Friday, June 25, 2021


As I told you in my last post, Mike Pence gave a speech last night at the Reagan Presidential Library in which he proudly defended the Donald Trump presidency, but also said he made the right decision on January 6 when he didn't step in to try to overturn the results of the presidential election.

So how did Fox News respond?

So far, at, the response has been silence -- there isn't a single story about this speech. There's nothing at the Daily Caller, the Daily Wire, or Townhall.

At Breitbart, there's a story on the speech, but Pence's remarks about January 6 go unmentioned until the 25th paragraph. Prior to that, we get Pence as a loyal soldier for Trump and the GOP, and a proud retransmitter of all the party's rage messages:
Mike Pence: GOP Is the ‘Last Line of Defense for our Constitution and our American Heritage of Freedom’

Former Vice President Mike Pence invoked former President Trump’s America First agenda and warned on Thursday the Democrat Party’s agenda is “so radical that it is taking us ‘beyond’ the designs of liberalism,” adding that the Republican Party stands as the “last line of defense for our Constitution and our American heritage of freedom....

“President Trump taught us what Republicans can accomplish when leaders stand firm on conservative principles and don’t back down,” he said, touting the accomplishments made throughout the Trump-Pence administration....

Invoking the former president, Pence highlighted Trump’s warning that a nation without borders is not a nation and knocked the Biden administration for unleashing what he described as the “worst crisis in history on our southern border.” ...

The former Vice President called to end the Defund the Police movement, take a stand against Cancel Culture, and continue to oppose the left’s efforts to:
...rewrite American history through initiatives like the 1619 Project, and in the spirit of our administration’s 1776 Commission, the Republican Party in the years ahead must make school choice the right of every American ... and eliminate Critical Race Theory at every level.
... “Our Party must ensure that Critical Race Theory is expelled from our schools, our military, and our public institutions,” he said to applause.
Pence's remarks about the election are buried at the end of the story. Why? And why aren't they being talked about at other right-wing sites? Why isn't Pence being portrayed as a villainous RINO, someone deserving of right-wing hate?

I think the folks who run conservative media are afraid to make Pence a villain because he's still reasonably effective at transmitting GOP propaganda (as the Breitbart story makes clear), because (unlike Liz Cheney) he's still happy to lick Trump's boots -- and because, if Trump doesn't run in 2024 and there's a crowded primary lane of MAGA purists and a much less crowded non-purist lane, they think Pence might just emerge as the nominee, at which point it will be necessary to portray him as a Hero of the Cause. (In a new Echelon Insights poll of a Trumpless GOP primary field, Pence is one of only two candidates in double digits, at 14%, behind Ron DeSantis, who's at 21%.)

Even the right-wing press might believe the mainstream conventional wisdom, which is that Trump's popularity is rapidly fading. I think it's possible that Trump won't run in 2024 and won't seek to play kingmaker either. But the GOP's previous demigod, Ronald Reagan, died years ago and was sidelined by dementia before that, yet if you wanted to be seen as a Republican in good standing you didn't dare criticize him. That's more or less where Trump is now. Even if he were never to make another public appearance or utterance, he's sacrosanct, except to a small percentage of the party (not much more than 14%).

I don't think Pence can win the nomination in 2024. But the right-wing press does, so it's keeping its options open.

No comments: