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Thursday, October 13, 2016


Donald Trump’s stunt last weekend of ripping the rug out from under his running mate, Mike Pence, was stupid on sooooo many levels! 

Firstly, he looked absolutely disorganized.  He looked like an ape, pacing about the stage last weekend, cornered by the likes of Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz.  He spun his web of con for our benefit, last weekend, asserting that we must collude with the Russians in Syria, give the Russians their head in the region and get out of their way as they take care of ISIS. 

Then Raddatz pointed out that this position was in direct conflict with the position outlined by Mike Pence only 5 days before – a position which calls for America to present a stiff resistance to Russian expansionism in the region.  Many serious thinkers believe Pence is right on this one, and Pence obviously thought this was the message, but Trump said right out there, plain and simple:  he disagreed with Pence on this very, very important issue, this issue of global concern, and they hadn’t even discussed it.

Whose fault that is we can leave to each to conjure.  But I would have thought that the candidate for President of the United States of America would have taken a few minutes to go over the major points of foreign and domestic policy with the man whom many see as the real gravitas on this sorry ticket, the one guy who looks serious among the many clowns piling out of the car. 

The problems here are myriad.  First, does it create a rift between the Trump people and those who are going along with it only because they trust Pence?  Many have argued that Pence should leave the ticket.  Indeed, there seems little reason for him to either stay OR go at this point.  He has not covered himself in glory here, he has alienated many, beginning with his weak response to the religious freedom issue in his home state of Indiana, then with his horrible and pathetic “endorsement” of Ted Cruz, and finally capping it off with standing like a pigeon-covered statue while Trump bashed Cruz and slandered his father, calling him an assassin.  He could have done this without dirtying up Mike Pence, but that would have defeated his purpose.  A guy like Trump wants to do the equivalent of a tomcat urinating on a post to identify it as his.  Pence was his post the morning after his triumphant nomination. 

There was a slight flicker of the man he was intended to be when Pence refused to defend Trump’s repulsive and obscene remarks to Billy Bush in 2005.  It might have been this faint spark that prompted Trump’s dumping all over him in the debate in revenge.  He COULD have said something like, “This is a point we are discussing”, “we are looking at all of our options here and Mike Pence is providing valuable perspectives” etc.  He COULD have been prepared before he went out there to get bagged.  But as he probably smugly gloated over putting Pence in his place, he should have thought about how, in the aftermath of that shiv, he could utilize Pence’s respectability and relative popularity with the people he needs to win.  The irony is that Trump probably thinks he “won” a round with Pence there.  Stupid never quits.

Because now we have a story out, ballyhooed by a right-to-life advocate, where Mike Pence is promising that Trump will reinstate the Hyde Amendment, reverse Roe v. Wade and defund Planned Parenthood and send it scurrying for cover.  The trouble is, now we don’t have any reason to believe Pence speaks for Trump or the ticket.  Tomorrow Trump could stand in front of an audience of Eastern Seaboard liberals and tell us once again how Planned Parenthood does some great things.  Did he and Trump "discuss" it?  If they did, did Pence take Trump's temperature today to find out whether he still believes this?  Because he has a trait of changing his mind more than once a day.   The Trump flub in the last debate didn’t just undermine Mike Pence.  It destroyed whatever credibility there might have been in the Trump-Pence ticket.  It looks more like the Punch-Judy ticket.  Who should we believe here?  I’d believe my own lyin’ eyes.  I’d look at Trump’s long history of support for abortion, for his many statements praising Planned Parenthood, for his suggestion that his sister, a judge who had found nothing wrong with PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION and derive my belief in his program from that, not from my wish that we could trust him, from a fairytale about some guy who believes we all have a right to live.  I wouldn’t try to hang onto the thin thread of what Mike Pence says in front of an audience at Liberty University.  He sees this as his job now.  To make Trump look good.  Or at least maybe human.  But we were given eyes and ears and minds – just like these unborn children whose lives we value.  It is our duty to use what we were given to seek the truth, not put our heads under the blanket and make a wish. 

I know many people who decide how they will vote on the basis of the right to life alone.  Many.  This is one area in which Trump needs to convince.  How many other issues do conservatives need reassurance on before they commit to Trump?  How many could Pence have done great service in addressing?  If Pence had, in the estimation of his audiences, the full backing of Donald Trump in his pronouncements, he could have carried a great deal of weight with these voters.  If Pence, indeed, spoke for the whole ticket, and wasn’t a wayward child, he could be a source of strength that this crippled ticket needs badly, but Trump isn’t having it. 

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