2016 Vice-Presidential Debate Live Blog: Kaine vs. Pence (VIDEOS)

Tonight we will witness history as religious zealot, Race Bannon clone, and one-term Governor of Indiana Mike Pence takes the debate stage with once-sexy dad figure, spontaneous harmonica player, and U.S. Senator from Virginia Tim Kaine. The two vice presidential candidates will duke it out to show who’s more intolerant of the citizens they represent, and who has better suggestions for their potential bosses to ignore before sending them to funerals of lesser-known foreign leaders.

Thoughtful voters appreciate the significant impact one of these men will have on our country’s future. The other will just be forgotten like last year’s The Bachelor runner-up. Imagine if, after Nixon resigned, we’d been stuck with the potato-faced sycophant Spiro Agnew as our Commander-in-Chief. And what about Dan Quayle or Alben W. Barkley? What kind of country would we have today if they had landed in the Oval Office? Then again, none of those guys did take over, yet we still have a demented parade float running a close second for the position of leader of the free world.

Elaine Quijano of CBS News, of whom I have never heard and couldn’t pronounce her name anyway, will moderate the event at Longwood University in Farmville, VA. With just five weeks until Election Day, Kaine must endeavor to prove that his dreamy eyelashes are real, while Pence will advise us about what other job he’s lined up since he can’t run for re-election as governor.

Reports say Donald Trump will be live tweeting the debate (as will I, at https://twitter.com/ilyEmbergRosen). Talk about sensory overload.

And so it begins. Kaine is 58 but looks 64; Pence is 57, but thinks like 1953. Each man is going to try to appeal to undecideds, shore up their viewpoints on key issues, and not knock over the microphone. Elaine opens the events, explaining that the coin toss puts Kaine first to answer. The two enter the room, both in sober blue suits, and sit at the table with Elaine.

Leadership: The VP has to step in if tragedy should befall the President, or if he’s convicted in absentia. Are they equipped to handle the role? Kaine replies with something about Brown v. Board of Education, because Hillary also made history, but as a white person. Kaine is proud to run with her and make people’s lives better, although Trump’s is pretty good at the moment. Kaine and his wife trust Hillary with their deployed son’s life, and the key to the lockbox under their couch.

Pence feels it’s an honor to be there, since no other way would so many people learn he exists. He believes America’s standing has been weakened over Obama’s two terms. He talks about his small-town upbringing, where his pasty white skin and Aryan blue eyes were welcomed by all the other white Christians. He’s led a state that “works,” he asserts, and would bring that experience to the Pasty White House.

Why do so many people distrust Hillary, Elaine asks Kaine. Besides the women Bill shtupped and forgot, that is. Kaine describes her career in public service, a “sharp contrast” with her opponent, who cares only for trophy wives, gold-plated things, and stamping his name on everything from steaks to lawsuits. Pence is asked why Trump is such a phenomenal jerk. He opens by accusing Hillary of being a worse loser, only one with brains, experience in government, and normal hair. Throughout this campaign, Clinton and Kaine have insulted deplorable people, while Trump has built a business and insulted regular people.

They’re talking over each other like they’re at Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house. Kaine manfully asserts that Hillary killed Osama, reduced the Russians’ chemical weapon stockpile, and had six different hairstyles in just four years. Pence claims she failed at something, possibly hiring competent tech support.  When Kaine ripostes, Pence shakes his head sadly.

Onto the economy: Neither candidate’s plan will reduce the Gross National Debt. It’s so disgusting! Pence thinks our national debt is “atrocious” under Obama, while his own state has a savings account with a passbook indicating earnings of 1.3% interest. He accuses Hillary of being part of the insidious War on Coal that I’ve never heard of before.  Pence wants to lower taxes and repeal Obamacare so the coal miners can go back to dying from lung disease when he restores their jobs.

Kaine has a plan to hire people in manufacturing, infrastructure, and clean energy. That will include affordable education and raising the minimum wage. Also some other wonderful things that sound like they can only be achieved by a unicorn waving a magic wand over the amber waves of grain.

Pence bitches that more people are living in poverty today than some other time post-Depression. Kaine refutes that statement with statistics, which Pence rejects by pointing out that he’s met some people in Scranton who are dissatisfied with their income.

