Opinion | What Makes Mike Pence’s Complicity So Chilling

Indiana gave us Kurt Vonnegut and David Letterman and was a cradle for early African-American jazz recordings. But for a time in the 1920s, no state had more members of the Ku Klux Klan than Indiana — nearly one in three native-born white males. And this uniquely American domestic terror group was soaked in the rituals and piety of rural conservative values.

Pence doesn’t seem like a hater or a race-baiter, but he certainly makes his boss, who is one, more palatable to those who profess to live by godliness. When Trump gave the neo-Nazis at Charlottesville a pass, Pence was quick to the rescue, saying that under Trump, “We’re going to continue to see more unity in America.”

When the world was appalled at the cruelty of family separation at the border, Pence paid a visit, and said nothing to see here, because “We spoke to cheerful children who were watching television, having snacks.”

And just before the pandemic took a huge swing for the worse, Pence penned an essay in The Wall Street Journal in June saying no second wave was coming, because “the progress we’ve made is remarkable” and was “a cause for celebration.”

Since then, another 100,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States. And a White House that refused to follow the basic medical advice expected of every other American has produced more new cases of the coronavirus over the last week than entire countries in that same period.

Pence, as head of the White House pandemic task force, should be crawling under a rock in shame. Instead, he’s all bromides and excuses. That “super spreader” event in the Rose Garden, with all the hugs and only a handful of people wearing masks? Well, it was outdoors, Pence said. Tell that to the wedding planners now going under because they couldn’t have their own special rules.

On health care, perhaps the biggest of the Big Lies of Trumpism, Pence said, “President Trump and I have a plan.” In fact, they have never unveiled a plan and are currently in court trying to dismantle Obamacare and its protections for pre-existing conditions. As with the pandemic, this is no mere policy difference, but blatant disregard for human life by an administration that professes to be “pro-life.”

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