In 1839 Daniel Webster, then a New Hampshire Senator, rejected an offer to be future President William Henry Harrison’s running mate. “I do not propose to be buried,” he said, “until I am really dead.”
Mike Pence, the current holder of that unwanted position, took a few steps toward burying himself and jettisoning one of his last shreds of self-respect yesterday when he willingly participated in an inane and wasteful dumb show, ludicrous even within the context of the ongoing Trump lunacy.
Puppet Pence began by leaving a Las Vegas memorial service for the victims of last week’s shooting and flying to Indianapolis where the NFL’s Colts were hosting the 49ers. Any NFL fan will tell you that the league’s protest movement began last season with the currently blackballed Colin Kaepernick who was, at the time, a member of that 49er team. (His teammates continue to honor his protest.)
To the surprise of no one, many of the 49ers knelt again yesterday during the playing of the National Anthem, prompting this tweet from Mr. Pence: “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.” He then flew back to Los Angeles.
Aside from the cost involved, his reason for leaving was a lie. The entire scenario was dreamed up by someone on the Trump staff (someone with imagination so, no, not the president) to prolong the running feud between the nation of Trumpiana and the NFL. The stunt was well telegraphed; for instance, Pence did not even take a pool reporter into the stadium because the vice-president “might be leaving the game early”—this despite the avowed reason for being there in the first place: to honor retired Colt Peyton Manning who was to be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor…at half time…by which point the Pence Show was, by design, winging westward sucking down more jet fuel.
Another possible clue to the VP’s dissembling was this tweet from Trump:
Of course with the 49ers on site, kneeling was a given, rendering the stunt foolproof and allowing our ostentatiously and falsely patriotic president—the one who likes Putin so much— to (1) once again display his feigned infatuation with the flag and (2) continue to avoid the real issues plaguing minorities in this country.
Trump is, as Rex Tillerson said, a moron, but not even Trump can do it alone. I know I’ve grown more and more impatient with the Trump base, and have accorded them less and less respect. Since my opinion doesn’t matter to them: they’ll be fine. Even so, if those 122,439 likes (above) are real, and if in addition that many people are so stupidly gullible as to accept this charade as truth, I may not have been harsh enough. Maybe nobody has.