Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Who Would Be Worse Donald Trump or Mike Pence?

He can often be seen looking on at Donald Trump's grotesque travelling circus with a strange smile on his face.

When asked to say something about his boss, Mike Pence sounds as loyal as a butler, or as giddy as a college cheerleader.

But appearances can be deceiving.

For it seems that should something horrible happen to Trump, like a heart attack, or a stroke, or a fatal case of impeachitis.

Or should General Kelly fail to control him...

Pence would be more than ready to answer the call from above, and is already working hard to replace him.

President Trump’s first term is ostensibly just warming up, but luminaries in his own party have begun what amounts to a shadow campaign for 2020 — as if the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue weren’t involved. 

Mr. Pence has been the pacesetter. Though it is customary for vice presidents to keep a full political calendar, he has gone a step further, creating an independent power base, cementing his status as Mr. Trump’s heir apparent and promoting himself as the main conduit between the Republican donor class and the administration.

Even though judging by his hysterical reaction to that New York Times story, he's scared to death what Trump might do to him, if he ever found out that Pence was plotting to become president.

Vice President Mike Pence declared his loyalty to President Trump on Sunday and denounced a New York Times article suggesting that he was positioning himself to run for president in 2020 if Mr. Trump does not seek a second term. 

 “Today’s article in The New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family and our entire team,” the vice president said in a statement. “The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration.

And who can blame him eh? When as we know, the atmosphere in the White House often resembles a nuclear version of Game of Thrones, or a comic version of The Sopranos.

One moment you're there, the next moment you're not...

But the good news, for those who don't belong to the Trump mob, is that Pence wouldn't be reaching for the brass ring so brazenly, or getting ready to send his boss a horse's head, if he didn't think the Donald was in big trouble.

And he is, Trump's base is eroding

A new poll shows Donald Trump’s support dropping among his strongest supporters as he hits the 200-day mark of his presidency.

Notably, there’s erosion in enthusiasm among important subgroups: Trump’s “strong approval” among whites without a college degree — a group that helped propel him to office — dropped 12 percentage points from February.

Mueller is coming...

And the whole sordid scandal does raise an interesting question: who would be worse, Trump or Pence? 

Sadly, like Richard Cohen, I must admit I can't decide. 

This is a hard one. Trump is a menace, both ignorant and chaotic. His saving grace is his incompetence. In his first six months in office, he has made a hash of our foreign policy, set back efforts to contain global warming, exploited public land and depopulated the State Department. But these efforts — as bad as they might be — have been so far confined to the margins.

Trump may be deranged, and a born liar.

He lies for purpose and he lies just for the hell of it. His lying is such that it ought to be a mental ailment. Call him politically insane.

But Pence is a right-wing extremist, a religious fanatic, and a bestial homophobe...

His views, especially regarding social and cultural issues, are to the right of the right. He is famously antiabortion, recommends abstinence as the entire key to sex education and has taken the unique view that condoms are useless in AIDS prevention. As for global warming, back in 2000 he said it “is a myth.”

He is as Cohen says, all faith and no morality. And in one big way at least, he's worse than Trump.

He is the cardboard cutout for a soulless and opportunistic Republican Party, a display to put in the window of some Trump souvenir shop. In a sense, he is worse than the man he serves. Trump is a child — undisciplined, capricious and self-involved. Pence is none of those things. Trump knows nothing. Pence knows better.

But the best news is that even if he does replace him, after what Trump has done with Pence's blessing, he will not save the Republican Party.

Trump's White House is the Weak Wing...

The Republican Party should have known long ago where Trump would lead them...

And Trump should have known what Pence and the Republicans might do to him when defeat stares them in the face.

It has been a nightmarish episode of Game of Thrones.

But hopefully it will have a happy ending...

When in doubt.

First we take Trump.

Then we take Pence...


  1. Anonymous9:01 AM

    Simon, I am shocked that you feel this way. Mike Pence is a steaming pile of religious nut job shit but he is a massive step up from trump. The State department has been gutted, the DOJ (including the FBI) has been politicized, and we have a man tweeting us into a nuclear war over North Korea. I myself will breathe a HUGE sigh of relief when the orange shit is no longer President even if it means President Pence. I seriously can't believe you have bought into this talking point pushed by insane trumpkins and fools on the left who believe that keeping trump in power will cause the "revolution" they are so desperate for. Bring on President Pence, bring on some good night's sleeps.

    1. hi anon...relax I haven't bought into any argument, and I don't think I'm losing my mind. What I did lose when transferring my post to my desktop fro my i-pad was a paragraph where I talked about Trump not being able to be trusted with nuclear. Which considering what happened a few hours later was more than unfortunate. So let me make my position clear: I still think Trump and Pence are for different reasons the worst leaders in U.S. history. But if I had to choose between Trump and Pence I would probably hold my nose and choose Pence, if only because he's slightly saner, and not as likely to blow up the world...

