Trump is no longer the worst person in government

The many ways Mike Pence looks at Trump  Vice President Pence sometimes seems to agree with President Trump just by looking at him. Here are some of the ways he does it.

By George F. Will Opinion writer May 9 at 7:39 PM Email the author

Donald Trump, with his feral cunning, knew. The oleaginous Mike Pence, with his talent for toadyism and appetite for obsequiousness, could, Trump knew, become America’s most repulsive public figure. And Pence, who has reached this pinnacle by dethroning his benefactor, is augmenting the public stock of useful knowledge. Because his is the authentic voice of today’s lickspittle Republican Party, he clarifies this year’s elections: Vote Republican to ratify groveling as governing.
Last June, a Trump Cabinet meeting featured testimonials offered to Dear Leader by his forelock-tugging colleagues. His chief of staff, Reince Priebus, caught the spirit of the worship service by thanking Trump for the “blessing” of being allowed to serve him. The hosannas poured forth from around the table, unredeemed by even a scintilla of insincerity. Priebus was soon deprived of his blessing, as was Tom Price. Before Price’s ecstasy of public service was truncated because of his incontinent enthusiasm for charter flights, he was the secretary of health and human services who at the Cabinet meeting said, “I can’t thank you enough for the privileges you’ve given me.” The vice president chimed in but saved his best riff for a December Cabinet meeting when, as The Post’s Aaron Blake calculated, Pence praised Trump once every 12 seconds for three minutes: “I’m deeply humbled. . . . ” Judging by the number of times Pence announces himself “humbled,” he might seem proud of his humility, but that is impossible because he is conspicuously devout and pride is a sin.
Between those two Cabinet meetings, Pence and his retinue flew to Indiana for the purpose of walking out of an Indianapolis Colts football game, thereby demonstrating that football players kneeling during the national anthem are intolerable to someone of Pence’s refined sense of right and wrong. Which brings us to his Arizona salute last week to Joe Arpaio, who was sheriff of Maricopa County until in 2016 voters wearied of his act.  Noting that Arpaio was in his Tempe audience, Pence, oozing unctuousness from every pore, called Arpaio “another favorite,” professed himself “honored” by Arpaio’s presence, and praised him as “a tireless champion of . . . the rule of law.” Arpaio, a grandstanding, camera-chasing bully and darling of the thuggish right, is also a criminal, convicted of contempt of court for ignoring a federal judge’s order to desist from certain illegal law enforcement practices. Pence’s performance occurred eight miles from the home of Sen. John McCain, who could teach Pence — or perhaps not — something about honor.
Henry Adams said that “practical politics consists in ignoring facts,” but what was the practicality in Pence’s disregard of the facts about Arpaio? His pandering had no purpose beyond serving Pence’s vocation, which is to ingratiate himself with his audience of the moment. The audience for his praise of Arpaio was given to chanting “Build that wall!” and applauded Arpaio, who wears Trump’s pardon like a boutonniere.
Hoosiers, of whom Pence is one, sometimes say that although Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky and flourished in Illinois, he spent his formative years — December 1816 to March 1830 — in Indiana, which he left at age 21. Be that as it may, on Jan. 27, 1838, Lincoln, then 28, delivered his first great speech, to the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield. Less than three months earlier, Elijah Lovejoy, an abolitionist newspaper editor in Alton, Ill., 67 miles from Springfield, was murdered by a pro-slavery mob. Without mentioning Lovejoy — it would have been unnecessary — Lincoln lamented that throughout America, “so lately famed for love of law and order,” there was a “mobocratic spirit” among “the vicious portion of [the] population.” So, “let reverence for the laws . . . become the political religion of the nation.” Pence, one of evangelical Christians’ favorite pin-ups, genuflects at various altars, as the mobocratic spirit and the vicious portion require.  It is said that one cannot blame people who applaud Arpaio and support his rehabilitators (Trump, Pence, et al.), because, well, globalization or health-care costs or something. Actually, one must either blame them or condescend to them as lacking moral agency. Republicans silent about Pence have no such excuse.
There will be negligible legislating by the next Congress, so ballots cast this November will be most important as validations or repudiations of the harmonizing voices of Trump, Pence, Arpaio and the like. Trump is what he is, a floundering, inarticulate jumble of gnawing insecurities and not-at-all compensating vanities, which is pathetic. Pence is what he has chosen to be, which is horrifying.


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NRA Convention Bans Guns To Protect Mike Pence. Parkland Survivors’ Jaws Drop.

