Alternate title: Don’t Make Pence President
I gamble. Very low stakes. At work I often bet cups of coffee over almost anything happening. Anything to support my caffeine habit. I love betting on political events especially. I won a great deal on the presidential election. All proceeds went to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, by the way, just so you know where I’m coming from. A new pleasure of mine is the website PredictIt.org
I don’t gamble much there. My total stake is less than 10 dollars. And, to be honest, I find this less compelling than in person betting, but I do have one bet that I’m keeping a very close eye on. Will Trump be president in 2018? I’m betting no, and the odds are against me. But this is one of those cases where I bet for the event that I hope will not happen, so if it does, at least I can say I won my bet, even if everyone else will be worse off. And in this case, I strongly believe that Pence will be even worse than Trump.
Before I go into why, let’s look at impeachment a little more closely. Based on my extremely limited understanding of constitutional law, impeachment has nothing to do with law. The legal requirements are mere formalities; it’s completely a political decision. An opposition party might impeach over things that, if they were the party in power, would be entirely ignored. Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings felt like that. The party in power will only impeach their own president if they feel that having him there will be a bigger obstacle to getting themselves re-elected than removing him. You have to spend a lot of political capital in an impeachment, so the payoff better be really high. Trump could possibly make himself so unpopular that republicans would feel they were guaranteed to lose re-election unless they stood up to him. It’s entirely possible. Trump set a record for the shortest time before the majority of Americans disapproved of him, and I see nothing in the near future that will change our minds. If it gets a lot worse than I could easily imagine the political calculus changing. And one big benefit on the side of impeachment is that Pence will be far more conservative than Trump could ever hope to be.
That isn’t hard to see. One of republicans biggest complaints about Trump, especially during the primaries, was that he wasn’t a real conservative. No one has ever questioned Pence’s conservative bona fides. He tried to encourage gay conversion therapy. His economic plan consists entirely of cutting taxes and regulations. His home state of Indiana is among the reddest, most conservative there are. Compare that to Trump’s home state, and home city, of New York, and you begin to see the difference. Trump supports a trillion dollar infrastructure stimulus plan. Trump is Putin’s BFF. Trump supported the Clinton’s in the past, even inviting them to one of his several weddings. I assure you, no Clinton will ever attend a Pence family event, short of a funeral, and if they do go, they’ll spend the whole time trying not to giggle. Trump is chaotic, unpredictable, and will diminish the role of the United States in the world. Pence is boring, predictable, and is going to try to bring on the biblical end of days. Gog and Magog will have a field day with him in charge.
There is no question that Trump is bad for America, the world, and the human race in general. And I’m absolutely convinced that Pence is worse. So please, don’t make Pence president. Everyone else, sure, let’s get them out of office as soon as possible. But Trump is a lot less dangerous right where he is. If it helps, then consider the fact that he probably hates being president. Annoying Trump on a daily basis is a nice fringe benefit.