


What has two legs and flies?
posted by Marticus at 2:40 AM on October 8 [12 favorites]


The current gag going around the tech channels is "that's a feature, not a bug".
posted by bookbook at 2:42 AM on October 8 [13 favorites]


From historyofpainters.com:

"Byzantine, Gothic, Northern Renaissance and Italian Renaissance paintings are rich in philosophical Christian symbolism regarding Insects. [...] Fly - symbol of rot, wasting away, decay, death, melancholia. A fly hovering over a church official or nobleman indicates disfavor with the king or corruption and dereliction of duty."

Sounds about right.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:12 AM on October 8 [46 favorites]


If you're referring to Mike Pence as Pence and Kamala Harris as Kamala, perhaps you could think about why you are doing that and what message it sends.
posted by medusa at 4:28 AM on October 8 [90 favorites]


medusa, 'twas ever thus. Thanks for asking the questions.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:44 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


ABC: Commission on Presidential Debates announces that the second debate between former Vice Pres. Joe Biden and Pres. Trump will be virtual.
The scheduled town hall format will remain for the Oct. 15 debate, but CPD said "in order to protect the health and safety of all involved," the candidates would participate remotely form separate locations.

Questioners will still be with moderator Steve Scully at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, as previously planned.
posted by cashman at 4:44 AM on October 8 [5 favorites]


"no more hurricanes than 100 years ago"?

FUCK YOU PENCE!!!

We're one away from the largest amount of Atlantic Hurricanes seasons EVER! That season was 2005. Katrina, Rita, Wilma were all in that season. I've only evacuated twice this hurricane season. I may have to do it again as early as tomorrow.


For scope on how big a lie this is: A letter named hurricane has never made land fall in the US before. This time Delta is making landfall as a Cat 2.

This is the sixth hurricane to lead to evacuations in Louisiana this season.
posted by Mitheral at 4:46 AM on October 8 [10 favorites]




Senator John F. Kennedy (D-MA) and Vice President Richard Nixon (CSPAN) met via remote link for the third of four presidential debates prior to the 1960 presidential election. Vice President Nixon was in Los Angeles and Senator Kennedy was in New York. The candidates responded to questions from a panel of correspondents.

Yeah, Nixon and JFK had a remote debate 60 years ago. The precedent for this is almost old enough to get medicaid.
posted by adept256 at 4:51 AM on October 8 [21 favorites]


Percentage who said Harris won:
69% of women
48% of men

Percentage who said Pence won:
30% of women
46% of men


Damn it, men.
posted by Foosnark at 4:58 AM on October 8 [20 favorites]


I mean those numbers aren’t great and yeah I agree - but the fact that Pence is trailing Harris on both sides of that equation is actually a little comforting - my gut reaction was that the majority of men would favor the male candidate just cos....
posted by inflatablekiwi at 5:03 AM on October 8 [4 favorites]


Thanks to cortex and the commenters here. Given the time difference, I was never going to watch the debate live. Given how much I hate watching debates, I was never going to watch it live. I assumed I could just read about it here on the blue. A much better UX as the kids say.
posted by Bella Donna at 5:04 AM on October 8 [11 favorites]


“I’m not gonna do a virtual debate,” Trump tells Fox Business.

This freakin guy. I mean it's like a toenail on the monster that's ravaging the countryside, but still. This freakin guy.
posted by cashman at 5:10 AM on October 8 [8 favorites]


Prepare for the media to spend way too much time talking about that fly.

I was going to watch but then decided nah, but I checked twitter when I was out at the shops and the only story about the debate was all about the fly. Weird times.
posted by h00py at 5:13 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


omg i can't weven stop laughing at theis one omg lolo zoom in enhance! (sltwitter)

I get a message that this person limits who can see their tweets, can you describe what you see?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:17 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


The debate wasn’t a game changer, which is a good thing.

Trump needed something to re-set the narrative and Pence didn’t deliver.

Biden needed Harris to make a sound showing without endangering the lead, and she did that.

If Pence’s lies, gaslighting and talking over Harris convinced anyone to change their vote, it’s probably not in favor of the GOP. The fly is a perfect image and metaphor, too.

Ballots are just now being mailed out here in Arizona and I just want to VOTE ALREADY.
posted by darkstar at 5:19 AM on October 8 [7 favorites]


Hot new band Pink Eye and the Fly headlines US vice presidential debate?
posted by eviemath at 5:33 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


Trump refuses to debate Biden. Biden ready and willing. That’s all the media should run on that. He’s just mad he doesn’t get to do his lurk around behind the other candidate routine at the town hall again
posted by inflatablekiwi at 5:35 AM on October 8 [8 favorites]


Joe Biden Fly Swatter is already sold out!
posted by cazoo at 5:40 AM on October 8 [7 favorites]


Thanks for the prompt, Medusa. I find I refer to the two vice presidential candidates just the way you point out. For me, it was because the Democrat's last name and the Republican's first name are both very common, whereas Kamala and Pence are less common and therefore clearer signifiers of who I am talking about. Regardless though, given your thoughtful comment, I will work on avoiding that pattern when I talk about them from now on.
posted by PhineasGage at 5:43 AM on October 8 [6 favorites]


Trump refuses to debate Biden

They should hold the debate anyway, with Biden answering all the debate questions on his own without Trump there.

That would be super humiliating to Trump.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:04 AM on October 8 [47 favorites]


That would be amazing but the spin on that (that the commission is being one-sided towards Biden) would kill it. I actually wonder if we are going to end up with dualing town-halls run by the Campaigns on the same night.

Also somewhere deep within CNN I’m sure someone is dusting off the holographic technology from 2008 (really that was 12 years ago?) and getting ready to pitch the first holographic Presidential debate as a socially distanced alternative. That or the first Facebook Oculus VR debate.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:13 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


All I can say is: if there is not another televised debate with Trump in it, it will be greatly to the nation’s benefit.

No one needs to hear one more minute of that corrupt sociopath spewing his lies. He’s a toxic, bombastic, pathological miscreant and a corrosive influence on the national psyche. Nothing he says is of any value whatsoever.

No one — NO ONE — needs another freaking debate to figure out whom to support in this election.

I understand honest, hard-working people might not be political junkies. But Christ, if you really don’t know who deserves your vote by now, if you’re so out of touch with what is going on in the country, if you’re so oblivious to the dangers posed by Trump and his incompetent, authoritarian administration, and if you are seriously waiting on a 90-minute televised debate to give you the answer...well, I’m tempted to think maybe you can’t be trusted to have an opinion.

Idiots that want to hear that con man ranting his bullshit can go to one of his Covid rallies. Let the rest of us just vote and put an end to this nightmare.
posted by darkstar at 6:17 AM on October 8 [32 favorites]


The T campaign says they'll hold a rally instead. Not sure if that's going to work out in his favor, but the more grizzled among us may recall his use of this same move four score or so years ago in January 2016.
posted by Not A Thing at 6:17 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


For a more sobering take, here's (admittedly Republican) pollster Frank Luntz's Twitter thread on his idiot clueless brain dead (*cough* sorry) undecided focus group:

I might get #cancelled for this, but my undecided focus group doesn’t like how Kamala Harris interacts with her opponent.
We saw this in the Dem debates – she is applauded for her knowledge, but they just don’t like her “condescending reactions.” #VPDebate


There's more of the same in there, which just kind of reinforces the point that this debate probably won't move the needle much, if at all. If you're already steeped in the mindset (which so many of us are, whether we realize it or not) that men talking over women, especially POC women, is just the natural order of things and happens because women are inherently not really serious people, and that women being anything other than sugar and spice and everything nice is an affront to your sensibilities, then you're just not going to like Harris, or at the very least you're going to view Pence slightly more favorably.

Some snap polls suggest that Pence's Trump-interruptor-lite performance didn't do him any favors with women, but given his running mate he would have had to basically . . . well, not be Pence to reverse any of the decline in support among women. So, again, not realy any difference.

It does, to me, indicate that the Dems can't pull a post-Obama 2.0 and just rest on their laurels if Biden & Harris win - there will be backlash against Harris, and you know that the conservative machine is noting that they still have a damn good chance of getting all the Trump policies they want if they put up a handsome calm-ish white man in 2024, whether it's Pence himself or not.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:28 AM on October 8 [12 favorites]


There is simply no way for a woman to show that she knows her stuff that will not be seen by certain people as condescending, shrill or schoolmarmish. The only way to avoid that is to shut up, nod and smile.

A knowledgeable woman who is explaining things will always remind people of the first two women in their lives to do this: their mother, and their teacher. And many people don't like to be reminded of that because it brings them back into the role of the child, and it makes them feel powerless.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:40 AM on October 8 [83 favorites]


This controversy about the next debate being virtual seems fishy to me. The debate commission has thus far not demonstrated possession of a spine, so I don’t believe they unilaterally decided on a virtual debate. It’s far more likely that both sides agreed privately to the change, and Trump always intended to publicly protest and refuse to do it.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:40 AM on October 8 [6 favorites]


The Trump campaign probably prefers a virtual debate because they know Trump can't stand up for 90 minutes. But they can't control Trump, they never could and now it seems he is even worse than usual.
posted by mumimor at 6:44 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


The Trump campaign understand at this point that their attempts of attacking Biden aren't doing anything and in some cases are actually backfiring (the Biden is senile attack is one of the core examples) and instead they are trying to run against Harris and Hillary (who is clearly in trouble in terms of her chances of winning this election unless she has one hell of a write in vote).

