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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Very possibly the most acerbically written but scary thing I've read about the Trump phenomenon.

Mike Pence, presidential nanny

iPolitics Insights

How did a rabid evangelical come to prop up a garbage-mouthed groper? Mutual need.

Donald Trump may or may not be Vladimir Putin’s poodle, but for his administration to function he has to be Mike Pence’s puppet.
Trump has few evident skills beyond a passion for self-promotion and a thuggish capacity to bend those he deals with to his will. He has no consistent political philosophy, no experience of Washington and even less of managing his role within the Republican Party.
His rancid abuse of his rivals for the Republican presidential candidacy has been papered over — but politicians don’t forget that kind of mugging. They’ll be waiting for their own dark alley moment.
Trump clearly understands that his only source of legitimacy among Republicans is that he won, and he feels vulnerable because Hillary Clinton got nearly three million more votes than he did. Hence Trump’s Wednesday tweet launching an investigation into alleged voter fraud, the purpose of which is to scare up some “alternative facts” allowing him to claim he won the popular vote.
In this fetid atmosphere, Pence plays a pivotal role: He has skills Trump lacks, skills the president needs to be able to get through a single day without imploding. Pence is set to become perhaps the most influential vice-president in living memory. (That said, it would be a tight contest between him and George W. Bush’s Dick Cheney.)
It is a strange and troubling world when the adult in the room of the U.S. executive branch happens to be a rabid right-wing evangelical Christian who has no time for people who are not copybook heterosexuals, who is iffy about public education, who believes warnings about global warming are junk and supports to the hilt traditional carbon energy production, who cannot wait to kill the Affordable Care Act, who wants to make abortion and even family planning for women impossible, and who has toyed with end-runs around professional media. But these are strange times.
Pence had a dozen years in Congress when he became a leading ideologue of the ultra-right-wing Tea Party faction, and for two years was chairman of the House Republican Conference, the party caucus. He also stood out as one of the most prominent evangelical Christians in Congress. In 2013 he returned home to Indiana as governor, a post he held until he was gathered up by Trump last year as his running mate.

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