Ed.: 030318 – Words: 882 – Audio: N/A
As we continue to speculate on the political demise of Trump and his administration, if this occurs before the end of his term that is, then the baton passes to VP Pence. You gotta admit, in all this chaos and turmoil over the last year until now, the V.P. has managed to not have his own name dragged through the cesspool Trump has created. There’s no implication speculation it seems, thus far, from the Mueller ranks; no international Russian intrigues being assigned to him on some level; no political dirty tricks or campaign corruption… not even tawdry affairs to bring a sparkle to the eyes of the #MeToo movement. His name seldom comes up for any reasons in the media.. other than maybe the occasional public appearance or some loose affiliation with Congressional players in support of one Trumpian legislative fiasco or another. He himself is not a newsmaker.
One gets the feeling that Trump simply “accepts” Pence being around and maybe assigns him to be an extension of his own presidential authority on the phone to garner support for one thing or another. I’m not even aware of any “special” assignments delegated to him as is often a role of past VP’s, like serving on presidential commissions or committees. The Constitution states that the only legal role of the V.P. is to act as presiding officer of the Senate, and try to keep his/her heart beating long enough to take over should the president’s heart stop beating. Anything else being just “busy” work… like ceremonial representative in the President’s absence. As old Ben Franklin replied when asked how the new first vice-president of our country should be formally addressed, he replied, “Your Most Superfluous Excellency”.
President Gerald Ford commented in a 1974 article for The Atlantic…
Alone among federal officials he stands with one foot in the legislative branch and the other in the executive. The Vice President straddles the constitutional chasm which circumscribes and checks all others. He belongs both to the President and to the Congress, even more so under the Twenty-fifth Amendment, yet he shares power with neither.
So that brings me to a couple possible conclusions here regarding this Pence fellow in Trump’s administration.
- He’s a complete political genius; knowing full well what’s going on, how all this will end, and his future role in it. He’s attached himself to Trump’s coattails because it has led him to the White House. He’s just letting Trump run out with the line until Trump feels the final “jerk” when the line runs out. Pence is just biding his time and keeping quiet… and keeping clean.
- He’s an average, un-inspirational politician, with an average record of political achievement, and an above average record of serving in elected office in state politics, as governor of Indiana, and as a member of Congress… and now V.P. He’s been a loyal “soldier” and political “survivor”, although not from his own intuitive devices but more from right-place, right-time. His “evangelical-ness” sets him apart from cutthroat politics.
I tend to side with the second option, above… since in his entire political career he’s not demonstrated any vastly superior intelligence. Now, that by itself is not necessarily a negative when determining his role and effectiveness if he picks up wherever Trump leaves off. My point here is that one or two years as president to finish Trump’s term is not going to harm the country much at all. He’s traditional.. he will bring some measure of control.. and he would bring some level of respect and prestige back to the office of the President, if for nothing else than he does present a relatively good image.. and can control what he says. He will not be a Trumpian maverick out to drain swamps using shock & awe verbiage and wild-assed tweets. Most assuredly he will bring some level of personal moral discipline back into the White House.
Now, all this does NOT mean I favor Pence policy or politics (hell, he never even served in the military for some reason; my thing). Most of his stance on issues is just nothing I would favor at all as it represents a “hard right” conservatism (not necessarily “far right”). But he’s got a mix of traditional Reagan republicanism; the old style stuff. Example, I do appreciate him favoring (at least in the past) globalization and the various trade treaties in order to maintain our status in the world. But honestly, that’s neither here nor there for my discussion here.
What I am trying to bring home here is on the short term Pence would be far better than continuing with Trump. When the 2020 election comes along Pence will likely not remain for another term anyway. One battle at a time.
With Pence running the show I could at least change my blog theme to go more toward the issues themselves rather than doubting the questionable persona, gross inexperience, and mental incapacity of the person now holding the office.