Friday, March 31, 2017


At PoliticusUSA, Jason Easley quotes Rachel Maddow:
Mike Pence had been the head of the Trump transition. As such, he would have been intimately involved with the selection and vetting process for a job as important as national security adviser. Nevertheless, Vice President Mike Pence has professed absolute ignorance of any of the scandals of any of the foreign payments, contacts and all the rest of it surrounding Mike Flynn. Pence was the leader of the transition. As leader of the transition, he was notified in writing by members of Congress about Flynn’s apparent financial ties to the government of Turkey. The transition was also apparently notified twice by Flynn’s own lawyers about his financial relationship with the government of Turkey, but nevertheless, Vice President Mike Pence says he has no idea about any of that.


Vice President Mike Pence claims he had absolutely no idea about that despite him being notified about on the record multiple times and it being a matter of considerable public discussion. Mike Pence’s role in the Mike Flynn scandal is flashing like a red beacon for anyone who sees him as the normal Republican in this setting.
Easley adds:
... there is no way that Mike Pence didn’t know what was going on with Russia. The White House’s attempts to firewall off Pence from the rest of the scandal make no sense and will not hold up under investigation.

If Donald Trump leaves office under a cloud of scandal, the investigations, criminal and political, will continue. The Russia scandal won’t go away after Trump is gone. Mike Pence sold himself to Donald Trump when he became his running mate. Pence is deeply involved in this administration.
Logic and the facts may dictate that conclusion. But it's quite likely that logic and the facts won't drive what happens if the scandals surrounding Donald Trump ultimately bring him down.

If Trump and some of his associates fall, the Beltway will -- as the saying goes -- want closure. D.C. will want to reassure itself that the system works and that the limited number of bad apples were discovered and purged. Insiders will want a comforting narrative -- maybe even a familiar narrative. And what could be more familiar, especially to old-timers, than the a sociopath president being forced out of office in favor of an earnest, seemingly guileless Midwesterner who appears to be as dumb as a box of rocks?

Mike Pence will get to be Gerald Ford in this narrative because the Beltway will want him to be Gerald Ford. Even though, unlike Ford, he'll have been with the sociopath president since the campaign, he'll be portrayed as a hayseed innocent corrupted against his will by a shady slickster, someone he loyally served only because he felt his country was calling him to serve.

Recall the headlines about Pence after Trump's Access Hollywood tape broke: "Trump's Shocking Crude Comments on Women Leave Pence Reeling"; "Mike Pence 'Offended' and Praying for Donald Trump's Family Amid Crisis Over His 2005 Lewd Comments." Oh, poor Mike Pence! This must be awful for him! (Not awful enough for him to leave the ticket, but whatever.)

Mainstream Republicans will embrace Pence because they'll assume he can professionalize the all-GOP government. Trump voters will accept him because he remained loyal. The mainstream press will finally have the old-fashioned Republican Daddy it craves. No one's going to want to be told that the crooks haven't all been purged. They'll just be so happy to tell us we're back to normal.

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