Mike Pence and the Christian Conflict on January 6

"Pence’s focus, by contrast, was on justice—upholding the rule of law—and the courage he sought was the courage to ignore the howls of the mob ...If you doubt that January 6 was a thoroughly religious moment for Mike Pence, read this" - David French

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David R. Brumbelow's picture

I highly commend Mike Pence for his actions throughout 2016 until today.  He would make a good candidate for president. 

David R. Brumbelow

AndyE's picture

If Republicans were smart, which they are not, they would nominate Mike Pence for president. He showed great character in the face of intense pressure.  Same goes for the Republican leadership in GA -- Kemp, Raffensperger, and others.  Anyway, I think Pence would be an easier Republican to win the national election with than someone like DeSantis, who I also like, but not sure how well he would appeal to non-Republicans wanting a change in 2024.  I see no way that Trump wins re-election, so I hope he doesn't run.  

Robert Byers's picture

Those of us with memories that go back more than a few weeks recall Pence's shameful and cowardly backstabbing capitulation on Indiana's RFRA bill when he was governor.  He may be a sincere Christian and a good man, but a bastion of courage he most certainly is not.

Jim's picture

Robert Byers wrote:

Those of us with memories that go back more than a few weeks recall Pence's shameful and cowardly backstabbing capitulation on Indiana's RFRA bill when he was governor.  He may be a sincere Christian and a good man, but a bastion of courage he most certainly is not.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Indiana)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Freedom_Restoration_Act_(Indiana)

Robert Byers's picture

Signing the law and then pushing through a plan to gut it because of criticism is NOT a sign of courage.  Yes, he did approve it.  But then when the heat was applied Pence backed down so fast he left skid marks running for cover. Pence listened to the NCAA and Apple more than his faith.  

AndyE's picture

I agree that was disappointing.  Here in Georgia, Brian Kemp has stood up to things like that for the most part.  I'm very thankful for him.  So, yes, Pence does have that strike against him, but he would still be way better than 4 more years of Biden, Harris, Clinton, or whoever else might show up on the opposing ticket. I think DeSantis would be a harder sell in the general election, but I'll tell you, he has quite the impressive background -- Yale undergrad (captain of the baseball team), Harvard Law, Navy Officer (JAG), assigned to Seal Team One as Legal Advisor in Iraq.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

What conclusions should be drawn, I don't know, is certainly debatable, but I think there's a really interesting contrast between Pence's posture and rhetoric toward Trump vs. Trump's toward Pence.

Suppose for sake of argument that both leaders took "the high road" ethically in their own opinion and made the choices they did surrounding Jan 6 and the election because they sincerely believed it to be the right thing to do.

Even with that in place, we still don't have two equivalent sides. Unless I've missed something major, Pence pretty consistently refrains from attacking Trump's character and motivations. Deserved or not, there's been a noticeable restraint and baseline of respect there. Trump on the other hand...  I probably don't need to spell it out.

Of course, like everybody seeking or wielding power at that level, Pence is a politician. He's going to be constantly weighing how his choices and statements will play with his supporters or potential supporters. That said, there is strong evidence that he knowingly put that support at great risk for the benefit of the country on Jan 6. That speaks volumes.

Sure, we could argue that he only did that to build a broader support base among independents/the middle, betting that the Trump right would eventually back him to defeat Democrats. But politicians almost never play their hands that way. That is, they almost never willingly let go of supporters they currently have in order to maybe gain enough from another corner to make up the loss. They continually stoke their base and then, usually, try to build on that. (In Trump's case, stoke the base and don't bother to do anything else.)

So even if Pence made the political calculation to try to appeal to a broader segment of the country, that's still a statesmanlike thing to do in his situation. If he wants to stop playing the "feed the polarization to increase my personal power" game and instead play the "feed broader agreement to increase my own power" game, that's still--in our current climate--a gutsy and noble thing to do.

But there is plenty of evidence that for Pence it's not all about his personal power.

(Edit: Trump has repeatedly characterized Pence's actions on Jan 6 as 'weak.' They were anything but. The weak action: "Yes sir, Mr. President, I'll do this pointless and probably illegal thing just to make you and our ignorant base happy.")

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.