On January 6th, 2021, Mike Pence did something to which we should all aspire, On the single most important day of his public life, Mike Pence was at his very best.
No one at this site, nor anyone reading this, needs a lesson on the evil things Pence did as governor of Indiana, including the number of lives lost when he refused to implement a clean needle program during the AIDS crisis, and certainly no one needs to be reminded of the number times he stood, with that adoring smile, behind Trump, while Trump behaved either like a four year old, an armed bully, or both. But this isn’t about that.
When he was tasked with the most important public duty in modern American history, not even all the pressure and fear that Trump can muster, and while knowing that his life would be in danger for months to years, Pence refused to get into an SUV below the Capitol, refused to leave, and demanded that he stay to be able to complete his job.
Again, we should all hope that we are at our best on that day when we’re most called upon.
A lot has happened between that day and now, most of it highly damning toward Trump and more and more of it, demonstrating that Pence had been even better than we knew. Last week, as Trump screamed to his rally-goers that Pence had the right to overturn the election, Trump finally said the quiet part out loud. That’s what he wanted, he simply wanted the election overturned at any cost and he wanted it done that day.
Today, reports are that Pence will address the matter, “firing back” doesn’t seem like Pence’s style. He does seem to do just fine in standing up for what he did. He also – laughably – sees himself as a contender, someone who can squeeze that MAGA line between Trump and regular Republicans (to the extent any exist). We’re fine letter him pretend.
HuffPo’s invaluable S.V. Date reports:
Pence had already been scheduled to speak at the conservative Federalist Society’s conference in Florida, and advisers have indicated in recent days that he is likely to respond to Trump’s latest attacks,”
“Trump, who has long claimed that all he wanted Pence to do was send several electoral slates Democrat Joe Biden had won back to states to ‘correct’ their mistakes, early this week stated clearly what his true goal had been all along: for Pence to unilaterally award Trump a second term,” the report continues before adding, “Pence, who is laying the groundwork for a presidential run in 2024, over the past year has only infrequently countered Trump’s false claims that he could have, on his own, kept Trump in office.
It never occurred to Trump that if every Vice President were allowed to do such a thing, we might as well give presidents eight year terms, which Trump evidently believed was his right. (Do people recall him even talking about a third term because his first term was filled with Democrats doing “Russia, Russia, Russia”? Trump was aiming to be president for life, like Putin.).
Regardless, we look forward to hearing from Pence today when he will not be at his best. He will not fire back that he was asked to do the most un-American act of any high official since the days of the Confederacy and he utterly rejected it and the man who believes it was somehow possible. In some mealy-mouthed way, Pence will say he did his job. And that’s all we want to remember anyway. He did it very well.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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