The Danger of President Pence

Oct 17, 2017

By Jane Mayer

On September 14th, the right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, who last year published a book titled “In Trump We Trust,” expressed what a growing number of Americans, including conservatives, have been feeling since the 2016 election. The previous day, President Trump had dined with Democratic leaders at the White House, and had impetuously agreed to a major policy reversal, granting provisional residency to undocumented immigrants who came to America as children. Republican legislators were blindsided. Within hours, Trump disavowed the deal, then reaffirmed it. Coulter tweeted, “At this point, who doesn’t want Trump impeached?” She soon added, “If we’re not getting a wall, I’d prefer President Pence.”

Trump’s swerve did the unthinkable—uniting Coulter and liberal commentators. After Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, Gail Collins, the Times columnist, praised Vice-President Mike Pence as someone who at least “seems less likely to get the planet blown up.” This summer, an opinion column by Dana Milbank, of the Washington Post, appeared under the headline “ ‘president pence’ is sounding better and better.”

Pence, who has dutifully stood by the President, mustering a devotional gaze rarely seen since the days of Nancy Reagan, serves as a daily reminder that the Constitution offers an alternative to Trump. The worse the President looks, the more desirable his understudy seems. The more Trump is mired in scandal, the more likely Pence’s elevation to the Oval Office becomes, unless he ends up legally entangled as well.

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13 comments on “The Danger of President Pence

  • @OP link – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island,
    who has accused the Kochs of buying undue influence,
    particularly on environmental policy—
    Koch Industries has a long history of pollution—
    is less enthusiastic about their alliance with Pence.
    “If Pence were to become President for any reason, the government would be run by the Koch brothers—period.
    He’s been their tool for years,” he said.
    Bannon is equally alarmed at the prospect of a Pence Presidency.
    He told me, “I’m concerned he’d be a President that the Kochs would own.”

    Trump chose pence as a running Mate!
    Surely that identifies him as an extremely dubious candidate for the job!

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  • Laurie,

    It’s funny; I went on the site and saw this thread for the first time and seconds before I had just finished reading this same article, which someone just sent me. And I had the same exact feeling that you expressed above. You couldn’t have said it better.

    Pence is clearly a corrupt man, and is loved and controlled by the ministerial Koch brothers, who are, as you know, as nefarious as they come.

    Pence: another Vermin. Looks like a eunuch. Calls his wife “mother”.

    Nothing’s getting better; and everyone has all their hopes pinned on the mid-terms. It’s like everything depends on that.

    [Comment relating to different thread removed by moderator]

    The Christian Right is sick and twisted.

    Look at these comments. Many just like them. The one on top was in the comments section underneath a YouTube video about Fox News reactionary (and Jew) Charles Krauthammer (who is ailing). What was odd was that the narrating voice in the video was computer generated. Bizarre! You’ve been watching Maddow, right? The Russians pulled off the biggest election hack in US history, and infiltrated the US social media outlets using trolls and fraudsters on a large scale; and I am sure they are still at it. Scary time. Very dark.

    “Please visit Charles personally dear Jesus, like you alone can do, we pray! We believe in your miracle touch dear Lord. Thank you with our whole hearts dear Lord. Amen!”

    Here’s a couple more that were underneath a Fox News video with Sean Hannity “reporting” about the Left, I suppose. I couldn’t watch.

    “We already know whats in your pants Kimmel- a Pussy.”

    “UGHHH! Hitlery just can’t shut her pie hole! STFU ALREADY! Such an agitator!”

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  • Dan

    We are in transition from Verizon to Comcast and it’s not going well. Haven’t seen Maddow for a couple weeks. I feel disconnected.

    Stunning paragraph from this New Yorker article above:

    Even as Pence argued for less government interference in business, he pushed for policies that intruded on people’s private lives. In the early nineties, he joined the board of the Indiana Family Institute, a far-right group that supported the criminalization of abortion and campaigned against equal rights for homosexuals. And, while Pence ran the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, it published an essay arguing that unmarried women should be denied access to birth control. “What these people are really after is contraceptives,” Vi Simpson, the former Democratic minority leader of the Indiana State Senate, told me. In 2012, after serving twenty-eight years in the legislature, she ran for lieutenant governor on a ticket with the gubernatorial candidate John R. Gregg, who lost the election to Pence. Simpson believes that Pence wants to reverse women’s economic and political advances. “He’s on a mission,” she said.

    -Criminalize abortion

    -Against equal rights for homosexuals

    -Unmarried women should be denied contraception

    -Reverse women’s economic and political advances.

    Like I said above. This guy is twisted.

    Dan, this article is very important.

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  • Dan

    Same here. But it’s really valuable to read through this long article and get the full impact of what Pence is really all about. I know we get it in dribs and drabs and that’s bad enough but by the end of this article I was stunned by how completely vile he really is.

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  • Here is a warning from Goldwater from the 60s about elected officials like Pence.
    “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
    “Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it first leads first to conformity and then to despotism.”

