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What do Pence and McCarthy Have to Show for Selling their Souls?

Soul-Selling in America

Selling one’s soul is a big deal. I am not referring to someone who is the spawn of Satan but to human beings who choose to sell their souls in return for some tangible benefit. After all, everything is transactional.

A classic expression of soul-selling in American mythology occurred in the short story “The Devil and Daniel Webster.” It is 20th century story with a 19th century figure and the values of the Puritan 17th century. It claims that all is not lost for a person who sells his soul. Even with a jury stacked with the world’s greatest collection of evil people, the great champion of oratory and the forceful power of reason can triumph over Satan and regain the soul that had been sold to him.

What about for Never-Will-Be-President Mike Pence and Never-Will-Be-Speaker Kevin McCarthy?

MIKE PENCE

For a long time, Mike Pence was the posterboy for soul-sellers. He publicly and repeatedly voiced his joyous acceptance of his actions. His exuberant cabinet-meeting declaration that he was grateful to share the same space-time continuum with his Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name, Say Hallelujah will become part of American lore. People will be laughing at his abject expression of soul-selling for years to come.

Except is not always a laughing matter. Think of how many Americans are dead because we had an immature, inept, incompetent President when we needed an adult. Time and time again, Pence has had the opportunity to rise to the occasion and be the profile in courage the country needs. Time and time again, he has failed to do so. Possibly on 1/6 he acted responsibility but it was because he had no other choice. He knew the plan to have the Vice President steal the election would not work. If he had had any doubts he would have implemented it.

Never-Will-Be-President Pence will have one last chance to redeem himself. In this context, he would have to be his own Daniel Webster. At some point he may be asked to testify on two different events: the January 6 insurrection and the management of the Covid pandemic. What will he do then?

Based on precedent there is little reason to expected him to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth in either investigations. However if defying a subpoena means jail time even for a short interval, that fear might be enough to get him to appear. Such an appearance does not mean he would answer any questions in any meaningful way.

My position consistently stated over multiple blogs is that Never-Will-Be-President Pence never will rise to the occasion. His conduct since leaving office suggests he still thinks he has some sort of future in the Trumpican Party. It has yet to sink in to him that his only appearance at the 2024 Trumpican Party convention will be to be hanged in effigy. I do not know what it will take to get through to him that he has been thrown under the bus. There would seem to be no friends or family who can make him realize that he sold his soul for nothing.

KEVIN MCCARTHY

The situation for Never-will-be-Speaker McCarthy is slightly different. Pence did not get on the Trump List until the waning days of his Vice Presidency. His failure by being weak on 1/6 doomed him to be placed on the Trump List where he will remain forever. McCarthy joined him on the list shortly afterwards for his own conduct once the insurrection had started. He compounded his failure expressed in the phone call with a public expression of where he thought the fault for the insurrection belonged. He has been on the Trump List ever since.

Unlike Never-will-be-President Pence, Never-will-be-Speaker McCarthy is aware that he is on the Trump List. The embarrassment occurs in watching him try to remove himself from it. He is deluded and desperate enough to think that if he goes to Mar-a-Lago enough times and kisses whatever he has to, that his Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name, Say Hallelujah will restore him to glory as a worthy soul-seller. He is so deluded and desperate that he even tortured America for more than 8 hours in a performance that will be contrasted with Jimmy Stewart for years to come.

The difference with Never-will-be-President Pence is that Never-will-be-Speaker McCarthy knows who his replacement will be. Marjorie Taylor Greene already has been designated as an upcoming star in the Republican Party. Since she is a true-believer she did not need to sell her soul. So even if the next speaker is not her, it will be someone with her blessing. As things stand now, she will continue to be the face of the Trumpican Party in the House of Representatives after the 2022 elections.

What will Never-will-be-Speaker McCarthy do when it is his turn to rise to the occasion and tell the truth? Gradually the list of subpoenaed people by the 1/6 Committee is working itself up the food chain. Will he defy the subpoena to testify and turn over documents to the House committee? Will he embrace the opportunity to go to prison as Bannon has? Will he jeopardize his own House seat by telling the truth? It will be too late to primary him at that point.

No one knows for sure what Never-will-be-Speaker McCarthy will do then. He well may realize that he has been thrown under the bus and has no future in the Trumpican Party. He may not be as delusional as Never-will-be-President Pence. So while I would not hold my breath that when the moment of truth comes that Never-will-be-Speaker McCarthy will be the profile in courage the country needs, it is more of a possibility then with Never-will-be-President Pence. We shall see.

DO REAL REPUBLICANS WANT TRUMP TO BE INDICTED?

Ironically, the House report issued late spring may provide the Brutus/Howard Baker moment so many people have been waiting for. The election in Virginia has shown the way to a post-Trump future. The refusal of some Republican governors to run for the Senate has exposed the difference between governors and representatives. Trumpicans are willing to be the party of potholes, the party of dilapidated bridges, and the party of tainted water; Republican governors are not. Legislators such as in Wisconsin are willing to continually relitigate the 2020 election; Republican governors are not. The January 6 report documenting the Hitman’s attempt to steal the election and overthrow the Constitution may be a bridge too far for the Republican governors to take…especially as the Hitman continues to seek to depose Republican governors who were not loyal to him.  At some point someone is going to say “enough is enough. We have more to gain by facing the future than by being trapped in the past with a traitor.” We shall see.

William Shatner, Captain Kirk, and Mike Pence: Together At Last

William Shatner at 90

William Shatner, Captain Kirk, and Mike Pence were joined together on October 13, 2021 at 8:00 PM ET in an unprecedented combination of science fiction and history. Shatner was shown on CNN with obvious Trekkie Anderson Cooper who has been having the time of his life. At the same time on the cable network Heroes and Icons, was showing Star Trek as part of its normal six-day a week schedule of:

8:00 Star Trek
9:00 Star Trek: Next Generation
10:00 Deep Space Nine
11:00 Voyager
12:00 Enterprise.

It’s not only Friends and Law and Order which are on all the time!

The Mike Pence reference is to the Star Trek episode being shown that night.

STAR TREK KIRK AGED DIFFERENTLY THAN WILLIAM SHATNER

As is turns out, while William Shatner was boldly going where no 90-year old had gone before, he already had been old before. In the episode “The Deadly Years” shown on December 8, 1967, in the second season, the humans on a planet had experienced a rapid aging. When I say rapid, I mean rapid. People were growing old right before our eyes. Look at this picture of how the Hollywood make-up artists envisioned the old Captain Kirk.

Captain Kirk at 90

The entire episode is based on the aging officers of the Enterprise growing too old to fulfill their responsibilities.

The contrast between the actual actor at age 90 in 2021 and the aged character in the 1967 episode is truly remarkable. As you watched and listened to current version, you saw no one like the TV character. Of course, truth be told, in his physical mobility and mental necessities, he didn’t much resemble many people of his age today either. Imagine if back in 1967, he could have seen a picture of what he would really look like when he reached 90!

LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW

Shatner made an extremely casual comment in an interview with Cooper prior to the flight that is easy to overlook. He waxed poetic about his expectations of seeing the majesty of space and the oasis of earth from the rocket window. He would be like a kid with his face pressed against the window not wanting to miss a moment of the experience. Perhaps he was contrasting himself with people who never look up from their gadgets. Today, it’s only real if it is on a screen.

Then Shatner said, “I don’t want to see someone looking back at me” when I am looking out the window. Such an expression seems eminently reasonable. It would be quite shocking if when gazing out into the dark vastness of the universe, suddenly from outside the ship, there was someone looking back at you. While your faced was pressed against the window on one side, imagine the horror if someone or something also was pressed against the window but from the outside.

