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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.

The America We Need versus the Leadership We Have

What hole? I don't see a hole? Do you see a hole? (Waterford, NY, May 3, 2020, CNN)

“The America We Need” is the title of a two-page editorial in the Sunday Review of the New York Times (April 19, 2020, print). The huge font size of the title and the location on pages 2-3 of the section deliver a message of importance that is diminished in the digital format. Although the editorial doesn’t include the word “leadership” in the title, much of it is about leadership during crises in American history. As one might expect, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt figure prominently in the discussion. Obviously their examples as well as Lincoln’s Memorial have been in the news a lot lately.

One prominent name was missing: George Washington. It is easy to overlook his importance and fail to recognize that if he had not been the leader he was there would have been no Union for Lincoln to save and none for Roosevelt to rescue and protect. Truly Washington was “the indispensable man.” Regardless of the French military contribution to American success in winning the American Revolution, the likelihood is that no other person could have kept the former colonies now states together for France to aid. Similarly without him as the expected first president, who knows if the delegates ever would have forged a compromise that constituted us as a country. It is not just the selection of the capital city site that now bears his name that kept the states together. They forged the country with a sense with the awareness that he was there to lead them. Finally, once he did lead the country, he established routines that minimized the possibility that the American President would be above the law or have the right to do whatever he wanted.

Turning to Lincoln and Roosevelt, there are some critical points to consider especially now that they have been abandoned.

1. The belief in a strong American role in human history and the global arena
2. The belief in allies and not zero-sum relationships except against actual enemies
3. The importance of home, education, and infrastructure
4. The recognition that not all Americans were sons and daughters of the American Revolution but that people who were Americans by choice stood as one with those who were sons and daughters.

They read. They were interested in history. They were capable of growth. They lived in the real world.

The opening line of the editorial is:

From some of its darkest hours, the United States has emerged stronger and more resilient.

The closing lines are:

The United States has a chance to emerge from this latest crisis as a stronger nation, more just, more free and more resilient. We must seize the opportunity.

“Chance” is not a strong expression of hope and confidence. It is not a ringing endorsement of the idea that we will emerge “more just, more free and more resilient.” It is a recognition that we might not. The last sentence in the editorial with its imperative action highlights the urgency. The editorial mentions the current President but almost in passing:

After criticizing the actions of the “White House” regarding the procurement of the necessary medical supplies and equipment, the editorial backs into denigrating the wartime President. Because of “Trump’s feckless leadership and the tattered condition of the government he heads” bad things are happening, bad things to use the sophisticated analytical terms preferred by the President. Almost hidden in the editorial is the call that “the country is burdened with weak leadership. There is an upcoming “chance” to replace that leadership as was done in the elections of Lincoln and Roosevelt. For an editorial entitled “The America We Need,” these uses of “chance’ poorly reflect on the “fierce urgency of now” that faces We the People.

Can a bro from Queens provide adult leadership to America?

Leadership We Need Not Just in New York State

You are living a moment in history. This is going to be one of those moments they’re going to write and they are going to talk about for generations. This is a moment that is going to change this nation. This is a moment that forges character, forges people, changes people. … Ten years from now, you’ll be talking about today to your children or your grandchildren and you will shed a tear because you remember the lives lost. You’ll remember the faces and you’ll remember the names and you’ll remember how hard we worked and that we still lost loved ones. … But, you will also be proud. You’ll be proud of what you did. You will be proud that you showed up. You showed up when other people played it safe, you had the courage to show up. You had the skill and professionalism to make a difference and save lives. That’s what you will have done.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, to the National Guard, March 27, 2020

Leadership We Have
Now consider the words of the National Tweet in-chief.

In a Twitter message on May 4, 2020, on George W. Bush’s three-minute call for national unity video the day before: “(W)here was he during Impeachment calling for putting partisanship aside. He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history.”

