Vice President Mike Pence lives in an America most of us have never known. It’s a fringe conservative’s dreamscape, where impulsive, half-baked decision making is met with fawning and flattery. Far from the world I grew up in, Pence’s insulated bible-scape is populated by stadiums of devoted followers, courts stacked with judicial enablers, and staff who indulge every foolish instinct.
But on Wednesday evening, Pence will step onto a debate stage in Utah where Kamala Harris will force him to defend a record notorious for its shamelessness in prying dignity, justice, and decency from millions — not just those he’s misled on the deadly pandemic, but those he’s vilified to deny them basic humanity. As a former aide to Harris, I know what awaits Pence on that stage — a 90-minute crash course in accountability, led by a prepped-and-ready prosecutor who will meticulously dismantle Pence’s record. Harris will speak truth to power — and what will remain is a damning rebuke of the Trump-Pence record and a clear contrast between Pence’s vision for the past and Harris’s vision for the future.
Harris will no doubt make the administration’s fatally lackluster pandemic response a cornerstone of her argument but she’ll also use the 90-minute debate to speak directly to those who have been marginalized by Donald Trump and Mike Pence — including Latinos, immigrant families, and the LGBTQ community.