THE BLOG
10/05/2016 03:35 pm ET Updated Oct 06, 2017

Mike Pence Turned Lying Into An Art Form

ASSOCIATED PRESS

As I watched the VP debate I found it a fascinating non-character study. Pence lied with such tranquility it is clearly an art form he has perfected. None of the liar's traditional sweat and shiftiness -- just a long practised artist at prevarication who stayed placid and cool as he spouted lie after lie. For a man who proclaimed his piety Pence calmly, boldly, denied that Trump had made racist and sexist remarks, and he was clearly eager to have the power to deny women their right to freely choose, and LGBT people their right to freely live - all covered with an artificial whipped cream topping. He made it very clear that a Trump administration - bite my tongue - would undo all the progress made by minorities in the past fifty years. He was not even a man of the 20th century - I would place him comfortably somewhere in the 17th on most issues, the 19th on others. I am sure that his calm demeanor was reassuring to some conservatives - many of whom are troubled by voting for a madman - but for me he was just as scary as the top of the ticket. Pence revealed himself as a man of limited imagination who has never once put himself in the place of another less fortunate than himself - one who confuses his prejudices with his prayers.

Kane, whose nature is affable and a bit giddy, had a difficult time trying to break through Pence's varnished veneer - and missed some important points. It is hard to debate so much self-righteousness as found in Pence. Kane failed to contradict Pence sufficiently when Pence kept misrepresenting facts - such as the alleged criminality of the undocumented - according to police records they commit many fewer crimes than the citizens among us. Pence's remarks about the Syrian refugees could have been taken from the playbook of conservatives in 1940 who denied fleeing Jews a safe haven in our country, leading to their deaths in Europe.

Kane did keep hammering away at the numerous bigoted remarks that Trump has made - and Trump's fascination with Putin and fascism, as well as Trump's outrageous sexism, while Pence either denied what Trump had said - heard by all of America - or simply refused to answer for Trump's bigotry. It was clear to me that Pence had enough bigotry of his own to deal with without defending Trump's. Altogether an unsettling, unsatisfactory debate. Lunacy - spoken in a calm voice by Pence is still lunacy. If Pence represents that sane face of conservatism in our congress, we all need a little help from the gods to make sure he has no more power to interfere with and destroy the lives of others than he already has.