Nothing else was said about that comment during the interview. But Shatner the actor had had exactly that experience once before. It occurred not on Star Trek but on The Twilight Zone. The episode was “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” shown on October 11, 1963, four years prior to his becoming old before his time on Star Trek.  The episode has become one of the more famous ones in Twilight Zone lore. It even has been retold. Part of what is so fascinating now is to see the limitations in special effects compared to what exists today.

Another fascination is how the show becomes such a terrifying story. It was confined to the passenger section of a plane and the mind of a person recently released from a mental treatment facility following a nervous breakdown. Now he is seemingly recovered and being escorted home by his wife. All I can say about the episode, is that when I first saw it I was terrified. Kudos to Rod Sterling and company for crafting a tale that scared the hell out me. And the scariest moment of all [SPOLIER ALERT] occurred when William Shatner stared out the window on the wing of the plane and saw something staring back at him.

Once this Twilight Zone shot was terrifying

Kudos also to the 90-year old Shatner for joining together The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, and his voyage into space.

CAPTAIN MERIK VERSUS VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE

The Mike Pence connection takes a little explaining. While Anderson Cooper was giggling, Heroes and Icon was showing the Star Trek episode “Bread and Circuses” which originally aired on March 15, 1968. In that show, Captain Merik and his crew from his spaceship are missing. The Starship Enterprise crew locates the crew on a planet governed by a 1960s version of the Roman Empire. So if you channel surfed, you could flip back and forth between Shatner and Cooper and Captain Kirk and a Roman Caesar in an earthlike world of 1960s technology where Rome never fell.

Mike Pence has been no Captain Merik from Star Trek “Bread and Circuses.” Will he be a hero now? (William Smithers)

Does this missing Captain look familiar to you? Does he bear a passing resemblance to anyone today?

Back on October 3, 2019, more than one year before the 2020 election and January 6, I wrote a blog entitled “Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage?” The issue then was the second impeachment due to the attempted extortion of the Ukrainian President.

On the planet, Captain Merik sells his soul to the Roman Emperor, to Caesar and not to Christ. It is not an exact match to V.P. Mike selling his soul to his Lord and Savior, the chosen one, blessed be his name, but it is close enough.  Pence’s performance in the Cabinet meeting where he thanked God for enabling him to share the same space-time continuum as The Donald will forever define him. In its own way, it is even more pathetic than Captain Merik’s abject submission in the TV show.

 Be that as it may, both Mike and Merik have violated their oath. Merik has violated the Prime Directive by interfering in the planet and sharing knowledge of the existence of the Federation of Planets along with the awareness of a superior technology to that a 1960s country possessed. Vice President Brown Nose has been submissive in his behavior but whether he has crossed the line or not is another issue…until the current scandal

Now he faces a moment of truth. He was present during the violation of the Constitution and the cover-up. What will he do? He was part of it. Will he tell the truth? He has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution.

In the Star Trek episode, Merik redeems himself. In the moment of truth, Merik rescues Kirk and Co. enabling them to beam back to the Starship Enterprise and escape the clutches of the imperial order. He pays for that decision with his life. Sometimes being a profile in courage can be fatal. Just because you demonstrate the right stuff to go into the arena does not mean you will survive the ordeal and emerge a victor. In the TV show, Merik did not.

What will Mike Pence do? He prides himself on his Christian values. Will he tell the truth? He prides himself on never dining alone with a woman who is not his wife. Will he tell the truth? He prides himself on his integrity. Will he tell the truth? He thinks he is part of God’s plan. Will he tell the truth?

No.

He will not rise to the occasion.

He will not be a profile in courage.

I returned to this issue in blog from January 7, 2021, the day after the attempt to steal the election, overthrow the Constitution, and attempt to hang Mike Pence. I concluded that blog with the wishful thinking that “The country needs him to be the hero and not a zero” and hope that he would be one. True he did not go along with the 6-step program insisted on by the Hitman, but that is not enough. His last chance to be a profile in courage will occur when he is subpoenaed to testify before the House Committee about his involvement in January 6. The odds are Pence will remain true to character and fail his country once again.

Captain Queeg and the Republican Party: Is the Party Iraq?

Has he lost his marbles? Did he ever have them? (Wikipedia)

Whither the Republican Party? To some extent merely to ask that question implies that a Republican Party still exists. It is important to keep in mind that the Republican Party had ceased to be the party of Lincoln even before the 2016 elections [R.I.P. Party of Lincoln (1856-2016) March 12, 2016]. While individual admirers of Lincoln still exist within the Republican Party, they did not define the Party on a national level. It had become a weenie party of stupid (see Bobby Jindal, remember when he was a rising star in the Republican Party?).

The idea that the Republican Party would face the truth about its leader has been a pipe dream for years. Starting particularly with the Access Hollywood, there has been a constant sense that there was a line to be crossed and he had just crossed it. I plead guilty to having thought there would be a moment of truth, there would be some action where Republicans would stare into the ugliness of the person with no conscience, no morals, and no ethics and say, “Enough is enough.” Despite Lindsay Graham’s pro forma protestation, that moment still has not arrived collectively for the Party.

Take the Georgia phone call as an example. On one side there was an immediate hue and cry about an illegal act and an impeachable offense. Meanwhile the Impeached-only-once-so-far President said people liked the call. By “people,” of course, he meant his people, the real Americans, and not We the People. But the fact is, he was right. Trumpicans loved seeing him fighting for what is rightfully his. After all, he not only won Georgia, he won the election and did so in a landslide.

The same applies to the January 6, 2021 occupation of the Capitol. For weeks if not months the Impeached-only-once-so-far President had been inciting Trumpicans to gather at the Nation’s capital for an apocalyptic showdown with forces of evil. On the day of the assault, he and his son had incited Trumpicans to storm the Bastille as it were, to force the weak RINOs to do the right thing. As with the Georgia phone call, there was an immediate hue and cry about an illegal act an impeachable offense with the additional option of invoking the 25th Amendment. But the same Mike Pence who stood by his man after the Access Hollywood tape is standing by his man after the failed coup attempt.

True, the outcry among Republicans is greater now. They know even when Congressional Trumpican lives were on the line inside the Capitol, he would not lift a finger to help them or denounce those who threatened them. After, for the longtime-fake-Democrat-and-Clinton supporter, it is all about him. Don’t expect any sympathy or empathy for collateral damage in the Capitol. As the days dwindle for the Impeached-only-once-so-far President, there are some Republican voices being heard saying enough is enough. In the House, the Trumpicans still dominate but their vote is not needed for impeachment. In the Senate, the Republicans seem to outnumber the Trumpicans and the opportunity to deny him the right to run for President again has an appeal even to Senators who had sold their soul.

It would appear now that the Republican Party has gone as far as it can along those lines. While it was able to defeat the Democratic Party of the Politically Corrected People and its terrible candidate in 2016 despite losing the popular vote, it has reached the limits of what it can achieve unless aided by the Woke.

As things stand now,

1. it has lost the House, the White House and the Senate
2. the three male Trumps have vowed to “primary” the weak disloyal RINOs who did not come to the aid of the failed coup to reverse the election
3. the Georgia Trumpicans have lost three statewide elections in short order and the current Republican office holders have been vilified, denounced, and even taken into hiding for their safekeeping from Trumpicans – do you really think a Trumpican can first primary the current governor and then win the state election?
4. the Arizona Republican Party is now chaired by a perennial loser who has become a permanent resident of an alternate reality – after also losing three statewide elections – two Senate seats and the presidency – do you really think a Trumpican can first primary the current governor and then win a state election?
5. the initial attempt to primary the South Dakota who placed loyalty to the Constitution over loyalty to an individual has failed
6. a Trumpican could not win statewide elections in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Vermont, Republicans could and have
7. Trumpican outbreaks have occurred in multiple states throughout the country and most likely will continue as the battle is engaged – they even have a t-shirt to mark the launch of the civil war.

