Lord of the Fly

It says something about last night’s debate that today there is more discussion of the fly on Mike Pence’s head than about whatever it was they discussed.

Jeff Darcy, Cleveland.com

I confess I wasn’t totally knocked out by Harris’s performance, but she won (IMO) mostly because Pence — who lied his ass off — assumed he was entitled to talk over the women, Harris and moderator Susan Page. And because hardly anything about the debate was memorable except for the fly.

Right-wing media today are hooting that Pence “destroyed” Harris. Everybody else says Harris did what she needed to do. It was a debate that won’t move any needles; if you support Trump you still support Trump; if you support Biden you still support Biden. But since Trump is way behind right now, Pence’s efforts on his behalf were a waste of time.

And I don’t believe Republican men grasp how bad it makes them look when they disrespect women by talking over them. Maybe someday they’ll figure it out.

The big news this morning is that the mostly worthless debate commission declared the next debate will be virtual, and Trump promptly declared he wouldn’t do it.

“It’s not acceptable,” Trump said on Fox Business in his first interview since he announced one week ago on Twitter that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“I’m not gonna waste my time in a virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about — you sit behind the computer and do a debate, ridiculous. And then they cut you off whenever they want,” Trump said.

Trump assumes a “debate” is something like a WWF cage match and all about physical dominance. If he can’t be allowed to talk nonstop for 90 minutes,  he’s not interested.

Biden, of course, accepted immediately and suggested Trump would change his mind.

“We don’t know what the president is going to do. He changes his mind every second, so for me to comment on that now would be irresponsible,” Biden said. “I’m going to follow the commission’s recommendations. If he goes off and he has a rally, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

Yes, children, the Disgusting Orange Blob wants to resume in-person rallies because, according to him, he’s not contagious any more. And yesterday his Twitter account was full of ALL CAPS SCREAMING like this:

And did I mention that Trump’s declared his covid infection a gift from God? They’d better yank him off that steroid before he climbs on the White House roof and tries to fly.

And for that matter, Mike Pence shouldn’t have been in Utah last night. He should be in Washington, quarantined. Nancy Pelosi is talking 25th Amendment. About time.

I should mention a lot of people noted that Pence lacked energy last night. I couldn’t tell; Pence never struck me as Mr. Dynamo. He seemed fairly standard Pence to me. There was also talk that one of his eyes appeared red, which I couldn’t see on the screen I was watching. Note that conjunctivitis sometimes turns up in covid patients. Pence really ought to be quarantined.

David Frum:

We saw a vice president with a pale face, his mouth cankered by a cold sore, his eyes pink. He looked unwell, which evoked the pandemic that has gripped America—a pandemic through which the Trump White House has modeled the most irresponsible and unsafe behavior. That irresponsible and unsafe behavior has sickened the president and the first lady, forced the Joint Chiefs of Staff into quarantine, and spread infection though the West Wing. This White House is notorious for non-transparency and untruthfulness. The president evaded a COVID-19 test before the September 29 debate in Cleveland—a date by which he very probably knew he was infected and infectious. Everybody watching tonight’s debate had to wonder: What’s going on with the vice president? At one point, Pence was at least the titular head of the White House COVID-19 response. He defied safety protocols too. He notably refused to wear a mask on a visit to the Mayo Clinic in April, despite the hospital’s clear rule that he must.

We saw a vice president who had internalized the Trump White House’s culture of disrespect, and especially disrespect to women. He talked over Kamala Harris and the moderator, Susan Page; he ignored the rules of the debate to which he agreed. At the core of the Trump political project is the reassertion of dominance over the historically dominated by the historically dominant. That reassertion of dominance was Pence’s supreme project at this debate too. Pence did not imitate his boss’s manic and undisciplined—and ultimately catastrophically unsuccessful—style of dominance. Instead, he brought to this debate the more measured and controlled disdain of a man who had considered the matter carefully—and decided that the woman in front of him had no right to control him and that the woman to his right did not deserve to be onstage with him. With the sound on, you heard Page trying and failing to summon Pence to order with a repeated, “Mr. Vice President, Mr. Vice President.” With the sound off, you saw Harris—a vice-presidential nominee, a U.S. senator, a former attorney general of the largest state in the nation—obliged to smile and smile in an effort to assert herself without seeming … well, you know, without seeming something that might offend somebody. Pence never worried about offending anybody. And he did not feel the need to smile when asserting himself.

Pretty much sums it up. See also James Fallows, Where Harris Succeeded and Pence Failed.

And now the debate has moved off the headlines, because six right-wing yahoos have been arrested for plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The court filing also alleges the conspirators twice conducted surveillance at Whitmer’s vacation home and discussed kidnapping her to a remote location in Wisconsin to stand “trial” for treason prior to the Nov. 3 election.

“Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor,” an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. “The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message.”

Here’s the court filing, if you’re interested.

7 thoughts on “Lord of the Fly

  1. "Get thee behind me woman.  Women should walk a respectful three steps behind their husband who is the master of their home!  Most of all women should not speak unless their husband tells them to."/s

    7 arrested in Michigan – 6 on federal charges & 7 on state charges.  Michigan AG is on tv right now – this group was also plotting to kill police & blow up the Michigan Legislative building.  Nice guys!  As per usual, MSNBC is trying to get someone to tell them that this group of people had some linkage to the left – I suspect the rest of the corporately owned media is doing the same – because it is too hard to Google 'Wolverine Watchmen Militia' and read that they are part of the reich-wing.

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  2. Oh my, where do I start.  I guess the fly.  I didn't notice during the debate.  However, it is reported it stayed on Pence's head for over 2 min.  Let's keep in mind why a fly would do that.  First of all they are attracted to garbage, poop and dead things in order to eat or lay eggs or both.  I have watched flies a lot as they irritate me.  When they land on something, they don't just stay still, they either walk around or fly off.  To stay for 2 min they are up to something.  I hope Pence shampoos his hair often.

    As for Trump attempting to fly off the top of the White House I say let him and I hope someone takes a video.  I also agree with quarantining Pence…….PERMANENTLY.

  3. Flies sure know pieces of shit when they see them, don't they?

    I read earlier that a few of these Reich-Wing Wolverine Marching Morons Militia members who were arrested today were also the same happy campers we saw bringing their compensatory long-guns and threatening legislators at their State House back in May.  

    Well, at least after their trials these bigoted a-holes will have plenty of other White Supremacists to play with for a long, long time in State and/or Federal pens!

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    • Flies sure know pieces of shit when they see them, don't they?

      Pence's fly brought to mind Ecclesiastes 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

      And what doth it say about the wear it on his sleeve, pious "Christian" Pence, that he would so shamelessly lie in defense of the man he supports, a "leader" so lacking in morals and any semblance of Christian belief ("I've never had reason to repent for anything") as to be damn near in human?

      Just ask the fly!

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  4. A man walked into a restaurant with a fly on his head. 

    The restaurant owner said "Keep that crap out of here, I run a clean establishment."

    The fly said "I tried to, but he is stuck to my feet."

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