Wednesday, July 27, 2022


Simon & Schuster told us yesterday that it will publish Mike Pence's memoir, So Help Me God, on November 15. Here's the oddest sentence in the publisher's announcement:
The most robust defense of the Trump record of anyone who served in the administration, SO HELP ME GOD also chronicles President Trump’s severing of their relationship on January 6, 2021 when Pence kept his oath to the Constitution.
We know that Pence is delusional: He thinks he can win the votes of Trump supporters, even though they regard him as a traitor and a RINO. But now we know the specifics of his pitch to them, which is extraordinarily naive: Pence thinks that what they admired about Trump is his record. They do -- get them talking and they'll tell you we were prosperous in the Trump years, and admired (or feared) all over the world. They'll say there was no crime and no illegal immigration.

Pence wants 2024 GOP primary voters to think: The state of the Union in the Trump years was very good, and the man who was a heartbeat away from the presidency surely deserves a large share of the credit for that -- and also he's a man of character and an admirer of the Constitution, unlike the former president. So let's get the good stuff -- the record -- without Trump and his awful character flaws. Pence '24!

But Trump fans -- even the ones who might be starting to sour on him -- don't believe that America was "great again" in the Trump years because a fine team put excellent policies into place. They think it was all vibes -- Trump's vibes. They think America and the world were better in the Trump years because Trump was tough, smart, and crafty, a bully and a rule breaker. I'm sure they can't explain how that helped him bring about paradise on earth. He just did it with Trumpness.

To the fans, the outward manifestation of Trumpness is that you say and do things that infuriate your enemies, and you get away with a lot of them. Ron DeSantis has Trumpness. Mike Pence doesn't. But Pence doesn't grasp any of this. He thinks primary voters will judge him on proximity to Trump rather than shared attitude.

Janary 6 is part of that attitude. To Trump fans, rejecting the Stop the Steal campaign means rejecting what made Trump great -- his willingness to fight by any means necessary for what's right (which, to GOP voters, is permanent control of the government by people like themselves). They think the Trump record derives from the same impulses that led Trump to try to overturn the election. They think: At least he fights. They apply this to the election, foreign policy, immigration, Antifa, and everything else. Pence thinks he can split the record off from the insurrection. To the fans, they all come from the same place.

If some of the fans are drifting away from Trump, it's not because they want the record without the attitude. It's because they think Trump's attitude isn't owning the libs as effectively as it used to. He might be indicted! He motivates liberal voter turnout! The Deep State, the "fake" media, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Pentagon will cheat again to prevent him from winning!

They know we drove Trump out of the White House. They think we got to Pence. They don't think we've laid a glove on DeSantis. And that's why DeSantis will win the nomination if Trump doesn't, while Pence will be lucky to win a dozen delegates.

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