Why Trump’s latest rhetorical blow to Mike Pence matters
Donald Trump concocted some ridiculous ploys, but his plan to use Mike Pence on January 6 was one of the most dangerous. Before January 6, when Congress finished certifying the results of the 2020 presidential race, Trump convinced himself that the then vice president had the power to help reverse the results.
Indeed, the then president would have been “confuses“Back then, why couldn’t Pence just fabricate the power to reject election results that Trump didn’t like.
It was hopelessly crazy. As regular readers will recall, Pence, by constitutional mandate, oversaw the Senate certification process, although his role was largely a ceremonial formality. The language of the Constitution on this point is simple: “The President of the Senate will open, in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives, all the certificates, and the votes will then be counted.”
There was no legal mechanism by which Pence could decide to ignore votes on a whim.
Trump nonetheless decided that the Indiana Republican was a villain for honoring the rule of law, and when the pro-Trump mob launched an insurgent attack on the U.S. Capitol, the rioters, after listening to Trump’s nonsense , chased down the former vice president, clearly intending to harm him.
Almost 24 weeks later, the former president not only refuses to accept the reality of his defeat, but he also claims that Mike Pence – who has only shown bewildering loyalty to Trump from day one – did the wrong thing by following the law.
During an interview on Real America’s Voice, host David Brody pointed out that Trump supporters “will never forgive” Pence …. “Well, I’ve always loved Mike and I’m very disappointed that he didn’t send it back to legislatures when you have more votes than voters in some cases, and when you have the kinds of things that were known at the time, “Trump said.
The former president added, referring to the election results, “I felt he had the right to fire him. He should have dismissed him.” He went on to say, âI think you may have found out that you would have had a different president right now if you had [Pence] sent them away. “
Again, as far as reality still makes sense, Pence had no legal authority to “kick back” election results that Trump disapproved of. This is not how our democracy works.
But it’s not just a story that Trump is confused about what government details he should understand. Most importantly, this months-long tantrum from the former president is likely to have ramifications for Pence in the indefinite future.
It was late last week, for example, when the former vice president appeared at a religious right-wing rally in Florida and in the face of rowdies who shouted “traitor” calls as he began his remarks.
Right-wing outrage against Pence was rooted in ridiculous lies – the ones that literally put the former vice president in jeopardy on January 6 – but Trump seems determined to keep as many people confused as possible, for as long as possible.
As Pence contemplates another national candidacy in 2024, this mind-numbing drama is unlikely to end anytime soon.