I shudder for the inevitable upcoming day when Mr. Pence becomes—by way of the 25th Amendment, perhaps—the 46th President of the United States.
Because on that day, the far right wing of the Republican Party who call themselves born-again Evangelicals and Fundamentalists and Tea Partiers and Alt-Righters are going to deny they ever voted for Donald Trump. They are going to say, “It was for such a time as this.”
“We knew,” they will say, “that Mr. Trump was a moral catastrophe, unhinged, egomaniacal. But we also knew that Mr. Pence was a man after our own hearts, so we took the risk that Mr. Trump wouldn’t make it through. We voted for Pence, not Trump.”
This is what they will say. They will not admit that for the past several weeks, even since November 9 (and some of them before that), they have been boldly and brashly and loudly defending Mr. Trump’s indefensible actions, and even calling him a Christian, a moral man, a visionary, a man of the people.
It will be annoying, but they will not only flip-flop on The Donald, they will rejoice in his undoing and take credit for it. They will not own the massive humiliation of watching their own party’s leader taken down in moral and political shambles. They will not recognize their own hypocrisy. They will not admit that they played with a general election as if it were a toy. They will say they always knew Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham to be right, but “went along” with Mr. Ryan and other invertebrates in order to “get things done.” Obamacare, perhaps. The Supreme Court, for certain. “Mr. Trump? Oh no! We never were true believers there.”
Further, they will not care that the failed policies of Mr. Trump, whom they cheered and elected, causes families to cringe in fear in their own homes or exposed millions to loss of healthcare coverage. “That was under Trump,” they will say. “We’ve moved on,” they will say. “It’s not like that now,” they will say, as President Pence moves away from those Trumptastrophes and onto his own more mellow policies that seem more in line with historical Republicanism.
“We’ve moved on,” they will say. “Why can’t you? Get over it.”
But, no we won’t get over it, because (and this is why PenceWatch.us is here), a move from Donald Trump to Mike Pence doesn’t fix things. It only moves the question marks.
Under a President Pence, new groups of people will have to overcome their fear. LGBT people will wonder how pointed is the spear of anti-gay rights brandished by the new President and how quickly will it be launched against them. Women, already fearing the loss of reproductive rights, may well wonder how far a President Pence will go to deny them choice over their bodies and what that incursion might look like.
Mr. Pence should be under no delusion about his eventual ascendancy to the Oval. While many millions will breathe a tremendous, big league sigh of relief—indeed, there will be rejoicing in streets around the world should Mr. Trump be 25th’d—they will not be backing down into their easy chairs and forgetting the power and the glory and the change that is possible when passionate millions take up the First Amendment and wield it proudly, loudly, and with deep and fervent love for that beautiful, beautiful thing we call a free America.