I am among the many who often speak of the 25th Amendment solution to the removal of Donald Trump from the presidency. While I think impeachment is currently a long shot I feel resignation ala Richard Nixon is the probable outcome. In either of those cases Mike Pence becomes President of the United States. That is not a situation I look forward to. Let’s explore.
While Pence was neither on the scene for much of or trusted enough to be part of the crimes committed in Russiagate itself, only a fool would feel he is innocent in the cover-up. He is guilty by commission, omission (via incompetence or ambition) or most likely both. Too many times he spouted the “company line” when assuming even normal intelligence, he had to know he was lying. Remember he was at least nominally head of the transition team (after Trump discarded Chris Christie) that proved to be incompetent at best. Pence is also the figurehead for Trump’s voter suppression effort that is de facto headed by Kris Kobach.
Pence’s long time routine is to introduce himself as “A Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order.” Why is the phrase a patriotic American missing? May I suggest because he really isn’t? America was founded as and remains a secular nation. It just so happens that the majority of Americans also happen to be Christians; coincidence not codified. I have followed Mike Pence’s career for some time and have seen no evidence of brilliance. My conclusion is that he blindly follows a religious philosophy because he is incapable of the critical thinking required to come up with one on his own. Now there is nothing wrong with being a simple man. An old friend (and Yale grad) whose cerebral capabilities I very much respect accurately describes himself as a simple man. He had an uncanny skill of boiling the factors in a decision down to the simplest elements and then using his ability to make a final decision. Pence appears to favor simplicity so as not to exceed the apex of his ability.
Pence was on the brink of political extinction when Trump tapped him as his VP pick. It is doubtful that Pence could have won reelection as Indiana’s governor. Most, (I’m certain including Pence), felt Trump was going to lose in 2016 so the Veep slot looked like the fast track to being the frontrunner for the 2020 GOP nod. From the beginning Trump’s tenure in the White House has looked tenuous leaving Pence sitting pretty as the heir apparent. Pence has been a good puppy dog for Trump ever since and in the process preserving his shot at the big job. Loyalty is something Trump requires and it provides an opportunistic path for a man of low intellect and morals.
Sunday much of this was clearly illustrated and it cost the American taxpayers about $250,000; so much for being a fiscal conservative. Pence was slated to attend the Indianapolis Colts – San Francisco 49ers’ game in Indianapolis. He traveled there on Air Force Two accompanied by a staff of about 50. We paid for all that. Predictably several members of the 49ers took a knee during the national anthem. Pence left the game in protest of the protest. Like every American, that is his prerogative. My problem is not with Pence’s action but the fact that it was all a sham which was revealed within hours.
The first clue was that the press corps was told to stay on the vans because there was a chance of an early exit by the Vice President. Hmm. Pence issued the following statement soon after his departure, “I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem. At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us.” First off Mr. Vice President the actions of the kneeling players has absolutely nothing to do with our troops and any intelligent American (which may exclude you and your boss) knows that. Please stop disrespecting them by using them to keep Bubba in your base! Second, I wish we had known it was so easy to get rid of Trump and Pence. I would have arraigned for a patriot to take a knee at the inauguration.
Other than the wasted money the thing that bothers me the most about this publicity stunt – and that is all it was – is the logistical nightmare it created which in addition to inconveniencing people endanger American lives. I have attended many NFL games and the traffic is a huge problem! Compounding this with a Vice Presidential motorcade had to make it a nightmare. This publicity stunt cost the Secret Service a lot of assets to both sweep the stadium the day before and protect the Vice President during a brief (by plan) visit. We paid for all that. Were there any medical emergencies that were complicated by the traffic tie ups? Did anyone die? Was anyone late for work costing them a job?
Within hours Trump’s ego got the best of him again and he spilled the beans on the entire con job. At 2:16 Trump tweeted: “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.” It was all a Trump ordered publicity stunt that wasted at least a quarter of a million dollars of taxpayer money. I think at minimum Trump and Pence owe the American people an apology for their actions. Since Trump directed the stunt I feel he should write a check to the Treasury reimbursing the American taxpayers for the monetary expense.
My guess is that the ironic part is that Pence watched the game in his motorcade vehicle and on Air Force Two, all on our dime. At this point that is purely speculation on my part; but a report of it wouldn’t surprise me.
Trump needs to be removed for a plethora of reasons. That being said I am not looking forward to a President Pence. He is not a better alternative; simply the only currently constitutionally available one.
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