As the American experiment in democracy drew to an unsatisfying close in Cleveland, it's tempting to focus on the nuts and weirdos who busied themselves onstage at the Republican National Convention. But what about the more sensible, refined members of the GOP? You know, the ones who think Mulan proves that military rape is inevitable, who are afraid of buffalo, and whose daughter may be a vampire?
Conveniently, all of those descriptors apply to Vice Presidential candidate and concerned CPR dummy Mike Pence. Trump may not have permitted him to speak too much yet, but fortunately we have a long back-catalog of Pence-authored blog posts to sift through, and more weird/wonderful nuggets are popping up every day.
What's so insidious about Mike Pence is that he looks so normal, and boring, and respectable, and safe for use in microwaves and dish washers. I just posted a video about how he uses that dull veneer to his advantage, cloaking some truly insane anti-gay positions. (Fun fact: he tried to prevent the United States from encouraging governments overseas to stop executing homosexuals.)
But of course, his craziness extends for beyond hating queers. One of my favorite stories is that he got mad at the movie Mulan for suggesting that women could have a role in the military, as if there had never been Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman, Bea Arthur, Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, Grace Murray Hopper, and so on.
Pence complained that the film will indoctrinate children into the idea that women are as capable as men when it comes to military service; and also delightfully trots out the trope that sexual assault can be blamed on the mere presence of ladies. Men simply can't be expected to refrain from a little rape when women are around, right? He mentions a series of sexual assaults at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, and adds, "housing, in close quarters, young men and women (in some cases married to non-military personnel) at the height of their physical and sexual potential is the height of stupidity." I guess his position is that Mulan got off unrealistically lucky?
He also expressed outrage that the state re-introduced otters into the wildlife population, and that hunters could be arrested for shooting the animals. "State sanctioned, sanitized otters today... buffaloes tomorrow?" he wrote. I don't know what he thinks a "sanitized otter" is, but I'm delighted by the nightmare-vision Mike's concocted where buffalo are roaming wild through the streets of Gary.
Then there's a photo making the rounds of Mike with his daughter, in which she is weirdly not reflected in a nearby mirror. It's just a trick of perspective — I think? — but by all means let's heap this on top of the Mike Pence mockery train.
Most of this stuff is just goofy weirdness and rises nowhere near the level of Pence's outright horrors, such as signing a bill requiring that mothers pay for the funerals of aborted fetal tissue. There'll be plenty of time to talk about his truly terrible work, like how he caused a spike in HIV infections by defunding prevention programs, and cut off aid to refugees, and doesn't believe in evolution. For now, please, let us just have the fun stuff.