Well, tomorrow is the Vice-Presidential debate. Those non-Hoosiers who tune in–almost certainly not the “YUGE” number that viewed the Presidential face-off–will get a chance to see what Indiana citizens have been living with for three-and-a-half years. If the Mike Pence who shows up is the Mike Pence who has embarrassed us in prior media confrontations (George Stephanopolis wasn’t the only one), it will give Hoosier Republicans yet another reason to abandon the Trump/Pence ticket.
It’s worth noting that Pence’s wooden and inadequate public performances are the least of those reasons.
Recently, Pence was asked which Vice-President he would model himself after in the event the Trump-Pence ticket prevailed. His tone-deaf but undoubtedly sincere response was “Dick Cheney.”
If Donald Trump wins the election, we know two things with certainty: 1) he’ll implement the most racist, xenophobic, militant immigration policy this nation has possibly ever seen; 2) he won’t have the attention span to preside over any other issues of governance.
That’s where Mike Pence comes in and if you haven’t been paying attention to what he’s been saying, you’re not getting the full picture of how wildly non-empathic, socially conservative, science-less, anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ and downright scary a “Trump” administration would be.
Now, DailyKos has a lefty perspective, but it is very hard to argue with any of the quoted language.
Those of us who have watched Pence “govern” during what would pretty clearly have been his single term in the Statehouse have noted his oh-so-“Christian” passions: his determination to de-fund Planned Parenthood (despite the fact that such action would leave thousands of poor women with no healthcare); his seething hostility to the gay community (that one would have been hard to miss); his campaign to fund religious schools with tax dollars taken from the public schools.
His antagonism to science, denial of climate change (and evolution, for that matter), and efforts to have Indiana avoid compliance with environmental rules, have been fairly high-profile.
And since he joined the Trump Train, we’ve learned how sensitive he is to racial issues. (Irony alert.) Asked in an interview about the string of police shootings of unarmed black men, Pence responded
“Trump and I believe there’s been far too much talk about institutional bias and racism within law enforcement”
Translation: Because if we don’t talk about it, people like us who encourage it won’t have to answer these uncomfortable questions.
During the 3 plus years he’s been in office, Hoosiers of both parties have come to recognize the Governor as an ideologue uninterested in the nitty-gritty of public administration, a man whose purpose in running for public office has been essentially theocratic–to use whatever power he can muster to impose his personal religious views on citizens who don’t share them.
During the Presidential campaign, it has become clear that Trump has even less interest than Pence in actually doing the day-to-day work of governing, if he even recognizes what that work entails. When Donald Junior approached John Kasich about the Vice-Presidency, several media outlets reported that the offer came with a promise that, if Kasich accepted, he would be given broad authority over the Executive Branch–essentially, he could run the show while The Donald preened for cameras and indulged his self-importance.
Kasich–being both honorable and in possession of his senses–said no thanks.
Pence–being neither–evidently accepted the bargain.
Enjoy the debate.