For Trumpicans Lincoln, Roosevelt (T.), Bush, McCain, and Romney are RINOs and Romney is to be vilified as a traitor as he just was in an airport. No place is safe from Trumpicans. The Rubicon has now been crossed. The moment of truth has arrived. The Trumpican goal to win primaries trumps the Republican goal to win elections. America’s Third Civil War is really two civil wars: one between Republicans and Trumpicans and one between Trumpicans and the Woke.

I conclude with a blog from 2016 that unfortunately represent a long-standing and false hope (Star Trek Anticipated the Trump Meltdown October 9) and (Empire State Presidential Elections (2016): A Day in Infamy, August 6). As the monster became uglier and uglier in the real world, I thought the disgusting ugly incarnation of evil that he is would be exposed for all to see. I thought he would suffer the same fate as the alien in the Star Trek episode. I even wrote:

What happens if the party of Lincoln seeks to take back its party from ugliness? What happens if non-elite heterosexual white males who love their country and are in pain catch on that they are being slicked, conned, hustled, flim-flammed, bamboozled and lied to by a staggeringly ignorant narcissist who just as easily would rip them off at his phony university for their desire to live the American Dream as he would for their vote?

I was wrong then and I would be wrong now if I thought Trumpicans would see the truth. Rather, they do see the truth. He is not an alien monster. He is their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name. How can Lincoln compete with that!

Mike Pence: De Facto President?

Mike Pence has been no Captain Merik from Star Trek “Bread and Circuses." Will he be a hero now? (William Smithers)

Mike Pence’s moment in history has arrived. These times will define him for life. When he is standing in judgement before St. Peter the question he will be asked is what did he do when the President of the United States of America incited a coup to remain in power.

Up until now, Pence hardly seemed like the person who could or would rise to the occasion. He was one of the first people to sell in soul in the hopes of being the successor. He saw it as part of God’s plan.

Back then it was easy to make fun of him. Vice President Brown Nose was the butt of many jokes. Some of his pronouncements about thanking God for being blessed to share the same space-time continuum as his Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name, will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Now after four years, what does he have to show for having sold his soul?

He tried in a private meeting to inform the President that as Vice President he did not have the Constitutional authority to do what he was being asked to do. He should have known better. He was speaking to a person blessed with having no ethics, no conscience, and no morals. He was speaking to someone who lives on the basis of do what you want until or unless someone stops you. Legal limits are merely obstacles to work around. The Presidential statement that “The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the vice president has the power to act” highlights the futility of Pence’s efforts to convince the President of the United States of America to obey the law.

“I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so, I hope so, because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election. [O]ne of the top constitutional lawyers in our country [said Pence] “the absolute right to” throw out the election results.

Mike Pence has to agree to send the Electors back. Otherwise the Criminal in chef would be “very disappointed” in him.

Mike Pence should not have been surprised that this President would throw him under the bus. Loyalty is a one-way street. You don’t acquire Loyalty Points for all the actions you have taken in the past; your loyalty always is based on the current request for complete and total obedience. Although Pence had complied, the final straw had been placed and it broke the camel’s back. As it turns out, Pence’ loyalty to country and Constitution trumped loyalty to an individual.

When the assault came at The Capitol, Mike Pence did rise to the occasion. He did what needed to be done. While the Criminal in-chief voiced his supporter for the insurrection, Pence prevailed to have the National Guard to intervene even though he had no authority to do so.

A change has occurred. There has been a lot of talk about what our deranged unhinged immature child president might do during his waning days in office. There is one thing which won’t happen: he will not step down at the last moment so Mike Pence as the President can pardon him. Previously I had raised the question of whether the Impeached President would even be willing to resign and trust Pence to pardon instead of his just having the last laugh. Now that scenario will not happen.

While the President of the United States has a lot of power, here are limits to what he can do on his own. For example, he lacks the mental necessities to write more than “I pardon Donald Trump.” Someone else has do the work. Someone else has to carry out the orders. We already have had the experience with the last days of Nixon where procedures were put in place to prevent his actions being implemented without sign-off by an adult in room. We are at the moment now.

Back on October 3, 2019, I wrote a blog entitled “Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage?” I wrote:

In the early months of this administration there was a lot of silly talk about the 25h Amendment. Somehow V.P Brown Nose was going to lead a cabinet coup against the mentally impaired immature child President and restore decency to the Oval Office. The idea that Pence would rise to the occasion was so absurd as to be completely laughable. None-the-less, adult human beings even with college educations, would discuss this option as if it were a real possibility.

Now once again the 25th Amendment is under consideration. This time it is more serious. The situation is more serious and the conversations are more serious. Regardless of the outcome, it is beneficial for Mike Pence to publicly announce his intention to pursue the 25th Amendment. True, our immature-child President will want to lash out. However, Pence’s action will put the Federal Government on notice that the times have changed. People will be more willing to defy the President and/or resign knowing that the Vice President has initiated this effort.

Second, Mike Pence should announce that in any Congressional or DOJ investigations on anything that happened during this Administration that he will testify freely and willingly.

I began that blog Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage? with the comment that:

To become a profile in courage is not easy. First there needs to be a situation where there is a need for someone to be a profile in courage. Second, one of the people in that situation then needs to rise to the occasion.     

I concluded the blog by saying he would not. Perhaps now, it will be different. The country needs him to be the hero and not a zero.

If the Democrats Didn’t Control the House the 2020 Election Would Be Reversed

Will Josh Hawley Succeed where Benedict Arnold and Robert E. Lee failed? (Samuel Corum / Getty Images)

These are times that try men’s souls. And women, too. We are watching in slow motion the United States of America being brought to the brink of ceasing to exist as a single country governed by the Constitution and becoming a divided country with two presidents … once again.

The first effort failed but at a tremendous cost. It took years of fighting, the death of hundreds of thousands, and untold destruction throughout the land to preserve the Union. Ultimately the effort failed to create a single country despite the veneer of having done so. There remain huge swaths of the country where Abraham Lincoln remains persona non grata. Tens of millions of Confederates still prefer Robert E. Lee to him. They now have a president who does as well. The Woke assault on Lincoln expands his rejection creating an even third “country” or division in America. I have repeatedly invoked the possibility that the United States as a single country we know today may not legally exist on July 4, 2026 when it otherwise would be celebrating its 250th birthday. Now we are moving even closer to that fate.

At this point, all that separates the United States from dissolving after January 6, 2021, is the Democratic control of the House. Imagine what would happen on January 6 if the Democrats were not in control of the House. Is there any doubt that if the Democrats did not control the House that the Trumpican House and Senate would vote to reverse the election results and hand the election to their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name? That is how close we are to becoming a country where regardless of how the people vote, the House and the Senate will determine the winner if one party has the majority in both. Our checks and balances would fail us save for the fact that Democrats did so well in 2018 they could barely hold on in 2020. A few more losses by the Democrats and the Presidential election results would be reversed.

Mitch McConnell’s advice to Trumpican Senators not to support the effort to reverse the election is not based on principle. He did not offer the advice out of his commitment to the democratic process or because no fraud occurred. He did so out of the practical reality that the Democratic-controlled House would not approve anything the Trumpican Senate passed. Therefore the vote was futile.

He also knew it was possible the Trumpicans would not have a Senate majority after the Georgia elections. He knew that Romney and perhaps a very small number of Republicans might oppose the coup attempt. His concern is for 2022, too: Trumpican Senators running for re-election in a Biden presidency will have the label traitor affixed to them. Trumpican Representatives don’t care. The way House districts are configured, these people have little to worry about in terms of backlash as 126 already demonstrated. The situation is different in statewide elections. Being a traitor will help Ron Johnson stave off a challenge or win the Wisconsin primary unopposed but will it help him win the election where the Democrats won in 2020? So the Trumpican Senator votes are for show and to prevent the wrath of the Sore Loser being unleashed upon them.

