The Impossible Successor

#PresidentRyan | ¿#WhatTheyVotedFor?

Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Mike Pence speaks at a campaign rally, Oct. 22, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Amid everything else over the last week or so, we ought not forget this:

We’re left with an unsettling picture. Flynn told the transition team he’s the subject of an ongoing federal investigation, and either that information either reached Pence or it didn’t. If Pence was out of the loop, he was dangerously incompetent at his job. If Pence knew, and Flynn became National Security Advisor anyway, that’s worse.

Remember, as the turmoil surrounding Flynn grew more serious, the vice president said he was completely unaware of Flynn’s alleged misdeeds. In March, when Fox News asked Pence about Flynn having to register as a foreign agent, Pence said he was hearing the story for the first time.

Except, as Rachel has explained on the show, that’s literally unbelievable. Not only were there multiple news reports for months about Flynn’s foreign work, but Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote to Pence’s transition team to make sure Team Trump was aware of this.

(Benen)

Because, quite frankly, it still cracks me up that once upon a time, when Rubio was fumbling for water, Paul was drowning in plagiarism, and Christie apparently had nothing to do with that bridge, we might have heard Mike Pence’s name whispered as the cyclical dark horse. The Indiana governor, by Republican accounts, was politically savvy and a dedicated conservative. And while others might disagree about the savvy, it seemed for naught when he signed a RFRA and failed to comprehend what happened next. Except, of course, his dramatic revitalization as Donald Trump’s vice presidential candidate, and then vice president. It was easy enough to joke that we might yet see a President Pence.

And then there was also the bit, when Republicans still pretended to care, when Paul Ryan, the Reluctant Speaker, felt the need to bat down convention cabal rumors of a Reluctant President.

And now it’s easy enough to joke something, something, mumble, murmur. In truth, this is not funny. It is one thing to complain that government doesn’t work, but as Republicans labor to break American governnace, we must remind ourselves this manner of corruption and danger is precisely #WhatTheyVotedFor.

____________________

Image note: Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Mike Pence speaks at a campaign rally, 22 October 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Benen, Steve. “In light of Flynn revelations, Mike Pence has some explaining to do”. msnbc. 18 May 2017.

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