HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

 
The Reagan Pence ticket

by digby














I wrote about the debate for Salon of course:

Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate was a reminder of what this election would have been like had we been in the time when only white, male career politicians ran for president. You know, the good old days when America was great — before we decided to nominate “demographically symbolic” candidates and celebrity con artists. Surprisingly, it was fairly interesting.

I must confess that I had not been a close follower of Sen. Tim Kaine’s career. He’s a Virginia politician, so he’s always had the eye of the political press. But for some reason I’ve never taken the sort of interest in him as have others who write about politics. It’s no secret that I had hoped Clinton would take a big risk and name the lefty firebrand Elizabeth Warren as her running mate, but Kaine seems like a smart, congenial fellow and I’ve been impressed with his performance on the campaign trail. I was also pleased to see that he’s been more progressive than is generally acknowledged. My assumption going into last night’s debate was that he would be knowledgeable and competent, and pin down Pence on his running mate’s many flaws.

By contrast, I closely followed Mike Pence’s career for years and he’s got plenty of flaws of his own. Indeed, for as much as he seems like a milquetoast next to Trump, he’s just as “out there” in his own way. The fact that GOP leaders like Paul Ryan think of him as a mainstream figure says everything about how the Republican Party ended up with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket.

As a leader of the Republican Party’s religious and a congressman who was anything but camera shy, Pence was seen as a comer since he first went to Washington in 2000. He was one of those ultra-conservative politicians who came out of the right-wing talk radio world and had a fluency in conservative patois that made him very effective in the era of Fox News. His patented furrowed brow gives him a permanently pained expression that makes it seems as if he takes his hardcore far-right philosophy more in sorrow than in anger. He’s basically Ted Cruz without the intellect.

Both Kaine and Pence are pro-life Catholics, but Kaine believes in a woman’s right to choose, while Pence is so extreme that as Governor of Indiana he signed the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country which banned abortion even in the case of severe disability and required that fetal tissue be buried or cremated. (A federal judge blocked the law from taking effect in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.) He crusaded to shut down Planned Parenthood and succeeded in closing dozens of clinics in Indiana.

His stand on LGBT rights was so extreme that he actually went too far, which is really saying something since Indiana is one of the most conservative states in the union. It’s home to the 20th century revival of the Ku Klux Klan (which may explain his reluctance to say whether he believes former Imperial Wizard David Duke is aptly described as “deplorable.”) He’s always been extremely hostile to gay rights, going back to his first run for Congress when he advocated for “gay conversion therapy” in lieu of funding for HIV/AIDS, which he characterized as being spent by organizations that “celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.”

More recently, he supported a bill allowing discrimination against the LGBT community on the basis of “religious liberty,” one of Pence’s personal hobby horses and the main social conservative legal strategy of the moment. Under tremendous pressure from people all over the country and his own constituents, he retreated.

From his denial of climate change to his belief in creationism, Pence is the most hard-right radical to ever appear on a national ticket. Just this week a federal court had to block his atrocious bill barring Syrian refugees from his state because his reasoning that Syrians scare him is discriminatory. If he were still in Congress, he’d be running the obstructionist Freedom Caucus with the likes of Ohio’s Jim Jordan and Iowa’s Steve King.

Mike Pence is the living embodiment of the modern conservative movement in all its glory, and last night he took the opportunity to place himself at the head of the pack for the 2020 presidential race. And he did it at the expense of the man at the top of the ticket. He might as well have been running with the ghost of Ronald Reagan for as often as he quoted him. He certainly didn’t waste any of his time quoting Donald Trump.

On the other side, Tim Kaine threw himself into the clearly uncomfortable role of attack dog for the benefit of Hillary Clinton by interrupting and bringing up Trump’s odious comments and positions over and over again particularly on the issues of Trump’s insults. And he hit him repeatedly on Vladimir Putin, Trump’s deportation plan and the missing tax returns. But for inexplicable reasons, Pence repeatedly denied that Trump had said what he clearly has said and he even denied what he himself had clearly said. Even weirder, Pence also claimed that Clinton and Kaine are running an “insult-driven campaign” which would make all but the most die-hard supporters laugh out loud.

Hillary Clinton herself may have had the best response to that during the debate:


Fact-checkers are still toiling to sort it all out. But you can’t really blame Pence. Trump is indefensible and parroting “I know you are but what am I” may be the only thing you can do in that situation.

The early reviews had Pence winning the debate on style with Kaine getting in the hits he needed to provide fodder for his own campaign over the next few days.

He was, of course, actually baiting Trump not Pence and according to the New York Times’ John Harwood, Trump was not amused that Pence advanced his own agenda and didn’t defend Trump:


And this may be the bigger problem:


Can he find the discipline to keep his ego in check over the next few days? I wouldn’t bet money on it.

He's not going to like this: