Umm. Fellow liberals?
I’m just as upset at the idea of Russia messing with our elections and potentially helping to install the Orange One as our next president. If there is solid, concrete evidence that he colluded with Russia and it comes out before the inauguration, I’ll be all for him being blocked. But yesterday I wrote and published a piece basically asking for my fellow progressives to take a chill pill on their clamoring to have the Electoral College buck 240 years of precedent and deny Trump the presidency, below.
As my friend and colleague Renee pointed out in her recent piece, the Russian hacking of our election is such a crazy story that even equally-crazy people like former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh are making a lot of sense when talking about it.
The responses I got were pretty predictable, most of them using a variation on the following theme.
“No way! Then we get Mike Pence and he’s worse than Donald Trump!”
I find it laughable that some progressives really think the Electoral College will not only deny Trump but hand Hillary the presidency, because that just doesn’t seem a plausible scenario at all. But what really tickled me was the fact that people kept saying over and over that they prefer Trump to Pence. That’s what you’re essentially saying when you point out that we can’t impeach and remove Trump for fear of having Pence be our president.
Let me just ask — on what fucking planet in which goddamned solar system is this even remotely true?
Admittedly, I’m a privileged white, heterosexual male. I’m what I’d consider a pretty staunch ally, considering I’ve donated to both feminist and pro-LGBTQ+ charities and events, but I have no compunction at all about admitting that some of Pence’s more disgusting social morality views are dangerous to consider going back to, though I’d likely be spared the brunt of them. I completely and utterly understand the knee-jerk, anti-Pence reaction. He’s a religious zealot and has a terrible history of anti-choice, anti-LGBT actions in Indiana.
However, that doesn’t mean we should fear a Pence presidency more than a Trump presidency.
For starters, Pence has actual experience in government. President-Elect Fuckwit’s lack of preparation and experience has already allowed him to bumblefuck his way into an international incident over Taiwan and the One China Policy. It’s already made his public search for his Secretary of State look laughably like one of the reality-TV shows he starred in. Trump’s transition has been an unmitigated, embarrassing abortion. So, yeah, I kinda think the more serious guy on his ticket might be just a bit less of a fuck-up, call me crazy…
You know how Pence is also miles and away better than Trump? He’s not a raving mad lunatic with a Twitter account he uses as judiciously as he uses spray tan services, that’s how. There actually is something to be said for someone who can at least act presidential when needed. It’s hard to imagine Pence being up at 3am tweeting about “Saturday Night Live,” right? Even if he thinks it’s a bunch of godless, amoral libtarded heathens pushing a sinister liberal agenda, Mike Pence has the good sense to pipe that shit and not look like a toddler in a tantrum every time he’s criticized.
The differences in how they responded to being politely admonished by the cast of “Hamilton” speaks volumes to their differences in temperament. The minute word broke of the incident, Trump is on Twitter blasting the cast of the show, demanding an apology, and essentially showing how very little he understands about freedom of speech. Pence, on the other hand, reportedly told his daughter he was okay with the boos he got and the cast addressing of him as future VP because that’s what freedom really looks like. He also said he wasn’t offended in the slightest.
Tell me again how a deranged asshole billionaire isn’t worse than a misguided, bigoted old man.
To me, the hand-wringing over a potential Pence presidency is a bit hyperbolic, just given our country’s history. It’s no big secret that conservatives have loathed Roe Vs. Wade since it was decided, but they’ve had ample opportunity to attempt a legal rollback of the landmark abortion case many times in the forty or so years since then. They’ve never really made a legitimate attempt, and they never will. Why?
Because they know like we do that it’s settled case law and that they’d be kicking over a hornet’s nest if they did.
So they only campaign on repealing it. They use it like a shiny object to distract social conservatives, and they try instead to end abortion rights in the states, which is always met with a block in the courts. Now, could Pence stack the courts to flip that trend? Of course he could. But liberals should have maybe thought about that before they went with the so-called safe candidate in a year with a clear populist, revolutionary waft in the air, right?
I’ll be right there fighting his bullshit with you, but no, I don’t think getting the nuclear codes out of Trump’s grasp is in any way diluted by the presence of a pretty stereotypical Republican president. I won’t be alone. You won’t be alone. We can and will fight Pence tooth and nail every step of the way. But a Trumpian presidency might not be one we can fight, once that avalanche starts coming down the mountainside.
For years progressives and Democrats have lived in fear of any Republican president and now they can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s pretty much fantasy to dream that the Electoral College won’t certify Donald Trump. While they certainly seem to have a legal leg to stand on, it’s highly unprecedented, and without direct, irrefutable evidence that the entire Trump team colluded with Russia, it’d be a lot of partisan rancor and bitterness that could certainly lead to violence in the streets, and for what?
Liberals — you have to get square with the notion that we are going to have a Republican administration for at least the next four years. Instead of trying to do the unprecedented and impossible in the Electoral College, we should focus on local elections and mid-terms. The popular vote shows that more Americans agree with us, but hysteria over Mike Pence isn’t going to help anything.
All I’m asking for is perspective.
We’ve already fought the big fights that you’re all so afraid of losing to Mike Pence. Have a little fucking faith in 240 years of peaceful transitions of power and “checks and balances.” Who knows? Maybe Pence will be caught up in the Russian shit, and maybe the Russian shit isn’t really real. But after the Iraq War, I’m willing to wait out an investigation, and if two prominent Republicans like Lindsey Graham and John McCain are angling for it, it will happen.
And again, because I know I’ll see it in the comments: Richard Nixon was going to be impeached and removed not just by Democrats, but by Republicans too. Because at some point reality and evidence becomes to heavy to ignore, even for partisans.
Buck up, liberals, and keep your eyes on the prize. We’ve survived many shitty presidencies, but stripping Trump of his is far more important than nightmare fever dream scenarios about Pence turning us into Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.