Consider the prospects for 2024. As repeatedly stated here in these blogs since 2016, there is no Republican Party as the party of Lincoln. It’s dead. Even the Lincoln Project knows there is no hope for taking the party back. They have become Independents or Democrats. If Chris Christie or Larry Hogan want to run as Republicans in 2024, they will have the same chance Bill Weld did in 2020. It’s the Trumpican Party.

Assuming for the moment that THE DONALD does not run in 2024 and only designates his daughter as the Vice Presidential candidate, who will be the Trumpican nominee?

Mike “sold his soul” Pence?
Mike “sold his soul” Pompeo?
Nikki “sold her soul’ Haley?
Ted “sold his soul” Cruz based on the presumption he has one?
Josh “sold his soul” Hawley?

How will Trumpican voters be able to differentiate among the candidates? They all will boast of having sold their soul. The real question is not how will the Trumpican voters decide among this cast of soul-sellers, but who THE DONALD will pick as his heir to run with his daughter. The issue for all the soul-sellers is not to get on the wrong list, the one where the disloyal people go if they fail to be loyal and support the coup. Pence and Pompeo already may be on that list. Pence still has a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of THE DONALD even if the Senate vote fails.

Neil Katyal likes to say that the Vice President on January 6 is like the envelop-opener at an awards ceremony. Yes, you are the Master of Ceremonies, but you have no authority to change the vote totals. You can’t simply say, “I want my favorite movie to win and who cares how the academy voted?” True enough but so what? The Vice President has and will take advantage of the opportunity to let the coup have maximum coverage. He will let Trumpicans throughout the land know that regardless of what the Supreme Court, dozens of judges, the Attorney General, and a host of others have said, the election really was stolen, THE DONALD really won in landslide and the only reason he is not being recognized as the duly elected winner is because Democrats control the House.

That will be the message on January 6th or 7th when the debate is over and the votes have been taken. Depending on how many well-armed Trumpicans have gathered in Washington, that is when all hell will break loose. As in 1861, many states will not recognize the results of the presidential election. In exactly what form they do that remains to be seen.

If the Democrats did not control the House, the election would be reversed, the coup would succeed, and the American experiment would come to an end.

Since Democrats do control the House, the election results will stand but many states as in 1861 will not recognize the authority of the illegitimately-elected President.

After that, all bets are off. Josh Hawley deserves the credit for letting his desire to be President of the United States of American in 2024 jeopardize whether or not there will be a United States of America in 2024 as there is today.

Marco! Trumpo! Marco! Trumpo! Where Will He Go?

Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home (AP Photo)

The 2020 Presidential campaign may be remembered as the one where one candidate said he would leave the country if he lost and one candidate said he would arrest the other. Oh. Wait.  Both of them were the same candidate.

Was the comment to leave the country a serious one?

In the past, he has abruptly and impulsively ordered the U.S. military to withdraw troops NOW. Then the assertion was walked back by the remaining adults in the White House.

He has just called for the release of all documents related to the Russia hoax to be disclosed without redaction. Then some people decided to take him seriously and obtain all the documents that he had previously kept hidden. Now the Chief of Staff of the President of the United States had to file legal papers testifying to the fact that what the President says especially on Twitter is bull-trump and should not be taken seriously.

He also has renewed his call for the Attorney General to indict his Democratic opponent now. This is the same Attorney General who previously said he did not plan to indict either Obama or Biden: “Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is necessarily a federal crime.”

Now Meadows and Barr know they are on the Jeff Sessions list.

So what about the statement that he would leave the country if he lost? Was that just more impulsive nonsense from the immature child in the body of an adult with the emotional stability of a three-year old or did he really mean it? And what about all the millions of people he would leave behind to face the ruin of the suburbs and the takeover by the socialists and anarchists who would take over without their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name, to fight for them? But then again, it always is about him.

Let’s look at the situation he will face on January 20, 2021.

INAUGURATION DAY

The worst presidential candidate in the history of the United States will be sworn in as President while the outgoing President stands by with nothing to say or do accept to accept this peaceful transfer of power.

The Loser will be standing there silently with the worst presidential candidate in the history of the United States who won by 15 million votes.

The Loser will be standing there silently with the worst presidential candidate in the history of the United States who won in a landslide with more than 306 Electoral College votes. In fact, earlier this week, Hannity referred to the 306 vote landslide. Does he know it was not a landslide or does he think his audience is too stupid to know it?

The Loser will be standing before THE LARGEST INAUGURAL CROWD IN AMERICAN HISTORY!

Then the new President will face the crowd and the nation and say:

WOW!

THIS IS THE LARGEST INAUGURAL CROWD IN AMERICAN HISTORY!

AND IN THE REAL WORLD! NOT THE WORLD OF ALTERNATE FACTS!

Do you really think the Loser will subject himself to this humiliation? And in silence?

PRESIDENT PENCE

Who then will be the outgoing president who participates in the peaceful transfer of power?

It will be the person who thinks it is part of God’s plan that he should be President. Now that plan will be fulfilled. For a few hours on the morning before the new President takes the oath of office, Mike Pence will be the President of the United. During his short stint in the Oval Office, he will perform one and only one task – to pardon his predecessor. He will save the Loser from having to silently experience with a fake smile the peaceful transfer of power to the worst presidential candidate in the history of the United States who trounced him.

The pardon will not be without controversy. If the new President pardons the former President after having taking the oath of office, then it will be valid. However, can the outgoing President rely on the new President to do it? When Mike Pence sold his soul to become President of the United States, this is not what he had it mind. From his point forward, he is politically dead. He will forever be tainted as Vice President Brownnose who sold his soul. He will be called upon to testify with no immunity by various House and Senate committees seeking to investigate what happened during the past four years. Maybe he will have a little fun and refuse to sign the pardon.

To prevent that situation, maybe the pardon will be signed in advance before Pence takes the oath office. In that case the pardon will not be valid, hence the investigation.

Of course, even if he pardons himself or is pardoned by President Pence, he still can be subpoenaed at the federal level as part of investigations. He will not be able to plead the Fifth Amendment since he has been pardoned. But he still won’t tell the truth because he is incapable of doing so. That means perjury which is a crime and not covered by the pardon for past actions. The result is he needs to be removed from the reach of the law at the federal and state level even if there is a pardon.

But where will the outgoing President be since the moment the Vice President becomes President, the former President loses all immunity and is subject to arrest? Will Bill Barr of all people since he will still be the Attorney General for a few more hours arrest him? That won’t happen, but it is fun to speculate.

MARCO! TRUMPO!  

So where will the Loser be? He won’t be at ceremony. He won’t be in the White House where he can be arrested. So where?

MARCO! TRUMPO! MARCO! TRUMPO! –   While President, he has opportunities to travel abroad on official business. True many countries have quarantined the United States due to the horrendous job he did mismanaging the coronavirus, but there may be some countries he can visit as part of an official farewell tour. Of course, he won’t be able to return on Air Force One since he will no longer be President while he is saying goodbye. So where will be on January 20, 2021?

MARCO! TRUMPO! MARCO! TRUMPO! – How about North Korea? Wouldn’t it be happy to provide him asylum? But would anyone follow him there? Think of what the First Lady negotiated just to relocate from New York to Washington. North Korea seems unlikely.

MARCO! TRUMPO! MARCO! TRUMPO!  – How about Russia? He has been a willing and obedient servant to the alpha-male father figure. Perhaps he could obtain sanctuary there. Unfortunately as a Loser, his value as a Russian asset is nil. Everything is transactional and he has nothing to offer anymore. Putin’s last gasp has been the October surprise with Hunter Biden. It worked with Hannity. It worked with Senator Hawley who now has comprised himself. It doesn’t seem to have any traction elsewhere. Russia seems unlikely.