So basically their goal moving forward is the following hypothetical scenario, a)Harris a communist or at least she's a socialist, b)she's a woman, c)she's a PoC, d)she's not respectful of white male privilege and that all of those things plus Biden's age make her way to close to the office of the Presidency.

With Biden extremely unlikely to run for re-election they are also probably going to implicitly run against Harris '24 even if it's never actually said out loud.

They are also fear mongering against the possibility that Biden will pack the SCOTUS if Dems win the trifecta. Honestly unless we get 52-53 Senators I think this is somewhat unlike during the next congress due to the fact Manchin is extremely unlikely to support it given his precarious position in WV. He and other red state Democratic senators will want some sort of political cover sort of like McConnell normally gives to Collins and Murkowski as long as they vote correctly at critical moments. Of course if the SCOTUS actually rules against ACA and Roe v Wade all bets are off. Honestly I think as long as Schumer ends the legislative filibuster first thing Democrats can browbeat even a 6-3 conservative majority into behaving just by having the option at any moment of going to 15 members and making the conservative majority utterly impotent.

I just can't see Trump moving the dial much closer at this point although some tightening of the polls it likely to happen. If Biden wasn't looking at de-criminalization of marijuana I think Trump could actually out maneuver Biden and peal off some more conservative but still like to smoke pot voters but I doubt that will happen given the Law and Order messaging. Barr is unlikely to deliver a smoking gun and the Senate republicans under Ron Johnson failed to deliver a major bombshell report.

So it's back to implying that Biden and Harris will take away your cows, bibles and muscle cars as if that's a major counter to the complete ineptitude of the Trump COVID response and the extremely high likelihood that the SCOTUS will end ACA and Republicans have zero answers about maintaining protections against pre-existing conditions. The fact that the Trump campaign is going off the air in a lot of battleground states indicates there are major funding issues and I don't know that conservative super PACs will continue to throw good money after bad when they can actually shore up Republican senators and try to deny the trifecta.

It's like the Trump campaign doesn't even realize that with Biden about to completely lock up Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania they can't actually win unless they win a state Hillary won. And right now I can't see a state they can realistically flip. Nevada is pretty reliably blue at this point although it's hard to poll. The simple fact is that Las Vegas got completely fucked by the COVID response and people will be angry. Where does Trump actually turn the tide? Minnesota? Unlikely even if it's trending conservative. Maine or NH? Seems unlikely. Colorado is clearly blue same with Virginia. The path towards victory is in the Rust belt and Trump just isn't resonating there right now despite the proliferation of signs in the hinterlands.
posted by vuron at 6:55 AM on October 8 [7 favorites]


No one — NO ONE — needs another freaking debate to figure out whom to support in this election.

Some people want to see who wins in a fight, mano a mano. See whether a gasping Trump goes down for the count in the second round, or whether Trump infects Biden and Biden goes down. Also, maybe hoping the fly will make an appearance.
posted by pracowity at 7:01 AM on October 8


That, and ratings.
posted by Melismata at 7:02 AM on October 8


I credit the Wicked Witch of the West for providing the special guest star:

“I've sent a little insect on ahead ... Now fly—fly!”
posted by elphaba at 7:04 AM on October 8 [6 favorites]


The commission is likely getting an ultimatum concerning actually COVID protections from both the Biden-Harris campaign and the networks/moderator. Considering Mother still failed to actually wear a mask last night trusting the Trump family to actually observe precautions especially with Trump going with the typical strongman "I am immune to all ailments and also the perfect physical specimen" routine I don't think they can be remotely trusted.

I just hope Trump doesn't try to go full Putin mode and try to go shirtless doing some sort of random physical activity to show his extreme manliness. If he does Biden will just have to pull out the Trans Am and wash his car san shirt again. Or was it a Firebird. I miss when the Onion was actually a parody instead of being a glimpse of a better timeline.
posted by vuron at 7:13 AM on October 8 [7 favorites]


One thing we know is that Trump will never go shirtless. So you can sleep safely.
posted by mumimor at 7:16 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


There is simply no way for a woman to show that she knows her stuff that will not be seen by certain people as condescending, shrill or schoolmarmish. The only way to avoid that is to shut up, nod and smile.

I wonder how a woman with Jill Lepore energy would fare on the campaign trail: brainy, good humored, at ease. She's very obviously bright but does not come off as shrill, scolding or schoolmarmish in any way.
posted by apparently at 7:18 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


All’s I’m sayin’ is, if Pence were a lizard he’d-a flicked that fly off his head with his tongue and ate it.
posted by sjswitzer at 7:22 AM on October 8 [22 favorites]


Calling the candidates "Kamala" and "Pence" might or might not be sexist.

In my area, Dems often call other Dems by their first name informally, regardless of whether they know each other. So we call the governor "Michelle" and the mayor "Tim", and so forth.

But I agree that the juxtaposition of "Kamala" and "Pence" can send the wrong message.
posted by NotLost at 7:24 AM on October 8 [5 favorites]


People were saying the fly was attracted to, or stuck in hairspray, or something ... why? Like, look at his hair. Why does he need any product at all? It’s too short to get out of place. It’s too non-descript to have any character at all. So many unanswered questions. About hair.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:26 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


The need/desire for females in authority to either be soft and warm is still very much present in the public and private sector. Behaviors and mannerism considered assertive in males is seen as overly strident in females particularly PoC in positions of authority. Yes it's total bullshit but still colors the thinking of a lot of males in the US even among groups that seem ostensibly liberal in most other ways.

Clinton rolling her eyes at Trump's BS was seen negatively by some male voters in 2016 and although most of those fence-sitters were unlikely to vote for her anyway then the same rules apparently exist for Harris. If Harris was at the top of the ticket maybe it would be more of an issue but I think her extreme competency and also the increasing backlash against Trump and Republican misogyny has convinced voters that Trump is unfit for office.

Fortunately Team Fly has completely dominated the discourse and any of the post debate spin about Harris's "lies" have fallen flat and probably won't even last until the weekend especially after Trump is taking his ball and going home since having a Zoom debate is super scary since they can just mute him in order to facilitate the debate.
posted by vuron at 7:29 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


Calling the candidates "Kamala" and "Pence" might or might not be sexist.

Compared to the consistency of "Harris" and "Pence", it sure as hell seems racist to me.
posted by Ouverture at 7:30 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


The Kamala thing is actually more racist than sexist. She's got an unusual name and it's easy to intentionally mispronounce as a way of doing a low level dog whistle. Yeah it probably also has some sexist undertones because it shows a lack of respect unless everyone is operating on an informal basis as in the case of Joe and Kamala. In the case of the Clintons and the Obamas I'm more willing to use the first name just for the sake of clarity and of course with the Trumps you gotta use their first names to indicate which of the sociopaths you are actually dealing with.
posted by vuron at 7:35 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


I wonder how a woman with Jill Lepore energy would fare on the campaign trail: brainy, good humored, at ease.

Are you kidding me? Right wing people lob all the same insults at her as they do the rest of them. She's a Harvard liberal feminist who thinks she's smarter than you. How well has that worked out for us?
posted by Miko at 7:36 AM on October 8 [12 favorites]


For my mental health I couldn't watch Pence live, but I'm loving the fly commentary. The old-skool Igor energy is strong in this one.
posted by invincible summer at 7:39 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


Minnesota? Unlikely even if it's trending conservative.

The polling average that I'm keeping personally has Biden leading Minnesota by 10, and Tina Smith leading the Senate race by a comparable amount.

The "Minnesota trending conservative" concept is more about rural Minnesota. Northeastern Minnesota is not as reliably DFL as it once was, for example. Minneapolis/St Paul are bright blue (Trump got 14% of the vote in my state leg. district in 2016--and that was probably high compared to some others). The near Twin Cities suburbs are much less Republican than they used to be, and Rochester in the southeast is becoming bluer as well, which turns the southern MN 1st congressional seat into a swing district. Like many states, it's really an urban/rural shift, with urban tending to outnumber rural overall.

But you'll still see Trump or Pence campaign here for the outstate congressional districts, which are competitive.
posted by gimonca at 7:39 AM on October 8


Who are the people who are voting for Democrats and support fracking?

Big donors?
posted by sjswitzer at 7:41 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


The Trump campaign probably prefers a virtual debate because they know Trump can't stand up for 90 minutes. But they can't control Trump, they never could and now it seems he is even worse than usual.

I think that Donald Trump is terrified of being muted on a conference call.
posted by mikelieman at 7:42 AM on October 8 [8 favorites]


Or he's terrified of any debate because he doesn't want the American people to see him struggling to breathe, and he's using the virtual debate as an excuse to bow out.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:46 AM on October 8 [10 favorites]


A little surprised it hasn’t moved to “I’ll do the debate ONLY if I can be the host on Zoom.”
posted by hijinx at 7:46 AM on October 8 [5 favorites]


I think that Donald Trump is terrified of being muted on a conference call.

He explicitly said so.
Shortly afterwards, Trump appeared in a phone interview on Fox Business, saying: “I heard that the commission a little while ago changed the debate style. That’s not acceptable to us. I’m not going to do a virtual debate. I’m not gonna waste my time on a virtual debate, that’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do it, debates? Ridiculous. And then they cut you off whenever they want.
posted by saturday_morning at 7:50 AM on October 8 [15 favorites]


Trump refuses to debate Biden

They should hold the debate anyway, with Biden answering all the debate questions on his own without Trump there.