Pence then denounces Hillary and Kaine for being experienced in government only, while Trump built a business from just a million-dollar loan and being pushy. Kaine wants to know how we can know Trump is actually successful, because ceiling murals and always wearing cufflinks aren’t sufficient evidence. He also is annoyed that Trump has paid no taxes that we know of. Pence yabbers on about financial disclosures and taking deductions, but forgets that we all do that and it doesn’t help much unless we’ve lost a billion dollars in a year or at least paid out of pocket to have a face transplant.

Social Security: How do we prevent the huge cuts that are now imminent for future retired people who could already only expect to receive less a year than could buy a 2008 Toyota Rav-4? Kaine praises the retirement program, and vows to save it. But he and Hillary will never privatize it. Meanwhile, he suggests Trump likes that idea, or at least did when he was writing one of his books. Pence needs the help of Dr. Quest to beat that answer. He’s irritated that anyone would not accept his insistence that he and Trump will produce lots of money from nowhere. “We’ll be in a mountain range of debt” he claims if Hillary’s plan goes into effect. Right now, we’re just in the foothills of debt.

Police: Kaine owns a gun, he notes, but does not like how they are often used to kill people. Pence glares as Kaine recounts the horror of the Virginia Tech massacre. His uncle was a cop, you know. That’s how he knows that police officers put their lives on the line every day, something which many of us were not aware of before tonight. But he agrees with Kaine that community policing is a bang-up idea. On the other hand, he dislikes how people get all worked up when cops shoot unarmed people for no reason. They shouldn’t seize on moments of tragedy unless Muslims cause them. Elaine describes how a black senator has revealed his own experience being profiled by race, and then Pence admits there is institutional bias. Apparently his boss  thinks stop and frisk is not an example of that, so we should count it as community policing. Then there’s a segue to all of Trump’s insults to groups, individuals, and inanimate objects.

Immigration: What should be done about all the undocumented immigrants who aren’t murderers, which is pretty much all of them? “Donald Trump has a plan to remove criminal aliens,” Pence says vaguely. Maybe something like what happened in Independence Day.

Pence now goes off on Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” remark. It’s worse than anything Trump has said since it efficiently covered a whole swathe of people in a single comment, instead of insulting a broad range and depth of individuals over several months like Trump does. Never mind, though–he and Trump will enforce the law to protect deplorables, fat pigs, and disabled Mexicans equally. Kaine reminds us that we’re a nation of immigrants, which has been great lately for sitcoms.

Terrorism: Kaine claims we’ve made great strides in not allowing box cutters and shampoo onto flights. He explains how Hillary will put an end to ISIL, and it’s not by shimmying. Trump, he points out, does not have a plan other than what he’s seen Gregory Peck do on TCM.

Pence rises to Trump’s defense. “America is less safe today, that’s absolutely inarguable,” he seethes, which is evident when you realize he and Trump have a chance of winning.

What about all the recent attacks by home-grown terrorists in the US, Elaine asks? Pence insists improving the vetting process for immigrants is the answer. That means no more Syrian refugees, who only ever open Extreme Pita franchises anyway. Elaine points out that she meant Americans killing Americans. Pence dismisses that petty detail. Kaine reminds him that the Constitution does not permit denying people entry to the U.S. based on religion, except Scientologists since no one likes them.

Next Elaine asks what an “intelligence surge” would look like. Is it anything like serger sewing machines? Kaine says we’d hire more intel and cyber experts, such as that kid down the hall from me who only opens the door to get his Amazon packages. We’d also share what we know with our allies, much as Simon Cowell did with the Idol franchise.

Pence reminds us yet again about Hillary’s private server, which made her Seamless orders vulnerable to foreign hackers. The resultant cross-talking must be shut down by Elaine so she can ask about drones, killing children and perpetuating viral videos that make you click on the sadface emoticon.

Pence says Russia used to be like your elderly neighbor with the walker, but now Putin has become a despot who attacks other nations just to overturn their garbage cans. Kaine thinks Hillary can stand up to Russia the same way she stood up to Huma when she insisted Anthony Weiner had stopped sexting. But Pence counters that Hillary has “woken up the Russian bear,” similar in danger to how Bill woke up every time Monica came into the Oval Office. Pence calls fora no-fly zone, or at least a no-bombing-babies zone.

Kaine says Pence refuses to acknowledge the success of the Iran deal or that Osama bin Laden is finally off dialysis for good. They argue about what Israel thinks about Iran, and what Susie said to Johnny in homeroom. Kaine tells Elaine that Pence refuses to defend Trump’s positions on several issues, particularly how to wear your hair.

