Tuesday, August 08, 2017
Who Would Be Worse Donald Trump or Mike Pence?
He can often be seen looking on at Donald Trump's grotesque travelling circus with a strange smile on his face.
When asked to say something about his boss, Mike Pence sounds as loyal as a butler, or as giddy as a college cheerleader.
But appearances can be deceiving.
For it seems that should something horrible happen to Trump, like a heart attack, or a stroke, or a fatal case of impeachitis.
Or should General Kelly fail to control him...
Pence would be more than ready to answer the call from above, and is already working hard to replace him.
President Trump’s first term is ostensibly just warming up, but luminaries in his own party have begun what amounts to a shadow campaign for 2020 — as if the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue weren’t involved.
Mr. Pence has been the pacesetter. Though it is customary for vice presidents to keep a full political calendar, he has gone a step further, creating an independent power base, cementing his status as Mr. Trump’s heir apparent and promoting himself as the main conduit between the Republican donor class and the administration.
Even though judging by his hysterical reaction to that New York Times story, he's scared to death what Trump might do to him, if he ever found out that Pence was plotting to become president.
Vice President Mike Pence declared his loyalty to President Trump on Sunday and denounced a New York Times article suggesting that he was positioning himself to run for president in 2020 if Mr. Trump does not seek a second term.
“Today’s article in The New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family and our entire team,” the vice president said in a statement. “The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration.
And who can blame him eh? When as we know, the atmosphere in the White House often resembles a nuclear version of Game of Thrones, or a comic version of The Sopranos.
One moment you're there, the next moment you're not...
But the good news, for those who don't belong to the Trump mob, is that Pence wouldn't be reaching for the brass ring so brazenly, or getting ready to send his boss a horse's head, if he didn't think the Donald was in big trouble.
And he is, Trump's base is eroding
A new poll shows Donald Trump’s support dropping among his strongest supporters as he hits the 200-day mark of his presidency.
Notably, there’s erosion in enthusiasm among important subgroups: Trump’s “strong approval” among whites without a college degree — a group that helped propel him to office — dropped 12 percentage points from February.
Mueller is coming...
And the whole sordid scandal does raise an interesting question: who would be worse, Trump or Pence?
Sadly, like Richard Cohen, I must admit I can't decide.
This is a hard one. Trump is a menace, both ignorant and chaotic. His saving grace is his incompetence. In his first six months in office, he has made a hash of our foreign policy, set back efforts to contain global warming, exploited public land and depopulated the State Department. But these efforts — as bad as they might be — have been so far confined to the margins.
Trump may be deranged, and a born liar.
He lies for purpose and he lies just for the hell of it. His lying is such that it ought to be a mental ailment. Call him politically insane.
But Pence is a right-wing extremist, a religious fanatic, and a bestial homophobe...
His views, especially regarding social and cultural issues, are to the right of the right. He is famously antiabortion, recommends abstinence as the entire key to sex education and has taken the unique view that condoms are useless in AIDS prevention. As for global warming, back in 2000 he said it “is a myth.”
He is as Cohen says, all faith and no morality. And in one big way at least, he's worse than Trump.
He is the cardboard cutout for a soulless and opportunistic Republican Party, a display to put in the window of some Trump souvenir shop. In a sense, he is worse than the man he serves. Trump is a child — undisciplined, capricious and self-involved. Pence is none of those things. Trump knows nothing. Pence knows better.
But the best news is that even if he does replace him, after what Trump has done with Pence's blessing, he will not save the Republican Party.
Trump's White House is the Weak Wing...
The Republican Party should have known long ago where Trump would lead them...
And Trump should have known what Pence and the Republicans might do to him when defeat stares them in the face.
It has been a nightmarish episode of Game of Thrones.
But hopefully it will have a happy ending...
When in doubt.
First we take Trump.
Then we take Pence...