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A cautionary tale


After four cringeworthy years as Trump’s most obvious and pitiful sycophant, Mike Pence finds himself not only kicked to the curb, but thrown to the wolves. Make no mistake. The gallows and noose, so speedily erected by the bleating mob, were intended for one purpose – to “hang Mike Pence,” a man they called “a traitor.”

Back in 2016, Trump chose Pence as his Veep solely to ingratiate himself with right-wing evangelicals, whose support was ebbing after release of the infamous Access Hollywood Tape. And Pence took to the role like a puppy training for the Westminster Dog Show, all but genuflecting in Trump’s presence and endlessly lavishing Trump with “Dear Leader” praise. Indeed, Pence routinely gazed at Trump with a look of such adoration that some wondered if “mother” should be worried.

At the end of the day, though, this supreme flunkey couldn’t bring himself to blatantly violate the Constitution in what Pence surely knew would be a futile attempt to keep Trump in office. The minute Pence announced that the Electoral College had elected Joe Biden president, Trump put a huge bullseye on his Veep’s back. Trump knew his rioting swarm was out for blood, and he served up his Veep on a platter tweeting, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution . . . USA demands the truth!”

All the fawning and bowing and scraping of the last four years was for naught. Now Pence, who so dearly wanted to inherit the support of Trump’s minions, finds himself, instead, hated by those acolytes. Whether or not Pence knows it yet, he is a man without a political future. He should have seen it coming.

Incredibly, all the Republican Senators who will vote to acquit Trump seem unable to see themselves in Pence’s shoes. They’re convinced that Trump will reward their fealty, that they are special, somehow exempt from Trump’s wrath. They should dream on.

It will be interesting to watch Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Ron Paul, Josh Hawley, Marsha Blackburn, Tom Cotton, and Ted Cruz, all of whom see in themselves a future president, jockey to be Trump’s favorite. That, of course, is a fool’s errand. Trump’s favorite candidate is, and always has been, Trump. And, if it’s not Donald himself, it will be someone named Trump – Donny Jr., Ivanka, or, yes, even the hapless Eric.

As for those GOP senators not running for president in ‘24, they are – with precious few exceptions – a group for whom the power and perks of being a senator mean more than their sworn oaths to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. They fear that, if they cross Trump, he will recruit, and support, a primary opponent to run against them. They surely can’t risk that so they remain his supplicants at the steep, sorry price of selling out our country.

The Mike Pence saga is a cautionary tale, one that Republican senators ignore at their peril.

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