Both Donald Trump and Mike Pence took oaths to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution and America. In Pence's case, that oath did not include an oath to blindly follow Trump's lead even when Trump colludes with Vladimir Putin and, basically commits treason. Despite his sworn oath, Pence - who postures as a Bible believing Christian who ought to take a sworn oath seriously - Pence remains Trump's water carrier and repeats Trump's lies. A column in the Washington Post focuses on Pence's hypocrisy and, in my view, just how untrustworthy and duplicitous Pence is in fact. Here are column highlights:
The best film ever done on the Trump administration is called “The Death of Stalin.” It is a dark but wholly brilliant comedy about how Stalin’s closest henchmen maneuvered for power in the days after the death of their publicly revered but actually despised leader. The only one missing from this movie is Vice President Pence.
With the possible exception of Lavrenti Beria, Stalin’s homicidal head of the secret police, Pence could play all the other parts. He has just the proper attitude toward President Trump — fawning and patently hypocritical. Like Stalin’s closest aides, he knows his master is a dolt who cannot abide criticism. In Stalin’s case, criticism could be rebutted with a bullet. Trump is more tempered. He merely fires the person.
Following Trump’s fiasco in Helsinki — following, that is, Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his criticism of his own FBI, following the creation of what seems like a modern-day axis of Putin and Trump, following body language from Trump toward Putin that might have made Melania Trump jealous — Pence came to the president’s defense.
But that loyalty has to be totally synthetic, no deeper than Stalin’s henchmen toward the old Soviet dictator. They were careerists, looking to succeed the old man or merely to stay alive. Pence is no different. His core identity, he has said, is as a Christian. No one in his or her right mind can say the same for Trump.[S]ome time ago, I concluded that Trump is crazy. I use the word loosely, but accurately, since his behavior is often bizarre and his language is, shall we say, eccentric. Throughout his life, he has conducted himself in a squalid and dishonest fashion. He is completely incapable of sticking to the truth.Not so Pence. He has come to represent all the Trump enablers. He now personifies much of the Republican Party, which is either so enthralled by Trump or so intimidated by him that it offers nothing but fealty. Republicans will say almost anything in Trump’s defense, piping up only when some debacle cannot be sidestepped. The separation of migrant families was one example. The Helsinki fiasco is another.
But this moment will pass. Pence has shown the way. He got on the Trump bandwagon early, and he is not getting off. He will ride it, he hopes, into the White House. His hypocrisy, his utter lack of political character and his bland vacuity have come to represent the Republican Party itself.
In “The Death of Stalin,” the functional Pence is played by the marvelous Steve Buscemi as Nikita Khrushchev. He outmaneuvered the others to become the Soviet leader — and then denounced Stalin. Watch it, Donald.