You know, they could invite the Green Party and Libertarian Party candidates to the debate stage, at very least to widen the conversation to not just center and far-right positions. If Trump wanted to do the debate, that would be one thing, but if he doesn't, why not have a goddamn socialist and a libertarian capitalist there. What would be the downside for the Republic?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:51 AM on October 8 [8 favorites]


In a virtual debate they won't let you do anything you want.
posted by acb at 7:55 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


You know, they could invite the Green Party and Libertarian Party candidates to the debate stage, at very least to widen the conversation to not just center and far-right positions. If Trump wanted to do the debate, that would be one thing, but if he doesn't, why not have a goddamn socialist and a libertarian capitalist there. What would be the downside for the Republic?

In order to beat Trump, Biden has the unenviable task of bringing in older centrist voters with moderate politics while still mobilizing young/PoC voters who will be and are already being harmed by those very same moderate politics.

While I'd love to see liberals and leftists actually publicly discuss and stake their positions, I don't see this as being beneficial to beating Trump.
posted by Ouverture at 7:56 AM on October 8 [20 favorites]


“I’m not gonna do a virtual debate,” Trump tells Fox Business.

Trump: "that's not what debating is all about, you sit behind a computer and do a debate -- it's ridiculous. And then they cut you off whenever they want."


And there you have it. Trump doesn't want a debate. He just wants another opportunity to do his reality show bully shtick.
posted by JackFlash at 7:57 AM on October 8 [8 favorites]


From Trump's perspective another super spreader event where he can go for applause lines like "lock up Clinton, Biden, Obama, Harris" is much more valuable for stroking his ego than doing an online debate especially since the news networks like Fox News and OANN will still broadcast the trainwreck.

Of course it just gives Biden a free platform and an excuse to call Trump a coward. Hell he might even say that Trump is choosing to skip the debate due to bone spurs. If the Trump campaign had a better internet and meme game in 2016 it seems like the opposite is true this year. Trump memes are increasingly limited to conservative facebook (or is that all facebook at this point) and places like the *chan type keyboard warriors.

The only possible reason for Trump's current campaign strategy is that he's campaigning based upon what sort of response he gets in the rallies and how it plays on Fox and Friends each morning. Seems like a solid strategy I hope he stays with that.
posted by vuron at 8:00 AM on October 8


Calling the candidates "Kamala" and "Pence" might or might not be sexist.

YMMV, but I remember when right-winger hosts started to refer to Clinton as "Hilary" and it seemed that the whole world just seemed to go along with it. And even though Clinton embraced the name to take back ownership, I feel like we've internalized it a bit as a culture.
posted by ishmael at 8:05 AM on October 8 [5 favorites]


Trump holding a rally is perfect in this election season. It will buy him exactly zero new voters, as everyone who attends is already a lock for him. So... go for it!
posted by ChrisR at 8:05 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


It will buy him exactly zero new voters, as everyone who attends is already a lock for him.
I don't think this is strictly true, there are a lot of discouraged trump voters who may not want to vote and this rally may encourage them to vote when they might've skipped this year otherwise.
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 8:09 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


...not that I think he'll be healthy enough to actually host a rally.
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 8:10 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


Plus the obvious health risks to the attendees that could prevent the unlucky among them from voting.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:12 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


While I'd love to see liberals and leftists actually publicly discuss and stake their positions, I don't see this as being beneficial to beating Trump.

Well, the commission is not in the mission to "beating Trump" (ostensibly neutral) but if not now, when? Do we think that a Mitt Romney candidate will provide a better time to debate those ideas on the national stage? If this is such a time for all other candidates to speak with one unified (Biden) voice, when is the time for these debates? Because it's been 30 years since a non-Democratic non-Republican has been allowed on that debate stage, and I doubt "Wait until the current crisis is over" is a promise to revisit the issue when it's over.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:17 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


THIS JUST IN: Polling shows Harris came in first, the fly came in second, and Pence came in turd.
posted by bz at 8:20 AM on October 8 [8 favorites]


After Gary Fucking Johnson and Jill Fucking Stein, the answer to “when should we further encourage some spoiler parties” ought to be pretty close to never.

If they can show up in some polls, or ever get anybody elected to meaningful office, then they can get back to us.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:22 AM on October 8 [31 favorites]


but if not now, when?

Lord Chancellor, I feel your frustration but my response has to be "any time but now".
posted by philip-random at 8:24 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


“Kamala” stands out. “Pence” stands out. I immediately know who you’re talking about when you say either. “Harris” and “Mike” could be fucking anybody. Sexism/racism are likely contributory factors, but I suspect the primary reason for most people is just efficient communication - nobody calls Warren “Elizabeth” or “Liz”, but that might be different if Warren were a more common name. Flipside, nobody calls Beto “O’Rourke” because his forename stands out.

This is not to dismiss charges of sexism and racism within the US either in general or in particular as regards popular name choice, but rather to suggest that Harris vs Mike isn’t a good example of that phenomenon.

Preview: beaten by seconds, dangit.
posted by Ryvar at 8:27 AM on October 8 [18 favorites]


I'd love to see liberals and leftists actually publicly discuss and stake their positions

We did that in the primaries.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:28 AM on October 8 [22 favorites]


YMMV, but I remember when right-winger hosts started to refer to Clinton as "Hilary" and it seemed that the whole world just seemed to go along with it. And even though Clinton embraced the name to take back ownership, I feel like we've internalized it a bit as a culture.

N.B. I am not a woman so please offer me some perspective if I'm laying things out wrong.

When we use first names we invoke familiarity, connection, closeness. When we strive to make connection with our peers and acquaintances, a "first name basis" is what we strive for! That connection, this is what we crave as human beings.

If someone wants to be respected and they ask me to refer to them in a certain way I'll respect them. But I'd much rather acknowledge the connection I have with a person.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:30 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


If you're really worried that someone is going to think you're talking about any random person when you say 'Harris' instead of 'Kamala', or if you really just can't get enough of her first name, might I recommend using her full name? If you're writing a long comment or a newspaper story or a book or a twitter thread or a really, really long sign for your yard, you can use her full name the first time you mention her, and then Harris, subsequently. It's really not that hard to think through ways not to perpetuate the sexist habit of calling female candidates by their first names and male candidates by their last names.
posted by cilantro at 8:34 AM on October 8 [23 favorites]


What value do you think giving a public mouthpiece to someone who opposes stay at home mandates and face masks to combat covid while promising to gut Social Security would do?

Both the Green and Libertarian parties are effectively non-entities in politics and it's not just because of the two party system pushing them down. If QAnon were a political party of its own, it would have several times over the political power of the Green and Libertarian parties combined. Would you want to see a Q party candidate in the 2024 debates?
posted by Candleman at 8:34 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


[Hi friends. One deleted. If someone points out that something's landing in a racist or sexist way, that's not a prompt to bring out your arguments about how it's not really racist or sexist. It's a prompt to pause and reconsider whether you're having the effect you intend. True for everybody but especially worth taking extra care about if you're a white anglo dude and you haven't been on the receiving end of this. Please stop.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:35 AM on October 8 [43 favorites]


If Greens and Libertarians want to be on the stage for these debates they need to increase their popularity and vote share significantly. Or more specifically they need to get greater representation at state and local levels and actually grow their vote share instead of just presenting a candidate with zero show because right now they mainly function as spoilers in elections.

The reality is that with first past the post systems there really is no particular reason to support third party candidates unless they are viable and even if they are successful either one of the existing parties will co-opt their viewpoints or they eclipse one of the existing parties and become something new as happened with the Whigs.

If the Libertarian party in particular was willing to actually campaign on something other than taxation is theft and maybe we should allow pot then maybe I could see them being viable but right now they are fiscally conservative and not particularly friendly to left-libertarian issues. So really the daylight between them and the Republican party is largely symbolic. In terms of the US based Greens the truth of the matter is that their basic argument is both-sides are equally bad even though it's easy to show how if you actually care about various positions the slow incrementalism of the Democratic party might be annoying but it's much less relentlessly regressive than the Republican party in it's current formation especially if you don't have some form of inherent privilege. So honestly the time to actually get your positions heard are during the nomination process where popularity of various positions are actually able to influence the direction of the party as a whole. Trying to do it once it gets to the general election is pretty futile and mainly results in the party with the least overlap between your position and theirs get a higher vote share since the more centrist party will likely lose vote share. This is particularly important in light of Republicans increasingly being in favor of abandoning Democracy for some sort of authoritarian model that maintains their existing privileges.

In short the US system as a whole does not really favor third party candidates in general elections and without some major systemic reforms plus a reduction in the influence of money in elections I can't see that changing any time soon.
posted by vuron at 8:42 AM on October 8 [10 favorites]


maybe you recall a certain sweating, crying texas blowhard ranting about the demon-possession of certain democratic leaders evinced by flies landing on and the alleged odor of brimstone around them, but the good news is that, if you smell sulfur wafting around "flypaper" pence, probably the covid hasn't damaged your olfaction, yet.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:42 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


The only person in politics who should be known by first name only is Jeb!. Change my mind.
posted by phunniemee at 8:45 AM on October 8 [13 favorites]


[claps]
posted by mazola at 8:47 AM on October 8 [4 favorites]


To the tune of "My Country Tis Of Thee"/"God Save the Queen"

There are no flies on us
There are no flies on us
No flies on us
There may be one or two
Great big green flies on you
But there are no flies on us
No flies on us
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:50 AM on October 8 [13 favorites]


On whether or not it's sexist/racist to call Kamala Harris by her first name while referring to Mike Pence by his last, there was this relevant exchange in the debate itself:

PENCE: Susan, the president –
PAGE: No, I’m sorry. Kamala Harris – Senator Harris, I mean. I'm sorry.
HARRIS: It’s fine. I’m Kamala.
PAGE: No, no, you’re Senator Harris to me.

