Welcome to day 220 of the Donald Trump regime and one party rule in these United States. It's somewhat common to see #ImpeachTrump and #ResignTrump trending nationally on Twitter these days, but it's clear that unless there's a major breakthrough in the Robert Mueller investigation very soon, he's not going anywhere for a while.
A Mike Pence presidency, if/when it happens, is a hypothetical that we have plenty of time to ponder and analyze. However, a message must be sent to the "Pence would be no better" crowd- and the message is stop it!
You don't really believe that, so please stop saying it!
A Pence administration would indeed be an awful atrocity, but it's still a noticeable and substantial upgrade. Unlike Trump, Mike Pence is a career politician who at least possesses the temperament and emotional maturity to handle the job. He also has experience in a leadership position, unlike the current incumbent. You cannot at least trust in the fact that he has genuine ambition and some level of legitimate competence when it comes to governing.
A Pence administration would be somewhat similar to George W. Bush, and we survived two terms of him! Like W., Pence is a self-defined Christian zealot, who of course uses a more self-flattering word to describe his religious extremism. However, America did not degenerate into theocracy under eight years of W., so there's no reason to believe it would under Pence either.
The GOP's pandering to the Focus on the Family market has, is and always will be more about scaring their base into showing up at the polls each election than it is about legitimately bringing about a Christian version of Sharia Law. They're more interested in always having a proverbial mechanical robot for the dog track of Evangelical voters to chase.
Yes, the former governor of Indiana has certainly made some horribly socially regressive remarks about women, and his views on women's reproductive rights are disturbing, but at least he has a track record that we can examine.
The Hoosier state had plenty of serious issues under his rule, and it's not likely he would have won another term, had he decided to pursue it. Still, he's not someone with whom we would have legitimate concerns he could baited into nuclear armageddon via a Tweet.
Trump has little to zero intellectual curiosity for anything outside of himself, but Pence is a bit of Crossroads of America Keyser Soze. He's smarter and more capable than Bush. Even though he defines himself as a Christian first and foremost, blatant hypocrisy is obvious in the way that Pence persistently lies about how he claims to not hear all the awful un-Christian like things said by POTUS 45.
He wouldn't be a national and international embarrassment from a presentation standpoint, and at least he has the acumen to conduct himself in a presidential manner. On the global stage, his performances would be much less abysmal, and he doesn't constantly need a foil (for Trump it was the GOP primary opponents, then Hillary Clinton and now the media) in order to define himself.
So who is he?
He's actually not all that different from how he's portrayed on Comedy Central's "The President Show."
Comedic actor Peter Grosz does a really fine job with his parody of the Vice President- ("I stopped watching The Devil Wears Prada when I realized it was a movie with a woman as the main character.") It's true, his views on women are extremely alarming (especially when it came to Planned Parenthood), but there are plenty of checks and balances to keep his fatal flaw from ushering in disastrous legislation.
(At least it appears so right now)
Women should find Pence deplorable, but at least he wasn't caught on tape bragging about how he repeatedly commits sexual assault. (That's how low the bar is now with Trump in power). The other main argument you consistently hear from the "Mike Pence is just as bad" camp revolves around the idea that new and unwanted laws would actually be passed under his regime, but not under Trump, because he is more of a traditional Republican and therefore much more likely to facilitate the legislating machine.
The health care bill failure last month perfectly conveys why that should not be a real concern. The GOP's pathetic attempt at an Obamacare repeal and replace was very telling of who the party really is and what they're truly about.
It's about as big of a dog-chasing-the-car-but-wouldn't-know-what-to-do-if-he-caught-it as you'll ever find in American political history. They never had a plan, beyond just tax cuts for the ultra-rich. Despite controlling all three branches of government, they still can't get anything done because they're not a party that's actually capable of governing anymore. The executive and legislative branches of government were on totally different pages and healthcare is a huge wedge issue within the party.
There's a Grand Canyon like chasm right now between classic Republicanism members of Congress and the Tea Party wing nuts.
That doesn't change even if Mike Pence replaces Donald Trump.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.