Pence is the flipside of a bad coin

Charlie Archambault

Tyler Mortimore, tmortimore@lmcexperience.com

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Many pundits declared Indiana governor Mike Pence to be the winner of Monday night’s vice presidential debate in what many of the same pundits deemed to be a sort of ‘battle of America’s dads,’ undercutting the full extent of Pence’s ghoulishness.
In the age of Trump, the former radio host is able to gain a semblance of respectability in the eyes of the media by speaking softly and forming sentences that don’t immediately confound the listener..
His catchphrase is that he’s “Christian, conservative and Republican, in that order,” and like many of the fanatically pro-life members of the GOP, he’s joined the holy war against Planned Parenthood. He successfully shuttered many of Indiana’s Planned Parenthood locations, leading to one of the worst HIV outbreaks in decades. Radical pro-lifers may find it hard to believe, but taking away low cost health care has dire consequences for all, not just women seeking a safe abortion as guaranteed by Roe v Wade — a ruling Pence said will be “consigned to the ash heap of history” under President Trump.
In fact, Pence’s concentrated focus on the sanctity of the life of the unborn resulted in his signing a bill requiring women who chose to abort due to the fetus having serious birth defects to purchase a coffin or cremation for the fetus.
Like many conservative politicians, Pence has eschewed spending and federal funding for social problems until it blows up in his face, requiring more spending than what they originally turned down. The HIV outbreak could have been prevented with testing and a needle exchange (something Pence opposed), but Planned Parenthoods were closed, and the needle exchange wasn’t started until the outbreak had already happened. Likewise, Pence finally removed Indiana from the shrinking list of states without Pre-K programs, but turned down $80 million in federal funding — money that could have sent many more lower income kids to preschools — for far too long.
Pence also made use of his time on national TV to scold the Clinton campaign for boldly admitting that racism is indeed a thing that exists in America.
“Enough of this seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement broadly by making the accusation that implicit bias every time tragedy occurs,” said Pence, using the same mode of defense George Wallace used to appeal to racists, police and racist police in 1968. It should come as no surprise that the Trump ticket is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, the same nationwide police organization that endorsed the segregationist .
Though he represents a more reserved, polite type of politics compared to the rowdy, bush league fascism of his running mate, Pence’s ideology is no less toxic — we’re just more acclimated to it. If Trump loses in November, it will likely be Pence and people like Pence who resume control of the Republican Party, and they will be back in 2020 with a candidate who speaks a little more cautiously, a little more politely and a little smarter. His politics, however, will be just as cruel.