Also I noticed in the debate that Harris often referred to Joe Biden as "Joe." To NotLost's point above, this seems like deliberate branding.
posted by AndrewInDC at 8:56 AM on October 8 [21 favorites]


[Snipped for brevity; on preview, AndrewInDC just covered most of what I was about to cover.]

You only get a mononym if you're such a big deal that the public can easily forget you're not someone they know personally. Marie Claire shows a nice cross-section of reactions to that effect.
posted by armeowda at 8:58 AM on October 8


I'm almost certain I heard Kamala tell Susan that 'Kamala' was fine. I don't want to seem a fool, so I checked the transcript on cspan. I couldn't find it. Maybe I misremember.

I did find something interesting though, you can search the cspan transcript by keyword and if you search for 'Kamala', you find these responses from Mike:

JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS CONSISTENTLY TALK ABOUT MANDATES ...

JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS WANT TO RAISE TAXES ...

JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS HAVE PUT US BACK IN THE PARIS ...

SENATOR HARRIS WAS ONE OF ONLY 10 MEMBERS ...

JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS SUPPORT TAXPAYER FUNDING ...

JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS SAY THAT AMERICA IS SYSTEMICALLY RACIST ...

JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS RATTLE OFF A LITANY OF ...

Isn't that interesting? He only refers to her individually once, otherwise preceding her name with Joe Biden. This is some deeply ingrained patriarchal bullshit. It's almost possessive? Joe Biden's Kamala Harris.

edit: thank you AndrewInDC, that's as I remember.
posted by adept256 at 8:59 AM on October 8 [5 favorites]


omg i can't weven stop laughing at theis one omg lolo zoom in enhance! (sltwitter)

I get a message that this person limits who can see their tweets, can you describe what you see?


Ok, I took a screen shot and retweeted it...the original had a split screen like the debate with Harris looking askance, but I cropped it down to the good part.
(I imagine he feels like that on the inside...all. the. time. Omglol, I'm printing it out giant and hanging it out the front window. Yay I have a yard sign!)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:05 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


Also I noticed in the debate that Harris often referred to Joe Biden as "Joe."

Exactly.
posted by Chickenring at 9:07 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


“Harris” and “Mike” could be fucking anybody.

Come the hell on - context matters. We're not idly speculating about the name of that person in that thing, you know, the funny one. We're talking about a debate between a sitting US Senator and the VP. Nobody's gonna be fucking confused about who "Harris" is in this goddamn context, and trying to position it as some kind of "efficiency" thing is nonsense.

People can think it's great that Senator Harris invited the moderator to call her by her first name, but until and unless she invites all of us to do that then using the same nomenclature for both candidates seems like basic respect to me.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:09 AM on October 8 [26 favorites]


I believe there was one more line in that exchange...where Harris said something along the lines of 'yeah but we've known each other forever, s'ok', which does change the context a bit. But good on the moderator for catching herself and apologizing.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:14 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


Who are the people who are voting for Democrats and support fracking?

I personally am suspicious of discussions about fracking that do not also involve coal. Obviously in a perfect world we would have neither. But I think it's better to say one is better than the other so that if we have to choose, we can choose properly, rather than avoiding the hard questions.
posted by chernoffhoeffding at 9:15 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


SenMikeLee: Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity [sic] are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.

I get that calibrating one's outrage sensor these days is an exercise in futility, and this certainly isn't the first time we've seen a senior GOP official openly greasing the skids for overturning the result of the election, but the way this one's worded and the person it's coming from seem to be telgraphing a "we had to destroy the Democracy to save it" approach that's being planned at the highest levels of the party, not merely the isolated rantings of a roided-up dictator.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:30 AM on October 8 [18 favorites]


I really wish the Biden campaign would stop trying to negotiate over the debates with the Trump campaign. The Commission said it would be virtual on the 15th, so mote it be. Take it or leave it. Reading that the Biden folks are offering to push it back to the 22nd makes the story a big 'will they won't they' attention vacuum that detracts from getting out your own message.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:43 AM on October 8 [8 favorites]


I think that Donald Trump is terrified of being muted on a conference call.

He gets a lot of mileage out of being a big, loud, interrupting, cheating, overprivileged bully. Being forced to wait his turn and let everyone use their time fairly would cause him physical pain.
posted by pracowity at 9:44 AM on October 8 [7 favorites]


But the "third" debate is currently scheduled for the 22nd. If I understand correctly Biden's team is talking about making that event a town-hall style debate, rather than the current format which would be the same as debate #1.

It's a negotiation over the format of the debate on the 22nd, not really a offer to reschedule.

Of course it's very much an open question whether an in-person event of any kind before Nov 3 is in the same universe as a good idea.
posted by saturday_morning at 9:49 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


I think we were all swayed by that very persuasive call back to the 2009 Swine Flu. A thing I do not actually remember being impacted by or much about even though I was definitely around for it. Like what the fuck is he even going for there? It's so stupid that he might as well have just farted for the entirety of his answer.

Now COVID I have visceral reactions to seeing people gathered in groups or hugging in TV/movies so I have a feeling that I'll remember this quite well and the incredibly shitty government response.

And I do not want Joe Biden anywhere near Donald Trump to even risk infection. I kind of hate that he's going out and campaigning but y'gotta do what y'gotta do I suppose.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:54 AM on October 8 [10 favorites]


If I understand correctly Biden's team is talking about making that event a town-hall style debate, rather than the current format which would be the same as debate #1.

It's a negotiation over the format of the debate on the 22nd, not really a offer to reschedule.


Yes, this is the read I am getting from various news reports. Biden wants one of the debates to be town hall style, so if the next one is virtual then the last debate should be town hall.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:00 AM on October 8




My view is that the "not banning fracking" promise is to some extent specifically about Pennsylvania, but also is intended to more generally soothe various types of voters all over the country who are alarmed or offended by the idea of politicians in DC being able to "ban" an industry.

It's true that residents here in PA and other states with fracking are not (and were never going to be) allowed to earn the big money, but they're already part of a long history of people making a very hard living doing the dirty work of manufacturing while the executives profit and pontificate. It's scraps, but it's OUR scraps.
posted by desuetude at 10:23 AM on October 8 [6 favorites]


Aftermath: Question dodgers, shopworn sound bites, talking past each other....same old shit: whistling to the choir. Pence was exactly what I expected him to be. Harris disappointed me; I expected her to rise above the shit-show we've come to think of as normal. I mean, this is a low bar to clear, but she somehow never got off the ground. Booger Flicking with Pence. Jeez. We gave them about 20 minutes, then quit.

Decided to watch Law & Order reruns instead. Sisto played a laywer in this episode, tried to keep Harry Hamlin out of jail for killing his daughter. Not Sisto's daughter, Hamlin's daughter. It was complicated. Hamlin stabbed her 13 times with a big kitchen knife, in self defense. He even apologized, but they put him in jail anyway. Seems like he thought he ought to get cut some slack because he was a senator...ha ha.

I liked Sisto better in his other incarnation as a cop. Anyhow, I was able to avoid the commercials by flicking back and forth between L&O and the LA/Bucs game. That and a couple bottles of Fat Tire kept me profitably entertained until bedtime. I'm old, but not easily amused, and I try to avoid wear and tear when I can.

Yeah, and I voted already. Stood in line for maybe an hour, but it was a nice afternoon and my fellow voters wore masks and observed respectful distances. Now all that's left is to see whose handbasket we get to ride in on our way to the disintegration of the republic.
posted by mule98J at 10:25 AM on October 8 [3 favorites]


A thing I do not actually remember being impacted by or much about even though I was definitely around for it. Like what the fuck is he even going for there? It's so stupid that he might as well have just farted for the entirety of his answer.

I had ham lung, the oinks, trotter snotter, bacon fever, pork snort, the swine malign. I could go on, I had six weeks to think of them, sitting under a cold shower snorting mucus out of my face into the drain, just so I could breath.

I didn't think of calling it the Obama flu, or the America virus. As feverish as I was, that's just fucking silly. I will tell you that it did not make me complacent. Having swine flu made me very alert to this new one. I touched the stove once and that was enough.

To be too honest, I ran out of tissues and toilet paper. Then I started using the towels, then my t-shirts. Then I just started sitting under the shower and expelling as much as I could, only to do it again and again ad nauseum.

I was orphaned, I've been stabbed in the guts, I've had my heart broken, I've wanted to die, and I've had swine flu. It is one of the worst things that has happened to me. and I dunno

this pence fellow? he can shut the fuck up when it comes to swine flu.
posted by adept256 at 10:51 AM on October 8 [36 favorites]


Also, as utterly painfully awful as that first debate was, I really don't want Trump to be able to opt out of debates. I want him on primetime TV behaving like an unhinged toddler and proving that he is unwilling to control himself or speak coherently for one minute. Meanwhile, Biden just acts like a reasonable human adult, respects the moderator, and gets in a couple of mild jabs like "will you shut up man" to show that he's not feeling "dominated."