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  • @OP – The more Trump is mired in scandal,
    the more likely Pence’s elevation to the Oval Office becomes,
    unless he ends up legally entangled as well.

    It is ironical and a monument to the gullibility of impoverished and resentful Trump supporters, that a key element of Trump’s election pose, was to get away from the political establishment of self serving, corporate funded, corporate stooges, representing ONLY corporate America!

    They didn’t seem to notice, that that was EXACTLY what they were electing as vice president!

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  • Alan4discussion #8

    Oct 18, 2017 at 8:45 am

    …that was EXACTLY what they were electing…

    That is very true. Very true. The hypocrisy and mendacity on the part of Trump and Pence et al. and the gullibility and resentfulness of the supporters is radiant.

    And James’s Goldwater quote is powerful. Frightening is was it is.

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  • @OP – The previous day, President Trump had dined with Democratic leaders at the White House,
    and had impetuously agreed to a major policy reversal,
    granting provisional residency to undocumented immigrants
    who came to America as children.

    Trump is utterly clueless and just keeps parroting bigoted anti-immigrant / anti foreigner, nonsense!

    Five friends from Argentina were among those killed in a truck attack in New York on Tuesday.

    The deaths of the five Argentines were confirmed by the country’s foreign ministry. They were part of a group of 10 friends in New York to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their graduation from a polytechnic college in the central city of Rosario, Argentine media said.

    One of the men who died, steel firm owner Ariel Erlij, helped pay for the friends’ trip, La Nación newspaper reported (in Spanish).

    Another of the friends, Martin Ludovico Marro, is being treated in hospital. Three days of mourning have been declared in Rosario.

    A Belgian national was killed and three others injured, Belgium’s foreign minister said.

    Two other victims have not yet been identified.

    So most of these victims of this New York attack were visiting foreigners, NOT local Americans!

    Eight people were killed and 11 injured when the driver of the truck hit people on a cycle path in Lower Manhattan.

    A 29-year-old man, reported to be an Uzbek immigrant, was shot and injured by police as he left the vehicle.

    The NYPD said only that the attacker was a 29-year-old man.

    US media named him as Sayfullo Saipov, who had reportedly lived in Tampa, Florida, and Paterson, New Jersey.

    He arrived in America from Uzbekistan in 2010 and is believed to be a legal resident in the country. Car-share service Uber confirmed he had been working for them.

    So this had nothing to do with undocumented immigrants or illegal immigration!

    US President Donald Trump has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to “step up” vetting measures in the wake of the attack.

    “My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!”

    Classic bigot Trump’s knee jerk reaction – make impulsive decisions BEFORE a proper investigation has identified the issues and details!
    I suppose he could have kept the Argentine and Belgian victims out of the USA, – or he could even have noticed that they were NOT Americans and maybe not be followers of HIS god, when offering condolences from THEIR country!

    Donald J. Trump✔@realDonaldTrump
    I have just ordered Homeland Security
    to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program.
    Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!

    He “knows” ALL the ANSWERS, without bothering to find out what the relevant QUESTIONS are!
    With his usual characteristic reckless ignorance, – he is NOT “politically correct” – or any other form of correct!

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  • As far as Pence is concerned, this could take a serious new twist, which could knock him out of the post of vice president, and disqualify him from taking over from Trump if an impeachment follows further revelations of misconduct and lying!

    It is difficult to overstate the significance of this felony plea deal.
    Mr Flynn was a close adviser and confidant of Mr Trump throughout the 2016 presidential race.
    He was a surrogate for the candidate on television and enjoyed a prominent speaking role at the July Republican National Convention.
    He had a pivotal role in Mr Trump’s presidential transition.

    The role of national security adviser in the White House, which Mr Flynn assumed upon Mr Trump’s inauguration, is one of the most senior positions in any administration, responsible for being the key conduit between the sprawling US military and intelligence bureaucracies and the president.
    It is a post that has been held by the likes of Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

    Mr Trump was so partial to Mr Flynn that he was praising him as a “wonderful man” who had been “treated very, very unfairly by the media” just days after firing him.

    Now Mr Flynn could be going to jail – and, more importantly, could be sharing damaging information about the Trump inner circle he inhabited for so long.

    The next big question is who exactly were the unnamed senior members of the presidential transition team.
    Some US news outlets are naming Jared Kushner and former Deputy National Security Adviser KT McFarland. Others seem to indicate it was Mr Trump himself. Eventually, Mr Flynn – and Mr Mueller – will have to lay their cards on the table.

    In fact the White House said at the time that the president dismissed Mr Flynn as national security adviser because he lied to Vice-President Mike Pence about his Russian contacts.
    The true nature of Mr Flynn’s conversations with Mr Kislyak first came out thanks to leaks to the press of information gleaned from government surveillance of Mr Kislyak.

    If Mr Flynn has evidence corroborating his account of December contacts with the Trump transition team – which was headed by Mr Pence himself – the White House’s explanation for its handling of the Flynn situation, denials of knowledge and all, starts to crumble.

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