MARCO! TRUMPO! MARCO! TRUMPO!  – How about Israel? He certainly has been very supportive of Israel. There have been definite changes he can point to as his successes. Wouldn’t Israel be only too happy to welcome him? However, there is nothing in it for Israel. It would antagonize the new American government, alienate the American Jewish community, and create unnecessary security challenges. So although it has beaches and resorts, can easily be visited, and can provide the hair care he needs. Israel seems unlikely as a place of refuge and sanctuary for the Loser.

MARCO! TRUMPO! MARCO! TRUMPO! – How about Saudi Arabia? This country has possibilities. He looked the other way when they murdered a journalist in the embassy and they buy his apartments. As long as Saudi Arabia doesn’t care what the new administration thinks, Saudi Arabia is a longshot possibility as a place of refuge and sanctuary for the Loser.

As this review shows, even if the Loser is serious about fleeing the country, his options are limited. He has spent four years alienating and antagonizing countries. On a transactional basis, there is no advantage to any country to take him. Seriously, how stupid would a country have to be offer asylum to the Loser? The more you look at it, the more you realize, he has nowhere to go, nowhere to hide.

Can he make a deal? In part, that depends on the vote. If there is a clearcut winner for all the world to see, then his leverage is minimal. The bigger the margin of victory the less people in the government will do his bidding. Even Trumpicans might be demoralized. Unfortunately, if it is close and there are riots in the street and despair in the air, his bargaining power increases. Since he only cares about himself, it might be possible for New York City, New York State, the House of Representatives, the Senate and his $421 million creditors to reach a deal of some kind. Time would be of the essence.

There is one country which might accept him, one country where he is revered and worshiped, where the feeling is mutual. I am referring of course to the Confederacy, home of his hero Robert E. Lee. The Confederacy is the best fit for him. He can rule, I mean preside, forever there. He already is a resident. So maybe what he should concentrate on in November, December, and January is not trying to be President of the United States of American, but of being President of the Confederate States of America. The South shall rise again. Liberate the Confederacy.

 

P.S. When China comes up in the debate, so should Trump’s accounts and taxes there. Biden should declare a new law: Presidents should pay at least as much to the IRS as to foreign governments.

Putin’s Pence: What Does He Get from the Relationship?

THE DONALD and "Fred Trump" (courtesy https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com)

A Question That Won’t Go Away: Why Does Trump Love Putin So Much?

Following the news that Russia put a bounty on US troops, this old puzzle takes on new significance.

David Corn (June 29, 2020)

What does Putin’s Pence get from his relationship with Vladimir Putin? Everything is transactional. It’s all about the deal. Therefore it should be possible to determine what the American President gets in exchange for being submissive to the leader of America’s adversary.

WHAT DOES PUTIN GET?

On Putin’s side, it is relatively easy to determine what he gets or wants from his relationship with his American asset.

End of the sanctions
Restoration of the G8
Approval for the invasion of the Ukraine
Approval for Russia’s actions abroad including in Afghanistan, Africa, Libya, and Syria
Permission to violate the American elections in 2020 as he did in 2016
Approval for invading the Baltics should he decide to do so.

Plus whatever other actions Putin is doing or decides to do which a normal American President would oppose.

WHAT DOES PUTIN HAVE ON HIS PENCE?

In general, there is an assumption that Putin must have something on his Pence. In other words, the reason for the subordinate behavior is due to the risk of exposure or the withholding of some action that his Pence desires. While I do not agree with this assessment, it is worthwhile reviewing the potential areas of blackmail which have been identified.

1. Compromising Pictures

There has been an ongoing fascination over what happened when THE DONALD had the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013. At that time, he tweeted:

Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend? 11:17 PM · Jun 18, 2013

Strange tweet to be sure. It has led to investigations into what really happened. For example:

When Donald Trump brought Miss Universe to Moscow by Michael Crowley 5/15/16

Trump in Moscow: what happened at Miss Universe in 2013 by Jon Swaine in New York and Shaun Walker in Moscow (9/18/17)

Trump’s Miss Universe Gambit by Jeffrey Toobin (2/26/18).

Something had to have happened in the swirl of money, media, and babes. How could it not have? Even if there was some skullduggery in the selection of the winning contestant and/or the finances of the pageant, could that have been enough to turn the American President into Putin’s Pence?

Besides money and manipulation, could there have been compromising pictures that THE DONALD would do anything to keep secret just as he doing with his taxes?  Titillating as the idea is, the answer seems to be “no.” Let’s put the 2013 pageant in historical perspective.

2005 January 22 marriage to Melania
2005 September, Access Hollywood tape: claims he’s still got it
2006 March 20 birth of Barron
2006 Stormy Daniels, one night stand
2006 Karen McDougal, possible next wife

As best I know between 2006 and 2013, there are no allegations of grabbing, harassment, one-night stands, or affairs. What happened? At some point did THE DONALD simply cease performing as THE DONALD? I am not familiar with any reporting on why the change in behavior occurred or when. However the cessation of even specific accusations against him leads me to believe that for whatever reason, he was a different person in his sixties than he had been earlier. Therefore, I am inclined to believe that the idea of compromising pictures is wishful thinking

2. Trump Tower

The desire to build a Trump Tower in Moscow certainly was a pre-presidential goal. Is it still one? Whatever backroom maneuverings he undertook to secure approval probably weren’t that different from the way he was used to wheeling and dealing in the New York real estate market. The differences were in location and the government involved. It’s hard to imagine that he is subservient to Putin simply in the hopes of being able to build a Trump Tower in Moscow after he is no longer President.

WHAT DOES THE CHILD IN THE BODY OF A MAN GET FROM ALPHA MALE PUTIN?

Thanks to some recent reporting by Carl Bernstein and a book by Mary Trump it is possible to better document what was known and/or suspected all along.

Mary Trump describes the child in the body of a man as coming from a truly dysfunctional family. Fred Trump’s racism evidence in KKK associations and his rental practices are nothing new. The anti-Semitism may be a bit of a surprise given his daughter’s conversion and his support of Israel, but it is consistent with his stereotype of Jews.

What’s new is the extent to which Fred Trump was a person with serious psychological problems and to which they extended to his son. Not to repeat what she has written and said in interviews, but the atmosphere in that home must have been suffocating. One son was driven to alcoholism and died early. By contrast, THE DONALD figured out a way to survive and thrive under those conditions. As Mary Trump describes it, he carried that dysfunctionality with him all of his life. One might note that he added his own shortcomings to the mix.

Future biographers will have a field day trying to determine what was nature and what was nurture (or its absence) in the upbringing of the child. Mary Trump says he has he emotional maturity of a three-year old.  But that doesn’t explain why he has the mental necessities and cognitive skills of an immature child. Being emotionally immature doesn’t explain the inability to read a briefing book or need someone to take the SATs. Mary Trump suspects a learning disorder but he may just have a child’s brain that is incapable of functioning at the adult level.

How long would it have taken a skilled KGB operator like Putin to realize these shortcomings?

Mary Trump writes of his uncle as the “court jester from Queens.”  She mocks his inability to succeed in business without his father’s help. One might add that after Fred’s death, the Russian mob filled in the financial gap. Mary Trump writes of the tension between the dependent son in the real world with image of THE DONALD he wanted to be real. She claims his bragging and false bravado were really directed towards his long-dead father: Look at me! I made it! Look how tough I am! Look how I beat up on women! Aren’t I a real man!!?

How long would it have taken a skilled KGB operator like Putin to realize that Little Donne Waney was an alpha male wannabee and not the real thing?

