With much justification, many people are clamoring for the impeachment of Donald Trump. There is an old saying from an anonymous source which seems extremely relevant here: “Be careful what you ask for, because you might just get it.” If Trump is impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office after a trial in the U.S. Senate, Mike Pence becomes President of the United States. Such an event would be an even larger disaster than the one now unfolding.
Pence had worn out his welcome in Indiana and was possibly facing the political graveyard when Trump tapped him as candidate for Vice President. Indiana is traditionally a red state, but Pence was facing a stiff challenge from Democrat John Gregg. Pence decided to cut and run when the vice presidential offer came.
With an eye toward the current tragedy ravaging the state of Texas, we can look back to Pence’s time as a member of the House of Representatives from the Hoosier state. In 2005, Pence set a dangerous precedent by persuading lawmakers to cut spending in other areas of the federal government prior to providing relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Under this conservative policy, one can see the public safety net disappearing as a condition for disaster relief.
In 2011, Pence led a failed effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood, and very nearly caused a federal government shutdown in the process.
Donald Trump has created utter chaos within the Beltway; he is without doubt the most destabilizing populist to occupy our most revered of institutions, and one of the most shameless liars who ever lived. Trump was never, and never will be, a politician.
However, Mike Pence is a politician―and a more finely polished liar than Trump could ever hope to be. His talents were only too obvious during the presidential campaign of 2016. Pence’s verbal gymnastics and tormented distortions of truth in defending the outrageous conduct and statements of candidate Donald Trump revealed a shell of a man hiding in a conservative sheep’s clothing.
Trump cares only about himself, and therefore could never summon up the initiative necessary to shepherd legislation through Congress like other presidents have done in the past. He will sign any bill sent to him by the Republican majority Congress―regardless of content―as item number one in a belated list of accomplishments.
On the other hand, one can be certain if Mike Pence were president that the draconian Republican-sponsored health care bill that failed by one vote in the U.S. Senate would have passed, which in turn would have led to a tax cut favoring the wealthiest of Americans. Furthermore, banking regulations would have been entirely gutted, leaving the public vulnerable to a new financial crisis. And finally, planet Earth would be under assault by an economic army that just plain doesn’t give a damn about the land our grandchildren will inherit.
Proceed with due caution.