    2. Anonymous8:18 AM

      That is why I choose Pence, mere survival

  2. It's a tossup. Crump is an incompetent loose cannon seemingly intend on starting one or two wars and Pence is a right-wing religious fundamentalist.

    From a Canadian point of view Pence is probably better as he is apparently fairly rational and less likely to start wars but I could be wrong. Who knows just how bad his internal polices would be?

    We had better start setting up more refugee camps in either case.

    Trump reportedly has already violated the agreement with Iran and it could get worse as he fought against certifying that Iran was in compliance and it reportedly took a full day of argument to get him to sign the certification. Then he said he was not going to sign the next one in 90 days.

    1. hi jrkrideau...as I mentioned above, although I had a very hard time choosing between Pence and Trump, I did give a slight nod to Pence because I think he's slightly saner and not as likely to get us into a nuclear war. Trump on the other hand is clearly trying to set up a confrontation with Iran and is a clear and present danger to us all...

  3. Pence is the face of the American Taliban

    1. hi Steve...I agree, his religious views are those of a true fanatic. Every time I see him on TV he reminds me of a sinister version of the man from Glad, or a KGB hitman. However, his Christofascist views may be easier to contain than Trump's views that are all over the map, and when it comes to things like climate change and war could be really catastrophic...

  4. Anonymous9:51 AM

    LOL your lack of self awareness is hilarious. You remind me of a child in a sense. Then we take Pence? Then what? No really, then what?

    You're an idealist I'll give you that. But totally detached from reality.

    1. hi anon...I have no idea what you are talking about. I admit I could have been clearer, but my final judgement is that both Trump and Pence are unfit to be president. And if Trump is brought down, Pence should follow him into retirement...

  5. Anonymous3:44 PM

    It is a "heads they win, tails we lose" situation. Trump is certifiable and would probably tweet us into a nuclear war, but Pence has the right temperament to strike just the right balance between the billionaire donor class and the arch-conservative religious hate wing. We'd still have a fascist coup, but a soft and far less noticeable one in a sort of frog-in-the-boiling-water way. The press might even breathe a sigh of relief and not hold Pence accountable simply because he's considered more "presidential" than Twitler.

    I mean, look at how quickly W got rehabilitated as just a harmless dope who paints pictures of puppies and kittens -- and of the soldiers that his oil wars maimed beyond recognition! He goes on Ellen's show to talk about how awful Trump is, promote his "art," and now even his CIA-spook father is depicted as a sweet old man in a wheelchair who wears cute Trudeau socks, instead of the continuation of the Reagan De-Evolution and one of the principal architects of the PNAC agenda that kicked this hornet's nest in the first place. Nope nope nope. You can't Trudeauize anyone named Bush. Period. Please clap.

    Posthumously, Reagan and even Nixon have been normalized as "better Republicans" too, because none of them are Trump. No one is Trump. So the man who gave us Watergate, and the incompetent B-grade celebrity who armed Bin Laden, turned his back on the AIDS crisis, and deregulated the banks, both get absolved of their sins for being "not as bad."

    I almost think this was the plan all along: to have such an atrocious candidate cause the nation to hit rock bottom, but then be "redeemed" or "born again" by embracing someone who's emotionally "steadier," and who cares about his platform or ideology or the scary fact that he and the unstoppable GOP would actually be able to govern. Just like a recovering addict who suddenly becomes an obnoxious evangelical teetotaler and seeks to "smite" everyone else as "penance." (Take out the A and the second N from that word and you get Pence.)

    Naomi Klein, another great Canadian, calls this the Shock Doctrine in her book of same name. Shock-and-Awe. The GOP and their dark-money founders are so obsessed with total control, shaping the world in their vision, and crushing the untermenschen once and for all, that they sold out to Russia and regime-changed the United States.

    I'm wondering if maybe WW3 and total planetary annihilation might be better than a slow drip into a real-life Gilead. Hopefully it gets over with soon, because life under a theocracy of dunces would be a fate worse than death. It'd be hell on earth.

    1. hi anon...you make a very good point. Pence is better as posing as a "normal" leader and after Trump could truly be made to look like a "saviour." As the Washington Post story said, Trump is a menace, but his rough and insane policies are rendered less harmful by his staggering incompetence. It's still a dreadful situation, and as long as that hideous regime is in office we are all in great danger. What progressives need to be doing now is developing the leaders we will require to defeat the Republican in 2018 and 2020...