Yeah, it's gross and cynical and will be an upsetting shitshow. It's basically torture for pinko queer feminist self, and a fist-pumping howler for the Trump die-hards. But it will dismay some of the farmers in Wisconsin who actually believed Trump was a businessman, middle-class suburban white women watching their 401Ks (previously), and seniors of the "Silent Generation" who were children during the Great Depression.
posted by desuetude at 11:07 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


One thing we know is that Trump will never

Lemme stop you right there.
posted by The Tensor at 11:20 AM on October 8 [11 favorites]


First names and last names are used in a power gradient.

Adults freely address children by their first name, and that's part of how adults express their systemic power over children.

Children are taught not to address adults by their first name; if they do so, it's quite a sign of disrespect.

Calling adult women by their first name in any context -- calling her Kamala, or Hillary, or Nancy, or Susan -- this is how we enforce systemic sexism, which is after all a big power trip.

Hiding it as "familiarity" or whatever is convenient for the namer, is just gaslighting everyone into your power game.

Women play into this -- Stockholm syndrome, wanting to play nicely by what we understand and accept as The Rules. Our cooperation is deeply internalized, and good girls cooperate, right? And we're penalized, much more than men are, for asserting ourselves, our title.

It's a sexist (and racist) world out there, and it seeps through in so many ways and in all directions.
posted by Dashy at 11:21 AM on October 8 [38 favorites]


It's a choice to call all the white male candidates in the race by their last names and only the black female by her first name.

The person making that choice may think they have a good reason: they know Harris well, they feel more comfortable with her, she seems more personable, she has offered them her first name in the past. Her first name is more memorable than the other candidates' first names (uh.... big flag on that one, btw).

But to use a (black, female) candidate's first name in a public setting while still referring to the other (white, male) candidates by their last names is a conscious choice, and people should ask themselves why they are doing it, what they gain by it, and what Harris could lose by it.

Hint: we are currently having this discussion in a public setting.

2nd Hint: I would expect my mom to call me by my last name in public under these circumstances. You know, if she absolutely couldn't move herself to say Senator.
posted by invincible summer at 11:35 AM on October 8 [9 favorites]


>It's so stupid that he might as well have just farted for the entirety of his answer.

This is one of the best sentences I have ever read.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:37 AM on October 8 [4 favorites]


On the topic of last names: I'm a white man that interprets being called by their last name as disrespectful (my nick here is an ironic attempt to reclaim a name I used to dislike). I have been known to refer to Kamala Harris by her first name only and Mike Pence by only his last .

That said, I greatly appreciate the feedback from people here that this can be read as disrespectful and I will make all efforts to refer to Senator Harris by her (very much earned) title going forward.
posted by Hutch at 11:53 AM on October 8 [5 favorites]


Look, all goes well in a couple of months you’ll be able to say VP Harris which just rolls off the tongue anyway.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:58 AM on October 8 [16 favorites]


It's a choice to call all the white male candidates in the race by their last names and only the black female by her first name.

From a specificity angle: the demographics are so out of whack that are so many politicians named Mike (and Joe), but only the one Kamala. While we also use the name Ginsburg, I feel like the formality expectations are higher in legal proceedings -- the 'would you have a beer with this person' test doesn't seem to hold for Supreme Court nomination -- but Ginsburg (DNR) is also far less common than Harris (#25) surnames. I imagine Warren gets the same treatment for similar reasons.

Even though I prefer to go by given name than surname, I recognize that there are just too many meetings I share names with folks to insist upon it. It's hardly the only reason a person might choose between these names, but obviously the correct solution is to elect a dozen Jennifers to office, and six Karens for good measure. And a fewer Donalds and Mikes.
posted by pwnguin at 12:19 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


Hutch, I struggle with this as well. I have learned a lot over the last year or two about ways in which my prejudices manifest themselves, and have been working hard to compensate for them. I had never considered the power play involved in first name usage, something else I have to work on now that I'm aware of the way it is received.
posted by davelog at 12:20 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


Everything Dashy said is true. In California, Harris ran as Kamala. It's just easier to remember, like Lamar! or Jeb! just without the exclamation point.

However, now that we're in National politics, everyone knows who Harris is and there is no reason for her to be Kamala when Mike is Pence.
posted by chaz at 12:26 PM on October 8 [7 favorites]


The 'calling women candidates by their first name' thing is such a settled matter in the rest of pleasant society, I'm bummed to see it drug out so far here. It's a sexist impulse, I'm guilty of it too, we can all do better to avoid it.
posted by Think_Long at 12:29 PM on October 8 [11 favorites]


Pete Buttigieg hits another one out of the park as he continues the post-debate victory lap on Fox News.

“But we know he’s lying”
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:30 PM on October 8 [24 favorites]


I had a friend who I've since lost touch with his who, probably due to the remnants of a British public school education, referred to everyone by their last name. Male, female, eight years old, ninety years old, even his girlfriend. And it worked. There was a charm to it, and an equality. Good policy, I think.
posted by philip-random at 12:31 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


Okay, but can we stop talking about the subject of first/last names now?
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:34 PM on October 8 [17 favorites]


I hated Buttigieg the candidate but Buttigieg the attack dog is an absolute delight. He is really, really good at this.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:35 PM on October 8 [54 favorites]


I'm a white man that interprets being called by their last name as disrespectful

I'd be interested in hearing more about this, unless it's too much of a derail.

I'd guess that it comes from a military application of the adult > child thing?

In my own life, my set of 25 close colleagues include 4 Davids, so at least some of them are known as their last name, and I've wondered about how it really comes across. It also seems to be more of a male thing (military?), at least that I've experienced.
posted by Dashy at 12:36 PM on October 8


Someone make a name post. I'll participate.
posted by mumimor at 12:37 PM on October 8 [8 favorites]


I'm a white man that interprets being called "Mr. Firstname" as disrespectful. But all the kids around here do it. I was raised to say "Mr./Mrs./Ms. Lastname".

I have a pet theory that "Mr. Lastname" is cognate with Spanish "Senor Lastname" and "Mr. Firstname" is cognate with Spanish "Don Firstname" and that Last-naming ties into urban culture and First-naming correlates with feudal/plantation societies.
posted by Rat Spatula at 12:39 PM on October 8 [5 favorites]


He is really, really good at this.

I love seeing FOX News anchors left slack-jawed and silent, waiting until the producer reboots them via earpiece. They really underestimate gay men, just like they underestimate anyone else who isn't like them or their audience.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:40 PM on October 8 [18 favorites]


[One comment deleted, using “fat” as an insult goes against both the Content Policy and the Community Guidelines ]
posted by loup (staff) at 12:44 PM on October 8 [15 favorites]


I have already sent in my ballot, but decided to see how far I could get without turning the debate off in disgust/fear. Apparently I didn't reach fly-town.

My response to Harris has been positive all along - "she has the best laugh in the campaign" was how I put it to my mom (which in our family encapsulates a whole bunch of stuff) - and that theocrat Pence is a distillation of all the reasons I moved out of the US many years ago, so I'm not some impartial viewer. But I was sad not to see more answering of the questions by either candidate. They were really interesting questions and I'm still curious! Yeah, how do you think about China? What have you discussed with your respective presidential candidates about health/succession? Etc.

Grar.
posted by inexorably_forward at 12:48 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


Buttigieg is also an apt weapon given his appeal to the same demographics that tend to watch Fox.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:51 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


I really wish Harris had answered the "Will you pack the court question" something like so:

"Honestly, we're waiting to see if the President and Senate are going to make a COVID relief bill that is at least a bit better than the last one or not. Can you commit to doing that, right here and now Mr Vice President, putting the American people first, before any party politics?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:57 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


Sorry, had a lot of sugar at lunch and I'm still amped up.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:03 PM on October 8 [4 favorites]


Saying “climate change is an existential threat to the world” but not big enough to support the green new deal is an incoherent position to take. As is, “we believe the scientists and support fracking”. Very disappointing.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:33 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


On review Dashy, I think you hit the nail on the head with the military thing. I sense an inherent power differential in play when someone refers to me by just my last name. May just be me though and I'm grateful to learn about other perspectives.
posted by Hutch at 1:39 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


I hated Buttigieg the candidate but Buttigieg the attack dog is an absolute delight. He is really, really good at this.

Thanks McKinsey!
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 1:52 PM on October 8 [4 favorites]


Here's the thing about the green new deal; hamburgers will be illegal. Can you imagine a future where your children can't have a big mac? And their heads are cut off by a windmill? They want to decapitate your children!

They grabbed those three words and turned them into a scare campaign.
posted by adept256 at 1:59 PM on October 8 [5 favorites]


I really wish Harris had answered the "Will you pack the court question" something like so:

I thought Harris's original response was good. It reminds everyone that the real villain in the Supreme Court story is the Republican Party for hypocritically denying Americans the chance to vote on the question themselves. Also, it was clearly a rehearsed response, so they must have tested it thoroughly to make sure it was a good idea.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 2:00 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


Can you imagine a future where your children can't have a big mac?

