Thoughts following last night’s vice-presidential debate: We can’t say we haven’t been warned.

By Dave Andrusko

It’s my longstanding habit to occasionally turn the volume down whenever I watch a debate so I can scrutinize facial expressions and body language.  I say that to make clear I didn’t do this  last night for the first time: I always do. Only this time, as just about everybody without a dog in the fight acknowledged, pro-abortion Sen. Kamala Harris’s gestures and snickers and eye-rolling were exceptionally off-putting.

Kyle Smith of National Review Online put it this way:

Harris’s demeanor — smirking and smiling broadly when she had no riposte to Pence’s calmly articulated but hard-hitting points — could not have helped her. Harris had lots of camera time during the Democratic primary season and was such a disaster that she was at 3 percent in the polls when she dropped out

But her demeanor was nowhere near as unpalatable as her answers (or non-answers) in her debate with pro-life Vice President Mike Pence held in Salt Lake City. Here are just some thoughts coming out of the 90-minute debate.

*When asked if he supports packing the Supreme Court, at least pro-abortion former Vice President Joe Biden flatly stated, “I’m not going to answer the question” in the first debate with pro-life President Donald Trump. His party does, the leadership of his party does as does most of the sympathetic commentariat. 

Vice President Pence asked Sen. Harris the same question. After the first non-answer

“Your party is actually openly advocating adding seats to the Supreme Court, which has had nine seats for 150 years, if you don’t get your way,” Pence said. “Now you’ve refused to answer the question. Joe Biden has refused to answer the question, so I think the American people would really like to know. If Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States, are you and Joe Biden going to pack the Supreme Court to get your way?”

Harris simply continued to evade answering the question seven ways from Sunday. As moderator Susan Page of USA Today was about to transition to a new question, Biden said

“I just want the record to reflect she never answered the question. Maybe in the next debate Joe Biden will answer the question.”

This is a hugely important issue.  The Biden/Harris team clearly is persuaded they can run out the clock without addressing changing the number of justices on the Supreme Court which has not been added to since the mid-19th century.

*While neither candidate got into specifics, each unequivocally reaffirmed their respective positions on abortion. Mr. Pence said

I couldn’t be more proud to serve as vice president to a president who stands without apology for the sanctity of human life. I’m pro-life. I don’t apologize for it, and this is another one of those cases where there’s such a dramatic contrast. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support taxpayer funding of abortion all the way up to the moment of birth. Late term abortion. 

(In a separate post, I’ll talk about “fact checkers” running interference for Harris—and Biden—on the issue of late term abortions.)

As Isaac Schorr wrote [www.nationalreview.com/corner/mike-pence-aces-the-audition], “Without apology, he defended the pro-life position.” 

Harris responded (as part of an answer to the question of the nomination of Judge Barrett)

There’s the issue of choice and I will always fight for a woman’s right to make a decision about her own body.

It should be her decision and not that Donald Trump, and the Vice President, Michael Pence.

One other important component which did not come up last night but what illustrates what National Right to Life has been saying from the beginning. Sen. Harris is a pro-abortion militant who is quite willing to use the power of the state to attempt to squash pro-lifers.

That truth was illustrated in an October 7 op-ed by Thomas Glessner, the president and founder of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates [NIFLA] under the telling headline, “Kamala Harris tried to force my pro-life group to promote abortion.”

Readers of NRL News Today will recall the narrow but hugely important free speech victory two years ago in NIFLA v. Becerra. NIFLA was the appellant.

In a nutshell, as Mr. Glessner explained in his New York Post op-ed,

As California’s attorney general, she championed Assembly Bill 775, the Reproductive FACT Act, which would have forced life-affirming pregnancy centers to provide information about obtaining abortions, over against their conscience rights.

Notice the next sentence:

In a 2015 statement, Harris described herself a “co-sponsor” of the legislation. This is unusual for a state law-enforcement official, since, typically, only legislators sponsor bills. In the event, Harris lobbied for and supported the legislation, and she later praised then-Gov. Jerry Brown for signing it into law.

Should we surprised, then, that Sen. Harris co-sponsored the so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act,” known to pro-lifers as the “Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act”? Of course not.

If Harris/Biden have their way, no state law limiting abortion in any manner will survive; abortion up until birth will be “protected” by federal legislation; the American people will once again pay for elective abortions ; and the Supreme Court will be packed with additional justices in the mold of Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer.

We can’t say we haven’t been warned.