In a later Twitter re-tweet from a Trumpican: “Evidence has surfaced that Barack Obama was the one running the Russian hoax.”

At a press conference after being informed that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence had just issued a report expressing the conclusion that the coronavirus was not man-made, the wartime President twice asked for the name of the person who had issued the report that contradicted what he had just said. Gosh, what do think was going to happen to her while no one was looking?

What can be learn from these recent incidents?

1. The wartime President is the first President in the last century who can’t and doesn’t want to consult past presidents in a time of crisis. He constantly berates and belittles them with no awareness that future American Presidents will be even more brutal about him.

2. It’s always about him. No surprise there.

3. His simple-mindedness was on display. He always reverts to being the seventh-grade-smart-aleck-dumb- aleck because that who he really is. Notice he didn’t simply castigate Bush for not being loyal during the attempted extortion of the Ukraine – it was “the greatest” hoax in the entirety of American history. Here he combines his simple-mindedness with his ignorance.

How many hoaxes in American history can he even name that don’t involve him? The odds are in the Trumpican universe the claim is correct since the only other hoax he can name is the Russian one. Even if he used the term in reference to other events can he name them?

Notice also the use of the superlative. His simplemindedness operates on a binary basis. There is no nuance or in-between. It is all or nothing.

The worst trade deal ever… [How many does he even know about?]
The worst presidential campaign ever… [How many does he even know about?]
The worst Secretary of State ever… [How many does he even know about?]
The absolute worst Speaker of the House in United States history/maybe the worst speaker in the history of our country… [How many does he even know about?]
The greatest hoax ever perpetrated on our country (impeachment)… [How many does he even know about?]
I am greeted with a hostile press the likes of which no president has ever seen…I believe I am treated worse than Lincoln.

The pattern should be obvious. The historically-ignorant immature child only knows about 1 or 2 examples at the most anyway in each category. In his universe, the accusations may be true! Don’t judge him by adult standards as if he is knowledgeable about American history.

Real Men Don’t Cry
Our immature child President brings other characteristics to his leadership.

When I see a man cry I view it as a weakness. The last time I cried was when I was a baby.” (People magazine 2015)

No sympathy. No empathy. No mask. Real men don’t get coronavirus.

Fox is Bonespur Boy’s Westworld: a fantasy realm where the President can be the man he wants to be rather than the man he is (David Plouffe as told to Maureen Dowd, NYT March 6, 2020, print)

“He seems psychologically incapable of dealing with a virus that is complex and uncertain. The virus will be in every community and needs truth, honesty and intelligence ⸺ all absent from the unstable Trump, who at his core is a frightened boy and pretender.” (Maureen Dowd, NYT March 6, 2020, print)

Exactly right. That’s what happens when an immature child is forced to operate in the adult world and is out of his league.

“At a time of crisis, America is led by a whiny childlike man whose ego is too fragile to let him concede ever having made any kind of error.” (Paul Krugman, NYT, May 5, 2020, print)

Almost right. He is not “childlike,” he actually has the brain of a child. Check his brain scans. Talk to a child psychiatrist.

The stress on functioning in the adult world is too much for the immature child. It has become too difficult for him to make up imaginary rules that work even in his own mind. So what can Donnee Disinfectant do? Declare game over, muzzle the Time magazine Person of the Year, and start a new game of economic recovery. Because in his world, even a death toll of 3,000 Americans/day is acceptable as long as he thinks it will mean he is re-elected and maintains his immunity from jail.

Soon it will be May 25, Victory over Coronavirus Day.

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 most pathetic Vice President in American history on Geraldo Rivera’s radio talk show, May 1, 2020)

Are you ready? Start making your celebration plans to party now.

