Did Mike Pence Just End His Presidential Candidacy?

Before Trump, D.C. was a comfortable place for politicians of both parties.  They pretended to be different by keeping the public busy on divisive social issues.  Once elected, they stuck to the norms in D.C. for endless foreign wars, open borders, wastage of public funds, green energy, etc.

Before Tucker Carlson had an epiphany, the media establishment was a comfortable place.  There were the right media and left media who played the public to give the impression that they hated each other.  Most of the mainstream media are a propaganda wing for the Democrats.  Then came Fox News, which claimed to represent the right.

The Democrats went to every left-leaning channel and attacked the right.  The Republicans appeared on Fox News and attacked the left.

But nobody on Fox News ever challenged Republicans from the right — i.e., nobody ever asked them about open borders or amnesty to illegals or the lack of action on abortion.  Obviously, none in the mainstream media asked Democrats about their lack of progress on left-leaning issues.

Tucker Carlson has changed that norm for the right.  He was one of the rare right-leaning voices on TV who challenged Republicans for not following the principles of conservatism and for being focused on issues that didn't matter to Americans.  Perhaps this led to Carlson's sacking from Fox News.

Tucker was in dazzling form a few days back at an Iowa event called The Summit, where he interviewed some GOP presidential candidates.

It was apparent that every candidate was uncomfortable with him being there because they knew he would challenge them.  Most began by lavishing blandishments on Carlson, perhaps hoping he would not subject them to a grilling.

The good news is that Carlson was unfazed by the flattery.

We focus on Carlson's interaction with former vice president Mike Pence.

Carlson asked Pence about his stance on U.S. foreign policy pertaining to the conflict in Ukraine.

Pence claimed that the U.S. had "made progress" in assisting Ukraine.

Carlson challenged Pence on why U.S. leaders are more interested in Ukraine than in the rampant crime and downfall of major American cities.  Carlson also reminded Pence that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky's government is suppressing and arresting Christian priests by branding them pro-Kremlin.

"That's not consistent with religious liberty.  It's an attack on it, and we're funding it.  And I'm just wondering how, and I don't mean to be disrespectful at all, but I sincerely wonder how a Christian leader could support the arrest of Christian leaders for having different views," Carlson asked Pence.

Pence claimed he asked that very question to Ukrainian Christian leaders when he traveled to Ukraine two months after the invasion and that he was assured that "people were not being persecuted for their religious beliefs."

Carlson challenged Pence, reminding him of reports of persecution of Christians.

Pence ended with a perfunctory "People being persecuted for their religious beliefs.  I won't stand for it."  

Carlson also asked Pence if he thought the attack on the Capitol was an "insurrection."

"I've never used the word insurrection, Tucker, over the past two years, but it was a riot that took place at the Capitol that day," replied Pence. He added that Trump's behavior on January 6 was "reckless."

It has to be remembered that Pence, as Trump's running mate and as vice president, was despised by D.C. and the media for being a devoutly religious man.  They also hated him because they thought he was an "enabler" of Trump. 

However, in recent times, Pence suddenly found love from his haters when he began parroting the insurrection narrative.  The blandishments were as outrageous as the insults he received during the Trump administration.

The following is a sample of a compliment that Pence received, which I personally found offensive as a massive fan of Harrison Ford.

Let's examine his tenure as vice president.

When Trump was elected, there were three categories of people. 

The first, who despised him, openly said so.  The second category supported him and was open about it.  The third was a cunning variety: they despised him and didn't support him but claimed to be supporters.  Perhaps these were saboteurs deployed by the establishment to scupper Trump's agenda from within.

Bill Barr and Pence, considering how quickly they changed their tunes after the 2020 presidential election, seemed to belong to the third category.

It has to be remembered that it was Pence who highlighted the fact that General Flynn lied to him, which caused Flynn to be fired.  It has to be remembered that Flynn had pledged to work actively toward draining the swamp.  With Flynn's departure, that possibility dwindled.

Within weeks of the disclosure of classified documents at Joe Biden's offices, Pence's lawyer alerted the authorities that they had discovered a dozen documents marked as classified at Pence's Indiana residence.  Perhaps this was Pence trying to make Biden's mishandling of classified documents look like the norm.  What is perplexing is that Pence's lawyers didn't perform a search for classified documents when Trump's home was raided.  The DOJ closed the investigation on Pence's mishandling of documents while Trump is on trial for it.

Back to the Iowa summit.

There are many who claimed that Pence's awkward performance ended his presidential chances.

Well, they are wrong because to end his chances, he would have to have some chances in the first place.

Unless he is delusional, which is most likely not the case, Pence knows that he had no chance of winning the nomination.  He knows that his conduct on January 6 and his remarks after that attacking Trump had disgusted the GOP voters who participate in the primaries.

So what was he doing there?

Clearly, Pence was auditioning for a lucrative position in one of the "conservative" groups, such as the Lincoln Project, or maybe the kind that he supported by National Review, which longs for the return of the Bush era.  He could also find a position on Fox News or perhaps even a liberal media outlet where he can be a useful idiot.

When President Trump wins in 2024, one of the biggest challenges is to keep away cunning pretenders such as Pence and Barr.

This isn't going to be easy because there are many wolves in sheepskin, while others merely capitulate under D.C. pressure.

Image: Michael Vadon via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

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