Mary Trump asserts that her uncle was trained to hunger endlessly for daddy’s approval. Now she claims that father has been replaced by father figures who remind him of his real father, father figures like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. Once Kim Jong-un was little rocket man and THE DONALD bragged of having a bigger rocket and button. Then they became “lovers.” Who knows what they are now. But Jong-un is a son who succeeded in his father’s business.

Putin is the number one alpha male on the world stage. People who observe Putin and his Pence together readily ascertain which one is the dominant male and which one is subservient. Bernstein writes: “Putin ‘just outplays’ him.” The alpha male wannabee is focused on building himself into a macho-macho man who Putin will respect. And it was always about him, never about the United States, its allies, or being leader of the free world.

How long would it have taken a skilled KGB operator like Putin to realize that he didn’t need to put the alpha male wannabee on the Russian payroll? Putin’s Pence would be a Russian asset all on his own, so pathetic was the American President’s need for Putin’s approval. The alpha male dominated the child inside the body of an adult.

The three-year old will never grow up.  He will yell at governors for being weak. He will demand that they dominate the protesters. He will insist they not be losers. Then he will show them the way by dominating Lafayette Square as no President in American history ever has done. Wouldn’t Fred be proud of his son’s success?

Putin undoubtedly realizes that the time of his Pence as President may be nearing an end. He can read briefing reports. Putin’s window of opportunity for exploiting the complicit President is closing. What will he do before his Pence leaves office? Will he seek a final hurrah when he knows the United States will not respond? Invade the Baltics? Given the weaknesses of his own country, there may be limits to what he can do. When all is said and done, this brief interlude when his Pence presided over the United States may be remembered as the time when an immature child in the body of an adult desperate for the approval of his dominating father tried to the best of his ability to help make Russia great again.

Why Would Nikki Haley Want the Nomination? Which Nomination Anyway?

And the Nominee Is... (Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Note: I decided last week to write this blog this week. In so doing I gambled that there would be more of the same in the news but nothing drastic like the revelation of the Russian bounty on American soldiers and no American response. You never really know what to expect except that it will be something you never imagined.

As the days wind down to the Convention, once again the name of Nikki Haley is bandied about for a national nomination. That attention has followed her since July, 2015:

Haley’s decisive action to drive the final removal of the banner from statehouse grounds quickly and relatively cleanly in the glare of the national spotlight proved a well-timed audition for higher office ahead of the 2016 Republican veepstakes. Nikki Haley’s star rises as rebel flag comes down

Now here we are nearly five years later and her name is mentioned once again. But for which position on the national ticket? Haley is an ambitious adult who lives in the real world. Why would she want a position on the national ticket in 2020 anyway?

Let’s consider three scenarios.

PENCE IS DUMPED

The most common position discussed is the vice-presidential nomination as a replacement for the incumbent Vice President. For this to occur, there are several decisions which need to be made.

First is that the reelection prospects are so dire that a Hail Mary is needed. This means that the person who thinks of himself as a winner who never loses has to admit to himself that as things stand he is a loser. Remember, in his mind, he won the popular vote in 2016, too. It is in that mind that the decision will be made. Can he admit for the record that he is headed for a defeat and needs the help of someone else to rescue him?

As of now, it would seem that he is not at the point. His first reaction upon learning of a poll showing Biden with a 14% lead was to sue. By now with virtually every poll showing Biden with a 50% or more support and/or a double-digit lead, he would have to sue almost all the pollsters in America including Fox. That doesn’t appear to have happened.

He knows the polls are against him now.

He knows there was no overflow attendance and a blue sea of empty seats inside at his rally in Tulsa.

He knows that Bolton’s book portrays him as begging for it from the Chinese.

He knows that the newest scandal shows him approving of Putin putting a target on the backs of American soldiers. MORE FAKE NEWS.

There is still is no sign that he has reached a point where he will admit he is a loser and ready to throw the Hail Mary. That could change at any moment.

Second, what are the ramifications of dumping his loyal Vice President? Mike Pence has sold his soul to be the successor, not the dumped one. While there is insufficient time to write a book between the time dumped and the election, there certainly is plenty of opportunity for him to go “Bolton” and do the talk shows. True after all his “happy talk” about the coronavirus, he has limited credibility. Anything he said could be considered sour grapes because he was dumped. Is dumping him a risk worth taking?

Third, even if the decision is made to dump the loyal Vice President and take your chances on what he might say, the question still remains why would Haley take the position? She would know it is being offered to her only as an act of desperation. Who knows what else will be revealed in the weeks and months to come. After all, who anticipated his latest example of submissiveness to Putin? To expect her to accept the Vice Presidency is like asking her to charter a plane to fly over the Atlantic Ocean so she can parachute onto the Titanic AFTER it hit the iceberg. For an ambitious person living in the real world joining the ticket as a replacement easily could be an act of political suicide.

Based on the above, my impression, for whatever it is worth, of Haley being the Vice President nominee has more to do with writers having too much spare time to spin scenarios than a likely event.

THE LBJ PRESIDENT

What about the position of President? Would Haley accept that nomination? Lately there has been talk [Morning Joe] about a supposed candidate with no vision or agenda for the second term, who seems to be going through the motions of running. Could he just to an LBJ and announce that he is not a candidate for the 2020 election?

For this scenario to happen, the same considerations as noted above would have to occur with one addition. The addition would be the realization that even the Hail Mary with Nikki Haley wouldn’t work. When the 2020 year began, there was a reasonable expectation of reelection. Sure the Democratic Party would win the popular vote as it always does with one exception during the era of Baby-boomer Presidents. But it was still possible to win the Electoral College despite being a popular-vote loser. Lately those prospects have changed. Instead of fighting over battle ground states, the newest trend is that the battle ground states could be swept by Biden. Then the fight will be over possible purple states like Texas. Given the rapid increase of coronavirus cases in Texas (along with Arizona and Florida), the election could be shaping up to be comparable to Obama in 2008 or Bush in 1988. Those results would have been considered impossible at the beginning of this year but now seem quite reasonable. And this is before the polls digest the latest scandal with Putin. It now has reached a point where even Trumpican Senators are getting nervous about the fate of the Republican Party.

The longtime pretend Democrat and Clinton supporter couldn’t care less about the fate of the Republican Party. It’s all about him. It always is. He could decide that he wants to go out as a winner with the greatest three years of any American President ever. Why risk defeat yet alone a humiliating defeat in November? He would have no problem leaving the Party in the lurch at the last minute and walking away.

But there would be consequences to such actions. The Trumpican Senate which prevented him from being removed from office would no longer protect him. I am not saying he would be impeached and convicted in his last few months. But all protections would be lost if he announced he wasn’t running again. He would be at risk for investigations by people out for blood.

And who would be the nominee then? Anyone with the Trump taint would be doomed in November. If the party wanted to save itself, prepare for 2024, and hope for the best, it would need a presidential candidate who could insult, mock, and demean Putin’s Pence as the Democrats will. Even then the likelihood of success would be minimal. So if the LBJ withdrawal occurs, why would Haley even try to pick up the pieces to salvage the election? In some vain hope that she will be remembered for her sacrifice and be nominated again? In 2024, it will have been76 years since Stevenson was nominated in consecutive campaigns and lost both. Even if the Party is abandoned at the last minute in July or August, I don’t see how it is in Haley’s interest to fill the void.

THE NIXON PRESIDENT

The Howard Baker moment has passed. Suppose the current Russian scandal proves the worst nightmares about an American President selling out his country [and for what in return?]. It is hard to imagine given the time constraints the Trumpican Senators supporting any drastic action against him. And leaving office early means loss of immunity at both the New York State and federal level.  Even Barr might grow concerned if the LBJ or Nixon precedents were followed. In fact, he may grow concerned anyway.

In conclusion, as of 6:45 PM June 29, 2020, when this blog was posted to the IHARE website, I do not expect to see Nikki Haley as a candidate for Vice President or President in 2020 with the caveat that at any given moment anything could happen which would cause me to change my mind.