Measuring His Performance: The Target Dates

April 2011: Birtherism – reveal Hawaii findings on Obama soon: STILL WAITING
October 2016: sue all his women accusers after the campaign: STILL WAITING
May 25 2020: celebrate the victory over the coronavirus: in 19 days!!!!!!!
June 2020: Back to Normal
July 2020: We’re rockin’ now
Fall 2020: Deep State Indicted
Fall 2020: Deep State proves China responsible for coronavirus
January 20, 2021: Arrested by New York, spends night at Rikers.

The countdown continues.

If Mike Pence Were President, How Many More Americans Would Be Alive Today?

Are we living in an alternate reality? (amazon.com)

If Mike Pence were President, how many more Americans would be alive today? The “what if” counterfactual has a special niche within historical thinking. It may be best known from science fiction for history scholars also engage in it. The time travel stories are a way to “fix” a wrong which had occurred. The result is a better timeline. In practice, such stories typically end with failure in that the past cannot be changed…or if it is changed, it is for the worse due to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Still, it can be fun to stretch one’s mind and consider a different future. In the very popular podcast Ben Franklin’s World about early American history, host Liz Covart ends her interviews with guest scholars with what she calls the “fun part” of the show: she asks the interviewee to comment on what if something had happened differently in the topic they are discussing. It is not unusual for the guest to conclude that the change proposed by Covart might have made a difference in the short run, but in long term, the greater momentum of history would have prevailed. I wonder.

During the Covid-19 crisis, BBC has been posing such questions to scholars. The most recent one (April 24) asks an eminent Cambridge classical scholar: “What if Alexander the Great had lived longer?”

In America, two counterfactuals loom large. First, suppose John Kennedy had not been assassinated, what would have happened specifically in Vietnam? Would Kennedy have followed the route Lyndon Johnson took? Less frequently is it asked, “Would the Civil Rights Bill have passed?”

The second one involves Abraham Lincoln. I grew up on the Twilight Zone episode Back There and Superboy’s attempt to prevent the assassination of Lincoln through time travel. Those efforts failed. If Lincoln had lived, sooner or later would the Confederacy have returned to power as in some ways it still is today? After all, after World War II, wasn’t the great hero whose words we keep hearing during the present crisis dumped from office in England?

Assassinations make for better “what ifs” than more general questions. An assassination may fail as it did with Ronald Reagan. So it is easy to contemplate a different scenario with Lincoln and Kennedy. The possibility of failed assassination attempt is very believable. Similarly, it is just as believable with Reagan to imagine a successful one. Very little needs to change for those moments to have ended up differently.

Bigger events are more problematical. For example, during the Covid-19 crisis, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth has been shown as a TV series on HBO. It is about an alternate America where Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election. He then steers America towards a more accommodating relationship with Hitler than Roosevelt pursued. This counterfactual is less convincing. Here the change is not a matter of a bullet being moved a fraction of inch. Instead it requires a change in the American populace whereby such a person could have first become a viable national candidate and then triumph. That change moves the alternate reality to not totally farfetched but not quite believable either. It’s a really big change.

So it would be if the Senate had voted a President out of office and made Mike Pence the new President. Still, given all that has happened since February –– ONLY FEBRUARY? REMEMBER WHEN WHAT JOHN BOLTON WOULD SAY WAS IMPORTANT? THAT WAS IN FEBRUARY….OF THIS YEAR?! FEBRUARY! WAS IT REALLY ONLY FEBRUARY! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!?

If only there weren’t a Trumpican majority in the Senate, think how different America would be today.

If only Mitt Romney hadn’t been the one Republican in the Senate, think how different America would be today.

If only the Senate hadn’t gambled that what harm could the ignorant inept immature President do, think how different America would be today.

Did we lose that gamble or would the events have been the same if Mike Pence had become President then?

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.

Would Mike Pence have acted faster to implement what we know to be the successful way to curtail the spread of Covid-19?

Would Mike Pence have ignored all the warnings about the pending crisis?

Would Mike Pence have prevented a cruise ship from docking in order to keep the number of infections down in his country?

