Voters denied Mike Pence a second term as vice president, but he surrendered his dignity voluntarily. People who expected more from him — and that doesn't include me — were probably disappointed with Pence's pathetic display this week on Sean Hannity's show. He harshly criticized how President Joe Biden handled the US's withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is admittedly standard GOP politics. However, after solemnly declaring that “weakness arouses evil," he rolled over and showed his belly for Donald Trump, whose face appears in the dictionary next to the word “evil."

Here's what this loser said:

Look, you can't spend almost five years in a political fox hole without somebody — without — without developing a strong relationship. And you know, January 6 was a tragic day in the history of our Capitol building.

Trump ordered Pence to ignore the Constitution and support his mad plan to remain in office forever. They didn't have a falling out over policy. Trump also directly attacked Pence in front of an angry mob that he wound up and unleashed on the Capitol. Trump and his democracy-shredding Big Lie is the entire reason why January 6 was a “tragic day."


I realize Pence wants to run for president, but usually former vice presidents try to escape their old boss's shadow. Instead, Pence basks in Trump's total moral eclipse. And while we can debate whether Al Gore was right to distance himself from Bill Clinton after the former president's fellatio felonies, it's a no brainer for Pence to publicly reject the twice-impeached thug who almost got him killed.

But, no. Pence has embarked on the Great American Whitewash: January 6 is something that just happened without any apparent motivation or central antagonist. That's not a film pitch any studio would greenlight.

But thanks to the efforts of Capitol Hill police, federal officials, the Capitol was secured. We finished our work. And the president and I sat down a few days later and talked through all of it.

Trump has held rallies attacking the Black Capitol Police officer who fatally shot one of the insurrectionists. Pence, who once promised to “hold the thin blue line," doesn't condemn this. He boasts about how Congress was able to complete the electoral vote count, but he ignores how Trump hoped that the insurrection would delay the process to his own advantage. When he “talked through" the incident, he was probably once again explaining why he couldn't help him steal a presidential election.

I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration's failed agenda by focusing on one day in January.

OK, One Day In January sounds like some 1990s coming-of-age, angsty teen drama. Peter Gabriel's “In Your Eyes" would play in the trailer. In reality, January 6 was the day Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol, with the intent to stop the certification of Joe Biden's victory in the Electoral College. Cops had their asses beat, and people died. Congressional staff hid in the dark for hours as a deranged mob roamed the building like slasher film villains. They crooned, “Where's Nancy (Pelosi)?" and shouted “Hang Mike Pence!" That last one doesn't give much room for a benign interpretation. If they'd found Pence, they would've killed him. They'd constructed a makeshift gallows outside the Capitol. That wasn't avant-garde sculpture.

Pence was evacuated from the Capitol and even reportedly feared that rogue Secret Service agents would abduct him to help Trump's ongoing coup attempt. Maybe he can walk off the memories of that single day but that's not the case for so many who were left traumatized. This includes members of Congress and cops who are still struggling with PTSD. Four officers on the scene that day who later took their own lives.

January 6 should've just been “one day." That's what everyone with lingering scars, either emotional or physical, would've preferred. It's Republicans, not the media or Democrats, who keep fueling the Big Lie, which will inevitably cause more violence. Pence claims the media wants to “demean the 74 million Americans" who voted for Trump, but not every Trump voter stormed the Capitol. Hell, at least two of them — Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney — have since repudiated Trump. Pence lacks the courage to do so because, deep down, he believes the insurrectionists are the true base of the party. They're the voters who'll determine any Republican candidate's future.

The tragedy of it all is that he's probably right.

[CNN]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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