Wishful Thinking and the Tulsa Truth

A Blue Wave Coming (Matt Barnard/Tulsa World via AP)

We all engage in wishful thinking. It is one way to remain optimistic, to keep up one’s spirits, to have hope. It is also the proverbial Wiley Coyote running off the cliff – it works until you look down. Then SPLAT!

25th Amendment

Mike Pence has been a source of wishful thinking. When this administration began there were a series of blogs in History News Network (HNN) about him. They had to do with his activation of the 25th Amendment to end the current administration almost immediately. In a series of posts to  HNN, this contributor carefully explained how the 25th Amendment worked. But the analysis did not stop there. It was followed by a meticulously detailed description of every individual who would be involved in the implementation of the 25th Amendment to discharge the President and have the Vice President becoming the Acting President. The analysis demonstrated that the votes were there to make it happen. The writer confidently predicted that it would happen. If the current administration wouldn’t be the shortest on record it would be close to it. Obviously the 25th Amendment maneuver didn’t work or even happen unlike the Impeachment ploy. It should be noted that this writer also had confidently predicted that the 2016 elections would result in a Democratic victory with over 330 Electoral College votes and possibly over 350. All of this was pure wishful thinking. It gave the appearance of sound research while being based on absolutely nothing substantive. As you might expect, I don’t read this blogger anymore. The again that writer has refrained from making predictions and sticks to anodyne summaries of the past.

Michael D’Antonio

Recently Michael D’Antonio decided to engage in some wishful thinking. His article “Time for Pence to jump ship?” was posted on not HNN but CNN (June 11, 2020). D’Antonio wrote:

With a schism forming [in the Republican Party], the time is ripe for a high-level official to make the dramatic break that would signal that someone is ready to stand as the leader of the post-Trump Republican Party. I would nominate for this job, Vice President Mike Pence. Unprecedented? Pretty much. But the Trump era is unprecedented too, and Pence signaled, when he agreed that he would be Trump’s running mate, that he’s willing to do the unexpected.

Here we can observe three examples of wishful thinking:

1. That there still is a Republican Party – the Republican Party no longer exists except in name. Actual Republicans like Romney in the Senate and some governors are few and far between.

2. That there will be a post-Trump Party after 2020 – unless his health really takes a turn for the worse he will not leave the stage especially after defeat. And if Eugene Debs ran for President from jail, so can a convicted person today.

3. That Vice President Brown Nose is willing to do the unexpected.

D’Antonio compounds his wishful thinking with the following:

Pence should weigh the merits of declaring he won’t be vice president for a possible second term….Behind that mild-mannered persona lurks a savvy and opportunistic politician…. Conditions are perfect, in other words, for Mike Pence to observe that either he needs to spend more time with his family or believes the President would benefit from the excitement that would come were he to run with a fresh face — perhaps former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — beside him. Pence could resign, saying Trump is just too loyal to fire him, and graciously make a path for himself to become the new leader of the GOP come the defeat of the Trump-Haley ticket in November.

It’s hard not to laugh when reading this. After all, D’Antonio is the author of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success and co-author with Peter Eisner of The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence. He is a serious, reputable person. His opinions are sought on talk shows. Technically, he has made a case on paper of the merits of Vice President Brown Nose taking a bold dramatic action that would thrust him into a leadership position post-2020 elections. But in fact, what D’Antonio wrote is pure unadulterated wishful thinking.

The proof was shown a few days later on June 15, 2020. The headline for The New York Times tells the tale:

As Cases Rise, Pence Promotes a Misleading Claim About Testing.

The article recounts how Pence “encouraged governors on Monday to adopt the administration’s claim that increased testing helps account for the new coronavirus outbreak reports, even though evidence has shown that the explanation is misleading.”  Not surprisingly, the false claim was the same on previously made by the President and which would be repeated in Tulsa. Stop the testing means stopping the number of cases of new infections means the deaths decrease.

There is no sign of bold dramatic action. There are two ways the D’Antonio scenario could work. One is if he became convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was no way the ticket was going to win, he could abandon ship for his own survival. Second, if he got wind that he was going to be dumped for Haley, he might bow out first. But either way, he still would be Vice President until January and still perform as a Brown Nose. The result will be he sold his soul for nothing.

Trumpicans and the Coronavirus

Tulsa exposed the wishful thinking of Trumpicans. Consider these examples:

1. “This coronavirus is a little bit hyped. The media hypes things,” Anonymous.

If only FAKE NEWS knocked off their hyped reporting, there would be no talk of 120,000 dead and they would not be dead either…or the deaths aren’t really from the coronavirus anyway. Who knows how this unidentified electrician from Seattle is able to live in an alternate reality. The whole thing must be a hoax.

This second example lends credence to Trumpicans thinking it is a hoax.

2. “It’s all fake. They’re just making the numbers up. I haven’t seen anybody die, not from coronavirus. I don’t know anybody who’s got it,” said Mike Alcorn, Wichita, Kansas.

3. “I’ve been watching this closely over the last four months or so, and the numbers just don’t add up,” said Jeff Eskew, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

4. “[The virus] is a scare tactic more than anything. And I just don’t believe all those deaths are coronavirus,” said Donald Fanning, Wichita Kansas.

Do you see any global warming in your backyard? I don’t see any global warming in your backyard. It’s all fake, it’s all made up.

How can you even blame China for a hoax? How can China be at fault if it’s all fake? That’s like saying the Bolton book is a complete lie but the lies are classified so it shouldn’t be published.

Remember, Trumpicans like mainland Chinese only get their news from the government propaganda machine. What are the odds on Fox showing how much better Europe has done then the United States in reducing the number of coronavirus deaths? What are the odds of Fox showing how much better countries from around the world have done in stopping the coronavirus? What are the odds on Fox showing the rise in coronavirus deaths in Trumpican states because it is not a New York problem anymore?  The Trumpican wishful thinking on the coronavirus will continue until Trumpicans start dying in droves and they all do know someone who died from it. I suspect, that little by little more and more Trumpicans will learn to live in the real world because it will become more and more difficult to live a lie.

THE TULSA TURNING POINT

I am going to go out on a limb with my wishful thinking. Tulsa was nothing like it was hyped to be or I expected it to be based on the hype. Tulsa may signal the turning point. For weeks now, Little Donnee Wanney has been the equivalent of a caged animal who hasn’t been feed. He was starved for the energy of a raucous crowd that would ignite his election campaign and power him to victory in November. Without the energy of Trumpicans he is just a tired irritable old man who has trouble walking down a ramp or raising a glass of water with one hand. With their energy he becomes the Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name. There is no Plan B. He has no vision except that he be the center of attention and be re-elected so he can stay out of jail. If the defining characteristic of his campaign in 2016 is removed from him, he has nothing left but hissy fit tweets from his White House bunker. A crowd of over 6000 when 19,000 indoor and 40,000 outdoor were expected doesn’t cut it. Where were all the people! Have they seen the light?

Tulsa is more than just a campaign event. True he can use it to take credit for making the country aware of a holiday that has been celebrated for 155 years. That is no small achievement. But Tulsa may be more remembered as a Toto moment. The curtain has been pulled backed. He looks not just like a loser to Biden but weak and wrong on everything: coronavirus, the economy, China, race, the courts, his niece, and his finances. Right now it seems as if the refs will have to throw a red flag for piling on just to save him. The military is not going to support him if he loses the election and claims “foul.” Even Barr seems to have his limits. President One-Term won’t want to leave the White House, but who will be left to help him remain there? All the adults are gone, the only ones left are loyalists and the son in-law. It will be easier to get him to leave the White House following an election defeat than I previously had thought. Perhaps Brian Williams is right to have started a countdown.

