5 Ways to Massively Screw Up a Vice-Presidential Debate

Alternatively: a drinking game for tonight.

If the 2016 Presidential debates were one really good speech interrupted by intermittent farting sounds then the 2020 Presidential debate we’ve seen so far was a man trying to articulate a single meaningful point whilst an enraged troglodyte screamed and threw faeces at him and its trainer ineffectually begged it to stop while transparently questioning his own life choices.

I mean, it was a nightmare. I didn’t even drink during that thing and I still had a hangover the next day.

But probably tonight will be better. We were all sent flowers and promised that the debates will never hit us again so surely this isn’t a massively inappropriate and foreboding metaphor. It should be though. Sen. Kamala Harris is a brilliant debater with a history of cutting directly to the issue at hand and Vice President Mike Pence … will also be there.


Yeah, so this time I actually brought alcohol. Given Harris’ record I am expecting Pence to start sobbing and I do think this is going to be less enraged-chimpanzee and more boss-lady-takes-on-lego-movie-character but my expectations are sufficiently and appropriately lowered.

So anyways, without getting super nerdy I thought I’d come up with a few ways to get drunk and alternatively how Pence is likely to deliver his foot unto his own mouth with minimal effort or aid from Harris. Enjoy.

1. Be the guy whose most scathing review of Mulan was that it’s about a woman in the military.

I appreciate that his review was based on the animated movie as opposed to whatever the hell Disney+ tried to sell us but there’s just so much wrong with this that I don’t feel like giving him even that quarter is really fair. I also realize that his deal is that strong women = scary, but putting his incredibly fragile ego and weird misogyny thing where he can’t even be in the same room as a woman without a chaperone for a minute, like … dude … it’s settled law. Women are allowed in the military. That’s it game over.

And again, I’m not bothering to get too into the weeds so it’s possible his critique came before that decision. Don’t know, don’t care; it’s largely irrelevant. But Mulan as Disney did it in either iteration — those being the real one and the one with no singing — is at least SUPPOSED to be based on the Ballad of Mulan which was written circa 400 CE.

Like dude, you mad about something that happened in China over a millennium and a half ago. The only way that makes sense is if you’re an archaeologist. THAT’S RIGHT FOLKS, I am gatekeeping on who can get mad about literature and historical events in the ancient world.

2. Be talking about family values when we all know you call your wife “mother.”

Again I need to bring up Pence’s weird thing where he refuses to be in the same room as a woman other than his wife without supervision. Part of me is curious as to how they managed to have children and the other part of me kind of wonders if Pence might secretly be a serial rapist and is just trying to throw us all off the scent.

It’s weird. And not weird in a “wow look at all these diverse cultures!” way. No, it’s bad weird.

I’m sorry, but if your sex taboo is to the point that cannot admit to having sex with your wife and have basically decided that half the population exists only to tempt you then you’re not a family values guy. You’re just a dude who needs counselling.

3. Try to stress law and order against a California’s first Black female VP while your boss AND your boss’ daughter may be going away for tax fraud.

There was a thing in one of the conservative papers that suggested that Pence could attack Harris on her history as a prosecutor and … I suppose he could try. Firstly, regardless of what the Bros will tell you Harris’ record as a prosecutor is impressive and progressive. Secondly though, Pence isn’t going to gain liberal voters; all he can do is keep his side from losing conservative voters.

Stressing “law and order” against a seasoned prosecutor when you’re aligned with a criminal is not a good look.

4. Be the guy who is essentially responsible for an HIV epidemic during a pandemic that you and your boss is essentially responsible for.

One of the biggest issues in this election is COVID-19. And I really don’t think anyone missed the irony the first time around when Pence was assigned to spearhead the taskforce on the pandemic. My personal take is that Trump just shifts responsibility for anything that he thinks is icky to Pence, so I’m not letting Trump off the hook here … ever … but *checks stats* 211k Americans dead.

And yeah, just to remind everyone, Pence was the dude who let an HIV epidemic get out of control in Indiana because he had that much of a hate-on for Planned Parenthood and just general reproductive health.

5. Massively underestimate a seasoned prosecutor who’s already made several of his appointees cry on national TV.

Maybe it’s her tiny stature or the fact that she’s purty, but men always seem to underestimate Kamala and every single time she literally makes them cry. If they did debates like duels to the first tears rather than first blood she’d just be dramatically twirling her pistols and boss lady walking off in her sneakers after the first five minutes. Getting William Barr to cry was impressive enough, but she sent Kavanaugh into an absolute meltdown. That dude is still sobbing from the beatdown she gave him.

As for Pence, he’s just not remarkable. Really the only thing remarkable about him as a whole is how he manages to get his head to look that lifelike with all the ambient hairspray in the air of any building Trump occupies. I don’t know if he’s got the sort of literal body count that Barr and Kavanaugh had so I really don’t know how she’s going to leverage him and if it will be enough to make him cry, but I do know she’s going to turn the screws.

Trump’s already chalked this up as a win for his side, but he also said after the last debate that the Democrats should pick someone else or he should get to debate Kamala, so I don’t think it’s terribly shocking to suggest he doesn’t have a solid grip on reality.

I do think it’s going to be more fun than the Presidential debate that took place two years ago last Tuesday. But I also expect Kamala will absolutely mop the floor with Pence.

And it’s a good thing she will. They are saying during the pandemic that it’s a good idea to wipe down surfaces with something antiseptic.

Doctor of Palaeopathology, rage-prone optimist, stealth berserker, opera enthusiast, and insatiable consumer of academic journals.

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