Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a visit to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2017.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a visit to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2017.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a visit to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2017.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a visit to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2017.

Frank Bruni, a leftist columnist at The New York Times, made an argument against impeaching President Donald Trump: He believes Vice President Mike Pence would be worse.

Seriously.

I’ve made it clear that unless there is convincing evidence that President Donald Trump committed an impeachable offense that rhetoric should be dropped. Let the Mueller probe continue and let’s see all of the evidence. Calls for impeachment, that began before he even took office, are wildly premature.

Not liking a President’s policies is not an impeachable offense, I’ve said the same when President Obama was in office.

That said, should President Trump be impeached or resign and we are left with President Pence I see that as a net positive. He is conservative, his temperament is vastly superior to Trump’s, he has a great grasp on policy, and he has governing experience.

Does this mean I agree with everything Vice President Pence believes or has done as a member of Congress and Governor of Indiana? Of course not, but I do believe he is capable to do the job and I trust him on a number of issues.

Bruni’s piece, based on the reading of a forthcoming book by Michael D’Antonio and Peter Eisner entitled The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence and subsequent interview demonstrate how a group-think pushes people toward absurdity.

Bruni writes summarizing the book:

There are problems with impeaching Donald Trump. A big one is the holy terror waiting in the wings.

That would be Mike Pence, who mirrors the boss more than you realize. He’s also self-infatuated. Also a bigot. Also a liar. Also cruel.

To that brimming potpourri he adds two ingredients that Trump doesn’t genuinely possess: the conviction that he’s on a mission from God and a determination to mold the entire nation in the shape of his own faith, a regressive, repressive version of Christianity. Trade Trump for Pence and you go from kleptocracy to theocracy.

Of course, this claim is utterly absurd. Instead of having a good-faith discussion about policies that Vice President Pence supports instead readers of the New York Times are treated to the worst possible spin of Vice President Pence’s record along with a heaping helping of a character assassination.

This does not mean Vice President Pence is above criticism, but he certainly deserves better than this.

What Bruni and the authors of this book continue to fail to understand is that this style of rhetoric contributed significantly to give us President Donald Trump in the first place. To comprehend this reality, however, would require Bruni to climb out of his silo and get to know people in the Rust Belt and “flyover country.” I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

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