  6. Anonymous4:50 PM


    1. Anonymous10:32 PM

      Rubbish propaganda amplified by Russian bots.The Repub-lie-Con investigators summed the active voter list with the inactive list to obtain a surplus of voters compared to census. There are additional verification procedures if you are on the inactive list and are still eligible to vote. Reportedly only a dozen voters on the inactive list cast ballots during the last election all were properly verified.

    2. hi anon 10:32...thanks for correcting the record. What I would also say to anon 4:50 pm is that the Republican attempts to suppress the vote are a real scandal, and one that needs to be exposed and corrected before the next election...

  7. Anonymous6:30 PM


  8. Anonymous8:18 PM

    I hope after today y'all realize that we are better off taking our chances with Pence. Yes, he will be horrible domestically for America, but they broke it, they own it.

    1. Anonymous9:59 PM

      Um, I'm an American and I didn't "break it" or vote for him. You do realize that 40 years of gerrymandering, a nationwide domestic psyop starting with Reagan's end to the Fairness Doctrine that paved the way for Fox News, AM hate radio, Fox News, and now the uncontrollable cancer that is the Internet, and now, the low point to end all low points, collusion with Russia not only by the GOP but even by third-party candidates like Jill Stein, also led to this perfect-Stormfront disaster waiting to happen?

      At least Canadians understood "strategic voting," while the purity ponies who didn't get Bernie's unrealistic Scandinavian utopia overnight stayed home or threw their votes away. The Electoral College proved a failure in 2000 too. Everything hinged on Florida, and W's complicit brother was governor who had authorized the purge of literally thousands upon thousands of "ineligible voters" who'd either been convicted of petty crimes or had minor discrepancies in their registration -- like forgetting to update their married surnames. All of this goes back to the stolen election by W and his father's Reaganite cronies, who'd just spent 8 years trying to destroy the Clintons for interrupting the sacrosanct Reagan Reformation. The GOP is like the cons in Canada who can't win unless they cheat.

      I didn't break this. I didn't really care who was at the top of the ticket, because I'm a Blue Dog who wouldn't vote Republican if someone put a gun to my head and threatened to shoot me on Fifth Avenue (or anywhere else for that matter). Neither did 60M+ other people, many of whom are in far more precarious positions than I am on the domestic front due to their ethnic makeup and/or sexual/gender identity. Why should I own something that I didn't break? We civilized Americans are fuddle-duddled bigly, unless Canada opens up refugee camps and declares the USA a hostile foreign power!

    2. Anonymous10:49 PM

      Show and tell time seems to be rapidly approaching. Initially thought that there would be some sort of false flag event to justify the carnage but seems that ego mania is enough. Precise surgical removal and Trump is a hero, failure and it won't matter. Hopefully there is a better plan.

    3. Anonymous6:59 AM

      Your apathetic political culture broke this.
      And fuck Bernie.

    4. hi anon 8:18...I admit that your argument has been bolstered by the North Korea situation, but it still comes down to a very difficult choice between two real evils...

    5. hi anon 9:59...I sympathize with you and believe it's unfair to tar all progressives with the same brush. Mistakes were made, and far too many progressives spent more time fighting each other instead of the real enemy. But I remain confident that most progressives will learn from those mistakes, and that out of the horror that you are now living in will come something good. There are many many good and decent Americans and they will prevail over the forces of darkness. Of course if I'm wrong I will go work in one of those refugee camps so I can welcome you with open arms, and eat crow every day of the year... ;)

    6. hi RT...yes, this North Korea situation is deeply disturbing. At this point only a war can save Trump from Mueller and his own incompetence. It will also make it harder for the generals to contain him. Like you I can't see this situation ending well one way or the other. All I can hope is that enough Americans will realize that Trump is playing with fire, and choose a safer alternative next time...

  9. 500 false statements Trump has said in his first 200 days in office (updated Aug. 8/17)


    Many Politicians Lie. But Trump Has Elevated the Art of Fabrication (Aug. 7, 2017)

  10. @ Anonymous 9:59 PM

    unless Canada opens up refugee camps and declares the USA a hostile foreign power!

    We already are opening/have opened refugee shelters in Winnipeg and Montreal, camps is too strong a word. Not sure about what is happening in other provinces but Québec is receiving roughly 200 refugees a day.

    No thought of declaring the USA a hostile foreign power. More the cousin who needs to keep taking their medicine.

    1. hi David...Daniel Dale deserves to get some big prize for chronicling Trump's record of deceit. He's a MSM journalist I truly respect, for if it wasn't for people like him we would be buried alive by Trump's lies. Who could ever have predicted that we would be living in a time when that kind of behaviour was being normalized?