Of course you didn't — nobody watches the vice-presidential debate!

Mike Pence during vice-presidential debate
Mike Pence during the vice-presidential debate, wearing his "I'm so constipated" face

| On Monday, the two vice-presidential candidates faced off in the first and only vice-presidential debate of this election season. Thank goodness for that "only."

When I said that nobody watches a vice-presidential debate I misspoke. It seems that the audience comprised some 37 million (USA Today, Oct 5, 2016). Gracious! I had no idea there were so many masochists!

Pundits quickly rendered their verdict that Pence won because he looked better, more "presidential," than Tim Kaine. These people obviously didn't listen to a word that Pence said, for he met every charge with a scoffing dismissal or flat-out denial both about things Donald Trump has said and that he, himself, has said. Pence created an alternate reality in which his running mate is not a raving lunatic but a normal Republican. He is going to be so surprised when he finally meets Donald Trump!

My own reaction is that Pence looked more like someone who is badly constipated and had a bad smell under his nose. See the pictures above and below. That is a pained expression.

Pence during the debate wearing his "I'm really constipated and I can't move my bowels" look, or, alternately, experiencing a very bad odor

But Pence and The Donald do share some disturbing characteristics: taking extreme positions, lying and dissembling, and believing in an alternate reality. Pence, for all his attempts to look like a reasonable man and thereby make Trump look normal, is anything but a reasonable man:

Consider: Pence is a man who opposed the 2008 bailout (and, for those who might be coming into political consciousness now, let’s make this clear: The world financial economy really was on the verge of collapse in 2008); who claimed that — in his words, even though 1 in 3 people die from smoking — no one dies from smoking; that the movie “Mulan” was liberal propaganda. Pence signed a law that required funerals for fetuses, once claimed a law that would allow businesses to refuse service to gay people wasn’t about discrimination (it led to discrimination within a week of its signing), and once said that money shouldn’t be given to AIDS groups that “celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus” — as if people were perhaps attempting to fight against HIV by spreading it, as if this were the reason PEPFAR was created.

The debate was nobody's finest hour, although the RNC did declare Pence the winner more than an hour before the debate even began. Their glowing review asserted

Americans from all across the country tuned in to watch the one and only Vice Presidential debate. During the debate we helped fact check and monitor the conversation in real time @GOP,” read a statement on the RNC website. “The consensus was clear after the dust settled, Mike Pence was the clear winner of the debate.

The late-night comics did a splended job eviscerating both candidates.

Seth Meyers, Late Show
Mike Pence Pretends Donald Trump Isn't His Running Mate: A Closer Look (12min)

Trevor Noah, The Daily Show
Vice Presidential Debate Wrap-Up (12 min)

The editorial cartoonists have also had a field day.

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Last updated on Apr 13, 2018

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