Mike Pence cannot be president. His devotion to Donald Trump will be his downfall

Poor Mike Pence. The former Republican vice president clearly thinks he has a chance to win the GOP nomination for president, even as an angry crowd of Republicans stormed the US Capitol with the intention of hanging him for betraying their beloved leader, Donald Trump. said. So Pence is delivering speeches to small audiences across the country as if he has a snowball chance of winning a national election again, when the sad fact remains that he is a man without a constituency.

Republicans who loved Pence when he was Trump’s most ardent disciple considered him a traitor. Those who respect him for the work every vice president who came before him on January 6 still hates him for all the years he spent licking Trump’s shoes. There may be a handful of GOP officials and henchmen who look up to Pence and see a sort of ghostly George W. Bush (whose vocal delivery he shamelessly wields), and the press, of course, sees him as a viable Trump opponent. wants to cast. But the truth is, Mike Pence’s Wonderbread is a walking piece of toast.

Notably, Pence and Trump have been publicly competing for the past few weeks. Down in Arizona, Trump held a rally for the wildly extreme GOP candidates for governor and senate, Kari Lake and Blake Masters, as well as some kooky-down ballot endorsements. He gave his usual performance, delighting large crowds with his many greatest hits. Over the microphone, Lake praised the former president for his inspiration:

“President Trump taught us how to fight and I took some notes. So I go after the fake news because he showed us how to do it. He gave us the game plan and he showed us how to stand up and fight.” Republicans need to fight back”

Trump made it very clear that he would keep fighting, telling the crowd, “I ran twice and I won twice and I did a lot better the second time than the first time, millions more in 2016 and 2020 than now.” Got votes, we might have to do it again.”

Across town, Mike Pence was speaking at a rally of about 300 on behalf of Karin Lake’s rival, Karin Taylor Robson, whom he described as a true conservative in the race as someone who cared about it. Pence had a swipe at Big Ginger Lake of the night—”Arizona Republicans don’t need a governor supporting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton”—which he delivered like an explosion of foghorns. No one mentioned January 6 or the 2020 election.

As it happens, two former aides also protested the speeches in Washington DC just days later. Trump returned to the crime scene to deliver a policy address at the America First Policy Institute, a Trump-affiliated “think tank”. The mud fund dedicated to former president and Culture War propaganda, while Pence spoke at the Young America Foundation. The media portrayed these two speeches as a clash of visions for the Republican Party, with Trump offering up his patented hellscape view of “American Carnage”, his laundry of complaints about the 2020 election allegedly stolen. Completed with the catalogue, while Pence reportedly offered a facelift. For a brighter future which was interpreted as a jab at his former boss. That jab was most clearly articulated, “I don’t know if the President and I differ on issues, but we may differ on focus.” (He’s telling her…)

Politico wondered what this meant:

This difference in focus is at the center of many big questions for Republicans. In 2022 and 2024: Which vision do they want the party to follow? Who do they think is more attractive to voters in order to win a majority? And even if he agrees with Trump on the issues, is his focus – with its deep tone and feedback-loop quality – helpful in that pursuit?

But it reflects a fundamental misconception about Trump’s appeal and lack of Pence.

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The “issues” as we used to understand them no longer exist in the Republican Party. Trump’s “Dark Tone and Feedback-Loop Quality” Huh issues. It is all about grievance, anger and outrage served with juvenile derision and derision that only a true democracy can deliver. A bowl of lukewarm water just like Mike Pence can’t do, no matter how many dramatic breaks he takes in his speeches.

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But the fact that he can’t deliver a crude joke or bend the knife with Trumpian glee doesn’t mean Pence isn’t running on Trumpism.

Pence’s “policy agenda” is full of culture war complaints. He released a pamphlet last spring in which he promoted “patriotic” education (meaning shallow linguism, banning books, and refusing to teach the truth about American history and Indigenous, black, and immigrant experiences.) That transgender Support brutal attacks on children, harsh laws against abortion and all the other far-right talking points that Trump and every other Republican campaigning trail have. Pence hasn’t weighed in on the Great Replacement Theory yet, so that’s probably what defines a sunny medium these days.

Most importantly, while he doesn’t talk about the 2020 election, Pence hasn’t said a word against the attack on democracy that GOP state legislators and other officials are implementing across the country. If anything, it is enabling them by supporting the thick insistence that “in-person voting” should be implemented and that mail-in voting (safe, legal and) should be “rare”. There is no reason for this except to encourage the false belief that the electoral system has been compromised by the Democrats. It is, in fact, Big Lie and Pence doing it now as the guy who sat idly while his mad crowd chanted “Hang Mike Pence”.

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Nonetheless, Pence is as obedient and humble as ever, refusing to stand up for himself even in the face of what Trump did to him on that fateful day, and never saying a harsh word about his former mentor. He is trying to salvage a political career based solely on his fervent devotion to a man whom the only people who vote believe he has betrayed. Grief is not the right word to describe it. it’s pathetic.

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