Would Mike Pence have claimed there were only 15 infected people and the number would soon be zero?

Would Mike Pence have said everything was under control?

Would Mike Pence have promoted hydroxychloroquine as a “game changer”?

Would Mike Pence have targeted Easter Sunday and then May 1 as dates when the country could be reopened?

Would Mike Pence have asserted his royal powers to do what he wants because the President calls the shots even if he is not responsible because the buck does not stop with him unless you are staying at one of his properties?

Would Mike Pence have conducted disorganized press conferences full of dishonesty and ignorance?

Would Mike Pence have used the press conferences as political rallies where he exults in insulting people?

Would Mike Pence have contradicted the scientific evidence about the possible return of Covid-19 in the fall or next year (assuming it ever disappears in the first place)?

Would Mike Pence have banished scientists who contradicted him or who have better ratings than he has? Ratings for honesty. Ratings for competence. Ratings for trustworthiness.

Would Mike Pence have suggested the ingestion of disinfectants should be investigated?

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. When the Unpresidential Library is built, an entire room will be dedicated to the failure of Donny Disinfectant to guide the ship of state through the turbulent wave of infection that washed over our country. Students of all ages and scholars, too, will debate the issue of the price America has paid because Mike Pence did not become President in February 2020. We the People will wonder what if we had had an adult in the White House instead of Donald Trump, the singularly most incompetent, inept, ignorant, and immature president in American history. How many more tens of thousands of Americans might be alive today if only Mike Pence had been President? On Election Day, we will have the opportunity to vote on whether we would have been off if Mike Pence had been President.

 

P.S. The previous post on Post-Trumpatic Stress Disorder: Is There A Cure? needs to be amended. If the Senate had voted to remove the President, would he have complied? Based on his words, he would have brought the matter to HIS Supreme Court to squash this hoax. Therefore additional requirements to prevent a re-occurrence of Trumpatic Stress Disorder are needed.

Congress shall have the authority to enforce subpoenas through the Sergeant at Arms seizing people who choose not to comply.

Congress shall have the authority to hold subpoenaed people in custody during their testimony.

Congress shall have the authority to indict people who are in violation of their subpoena or who fail to cooperate with the investigation.

Congress shall have authority over the Secret Service in cases where the President has been voted out of office by the Senate.

Will Mike Pence Become a Profile in Courage?

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

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. One cannot always know when such a situation will arise. Typically we think of military figures and athletes in all-or-nothing or do-or-die moment, but sometimes such opportunities sneak up on when you least expect it. Sometimes it is the result of your own action which got you into the mess in the first place.

Since everything you need to know about life you can learn from Star Trek, let us examine what another Mike Pence experienced. The show is “Bread and Circuses” which aired on March 15, 1968. In that show, Captain Merik and his crew from another spaceship are missing. The Starship Enterprise crew locates the crew on a planet governed by a 1960s version of the Roman Empire. It is a world where the Empire did not fall but continued to exist for another two millennia.

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. He knows that people around him like the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General have no intention of keeping that oath. When Pompeo decided to tell the truth about his presence during the Ukrainian telephone call, it was not because of his pangs of conscience for not telling truth before. It was because he realized that multiple people in the State Department were going to tell the truth. They were going to expose that he had not. So Pompeo does not qualify as a profile in country.

The less said about Bill Barred-for-Life the better.

What about Pence? What will he do? 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 about Pence? 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.

This time the stakes are different. This time the impeachment drive is moving full speed ahead. This time people with integrity are eager to testify and tell the truth. This time each passing day reveals another facet of the violation and cover-up. Should he just stand on the sidelines, watch it happen, and be indicted? The DOJ rules do not apply to the positions of the other co-conspirators. Pompeo and Barr are not immune, they are not exempt, they are not above the law. Neither is the Vice President. He may even catch on to the fact that loyalty is a one-way street with this narcissistic President. You owe him loyalty, he owes you nothing.

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.