He lost in terms of performance–an irritating, interrupting yip dog–and he lost in terms of substance.
Here’s the deal, Pence’s job was, among other things, to lie to voters about Trump’s record:
That last quote about punishing post-abortive women was one of five positions Trump took in three days last spring as he dithered in his attempt to delude prolifers that he thinks like them when, in fact, he has no clue what they think. A couple of days after that embarrassing performance, he settled on the his historic position, which he still holds, that “the laws are set” and need to stay that way. In other words, he conceded that he thinks the same thing Hillary does about Roe: keep it. That’s why, for the first time in three decades, you heard not one peep about abortion from him during his convention speech.
Pence’s job was to obfuscate that fact, so he also lied to prolifers and himself that Trump cares about abortion. He was aided in that by his ability to tell himself that since he himself opposes abortion, therefore it stands to reason that a guy like him surely can’t be supporting a transparent sociopath who is using him to buy the vote of prolife conservative Christians. It must be because Trump actually cares about abortion that I was nominated for Veep. Yeah! That’s it! That’s the ticket!
It’s a remarkable piece of doublethink but, apparently, a sincere one. And with his bland demeanor and non-yip-dog rhetorical style, he was able to sell his audience on that, even as he then went on to reinforce the *real* core of Trump’s message: xenophobic contempt for, among other foreign devils, the desperate children of Syria who could all die in torments for all they care. It was a classic anti-abortion-but-not-prolife message and it works very well for the bulk of Americans, who don’t like abortion (but also don’t want to get rid of Roe) and also are afraid of people from the Mideast. It fits in with his overall Evangelical outlook, which is riddled with inconsistencies and has no Magisterium to challenge it.
But Kaine does claim to be a Catholic. And yet, as reader Matthew Miller pointed out: “Tim Kaine’s examples of how his faith informs his policies were both examples of how he went against Church teaching.”
Dude. You can’t simultaneously play the “I’m more Christian than you” game against an Evangelical while making clear that “Christian” means “Ignoring the obvious and immemorial teaching of Christianity whenever partisan need demands.” You tell me how the Faith moves you to defy consensus in the case of the death penalty. Bravo. But then what’s this dog’s breakfast you make of the Church’s teaching on abortion? As Robby George said yesterday in response to your grotesque capitulation:
If someone believes that an unborn baby is “not a human being” or “not a person,” he or she is gravely mistaken, but his or her advocacy of legal abortion and its public funding is at least coherent and understandable. What is not coherent or understandable is the position of people like Tim Kaine and Joe Biden who claim to believe that the unborn are human beings, that wantonly killing them is morally wrong, but that they should be excluded from the protection of the laws that protect the rest of us against unjust killing, and that public money should be used to pay for snuffing out their lives.
Senator Kaine, you want to exploit your Catholic faith for personal gain. In the course of doing so, you ignore the warning of Jesus that those to whom much is given, much will be required. Mr. Pence’s grab bag of Evangelical theology does not prepare him to grasp the postmodern chaos that is the lying mind of his running mate. Indeed, many on the prolife right have already drunk deep of the notion that it is perfectly fine to lie through their teeth “to save the babies”. So he can scarcely be blamed for the rubbish he has convinced himself of in order to defend the torrent of blather that comes from Trump’s mouth and he appears to at least sincerely think he is defending the unborn in some incoherent way.
But you? You have been given, by Holy Church, the knowledge that a human life is precious from the moment of conception and that it is our duty to defend it from harm to the best of our ability. You had an opportunity to be a consistent, counter-cultural witness to the Church’s teaching on the preciousness of all human life and you pissed it away. You looked us in the eye and defended stabbing a baby in the brain with a pair of scissors while daring to invoke a blessing on yourself and your claptrap in the name of Jesus Christ and his holy Church.
God’s Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, Senator Kaine.