I thought Kamala Harris did very well last night and that the debate was a welcome return to almost normal politics (to the extent politics can ever be said to be “normal”).
In particular, she showed more signs of life than Joe Biden did, and she showed some appropriate emotions towards her opponent.
It’s a tough call how to respond to lies and bullying. One school of thought preaches the strength of completely ignoring it — turning the other cheek, letting it roll of your back. An opposing school preaches the strength of fighting back, of standing up to threat.
People from these respective schools react negatively to the opposing mode, so if your goal is political, how people will react to how you react may be an important consideration. Joe Biden obviously tried to ignore his opponent, and it was a bad choice (I thought, but I’m in the fighting back school).
I thought he looked weak, but I’ve heard comments from those who either respected him for not wrestling in the mud with the pig or who reacted negatively to his opponent for being such a violent bully.
While in my warrior’s heart I would have liked to see Biden stride across the stage and slug that creature, violence (I’m repeatedly told) doesn’t solve anything. (Tell that to the American Revolution.) But okay, fair enough, we don’t hit people even when they’re clearly begging for it.
In truth a far better weapon is humor. Don’t hit, mock! For one, because that’s Dumb Donnie’s Achilles’ heel. Somewhere deep down inside he knows most intelligent people see him as ignorant, stupid, and incompetent. Mocking him for it gets under his skin in a big way. Biden should have done more head-shaking, rolling his eyes, and making faces.
Because I think there comes a time when evil just can’t be ignored. It must be fought. [Speaking of evil, see final comment.]
One thing that struck me was the question about a peaceful transfer of power. Harris gave a good answer, but I think she missed a bet in not pointing out how extraordinary it was to even have to ask the question. It’s a real sign of our times.
I also think she missed a bet on the final question from the 8th grader. Why not admit the question hits the heart of the problem? She did point out Biden is more inclusive in working across the aisle, but I felt there could have been stronger more pointed answer there to close on.
I read an article a while back about a study that compared people who tend to fight back with those who tend turn the other cheek. It was mainly focused on internet social media and the general perception that men are “defensive” when challenged and fight back whereas supposedly women don’t.
The study found the men were generally happier, that standing up for oneself promoted a better mental health self image. As a guy, as someone who definitely has a warrior’s heart, that makes perfect sense to me. Of course it does.
On the other hand, the murder in one of the Agatha Christie books I read recently was viewed by everyone around her as kind of an idiot, and she took secret pleasure in knowing she was much smarter than they realized. So there certainly are alternate paths if one can manage them. In many ways, turning the other cheek really is the stronger position — it takes genuine strength of character (strength I confess is sometimes beyond me).
Bottom line, I liked how Kamala Harris responded to Pence.
Of course, the real debate buzz was about the fly:
The moment I saw it I knew it would be one of the big hits. A fly hanging out on the Q-tip. Priceless!
The thing I kept thinking about was how many times flies have been associated with big E Evil and Satan’s Minions. “Lord of the Flies” is the name of a book everyone had to read in school, but it’s also another name for Beelzebub.
So you really couldn’t have a more clear symbolism there.
Ironically, that wasn’t the evil I referred to above. I’ll get to that below.
Before that, one very good thing: Keith Olbermann is back doing political commentary! I’ve been a fan since he did Countdown on MSNBC. His leaving was, in fact, rather the beginning of the end for me and MSNBC. (I went through a brief Nicole Wallace crush phase, but I got over it. Mostly.)
But, damn, Keith is back!
It isn’t just that I get a kick out of his approach. I really like the guy for being an awesome baseball historian, major fan of the game, and a serious dog-lover, to boot. An alright guy in my book.
And now he’s left ESPN so he can participate in the 2020 election. Yay!!
He is, I have to say, in full throat here. There is some part of me that does find it as rabid as some right-wing stuff, and I don’t like rabid, but under the heading of standing up, there comes a time when maybe some anger and disgust is called for.
Honestly, it was something I was hoping to see a little bit of at both debates.
The evil I spoke of is this [lots of expletives deleted] Dell XPS 15 laptop and Dell accessories. While writing the paragraph above the paragraph with the “[Speaking of evil…]” note, my Dell wireless mouse decided Bluetooth channel #1 just wasn’t working for it and so the mouse just quit.
Trying to diagnose the problem just made things worse. I lost full control of the keyboard (wireless or on the laptop itself), and even the touch pad wasn’t giving me full control (it was like a SHIFT key was on, but none was).
I finally had to power the laptop off to regain any control at all. But I couldn’t get the mouse to work. Bluetooth just wouldn’t recognize it. I finally happened to try Bluetooth channel #3 (the keyboard is using #2), and suddenly Bluetooth said, Oh, yeah, I see a mouse now.
I have come to hate this [lots of expletives deleted] Dell laptop. Its network issues have become the bane of my computing life, and it’s never been reliable regarding Bluetooth. The XPS 15 is supposedly a good line, but you sure couldn’t prove it by me. This thing sucks all the balls.
Every day I think I should just order an HP (I want to buy American if I can). Then I could take this POS to the firing range and shoot holes in it. That would be so satisfying.
Ugh. I’m in a truly horrible mood. Hurt my knee so I can’t do my morning walks, which is really bumming me out, and on top of everything else in the world, it’s starting to feel like a bit too much. I have to keep remembering the phrase Olbermann got from a beloved teacher:
Go forth and spread beauty and light.