Even the most green future will not be that future. The big mac may not come from a living cow (directly), but it will taste like a big mac today, and may even be 100% beef.
posted by bonehead at 2:04 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


I am consistently amazed that the Democrats playbook is to cater to the worst possible scare campaign that the right wing media machine can imagine.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 2:04 PM on October 8 [8 favorites]


Trump rejects virtual debate with Biden, who announces solo event instead (Reuters)

(Didn't see any discussion of this upthread. Time stamps on the article are contradictory. Mods please delete if it's redundant.)
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:46 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


I am constantly amazed that there are ostensibly leftish people who are so attached to the "Democrats in disarray" narrative created by the right wing media machine that they find ways to complain about Democrats in threads dedicated to an election that Democrats are winning and debates that the public thinks Democrats won.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:59 PM on October 8 [28 favorites]


You can pry my big mac from my cold dead hands*

*Which are cold and dead because my big mac contributed a my pre-existing condition that caused my COVID to be fatal and I couldn't get the the God-tier healthcare Trump got for his.
posted by eagles123 at 3:09 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


Thanks McKinsey!

Can we not thank the aiders and abettors of war crimes and authoritarianism, even in jest? It's already bad enough people worship Kamala for being a tough on crime prosecutor of all things.
posted by Ouverture at 3:15 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


But I agree that the juxtaposition of "Kamala" and "Pence" can send the wrong message.

i call friends by the first name. i call shit-covered pigfilth by it's last name. No message being sent beyond THAT.
posted by pee tape at 3:22 PM on October 8


i call friends by the first name. i call shit-covered pigfilth by it's last name. No message being sent beyond THAT.

*Sigh.*

The damn point is that since all of us left our mind-reading devices in our other pants, nobody knows what individual message you think you are sending. So it doesn't matter - if what you are doing is reinforcing the cultural narrative that it's OK to refer to intelligent accomplished adult women as if they were a child or somebody you actually know in real life by using their first name when you would refer to a man in the same situation by their last name, then that's the message that everyone is receiving.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:33 PM on October 8 [33 favorites]


My idea for a 100% safe in-person debate:

Candidates enter through different parts of the building straight to soundproof isolation booths. They never get near one another, and they never hear anything the other one says.

Everyone else is virtual. It's a town hall, so the audience each records a question in advance.

The booths are cash grab types with slips of paper instead of money. The numbers on the slips represent the audience questions.

The candidate grabs a slip from the air at random and reads off the number. That question plays and they have up to 2 minutes to answer, provided they stay on topic. The other candidate hears nothing so they can answer the same question if it comes up for them later.

The moderator's only job is to decide if the candidates are directly answering the question. If not they hit the big red button, shutting off that mic and starting up the fan in the other booth.

It would be the most informative and entertaining debate ever.
posted by InfidelZombie at 3:40 PM on October 8 [35 favorites]


I'm guessing that adding a trap door to a dunking pool is out of the question.
posted by acb at 3:42 PM on October 8 [22 favorites]


I can work with that
posted by InfidelZombie at 3:43 PM on October 8 [13 favorites]


I think academics are more comfortable with first names, you can see this with Obama, who the NYTimes notes regularly addressed using first names (some people criticized Obama for calling Warren by first name in an interview). So one explanation is that outside of academia, titles and last names are still signifiers of socio-economic status, and rather than doing away with that like the (privileged) academics have done, some feminist progressives insist on reinforcing old classist signifiers as a way to attain equality in this context. Both are valid. Some people want to be respected conventionally, but others want to change or deconstruct the very conventions themselves. This happens in every area of progressive change, i.e., how a norm practice relates to whether a marginalized group should desire or reject that norm practice in as a means to enact emancipation.
posted by polymodus at 4:20 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


And here we go: MIKE BENCE POUNDED IN THE BUTT BY HIS HANDSOME WEREFLY

Thank you, Dr. Tingle!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 4:37 PM on October 8 [15 favorites]




Folks, I think it’s ON. They’re gonna 25 45. They wouldn’t do it if they had any other choice.
posted by sjswitzer at 5:04 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


No. I can’t.

I got my hopes up for Fitzmas.

I got my hopes up for Muellerwe’en.

I even shared an anticipatory shoulder-shimmy with Clinton.

I will not put my confidence in the mayonnaise golem 25-ing 45 until I see him lifting an oleaginous pseudopod while being sworn in as Acting.

I only have so much optimism...and right now, it’s all staked on November.

Also, after this year, I feel I have earned a blimp.
posted by darkstar at 5:21 PM on October 8 [21 favorites]


It’s not a thing to hope for.
posted by sjswitzer at 5:27 PM on October 8 [4 favorites]


Folks, I think it’s ON. They’re gonna 25 45. They wouldn’t do it if they had any other choice.

Starting to look that way. If the Repubs are going to do it they have to do it now, to try giving them enough time for a reset before the election, and to keep Trump from going nuclear, literally.

How is the Trump cult base going to react? Will it actually save the Senate for the Repubs?
posted by Pouteria at 5:42 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


If Trump is even barely coherent enough to call them out on twitter, they probably wont 25 him; As long as he can sign, and doesn't stop Mitch, they'll just express their concerns and continue as usual.
posted by Marticus at 5:49 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


I would believe Pence cancelled everything because Trump is dead and they need someone to wear his meat suit, before I'd believe they were ready to 25 him.

But who knows, right? 2020.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by invincible summer at 5:54 PM on October 8 [4 favorites]


There is *no way*, none, zero chance, Republicans are going to invoke the 25th on Trump less than a month before the election, with a Supreme Court seat on the line. It just won't happen, no matter how bad he gets. Like, if he dies tonight, they will Weekend At Bernie's his corpse around until after they ram through Barrett, and then continue to do everything they can to steal the election to ensure Democrats don't gain enough control to expand the court in January.
posted by Roommate at 5:59 PM on October 8 [22 favorites]


Suppose you were Trump and found the Hulk drugs.
Now suppose you were in the White House and had to watch that?
I think this is where we are right now.
posted by sjswitzer at 5:59 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


Whatever happens in the future, I know that at this very moment, as I type these words, many of the nation's top Republicans are having a worse night than I am. And nothing can ever take that away from me.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:02 PM on October 8 [40 favorites]


My guess is that Pence canceled because he got a positive test for covid and it hasn't been announced yet.
posted by Blue Genie at 6:03 PM on October 8 [14 favorites]


Like the Hulk drugs callout, 'cept it's maybe a different green creature, The Green Goblin, and no one at Oscorp is standin' up to Norman Osborne til he's really truly absolutely dead thrice over. Then they'll have been heroically always working against him from within all along donchaknow.
posted by riverlife at 6:07 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


Folks, I think it’s ON. They’re gonna 25 45. They wouldn’t do it if they had any other choice.

No, Pelosi is going to introduce a bill to 25 45, and then Mitch McConnell is going to bury it in soft peat for three weeks and it will never happen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:18 PM on October 8


86 45 25.
posted by Marticus at 6:24 PM on October 8


Congress does not initiate a 25. The VP and cabinet do. But there is a lot of work for congress to do, not least: selecting a new VP.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:25 PM on October 8


Surely Pelosi knows by now what happens when she sends bills to the Senate. Isn't the point of the Pelosi bill so that Democrats can get on TV, questioning Trump's fitness for office, while more and more votes are getting locked in every day? (And secondarily to goad Trump into even more self-defeating behavior, which will drive more votes?)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 6:26 PM on October 8 [10 favorites]


Pelosi's proposing a bill to give the House more of a role in 25thing presidents.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 6:27 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


to give the House more of a role in 25thing presidents.

surely this!
posted by pee tape at 6:43 PM on October 8


Maybe they can use it to waste a bit of Senate time?
I think the underlying motivation is to piss off trump even more and force more own-goals, though.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:57 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


There's a fly on your head!...the remix

The WH's panicked response of 'he's not sick! nobody's sick!' leads me to assume that surviving staff members are shuffling his sheet-wrapped corpse from hiding place to hiding place like a plate of kippers backstage at 'Noises off.'
posted by sexyrobot at 7:01 PM on October 8 [7 favorites]


Deadspin accidentally posted a pre-write saying Mike was positive. Took it down though. I'm assuming we will hear soon one way or the other. The night is young.
posted by Chickenring at 7:37 PM on October 8


Sounds like Deadspin needs to stick to sports.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:44 PM on October 8 [4 favorites]


Yeah, c'mon everyone - this 25th thing is Pelosi doing a bit of publicity rope-a-dope. She knows damn well McConnell won't let it get to the Senate floor for a vote, but making a big public stink about passing a House bill about it gets more attention on Trump's outrageous behavior, helped along by Republicans and Trump himself pitching a hissy fit about it.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:06 PM on October 8 [9 favorites]


Ladies and gentlemen, the new single from Blondie: One Heartbeat Away! The VP debate as moderated by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein!

Brace yourselves.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:27 PM on October 8 [9 favorites]


Competency hearing: Pelosi cross-examines Donald. [NSFW, John Waters]
posted by sexyrobot at 8:42 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


I think Pelosi’s 25th gambit is aimed at gaining some leverage on Trump post election, during the lame duck, ‘cause if he loses, that’s two months of Trump with almost zero constraints on his power.

(It’s also necessary should he win, but we don’t say or think of that ever.)
posted by notyou at 8:59 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


So, I don't know where to put this, dropping it here as it's the most recent political thread. Am I missing something? Or is so much going on that none of the political threads are discussing more than a dozen domestic terrorists being arrested by the FBI /state of Michigan for plots against the government, including kidnapping and possibly killing my governor?