If Mike Pence Were President, How Many More Americans Would Be Alive Today?: Over 80,000 and Counting

God’s Plan for Mike Pence (The Atlantic, Tim O'Brien)

If Mike Pence were President, how many more Americans would be alive today? I posed that question in my blog on April 27, 2020, entitled If Mike Pence Were President, How Many More Americans Would Be Alive Today? At that time, I did not have a specific figure. I wrote this about the counterfactual:

This time we have hard-based scientific evidence that the situation could have been different. We know that social distancing and lock-downs work. It is possible to examine the dates of when cities in the United States (like New York) and cities throughout the world commenced a lock down. The numbers aren’t hidden figures. They are visible in plain sight. We know that the earlier these actions were taken, the fewer deaths there would have been and would be.  The same applies to the states. It is possible to examine the numbers from the 50 states and observe how many lives would have been saved if a state had acted a day earlier, two days earlier, a week earlier, or two weeks earlier. We know with different national leadership fewer Americans would have died and the economy wouldn’t have collapsed as much.

In my concluding paragraph, I wrote:

It is really not so difficult to imagine a different scenario being played out. The evidence is right there before us. We have the numbers. We have the multiple examples from the different cities, states, and countries.

Now we have the answer. A team of researchers at Columbia University have crunched the numbers and created a model in a report entitled “Differential Effects of Intervention Timing on COVID-19 Spread in the United States” by Sen Pei Kandula and Jeffrey Shaman. I don’t expect it to be on the night stand of our elementary-school literate President or mentioned on Fox except perhaps in a derogatory way.

According to the study, the implementation of mitigation measures a week or two earlier would have made a substantial difference. They used the May 3 death toll of 65,307 as a control point for the number of deaths and March 15 as the date for the start of mitigation measures in the United States. The results for starting earlier are:

March 8 – a decrease in the number of deaths from 65, 307 to 29,410 deaths for a reduction of 35,987 or almost 55%

March 1 – a decrease in the number of deaths from 65,307 to 11,253 deaths for a reduction of 54,054 or almost 83%.

If we extrapolate the results to the pending 100,000 actual deaths, the results based on the March 1 date mean approximately 17,000 Americans would have died instead for a reduction of 83,000. Presumably these calculations would ripple through the timeline.

True, this is a model. But when asked by Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” about the impact of starting mitigation efforts in February Anthony Fauci replied:

“I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives…  Obviously, no one is going to deny that.”

My immediate reaction on hearing that comment was that obviously one person was going to deny that. After all he rated himself a “10” and wouldn’t change anything he has done. Fauci went on to say:

“We make a recommendation. Often, the recommendation is taken. Sometimes it’s not. But we — it is what it is. We are where we are right now.”

Would we be where we are right now if the Senate had voted to remove the impeached President and Mike Pence had become President in February instead? We will never know but I think it is safe to say he couldn’t have done any worse. We certainly never would have heard of hydroxychloroquine or have considered the feasibility of disinfectants. Time Magazine has reported a spike in accidental poisonings with household disinfectants (May 25, 2020). The number of prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine has nearly doubled now that it has the Presidential seal of approval. How long will it be before the lawsuits against the government start?

But, of course, Mike Pence did not become President? Could he have risen to the occasion and become a profile in courage against the buffoon President? Could Vice President Brown Nose have cast aside his subordinate identity and become as outspoken and dedicated to the truth as Fauci is? I asked that question in a blog on October 3, 2019, minus the Fauci reference, entitled Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage?   The blog gave me the opportunity to compare Pence to a lookalike Star Trek figure Captain Merik in “Bread and Circuses” who did rise to the occasion.

Mike Pence Is No Captain Merik in Star Trek “Bread and Circuses” (William Smithers)

My conclusion then was that Pence would not:

What will Mike Pence do? He prides himself on his Christian values. Will he tell the truth? He prides himself on never dining alone with a woman who is not his wife. Will he tell the truth? He prides himself on his integrity. Will he tell the truth? He thinks he is part of God’s plan. Will he tell the truth?

No. Even his staff knows the truth does not register with him.

He will not rise to the occasion.

He will not be a profile in courage.

He never would have been picked for the position of Vice President if he was.

Thinking about this topic now caused me to reread The Atlantic article God’s Plan for Mike Pence by McKay Coppins (January/February 2018). Coppins began by describing Pence’s appearance at a political rally where he passed on the good wishes of the president.

He delivers this message with a slight chuckle that has a certain, almost subversive quality to it. Watch Pence give enough speeches, and you’ll notice that this often happens when he’s in front of a friendly crowd. He’ll be witnessing to evangelicals at a mega-church, or addressing conservative supporters at a rally, and when the moment comes for him to pass along the president’s well-wishes, the words are invariably accompanied by an amused little chuckle that prompts knowing laughter from the attendees. It’s almost as if, in that brief, barely perceptible moment, Pence is sending a message to those with ears to hear—that he recognizes the absurdity of his situation; that he knows just what sort of man he’s working for; that while things may look bad now, there is a grand purpose at work here, a plan that will manifest itself in due time. [bold added]

Did you notice that “slight chuckle” at any of the coronavirus press conferences? You probably noticed the grimaces and groans of Fauci and Birx as the simple-minded immature child wandered off into his imaginary world. As for Vice President Brown Nose, nary a facial expression of any kind except beaming adulation. At some point someone will document the timeline of when and why Pence sold his soul.

Coppins also reported Pence as saying:

“We’ve come to a pivotal moment in the life of this country….It’s a good time to pray for America.” His voice rising in righteous fervor, the vice president promises an opening of the heavens. “If His people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray,” he proclaims, “He’ll hear from heaven, and He’ll heal this land!”

It is quite possible Pence actually believes what he is preaching. If McConnell has been the conduit for the appointment of conservative judges, then Pence has been the conduit for white evangelical Christians to the White House. He’s doing God’s work.

Pence is following God’s plan.  “If you’re Mike Pence, and you believe what he believes, you know God had a plan,” says Ralph Reed.

Coppins own analysis probably written at the end of 2017 is tinged with tragic irony given what has occurred.

Pence is a man who believes heaven and Earth have conspired to place him a heartbeat—or an impeachment vote—away from the presidency. At some crucial juncture in the not-too-distant future, that could make him a threat to Trump.

We had the impeachment. Did you notice any change in Pence? We are having the coronavirus crisis. Did you notice any change in Pence? Do you think the President ever worries about the Vice President telling the truth?

Coppins observed:

In Pence, Trump has found an obedient deputy whose willingness to suffer indignity and humiliation at the pleasure of the president appears boundless.

Still true over two years later.

Kellyanne Conway: “Mike Pence is someone whose faith allows him to subvert his ego to the greater good.”

Pence’s belief in “servant leadership” makes him a perfect patsy for a skilled con artist who knows how to manipulate people.

Evangelical Marc Short [White House director of legislative affairs] told me that in moments of need, Pence turns to a favorite passage in Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Coppins noted this passage in conjunction with the Hollywood Access tape crisis. What exactly is that plan? Is it to go down with a sinking ship? Is it to stand idly by and watch tens of thousands of Americans die? When will that divine plan manifest itself? According to the evangelical Vice President in April:

“I truly do believe that if we all continue to do that kind of social distancing and other guidance broadly from federal and state officials, that we’re going to put this coronavirus in the past. I believe by early June we’re going to see our nation largely past this epidemic. I think honestly, if you look at the trends today, that I think by Memorial Day weekend we will have this coronavirus epidemic behind us.”

The day of reckoning is upon us. Memorial Day Weekend is here. Will Pence face the truth of his failed prophecy? Will he see the light at the end of tunnel? Will he rise to the occasion? Will he be the leader America needs? No. No. No. And no. Are you kidding me? He will claim his prophecy has been fulfilled just as his Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name, will.