Monday, March 13, 2023

The Stopped Clock Was Right Twice



Mike Pence has been talking to his old friend from Indiana again. In an excerpt, reported by MSNBC, from their book "Peril"

(Robert) Costa and (Costa) Woodward report that Pence rang up Quayle in late December to ask if there was any way he could give Trump want he wanted, according to the Washington Post:

Quayle was adamant, according to the authors. “Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” he said.

But Pence pressed him, the authors write, asking if there were any grounds to pause the certification because of ongoing legal challenges. Quayle was unmoved, and Pence ultimately agreed, according to the book.

CNN’s version added some additional detail to Pence’s entreaty:

"You don't know the position I'm in," he said, according to the authors.

"I do know the position you're in," Quayle responded. "I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian. That's all you do. You have no power."

And Pence did just that: He listened to the Senate parliamentarian. Together, as Politico's Kyle Cheney showed on Twitter, they crafted language that made clear that there would be no chance for alternate electoral slates from states such as Georgia to vote for Trump. And in doing so, Biden’s win was — once the Capitol was cleared of insurrectionists — certified as it had been every other presidential election beforehand.

Pence is fighting a subpoena issued for him to testify before a grand jury about the 1/6/01 insurrection. Nonetheless, on March 10 at the annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington, DC, after the obligatory jokes the former vice-president 

took a serious tone, noting the attack on the Capitol was “one thing I haven’t joked about” and calling January 6 “a tragic day.”

Pence rebuked Trump for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack, saying he was “wrong” for claiming Pence had the authority to overturn the results of the 2020 election in his role presiding over Congress that day, saying “history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”

“President Trump was wrong. I had no right to overturn the election and his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable,” Pence said.

Pence repeatedly praised the media’s coverage of the January 6 attack at the dinner, which traditionally includes members of the Washington press corps among its attendees, and said he was able to carry out his role in certifying the election “in part” because of the media’s real-time coverage of the insurrection.

“We were able to stay at our post, in part, because you stayed at your post. The American people know what happened that day because you never stopped reporting,” Pence said.

“For what you do to preserve and strengthen this great democracy, you have my heartfelt thanks and I know the thanks of a grateful nation. Thanks for what you do to preserve freedom,” Pence continued.

After criticizing the insurrectionists and Republicans who have defended them, Pence

repeatedly praised the media’s coverage of the January 6 attack at the dinner, which traditionally includes members of the Washington press corps among its attendees, and said he was able to carry out his role in certifying the election “in part” because of the media’s real-time coverage of the insurrection.

“We were able to stay at our post, in part, because you stayed at your post. The American people know what happened that day because you never stopped reporting,” Pence said.

“For what you do to preserve and strengthen this great democracy, you have my heartfelt thanks and I know the thanks of a grateful nation. Thanks for what you do to preserve freedom,” Pence continued.

Pence attacked both the individuals who would overturn democracy- and the most popular figure among GOP primary voters- and expressed appreciation for the media. Those are safe remarks to make to the likes of the Gridiron Club but suicidal for someone presumably planning to seek the GOP presidential nomination. If it wasn't stunning to hear him call out Donald Trump by name- something Joe Biden has been reluctant, and Barack Obama loathe, to do- the former V.P actually commended the press, which Republicans hate to hear.



Actions speak louder than words and thus Mike Pence, if he meant what he said, must drop his motion "asking a judge to block a federal grand jury subpoena for his testimony related to January 6." 

However, his words still were bolder than those of almost any GOP politician which, admittedly, is analogous to referring to someone as the "most honest or demure Trump." When a moment of silence to honor law enforcement officials was held at the Capitol on January 6, 2023, only two Republicans (Liz Cheney and Mitch McConnell) were present in the House chamber, and the latter denounced Democrats for what he claimed is politicization of the attack.

So, let's give the devil his due and credit Mike Pence for some fine words one evening. And let's do it quickly- he may retract his sentiments before the next business day is out.



No comments:

Racehorse Genes

Credit the discovery to Michael D'Antonio.  He conducted a series of interviews with Donald J. Trump in 2014, of whom Donald Trump Jr....