VP Pence Says Ex-Presidents Talking To Trump Through The TV
Mike Pence is a gross fraud. For the past two years, he has debased himself for Donald Trump, constantly sacrificing virtue to ambition like your average religious hypocrite. Trump is a demanding master, though. I think he secretly delights in forcing his vice president to explain away his constant stream of lies with shameless obfuscation.
Pence was on the "Today" show this morning with Hallie Jackson, who confronted him on Trump's most recent laughable lie that former presidents confided in him their secret, forbidden desires for WALL. This is what Trump said: "This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me and they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it." Now here comes the veep.
JACKSON: Which former presidents told President Trump, as he said, that he should've built a wall? All their representatives have denied that that was the case.
PENCE: I know the president has said that that was his impression from previous presidents, previous administrations.
Mr. Vice President, what you "know" is that the president has lied ... again. This isn't even your normal "you rubes look pretty gullible" political lie, like whenever Paul Ryan talked about the GOP health care or tax scam bills. This is an easily disproven lie. All the living former presidents -- and even some recently dead ones -- hate Trump and would gladly tell the world he's full of shit, which is what immediately happened. Trump had to know this. He just can't help himself. He's literally compelled to lie, especially when it provides the mental comfort of a "safe space" where highly regarded people don't think he's a gibbering idiot.
Pence's defense is even worse. He says Trump was under the "impression" that previous presidents longed for a WALL. It was several paragraphs ago, so let's have a refresher: "This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me and they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it."
See the part in bold? Trump plainly states that a conversation took place between him and more than one former president on this really dumb subject. Maybe Pence is suggesting Trump was fooled by someone doing an "impression" of previous presidents. Rich Little visited the White House and went through his whole repertoire. He's pretty convincing, especially his Obama.
PENCE: I know I've seen clips of previous presidents talking about the importance of border security.
Starting sentences with "I know" while shifting uncomfortably in his seat like he's crapped his pants is emerging as Pence's subtle "tell" that he's also lying. I should challenge him to a high-stakes poker game: "I know, Stephen, that you've just dealt me a solid hand, so I'll raise you 20 Jesus dollars." Pence is trying to shift the discussion away from Trump's obvious and pathetic lie, but instead he raises the 25th Amendment-invoking concern that Trump thinks people are speaking directly to him from the TV set. That's probably true if he's watching Sean Hannity, but the majority of the time, the TV isn't participating in conversation.
JACKSON: That's different from telling the president, though, right?
Nothing he's about to say will be honest. I see his 20 Jesus dollars and raise him another 10 Marys. Pence also repeated the lie Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to get past Chris Wallace that more terrorists are coming into the country each day than tech bros moving to Seattle.
In case there's any temptation to feel sorry for Pence, please keep in mind that this pious, anti-queer and anti-woman sleaze has lied for Trump before he was even president. During the 2016 vice presidential debate, Pence ran interference for Trump and pretended he was someone else entirely, like Karen Pence did when she suggested pushing the beds together after the family saw Aquaman.
Senator Tim Kaine shrewdly quoted the Gospel at Pence regarding his running mate: "From the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks." Pence just looked at Kaine like he'd reminded him to empty the dishwasher. There was zero enthusiasm. I don't care who you are -- if you start throwing Kander and Ebb lyrics at me, I'm gonna at least smile, maybe hum along. I'm not saying Pence doesn't truly believe in the faith he invokes so much. I just think he believes in being vice president more. Even if it means serving as vice president for the lead antagonist in Revelation.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.