Not Pretty Fly for a White Guy: On Pence’s Debate Fail

by Vanessa Butterworth

October 8, 2020

Here were the best fly or die moments from last night’s VP debate.

Last night’s debate was fire.

We’re clocking Harris as the winner, the FLY as the runner up, and Pence a very distant third — completely overshadowed by his dismal attempt to lie and cheat his way out of being held accountable for the Trump administration’s complete ineptitude.

Kamala launched right into Pence.

Right out of the gate, Kamala Harris tore into the Trump administration’s irresponsible and neglectful handling of COVID-19. “The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country… They knew and they covered it up.” Damn.

Then came the discussion on climate.

With Pence setting the bar so low, it wasn’t hard for Kamala Harris to leap over it.

She showed why climate voters are overwhelmingly supporting the Biden-Harris ticket, reaffirming her commitment to hold big polluters accountable and invest in job creation through renewable energy. Contrary to the right-wing lies parroted by Pence, the Green New Deal — which Harris co-sponsored in the Senate — remains popular with voters across the country. Policies to rein in the fossil fuel industry — including strict regulations on fracking — remain popular with voters, even in swing states.

The American people are demanding climate champions in the White House, not anti-science neo-fascists.

BUT… there was one big disappointment. Both candidates centered nonsense about fracking in their discussion about climate — instead of calling out climate denial, the fires that forced most of the West Coast inside for days because of the toxic air, and ways to address our current global climate emergency. Pence should have been held accountable for his flat earther climate denial talking points and we needed Harris to commit to taking on the fossil fuel industry on day one of her administration. Both Harris and Biden need to increase their ambition and rhetoric particularly on fossil fuel supply, environmental justice, and just transition policies.

Let’s set the record straight (because the Trump administration isn’t going to do it).

  1. The climate crisis is a scientific fact.
  2. Fracking is incredibly harmful to people, where they live, and will exacerbate the climate crisis.
  3. The climate crisis is a global, life-threatening issue that will cost this country trillions if we don’t take meaningful action now.
  4. The Green New Deal would be the best thing to happen to this country for a long time. It would bring health and future prosperity to lots of people.

Now to the SUPER FLY star’s arrival.

For two minutes, a fly landed on Pence’s head.
The internet exploded.
Then, just as gracefully as it came, the fly respected the rules and left when its time was up, unlike Pence.

Here’s our moment to moment fly breakdown.

The landing.

The WTF 🤣 reactions.

The ensuing memes.

Lastly, The Himterruptions

Let’s talk about Pence’s himterruptions. I’m going to keep this short.

When Kamala said “I’M SPEAKING’, every single woman, gender nonconforming person, trans person, and person of color who was watching felt that deep down.

This happens every day, sometimes even all day for many. It felt so satisfying to see Pence being taken down a notch for it on such a grand stage. It’s also important to see the nuance between feeling what Harris was feeling and understanding what Susan Page failed to do in holding Pence to a standard.

There’s more here to unpack too.

Pence’s himterruptions are just a small example of how Trump and Trump’s entourage don’t respect anyone who doesn’t look, act, and speak like them. This attitude reflects in all their actions and policies that put profits before people, that put children in cages, and that keep a whole nation in danger from dying from COVID-19.

One thing that’s clear after the vice presidential debate: One campaign wants to address economic inequality and the climate crisis hand-in-hand and the other continually refuses to accept basic science and truth.

We need to work harder than ever to change the political tide in this county.

Vanessa Butterworth

By Vanessa Butterworth

Vanessa currently works as the Senior Digital Strategist at Greenpeace and sits on the Rising Tide North America organizing team. Outside of paid work, she organizes with frontline groups against police brutality, gentrification, and environmental racism. Over the past ten years, she's worked on campaign, mobilization, direct action, and movement strategy across the US and Canada. She's originally from Mississauga of the New Credit Territory as known as Caledon, Ontario, but now lives in Oakland, California on Ohlone Territory.

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