At Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate, Senator Kamala Harris got through a torturous hour-and-a-half of conversation with a visibly leaking, bog-eyed Mike Pence in much the same way many of us have gotten through meetings that should have been Post-Its full of boring men with a dearth of ideas but a surplus of words. Pence had so much to say while saying nothing. He required not only his allotted time but also Harris’s and moderator Susan Page’s, to answer questions about the environment with nonsense about taxes, or entreaties regarding abortion rights by blathering about ISIS. Harris dealt with his constant, pointless interruptions in a way that felt all-too-familiar—by widening her eyes and pursing her lips in the expression universally recognized among women to mean “Can you believe this fucking asshole?”
I can, Senator Harris. I’m sure Susan can as well. In the same way any woman who has ever spent longer than 30 seconds in a meeting with an assistant pastor, assistant principal, assistant manager, assistant president, or any other old white dude with a teensy bit of authority but no real power can. The fact that Mike Pence managed to talk over every woman around him while bloviating so lifelessly for such a long time that a fly assumed him to be a corpse without actually answering a single question posed to him would be fascinating had it not been, unfortunately, completely predictable. Instead, it was simply anthropological case study number 8 trillion in the archives of tedious men given a platform from which to never shut the fuck up, yet say absolutely nothing.