TIM KAINE RESEMBLED A
CLASSIC TV CHARACTER
During the vice presidential debate I had the eerie feeling that Kaine was channeling the character, Steve Urkel, from the 1990s sitcom, “Family Matters” (only without the lovableness conveyed so well by actor, Jaleel White).
For all the questions Democrats have raised about Trump’s business acumen, the choice of Tim Kaine as running mate does nothing to build confidence in Hillary Clinton’s judgment. As my wife put it…
“What if Hillary is really as sick as they say and she were to die in office? We’d get that as President?”
Now, this is not to say that Kaine didn’t score some points. Indeed, Mike Pence was hard put to defend The Donald at several moments during the proceedings.
But then, it’s no great revelation that The Donald makes himself hard to defend. I caught a distinct note of wistfulness when Pence described Trump as “not a polished politician.”
Still, right from the post-debate recap, the media — even the most mainstream of the mainstream — had to acknowledge that Pence came out on top, while Kaine clinched the title “Jerk of the Evening.”
Washington Post White House Correspondent Chris Cillizza has written…
“From the very beginning, Pence was the more comfortable of the two men on the debate stage …. The Indiana governor was calm, cool and collected throughout — a stark contrast to the fast-talking (and seemingly nervous) Kaine.”
Our multi-ethnic society is still British enough at its core to disdain a fellow who doesn’t play the game in a gentlemanly way.
Not the done thing, old bean.
Donald Trump has gotten away with his antics because people hear in him the voice of their own profound exasperation at a government-corporate cabal that’s abandoned the rules completely. But even Trump’s act is beginning to wear.
As I said of his debate performance in my blog post of September 30…
“I still hope for at least a nod toward dignity in those who aspire to become our leaders. But it seems we live in a post-dignity culture … [where] depth of meaning is hinted at in shared assumptions and incomplete sentences.”
Lord knows, Donald Trump has raised incomplete sentences to the level of a high art form. But I think even he hasn’t matched Tim Kaine’s frenetic display of smug presumption.
Is Kaine such a tightly-wound personality? Did he need to have his medication adjusted?
One of the most interesting parts of the debate was when the two candidates addressed their positions on abortion. Reflecting the delicacy of this volatile issue, Kaine was courteously silent as Pence forthrightly explained his pro-life views and their relationship to his faith.
Moderator Elaine Quijano seemed to give him more than adequate time to do so, prompting my wife (she of the suspicious nature) to speculate that…
“Quijano was probably hoping Pence would hang himself with abortion.”
I think that was Kaine’s hope for Pence too.
On his own part, Kaine offered the classic I’m-personally-opposed-but… argument by which lefty Catholic pols have been dodging the abortion issue since Teddy Kennedy.
Writing for the Patheos web portal, Catholic blogger Fr. Dwight Longenecker pointed out that religion was an interesting sub-text of the debate, in that…
“it pitted a departed Catholic against a dissident Catholic.”
Both raised in the Church, Pence left to find a spiritual home in Evangelical Protestantism, while Kaine embraced the Catholic Left.
Of Kaine, Fr. Longenecker observed…
“The public church going of a man who supports abortion and same sex marriage — while having support from his pastor and silence from his bishop — is more destructive than the honest departure of someone like Pence.”
“I cannot judge Kaine, but his particular brand of self righteous, self congratulatory ‘Catholicism’ is, from all appearances, just the kind of Catholicism that probably drove Pence away.”
Fr. Longenecker may be onto something. Perhaps there was an unseen aspect of rivalry to that debate — some Catholic “family matters” being worked out. As Father put it, Kaine…
“exhibits something I’ve thought for a long time: ‘Better a good Protestant than a bad Catholic.’”
Meanwhile, in this day, when TV is so exhausted, creatively, that old series are being rebooted (i.e. “MacGyver”), Tim Kaine would make for an interesting twist on the Urkel character in that “Family Matters” reunion being talked about.
Hey! It’s a multicultural age, right?
Jaleel White, you better call your agent.