The Real Tragedy of Tonight’s VP Debate

Don’t get me wrong, Mike Pence wiped the floor with Tim Kaine tonight.  Kaine looked slimy, acted rude, and defaulted time and time again to stock, cookie-cutter, pre-packaged lines that were either overdone (Trump likes Putin), or were downright inane (Hillary made us safer because she killed Osama bin Laden).  Pence was extremely composed, impressive, presidential, and in command.  It is hard to believe any objective viewer would conclude that Pence didn’t win this debate hands down, just as it is hard to believe any objective viewer wouldn’t conclude Trump got decimated last week.  But beyond the rather pitiful attempts by Kaine to force in awkward (and not very clever) one-liners, and beyond the scarier parts of Kaine’s substance (anyone who suggests that the Iran deal has made America safer is not fit for public office), there is something else about tonight that was a tragedy of the first order.

Governor Pence did such a fine job and was so eloquent, calm, and effective, it served as a painful reminder of what the GOP has done in 2016 by nominating Donald Trump.  I strongly suspect we are about to be deprived of a Vice President Mike Pence because of who his running mate is.  We could have had a President Mike Pence, let alone a VP Pence.  We could have had a President Rubio, a President Kasich, a President Cruz, and any number of people who were qualified, respectable, respectful, and competent.  People who possess conservative DNA, and people who believe in the principles that our nation was founded on.  I almost wished Trump had picked Gingrich tonight, because if we were going to lose to the most corrupt candidate in American history (Hillary Clinton), I would rather it would be people of Trump’s and Gingrich’s character and competence who lost.  Having Pence be a part of this just bothers me, immensely.

If some October surprise enables the Trump/Pence ticket to win this election, tonight reinforced how blessed we will be to have the VP we will have.  Sadly, it also reinforced what a tragedy it is that he must run with this top of ticket.