In a cute little hump day stunt, House Democrats introduced articles of impeachment against one Donald J. Trump today. Does that mean our year-long waking nightmare is finally coming to an end? Nope! Republicans, you may have noticed, control both houses of Congress, and the GOP deciding to impeach Trump is about as likely as Trump actually winning the presidency, which as we all know, could never, ever happen.
Still, they're trying. "The time has come to make clear to the American people and to this President that his train of injuries to our Constitution must be brought to an end through impeachment," said Rep. Steve Cohen a Tennessee Democrat who introduced five articles of impeachment against the President: obstruction of justice, undermining the independence of the federal judiciary, undermining the freedom of the press, and two emoluments clause violations.
Even Cohen knows this is a shot in the dark. "I don't expect the House judiciary committee, which is operated like a branch of the administration, to take up hearings," he said. But, let's just say for a second that miracles do exist and Congress decides to impeach Trump. What then? Is impeaching the motherfucker already really such a good idea?
With all due respect to my boss, I think, not. Here's why: MIKE GOD-FEARING PENCE.
Unlike Trump, who has no values, Pence really is a conservative ideologue. Trump's only guiding principle is his ego, but the VP is motivated by something just as troubling, and I'm not only talking about his regressive Protestant values. (Pence follows the "Billy Graham rule" and refuses to dine alone with any woman other than his wife—whom he calls "mother"—and he will not attend any events that serve alcohol without her, the poor woman.)
Pence, unlike, Trump, is "the inside man of the conservative money machine," as Jane Mayer wrote in an extensive Pence profile in The New Yorker last month. While the Koch brothers refused to support Donald Trump, they actually like Pence—a lot.
“If Pence were to become President for any reason, the government would be run by the Koch brothers—period," progressive Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island told Mayer. "He’s been their tool for years." Even Steve Bannon, about as far to the right as Whitehouse is to the left, is concerned Pence would "be a President that the Kochs would own," as the once and current Breitbart chairman told Mayer.
So, what does Pence believe in, besides the Kochs? As governor of Indiana (and before that, as a member of the House), Pence was known for social conservatism, including his opposition to both same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. Trump, as Mayer reported, joked recently that that Pence wants to "hang" all the gays. (At least, we think he was joking.)
Pence also signed the most restrictive abortion regulations in the country, which banned ending a pregnancy in cases where the fetus has genetic abnormalities; mandated that doctors would be criminally liable for performing those abortions; and required that aborted fetal tissue be buried or cremated. (These laws were blocked from going into effect by a federal judge.) Naturally, Pence also led attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, and closed so many clinics and cut so much public health funding in Indiana that he has been accused of triggering an HIV epidemic. Very Christian of ya, Mike.
Pence has also taken money from public schools and redistributed it to (religious) charter schools; he opposes gun control (the NRA loves him) as well as immigration; supports Trump's border wall idea; voted against raising the minimum wage and expanding health coverage for low-income kids; and, of course, he's a climate change denier.
Paul Weyrich, one of the founders of the arch conservative Heritage Foundation, said about Pence while he was in Congress in 2006: “Nobody is perfect, but he comes pretty close."
But the most terrifying prospect of President Pence isn't who owns him or even what he believes; it's that he might actually be able to accomplish something. With Trump at the helm, Congress is a mess. In nearly a year in office, Trump has signed plenty of terrifying executive orders, but most of those are tied up in court. In terms of actual legislation, he's too busy picking fights on Twitter or playing golf to actually get anything done. And even if Trump actually cared about legislation, he doesn't understand how the government works. Pence, on the other hand, does. At this point, a dysfunctional government led by a man who thinks only of his ratings may be our best hope.
Then again, there are nukes to think about. So, what's worse, President Trump watching Fox News and eating taco bowls with his hand on the nuclear football, or President Pence, a true conservative ideologue with billionaire backers and a chance to actually get his batshit crazy agenda done? Both could spell global crises, but I'm leaning toward President Pence. The only safe Republican Party, it seems, is a paralyzed one. And if Trump has accomplished anything, it's that.
What do you think? Should we ITMFA already or not? Let us know in the comments.