It's certainly part of the broader discussion on extremism in this country, especially as pushed by parts of the Republican party, including that pig in the oval.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:15 PM on October 8 [15 favorites]


Re: the 25th speculation, one remote possibility that wouldn't even be worth discussing if it weren't 2020 and *gestures broadly at everything* is that Biden wins in a landslide, and instead of going down with the RFS Trump, the GOP establishment decides to try to salvage a sliver of their reputation by having him removed from office via the 25th and letting Pence play out the string in the lame duck period . Reagan's 11th commandment is a pretty strong force, but by shivving IMPOTUS, the GOP can probably fool a fair number of low information voters that Trump was the problem and not their bankrupt ideology.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:28 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]


Deadspin accidentally posted a pre-write saying Mike was positive. Took it down though. I'm assuming we will hear soon one way or the other. The night is young.
posted by Chickenring at 10:37 PM on October 8 [+] [!]


Sounds like Deadspin needs to stick to sports.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:44 PM on October 8 [1 favorite +] [!]


I believe it was Deadline, not Deadspin. There were screencaps floating around on twitter earlier but I can't find them now.
posted by axiom at 9:39 PM on October 8 [4 favorites]


I am constantly amazed that there are ostensibly leftish people who are so attached to the "Democrats in disarray" narrative created by the right wing media machine that they find ways to complain about Democrats in threads dedicated to an election that Democrats are winning and debates that the public thinks Democrats won.

I dunno, it seems to me like both major parties are in a constant state of disarray; it's just a question of which party is failing harder at any given time combined with occasional desires by part of the electorate to vote out incumbents because of events like the Iraq War disaster, financial crisis, and/or Trump proving incompetent. It definitely seems like Biden is going to win and that the Corona outbreak is going to seal it; I already voted for him and fervently hope that he does. Its just really hard to feel good about anything going foreword. I haven't talked to anyone in real life that saw the Presidential debate and didn't think it was anything but a disgrace and a shame that Biden are Trump are the candidates. I hardly only talk to super lefty people or even super politically engaged people either.

I just feel like I've seen this movie before: Obama wins in a landslide, the Republicans come roaring back two years later. What little reforms get passed are only band-aides that merely kick the can down the road. The same thing happened with Clinton in 93. Meanwhile, the Republicans proceed full tilt with their own agenda of voter suppression, court packing, gutting of labor laws, and generally unceasing attempts to roll this country back to the 19th century.

I think its possible to hope Biden wins and believe that he will but also be pessimistic about and unhappy with the Democrats.
posted by eagles123 at 9:44 PM on October 8 [8 favorites]


There will be some self-serving Republicans that try to distance themselves from Trump. But the majority won’t throw him under the bus in any meaningful way.

Trump’s got the Crazy 28 (percent of voters) firmly in his hip pocket. And it’s those people who vote reliably GOP in every primary, shout the loudest, consume right-wing media the most, and wage the most fiercely racist, xenophobic, misogynistic culture war battles on behalf of Team Elephant.

They have to let Trump burn himself out, and try to sift their party out of the ashes. Otherwise they alienate the Crazy 28, draw primary challengers and generally make their own careers a lot more difficult.

It would be different if they were patriots. Then they might sacrifice their position of power to criticize and reject him. But there’s not a genuinely patriotic one in the whole bunch.
posted by darkstar at 9:52 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


by shivving IMPOTUS, the GOP can probably fool a fair number of low information voters that Trump was the problem and not their bankrupt ideology.

This is one reason the Democrats need to get strong messaging discipline around using "Republicans" and/or "the GOP" every time they have an impulse to say "Trump." Instead of "Look at Trump's disastrous failure to respond to the pandemic," it should be "Look at the Republican's disastrous failure to respond to the pandemic." Instead of "Look at Trump's unhinged debate performance," it should be "Look at the Republican's unhinged debate performance." Etc. Every time a voter hears a Democrat talk, they should hear Trump identified with the Republican Party.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 9:55 PM on October 8 [29 favorites]


I just feel like I've seen this movie before: Obama wins in a landslide, the Republicans come roaring back two years later.

They came roaring back two years later because the Dem voters did not fucking show up for the midterms. After this election, we need to be loud about how important the 2022 midterms are. Make them about Trump even if we’ve booted his ass out of office. The ‘22 Senate map is brutal for the GOP and this is a golden opportunity. When Dems turnout, they win. That’s why there’s so much voter suppression going on, because the GOP knows they only have power if turnout is down. Dem voters also didn’t show up in 2014. In 2018, GOP voters showed up stronger than 2014, 50 million vs 40 million. But Dems showed up as well - 60 million votes vs 35 million. (In 2010 the GOP got 44 million to the Dems 39 million. Two years before that the Dems got 65 million votes in house elections to 52 million for the GOP.) 2018 featured near presidential election turnout numbers for the Dems. They turn out, they win.
posted by azpenguin at 10:30 PM on October 8 [23 favorites]


Ok, turns out you have to switch the fan on before you open the trap door or all the slips fall into the water.
posted by InfidelZombie at 6:29 AM on October 9 [8 favorites]


"self-defeating behavior"

I read that as self-defecating and it seemed somehow more accurate. In spirit, of course.
posted by datawrangler at 6:46 AM on October 9



Ok, turns out you have to switch the fan on before you open the trap door or all the slips fall into the water.

Um. What?
posted by 8dot3 at 6:47 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


They came roaring back two years later because the Dem voters did not fucking show up for the midterms. After this election, we need to be loud about how important the 2022 midterms are. Make them about Trump even if we’ve booted his ass out of office. The ‘22 Senate map is brutal for the GOP and this is a golden opportunity. When Dems turnout, they win. That’s why there’s so much voter suppression going on, because the GOP knows they only have power if turnout is down. Dem voters also didn’t show up in 2014. In 2018, GOP voters showed up stronger than 2014, 50 million vs 40 million. But Dems showed up as well - 60 million votes vs 35 million. (In 2010 the GOP got 44 million to the Dems 39 million. Two years before that the Dems got 65 million votes in house elections to 52 million for the GOP.) 2018 featured near presidential election turnout numbers for the Dems. They turn out, they win.

Oh I know. I remember it well. It seemed like the GOP was dead in the water after 2008, the Iraq War, and the financial crisis, among other things. The media was filled was articles that amounted to obituaries for the party. But then Scott Brown won in Massachusetts, the Tea Party started, and it seemed like Democrats turtled up and just waited to lose. Midterm turnout was an issue for Dems in 2014 too. Turnout is a constant issue. How many people went to sleep after 2008 and only woke up once Trump was elected.

I've been screaming for as long as I can remember that Dems need to a messaging strategy and that people need to show up to vote not just in midterms but in primaries too. I'm just a guy on the internet, though. That's all we all are, really: just people venting on the internet. I can't control whether major corporations and other financial entities will continue running ads urging people to vote in 2022 as they are now. I can't control whether or not the Dems will adopt a unified message going into the midterms. All I can do is hope. It's just that the more I watch these debates the less hope I have, which is why I try not to watch them. I already voted. I've already urged everyone around me to vote, not that they need any urging.

I do agree that 2022 is a tough Senate map for the GOP. In PA Toomey is retiring. Hopefully the Dems can take advantage.
posted by eagles123 at 7:13 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


I am constantly amazed that there are ostensibly leftish people who are so attached to the "Democrats in disarray" narrative created by the right wing media machine that they find ways to complain about Democrats in threads dedicated to an election that Democrats are winning and debates that the public thinks Democrats won.

I agree with this but I also thing there is going to emerge a "Democratic Right" and "Democratic Left" and some of the disarray and infighting is because we coalesced on principles but not on policy and that the current left will be the new two-party system. However, I'm terrified that the "Lincoln Project" is going to be the standard bearers for the "Democratic Right," however that gets named, and I don't like those folks who made their wealth and power putting all these assholes in charge of our government. The fact that they are turning on them (Trump) now is nice and all and amusing...but let's keep our distance. They'll throw you in the firepit to keep warm this winter just as quick as anything.
posted by amanda at 7:14 AM on October 9 [8 favorites]


I do agree that 2022 is a tough Senate map for the GOP. In PA Toomey is retiring. Hopefully the Dems can take advantage.

Not only Toomey; Ron Johnson (WI) and Richard Burr (NC) are also retiring. And Chuck Grassley (IA) hasn't announced that he's retiring, but he'll be 89, so I imagine he's thought about it.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 7:17 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


The reality is that the bulk of active Republican Congress members are terrified of making the rapid Trump supporters mad at them. So they have to smile and nod when all of these right-wing populist talking points get said by Trump and other key Trumpist party members. So even if they aren't explicitly white nationalists themselves they have to make nice with those people because they can cost you a primary and if they fail to show up in the general election they could doom you them.

Some of this is related to the extreme gerrymandering the Republicans put in place after 2010. By making a lot of congressional districts +5% Republican in order to maximize the number of seats you also make it where you really can't tack to the center that much for fear of making the Trump voters angry. Republican interest groups like the Club for Growth have also been weeding out any centrist Republicans in congress over the years by relentlessly trying to primary them out of office.