“You gotta be tough on Russia,” Kaine asserts, meaning you can’t play golf with the CEO of the country’s state-run gas company. He comments that Trump was unaware that Russia had gone into Crimea. Pence chuckles at the absurdity of this assertion, apparently the only sentient being to miss that clip with Stephanopoulos. Pressed by Kaine, Pence laughs derisively at the notion of Trump doing business with Russia. True, the ties are made in China and the suits in Mexico. He ripostes by claiming Kaine is running an “insult-driven campaign,” which to be fair is all anyone can think of to do with Trump.

Pence feels Iran is on its way to getting a nuclear bomb, which would not be good since they’re so touchy over there. Also not good is ISIS in Syria and Nestle’s current formula for Quik. He feels Trump has earned the respect of Russia, despite not being sure what borscht is made from. He’s capable of bossing them around like on Celebrity Apprentice, only without the lucrative commercial breaks. Kaine counters that Pence said Putin was a stronger leader than Obama, although to be fair, we’ve never seen Obama shirtless on a horse and unembarrassed.

Onto North Korea and its nutbar intent to get nuclear weapons. Pence says we need to rebuild the military, expand defense spending, and make fun of Kim Jong-un’s hair since he knows that really gets to a guy. He then manages to slip the Clinton Foundation’s foreign donors into the argument. Kaine is bemused. He notes that the charity is highly rated, does a lot of good work, and has a really cool logo. There is no evidence that Hillary ever demanded pay-to-play, he insists. Meanwhile, Trump’s foundation is just a gravy train for him personally. He forgot about North Korea, although it may have donated to Hillary’s foundation, too. Pence suggests that every dollar–all 2,500 of them–from the Trump Foundation goes to charitable causes, including the Trump Home for Unemployed Sexy Ladies.

Elaine asks next: If North Korea threatened to bomb us, what would you do? John Quinones had this topic on his show, and everyone in the restaurant threw aside their napkins and objected loudly. Hillary knows diplomacy, Kaine asserts, and can work with China to forestall world destruction. Trump worked well with them to manufacture ties for cheap.

Onto the really tricky stuff: Balancing personal religious beliefs with public policy. Kaine keeps his faith to himself, and lets the First Amendment call the shots in every other area. It seems so simple, so obvious, so. . .Constitutional. Pence seems confused by the concept. He likes the question, though, for Christ is his boo. That makes the sanctity of life  a pretty big deal with him, so he feels his state should allow women options other than abortion, like celibacy and vagina dentata. He’s on his knees everyday, he points out, praying for guidance on how to reduce women’s reproductive rights further.

Kaine supports Roe v. Wade, which is good because it’s the law. Pence makes it clear that he and Trump do not support punishing women for having an abortion, although he supports them being abused by glassy-eyed strangers as they approach the clinic to get one. Kaine swoops in, quoting the bible as smoothly as Maks Chmerkovskiy dances a paso doble, to point out that Trump says lots of kind of unChristian things.

“Why doesn’t Donald Trump trust women to make this choice themselves?” he beseeches his shiny-skinned opponent. Alas, Trump doesn’t trust Melania to make the grocery list.

Kaine now wraps things up by listing all that Hillary has done on behalf of the people to unify the nation, although she usually left out Monica Lewinsky. Pence prattles on about a struggling economy, too much regulation, that mysterious War on Coal, and the need for change in Washington, D.C., where he served for 12 years and did nothing anyone can recall. He says Americans want a comeback for this country as amazing as Trump’s comeback from losing a billion dollars, two wives, and his natural skin tone.

The horror is finally over. Next week, another Trump-Clinton debate. Hooray for our future hanging in the balance.

Who Won The Debate?

Watch the FULL debate HERE

About E.M. Rosenberg 240 Articles
Favorite 40-volume series issued by Time-Life Music: Sounds of the Seventies. Favorite backsplash material: Subway tile. Favorite screen legend I pretend wasn’t gay: Cary Grant. Favorite issue you should not even get me started about: Venal, bloodsucking insurance industry. Favorite character from the comic strip “Nancy”: Sluggo, or maybe Rollo. Favorite Little Debbie snack: Nutty Bars. Favorite Monkee: Mike.