I actually sat through the entire VP "debate" last night. I didn't watch or listen to it all, but it was on the TeeVee and I was in the same room concentrating on other things, particularly concrete things that can be done to reduce police violence and killing (seems there are all kinds of ready-made fix-its available, they just need to be implemented more broadly. This ain't rocket science. What needs to be done is well-thought out and well understood. The resistance is strong but can be overcome... topic for another post.)
As for Kaine and Pence. Jeebus.
Look, I get that the program of both campaigns is to appeal to a "conservative" -- ie: traditional Republican -- base, and that both these men have some cred in doing so, Pence from the religious and self-righteous right, Kaine from a similar (though, ick, Catlick) religious and proudly righteous "left." It's not a real left, let's face it, but we don't have one of those in politics.
What I noticed more than anything was the similarities of these two, practically Tweedle-y they were. It wasn't surprising, but it was edifying. They are performing similar roles for their candidates -- make them palatable to a market segment they otherwise might lose. Ie: randical chritianists, moderate Republicans, dubious neoC,ons, yadda yadda.
They both strongly favor neoLibCon policies, which can be endearing to the Establishment but truly to no one else. Kaine is stronger on the Liberal Identity Politics front, but Pence is no slouch with the Rightist Identity triggers. They both know this game inside out, but they are like sideline coaches rather than players themselves.
I've read a lot of trash talk about Pence and how horrifying his reign as governor of Indiana was, but what I remember him for is radical christianism in Congress. Kaine strikes me as a less polarizing figure both as governor of Virginia and in the Senate. In other words, he plays better with others and can "get things done." Pence on the other hand has a record of hurting people in a kind of religious ecstasy -- the very thing I think we shouldn't want so close to the Big Chair -- or really in public office at all, though that can't be prevented under our system. I'm thinking of Cheney as an equivalent on a secular plane. But maybe GHWBush is the closer equivalent, he being the CIA head and said to be quite the eminence grise behind the throne during the Reagan regime. In other words, especially as his mind deteriorated, Reagan wasn't really in charge, Bush the Old, apparently with help from Nancy, was.
Be that as it may, the upshot of the yap-fest last night, at least for me, is that you're gonna get the same neoLibCon shit from either of the candidates, one with a slightly less cutting edge, and you better like it because there is no alternative. Suck-ers!
Kaine's yippy-dog act was to demonstrate that he is quite able to go on the offense; he's not a passive wall-flower, oh no.
And that's all I'll have to say about that.