There are some areas of the country where you can win an election as a Republican without kissing the ring such as Utah but they are rare. Romney can do what he did and speak out against Trump to a limited degree because Utah is reliably Republican and the LDS as a whole has been less than fond of Trump. So even if he's making the Trumpists mad it's not like he'd actually be defeated in an election if he was running.

It'll be interesting to see how the key Republican power players try wash their hands of Trump assuming he loses. The forces in play that Trump have unleashed are unlikely to willingly return to the background recesses so that Republicans can go back to pretending to be respectable. And while McConnell will likely take the stance that Trump was a useful tool in reshaping the judiciary I don't know that he'll be able to maintain a strict armlock on the Senate republicans if he loses his majority.

The really scary bit is that there are plenty of Trump types coming up that actually seem to believe the shit they are trying to sell to others and can maybe present those viewpoints in a friendly enough manner to actually convince white America to give them another chance. I think Pompeo has probably fucked himself in his future plans to be President by hitching himself to the Trump horse but there are other ones waiting to try to capture the wingnut powerbase.
posted by vuron at 7:18 AM on October 9 [5 favorites]


It would be different if they were patriots. Then they might sacrifice their position of power to criticize and reject him. But there’s not a genuinely patriotic one in the whole bunch.

I'm pretty far from Libertarian, but I'd point out that Justin Amash has probably sacrificed a reasonable Republican political career and/or wingnut welfare to criticise Trump. He actually left the party in protest!
posted by jaduncan at 7:34 AM on October 9 [9 favorites]


Um. What?
looks like a Babel Fish joke
posted by inpHilltr8r at 8:46 AM on October 9 [2 favorites]


Sorry, playing off this exchange I had with acb yesterday. Can be deleted as too jokey.
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:37 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Anyway, I can’t express just how much the whole “bleeding from the eyes” and “drawing flies” motif suits Pence.

He has perfected that well-tailored, self-righteous smugness that diabolical minions always seem to exude in movies, just before their careful facade is marred by a fly being drawn to the stink of their corruption.

If he suddenly started chanting in an infernal tongue while his eyes rolled back in his head, it would be shocking, but not surprising in the least.
posted by darkstar at 7:01 PM on October 9 [10 favorites]


Pence went straight past COVID to Ebola.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:10 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Costume store selling Mike Pence fly wig in time for Halloween (The Independent, Oct. 9) The silver hairpiece comes with a fly attached to it, and an American flag lapel pin.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:14 PM on October 9 [3 favorites]


Honestly there is zero reason for Biden and Harris to commit to an expansion of the SCOTUS since it would absolutely require a large number of hypotheticals to actually happen.

Biden has to win obviously
Democrats need to take the majority in the Senate
Zero defections in the caucus (looking at you Manchin)
Willingness to remove the legislative filibuster

I think the reality is that Democrats will win the Presidency and right now about a 60% chance of winning the Senate (there seems to be some late breaking movement towards Democrats largely related to the extreme negative coat tails of Trump and the extremely high level of voter turnout). I have some doubts that the votes will actually be there to push through expansion since most scenarios seem to suggest a 50-50 split (Harris being the tiebreaker) or a narrow 51 seat majority. Also I think expansion is going to require a 6-3 court to actually start being super aggressive in invalidating popular Democrat policies. I'm not even 100% certain a significant move against Roe v Wade will be enough to actually get the votes right now. Fortunately there is a legislative option that could be used to negate the SCOTUS. The SCOTUS actually invalidating all of ACA would be absolutely catastrophic for Republicans but the Thomas-Alito-Barrett faction might have the ability to force the issue. Basically though it's a losing issue for Republicans (and insurance companies) since the likely response would be some form of Universal Healthcare. I still think single-payer is unlikely to be the ultimate solution but it would be absolutely impractical for the SCOTUS to rule against a single-payer program given the strong support for Medicare-Social Security and the fact you couldn't really negate MfA without undermining the constitutional underpinnings of those programs.

Between the political realities and the threat of expansion I think at 6-3 conservative majority is unlikely to rule aggressively on a variety of issues. Basically all Democrats need to have in place is the majority and a removal of the legislative filibuster to go with expansion as a retaliatory response at any time the SCOTUS moves completely out of sync with popular opinion. Existing conservative justices will likely moderate their stances to avoid a significant dilution of their personal power.

I also think some the Democratic handwringing about expansion of the SCOTUS is misplaced in part. While the possibility of a Republican attempt to expand to court in the future certainly exists Republican trifectas have been traditionally rare. Yes Republicans had all 3 in 2017-2018 and 2003-2007 but their previous period of complete control was 1953-1955. There is a degree of likelihood that the parties might realign politically before Republicans have all 3 again. Divided government is actually the norm in the US but Democrats get the trifecta much more often historically. And if the Sunbelt continues to go more and more Democratic and there is a weakening of the control over the South this is going to be more and more common.

Ultimately stacking the SCOTUS (and the judiciary as a whole) is an attempt by conservatives to slow the pace of political and institutional change but support for conservatives continually trying to rollback popular initiatives is very fickle. I actually think McConnell is overplaying his hand and playing with fire. Maintaining a 5-4 majority with a "moderate" as the deciding vote allows you to avoid possibility of the SCOTUS ruling in a deeply unpopular way on some sort of social issue or entitlement program while also helping you GOTV efforts. It also means that you'll still get plenty of pro-business rulings so win-win. Giving social conservatives a 6-3 majority risks a major backlash and the expansion to a 9-6 liberal majority or something like term limits.
posted by vuron at 7:17 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


but I also thing there is going to emerge a "Democratic Right" and "Democratic Left" and some of the disarray and infighting is because we coalesced on principles but not on policy and that the current left will be the new two-party system.

I've been wondering about this for a while now and the temptation is to weigh in with a rather detailed hypothetical future ... but then a little voice whispers "fuck off" in my ear and reminds me that first, We Need To Not Just Win This Thing -- not just squeak something out. We need to take all the positive possibilities floating around right now, hone them into probabilities and finally realities. Trump and his crowd need to be annihilated. It won't be easy, it won't be pretty, and yeah there will be a lot of poisons left hissing and steaming in the aftermath ...

However, I'm terrified that the "Lincoln Project" is going to be the standard bearers for the "Democratic Right,"

Very possibly maybe. But then America was never going to lean just one way, regardless of what color ties the crowd in charge are wearing.
posted by philip-random at 8:24 AM on October 10 [5 favorites]


This is absolutely the best fly-related content out there. I watch it over and over and laugh every time.
posted by sjswitzer at 2:32 PM on October 10 [12 favorites]


OMG, I love that, sjswitzer!

Turns out, the fly has generated by far the most buzz from the event.
posted by darkstar at 2:42 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


Starting to think six year terms for Senators and four for President was the wrong call. 6 for Pres and 4 for Senate, now that would have been better.

Folks, I think it’s ON. They’re gonna 25 45. They wouldn’t do it if they had any other choice.

The only way the 25th is ever going to happen now or in the future is actual death. Bringing it up, is imho outside of those parameters is a derail.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:47 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


I've been screaming for as long as I can remember that Dems need to a messaging strategy and that people need to show up to vote not just in midterms but in primaries too. I'm just a guy on the internet, though. That's all we all are, really: just people venting on the internet.

Dems do messaging. Conservatives do liturgy.
posted by weston at 4:51 PM on October 11


A poll (PDF) from University of Massachusetts Lowell, taken Oct 5-12. Results:

Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump: 53% to 43% (+10%)
Joe Biden vs. Mike Pence: 54% to 41% (+13%)
Kamala Harris vs. Mike Pence: 50% to 43% (+7%)

Unfortunately it looks like they didn't do Kamala Harris vs. Donald Trump, for whatever reason.
posted by clawsoon at 5:31 AM on October 16 [4 favorites]


“That was a retweet! People can decide for themselves!” Trump said.

Guthrie responded: “I don’t get that. You’re the president, not someone’s crazy uncle.”
I watched some clips of yesterday's debate, where Savannah Guthrie actually shut Trump down multiple times, and while I guess it probably won't make much difference in the scheme of things and is at least 5 years overdue, it felt good to watch the down-shutting.
posted by trig at 7:45 AM on October 16 [11 favorites]


I look forward to this sort of thing being taken taken to the next level ...

"You're the president, not someone's crazy uncle."

(uncomfortable pause)

"You do get that, don't you, sir? You understand the gravity of what's at stake here. We're all ... we're concerned about you. We think you've gotten yourself into a situation that you just can't .... You're lost and you can't find your way out. You need help."

And then key people from Donald Trump's past start showing up, joining the discussion.

It's an intervention. Live. On all the major networks. And the interwebs, too.
posted by philip-random at 8:39 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Mary L. Trump weighs in on "crazy uncle".
posted by clawsoon at 8:58 AM on October 16 [4 favorites]


The flip side of the "crazy uncle" thing is a Trump adviser reacting to the Biden Town Hall with the quip "Well @JoeBiden @ABCPolitics townhall feels like I am watching an episode of Mister Rodgers Neighborhood".

This has backfired on the Trump team massively, with a whole lot of people saying "wait, what's wrong with that, Mr. Rogers was awesome". With a smaller contingent adding "and you spelled his name wrong, jackass".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on October 16 [13 favorites]


A fly has snuck into my apartment and has been flying around the last few days. (I don't actually mind the company...damn this pandemic.)
Of course his name is now "Mike."
posted by sexyrobot at 9:38 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


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