The VP Debate Is a Meeting That Should Have Been an E-mail

Salt Lake City Prepares For Vice Presidential Debate

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Eric Reads The News is a daily humor column that spins politics, pop culture, fame, shadow and schadenfreude.


What’s in Sam’s Hill is that Arby’s window of passage that they’ve set up for the 2020 Vice President’s Debate? I have seen bullet fountains at college parties with better protection. After a week of revulsion over Pence Camp health security measures, the Commission on Presidential Debates finally convinced them to agree to this: two iPhone screen protectors.

Salt Lake City Prepares For Vice Presidential Debate

Justin sullivanGetty Images

Excuse my foul language but what the hell is this supposed to do? You all have Senator Kamala Harris behind a sneeze guard in a salad bar talking about “mission accomplished”. I don’t think so, my darlings. I really don’t. These two people, plus a debate moderator, are going to talk loudly for 90 minutes and you know that at least one of them is going to say it all with their chest. Meanwhile, Pence was sitting next to Gwyneth Paltrow at the casino in Contagion 10 days ago? What in the blue flames ?! (Pardon my French.) What will this little communion glass plate do? They have to lock him in a glass cube like General Zod. I’m not a public health expert, but it seems to be the five second rule in plexiglass form and it just doesn’t fit my mind.

Salt Lake City Prepares For Vice Presidential Debate

Justin sullivanGetty Images

It looks like a physical manifestation of wearing your mask over your mouth but not over your nose. This plexiglass has pretty much the same effect as when you walk into someone’s Zoom meeting, freeze, whisper-shout “Sorry”, then tiptoe across the room to get what you came for, realize that it wasn’t there, look for it, then tiptoe, shouting “Sorry!” again.

This barrier is like when you used to tell someone a secret in Pig Latin in college so no one else would figure it out. The screens were made in America by God Made Dirt and Dirt Don’t Hurt, Incorporated. A post-entry note on your laptop camera to prevent the FBI from entering your business has more of a protective effect.

Salt Lake City Prepares For Vice Presidential Debate

Justin sullivanGetty Images

I don’t know what it actually is. I think that’s an award you win for Regional Manager of the Year.

The panel discussion was like, “Well, Broadway might be dark, but the Hygiene Theater is alive and well! We’re not throwing away our flu shot!” This sneeze guard is basically the moment when Alexander Hamilton aims his gun into the sky and is like “the vice president and all-around stand-up Aaron Burr will totally honor the system that we’ve put in place.”

The Hot Priest confessional on Chip bag season two presented more obstacle than those little slices of glass. The holder Sliding doors in Gwyneth Paltrow’s movie Sliding doors presented more than one obstacle. The little shards of glass in Annie Lennox’s song Walking on broken glass were no longer an obstacle.

vote debate vp


Why do we even need to have this debate in person? Is there an American whose vote can only be decided if he sees Senator Kamala Harris and Mike Pence in physical proximity? I don’t need to see two candidates at a distance dueling unless they are actually dueling. If ever there was a meeting that should have been an email, this is it. Pence would send out a list of half truths and dog whistles and Harris would respond literally with everything the President said or did in the past 24 hours and a GIF of herself. Case closed.

They don’t need to be inside to do this. We have a great (?) Nation full of beautiful open spaces that the Trump administration is trying to destroy. Have the debate in Central Park like a Diana Ross concert. Have the debate through the Grand Canyon. What does Space Force do? Don’t they have the technology to send Pence to the Moon and let him scream into the void from there?

If there’s one thing we all know after months of experience communicating online, it’s that we all have the technology to do it securely and from a distance. A kindergarten can configure the PV on Zoom in five minutes flat. It’s not difficult. Why do they need to be inside, sitting at desks like they’re going to be Colin Jost and Michael Che for Halloween? We created a world where Vanessa Hudgens acted opposite itself in three different Princess switch movies; Are you telling me that you can’t send two candidates for vice-presidency to make it look like they’re together? We have technology that allowed Justin Timberlake to perform a duet with a Prince hologram! I’m not saying I liked it; I’m just saying it’s possible.

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Senator Harris is to enter this debate room dressed as Amy Adams in Arrival. The only preparation for the debate she has to do is watch Naomi Campbell’s videos of her very complicated process of disinfecting airplane seats.. And Pence should do the same! The virus has no political leanings, despite all recent appearances to the contrary. He is surrounded by people who do not take him seriously and he continues to put himself in danger for no reason. And why? Getting molecularly dismantled by Kamala Harris’ laser focus? This small minimalist glass coffee table that they installed between them is not going to protect him from Kamala Harris who questions him in a thousand pieces. No indeed. If Senator Harris wanted to debate me in person, I would respond immediately with a Zoom link. I would turn off all the lights in my house for good measure and would just pray that she left a part of my dignity to hang onto. I mean really. What’s going on here in the thunder?

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