Saturday, April 21, 2018

Exposing The “Real” Mike Pence

In many ways, I believe Mike Pence embodies many of the worse elements of the Christofascist extremists who have a stranglehold on the Republican Party base.  Pence engages in false piety while doing violence to the Gospel message, he claims to be "pro-life" even though his party's policies are  anything but pro-life once a child - especially a poor minority child - is born, and he is fanatically anti-LGBT (I suspect because of his own sexual orientation issues).  On the latter point, the president of the Human Rights Campaign recently stated: “Mike Pence has made a career out of attacking the rights and equal dignity of LGBTQ people, women and other marginalized communities. Now as vice president, he poses one of the greatest threats to equality in the history of our movement. With the world distracted by Donald Trump’s scandal-ridden White House, Mike Pence’s nefarious agenda has been allowed to fly under the radar for too long.  . . ."  HRC and others in the LGBT and progressive community are seeking to expose Pence for what he really is and, hopefully expose the extremism of the GOP agenda in the process.  A piece in Politico looks at the effort.  Here are highlights (please take the time to check out the HRC website):

A leading progressive group is launching a campaign-style effort to [correctly] paint Vice President Mike Pence as an extremist who wields unprecedented power in the White House — an early sign that as the vice president takes a lead role in midterm campaigning, he also risks making himself a target.
The Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBT rights organization, is launching a sustained attack against Pence, with a website, videos and a lengthy report to be released on Thursday. The materials were shown to POLITICO early.
And as President Donald Trump’s legal troubles expand, from the special counsel probe to a federal investigation of his personal attorney, some Democrats are beginning to train their fire on Pence in case the president doesn’t run for reelection in 2020 or gets removed from office. The broadside comes as Pence has taken on an outsize role in the Republicans’ work to prevent a Democratic wave in 2018. In the next week and a half, Pence will be making campaign stops in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana and California. Those trips come after Pence has already crisscrossed the country stumping and fundraising for Republicans. The HRC effort highlights what it describes as Pence’s “extremist ideology”: his opposition while in Congress to Employment Non-Discrimination Act protections for sexual orientation; his opposition to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which barred openly gay people from serving in the military; his opposition to hate crime protections for transgender individuals; and a statement on his 2000 campaign website that appeared to endorse federal funding for the controversial practice of “conversion therapy.”
The report, which highlights these positions, also hits Pence for his handling of an HIV/AIDS outbreak in Indiana during his governorship and for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics said would legalize discrimination against LGBT people and which nearly derailed his governorship.
Along with the report, HRC produced a series of videos, including one in which Pence decries the use of condoms and another in which he lobbies against hate-crime legislation. . . . . Clips of Pence speaking on the floor of the House — including one in which he says, “Abstinence and marital faithfulness before condom distribution are the cure for what ails the families of Africa” — are spliced in. “We’ve seen Mike Pence fly underneath the radar,” said Chris Sgro, HRC’s communications director. “The unfortunate reality is that Mike Pence has tried to hold himself out there as the moderate, grown-up voice in the room. But we know, and this report exposes, that he’s anything but. He is a dangerous extremist.” [GOP strategist, Rick] Tyler said even if HRC and other groups beat up on Pence as November approaches, he believes voters are more likely to make ballot-box decisions based on their views of Trump.
“When [House Speaker Paul] Ryan announced he wasn’t running for reelection, that was in many ways the end of the Republican Party the way I knew it and the way Ryan knew it,” Tyler said. “The cord is severed, this is now Trump’s party, for better or worse, for good or bad, and 2018 is now a referendum on his party.”

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