Pence Reminds Us All That The Pre-Trump GOP Is Alive, Kicking, And Terminally Smarmy | Talking Points Memo

He’s the adult in the room.

But Mike Pence is both much more and much less than that. His performance at the debate Wednesday night reveals what we’ve all known for a long time, but may have forgotten: the pre-Trump Republican party.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/?p=1337182

And any post-Trump career is destroyed …by a Fly.

Bzzzz

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The victims are the majority? How convenient a lie. Fracking is good/christianity is under assault/Trump is honest/etc. The fragile White Male Ego.

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  1. Every word Pence uttered on the environment was an obvious lie.
  2. Why is it that Republicans made saying saying “radical Islamic terrorism” some sort of purity test, but asking Handmaiden Barrett about the whackadoodle People of Praise is off limits. I say this as someone who had a brief dalliance with charismatic Catholicism in the late 60s, and can vouch for its craziness.
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Excellent point about how the messaging re:climate change and the donors to the Republican party have not changed. It highlights the fact that, not only do they have no plans for the future, there are also strong incentives for them not to come up with any. Thanks, as always, for your great coverage!

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Anybody else noticing that TPM’s coverage is all about Pence? I guess that colored lady on the other side didn’t count for much.

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This is the best post VP debate commentary I’ve read.
“In fact, what’s stayed the same with Pence is the whole package; selfishness justified in terms of freedom, stoking a victim complex around the country’s religious majority, and using it all to advance corporate interests no matter the cost.”

Perfect and succinct assessment of the dangerous and sorry state of the Republican Party. Thank you for this great work, Josh.

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Thank you, Josh, for your cogent report. It seems as if you’ve identified the Republican Party that we’ve had all along, at least from Reagan till now. They find Trump a convenient mouthpiece, just as the Evangelicals do, even if they differ with him on encouraging followers to engage in violence against his “enemies.”

I heard only a segment of the debate, the part where Pence claimed that Biden was going to just plain eliminate fossil fuels, as well as repeal the tariffs on Chinese goods. Way oversimplifying Biden’s position, of course, but these statements put Harris on the defensive. What needs to be said is, that Democrats would support the gradual winding down of fossil fuel use in favor of renewable energy sources, and of course we would support restoring normal trade relations with China, though we would continue to monitor the extent to which they are poaching our intellectual property and industrial technology. I hope Biden remembers to address these points in further conversations with the media and the public.

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This article-ette is the best of the bunch, I agree the “hot takes” are super one sided. I only managed to tolerate one segment of the actual debate- but Senator Harris gave a fantastic answer about how foreign policy is about relationships and just as in personal relationships keeping your word to your friends matters

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The Harris line(s) that I think will emerge from this debate is, “They are coming for you”. Applied repeatedly to various demographics currently covered under ACA, in the context of that the current president is sueing to overturn ACA and has the swing vote nominated to make that happen.

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I don’t know why he landed a fly, I guess he’ll shy.

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To be fair, his career has really been a fly-by-night operation from the get-go…

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Not sure I’m taking it quite like that. I think the presumption is we’d crawl to the polls on bloody stumps to vote for these people. She did a good job, but he’s a kind of Stupid Terminator from another dimension who can’t really be destroyed, and his pathologies are interesting where she has none. She’s just a kind of familar variety of awesome. That she did well was noted, but he’s a freak, and it’s fascinating. There’s an interesting implied point here, which is that the pathology of the pre-Trump GOP made Trump possible. The unseriousness, the utter mendacity of it paved a royal road for His Lowness’s grand entrance.

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And a critical point is to ask if The Lincoln Project folks still support ‘people’ like Pence. Not the obvious Lie-for-the Donald shit, but the underlying free market uber alles philosophy, the basic idea that the aristocracy should rule.

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Pence’s ability to pitch the most ridiculous lies with a completely straight face and feigned sincerity is dangerous.

If he can get the MAGAts to rally around him, and put him in the WH in '24, we will be in real trouble.

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I suppose you’re right. He did kind of suck all the energy out of the room. But I’m just so tired of us paying so much attention to their lunacy.
I wish she could have gone the “angry Black woman” route on him at least once, but it would have been political suicide for sure.

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Well, I read her expressions went viral, and that’s what I’ve noticed with her all along, that little frown that says “Your constant lying is giving me a pain between my eyes.” :smile:

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I think what we’re seeing is a desperate last-gasp attempt to restore what used to be the country’s religious/cultural majority. Today’s Republican strategy is an appeal to paternalistic religion, anglo cultural superiority, and the alienation and angst of job insecurity resulting from necessary and natural technological transitions. The “conservative” law-and-order party has morphed into the nihilistic blow-everything-up-if-we-can’t-stop-it-all party. But as a movement, it’s propelled by little more than old wealth funding a bunch of cynical grifters.

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The fly let us in on the big secret.

Pence is Renfield - acolyte to Count Dracula who controls him and sends him flies to eat.

Republicans- We want freedom to not wear a mask and infect others but those gays should not have the freedom to marry because it will hurt our Godly Christian marriages.

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