Parkland teens are calling out the gun group for hypocrisy.
By Mary Papenfuss
Guns will be barred during Vice President Mike Pence’s appearance at an upcoming National Rifle Association convention to protect his safety — prompting survivors of the Parkland school shooting in Florida to wonder why the gun group won’t agree to gun restrictions elsewhere to protect children.
Those attending the NRA Leadership Conference in Dallas are on notice that no firearms or “weapons of any kind,” or ammunition, will be allowed in the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center “prior to and during” Pence’s appearance on May 4. The NRA posted the restrictions ― a requirement of the Secret Service ― on a website announcing the conference.
“There will be no storage for firearms,” the NRA says in the announcement. Knife Rights, a knife advocacy group, will provide “complimentary storage” for knives, the NRA adds.
Online NRA announcement for upcoming convention in Dallas.
Teens who survived the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where 17 people were killed, are wondering why the NRA fiercely resists extending the same safety considerations to other areas to safeguard children. The NRA wants “guns everywhere” when it comes to kids, tweeted Matt Deitsch, a Parkland student who helped organize the March for Our Lives rally for stricter gun laws in Washington.
The NRA urges more guns in schools and suggests teachers be armed. President Donald Trump, who agrees with the gun group, boasted that an armed teacher could have “shot the hell out of” the Parkland gunman. An armed deputy assigned to the school failed to respond to the shooter and stayed outside the building.

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Pence: Abortion will end in U.S. ‘in our time’

By Jessie Hellmann – 02/27/18 02:56 PM EST
Vice President Pence predicted Tuesday that legal abortion would end in the U.S. “in our time.”
“I know in my heart of hearts this will be the generation that restores life in America,” Pence said at a luncheon in Nashville, Tenn., hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List & Life Institute, an anti-abortion organization.

“If all of us do all we can, we can once again, in our time, restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law.”
Pence has long championed anti-abortion policies, as a congressman, as the governor of Indiana and as vice president.
He told the crowd he has seen more progress in the Trump administration’s first year in office than he has in his entire life.
Since President Trump took office last year, he has signed legislation reversing an Obama-era rule that blocked states from defunding Planned Parenthood and reinstated a ban on federal funds for global health programs that cover or promote abortions.
But the political reality in the Senate has made it difficult for Congress to accomplish big priorities like defunding Planned Parenthood and banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“Let me admonish you as we go forward in this cause in 2018 to understand while we have made great progress, we have much work left to do,” Pence said.
He noted that while a ban on 20-week abortions passed the House last year, it failed in the Senate in January, where Republicans have a slim majority.
All but three Democrats blocked the bill and two Republican senators also voted against it.
Pence said future success depends “not so much on those of us who have the privilege of serving in public life as it does on all of you.”


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Robert Mueller is about to ensnare Mike Pence

Bill Palmer
Updated: 11:48 pm EST Tue Feb 20, 2018

Rick Gates is formalizing his plea deal in the Trump-Russia scandal, and he’s already conducted his proffer interview, which means he’s already given up the goods on Paul Manafort. That in turn means that Manafort will have to cut a deal of his own soon. In order to get that deal, Manafort will have to give up everything he has on the bigger fish in the scandal. In other words, we’re about to finally get to Mike Pence.

By all accounts, Donald Trump desperately wanted to pick Chris Christie as his running mate. Although Trump just wanted his buddy, the move coincidentally made some strategic sense. Christie would have been seen as more relatable than Trump in the eyes of moderate voters and establishment Republican voters. Instead, Manafort went to great lengths to essentially trick Trump into choosing Mike Pence instead. We’ve since learned that Manafort is a Kremlin puppet, and that his every move during the campaign was influenced by this.
Strategically, the Pence pick made little sense. He was so unpopular as Governor of Indiana that he couldn’t have run for reelection there, even though it’s a red state. Even if Manafort felt that Trump needed an evangelical faux-Christian on the ticket in order to attract those kinds of voters, Pence was a poor choice. There are any number of evangelical Republican politicians who were more popular, or at least less deeply unpopular, than Pence. So it was utterly absurd that Manafort put down so many of his chips on Pence of all people.
Manafort is a traitorous monster who is accused of crimes up to and including conspiracy to commit mass murder in Ukraine, but he’s not stupid. He’s a skilled political operator. Why would he force Trump to make such a bad pick with Pence? Ignore the people who rationalize that “It must have been a smart move because Trump won.” No, it didn’t work. Trump lost by three million votes, and was only handed victory by Russian meddling in key swing states and a last minute crime committed by FBI Director James Comey. Nor is there any evidence that Pence actually helped Trump in any swing states.

So why did a smart political operative like Paul Manafort force Donald Trump to make such a terrible running mate pick? And why did Trump, who rarely took campaign advice from anyone, and who didn’t appear to ever listen to any of Manafort’s strategic advice, agree to go with a running mate that he desperately did not want? Logically speaking, the answer is obvious enough: the Kremlin ordered it.

There’s no reason for Russia to have wanted Mike Pence, unless Pence was some kind of Kremlin asset as well. Manafort knows the real story. He’s going to have to squeal very shortly in order to avoid dying in prison. Robert Mueller is about to get answers on why the Kremlin-run campaign zeroed in on Pence against all possible political logic, and those answers are going to ensnare Pence in this scandal.

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