The relationship between outgoing president Donald Trump and soon-to-be-ex-vice president Mike Pence has always seemed like a peculiar one, to put it mildly. The former is a brash, seedy trash mouth who had to pay off a porn star with he once slept. The latter is a deeply religious old school conservative who has barely said a public word in four years. Pence has often joked about their odd couple pairing, but any tension festering over a long administration finally came to a head in the last week, according to The New York Times.
What prompted the rift? A mob of MAGA rioters whipped up by Trump’s lies about voter fraud storming the Capitol during a joint session of congress, with some hoping to actually hang Pence, didn’t help. As the Times put it, “Evacuated to the basement, Mr. Pence huddled for hours while Mr. Trump tweeted out an attack on him rather than call to check on his safety.”
It was then, the Times reports, that Pence had a decision to make: do Trump’s bidding and overturn an about-to-be-ratified election, naming Joe Biden the 46th president, or do the right thing. Pence did the right thing.
Mind you, it seems Pence was planning to do the right thing — that is, ratifying the election for Biden — anyway, having reportedly reminded the president the night before that he couldn’t overturn the results anyway. But surely his decision wasn’t helped by a president who had all but abandoned him to men with zip ties and pitchforks, decked out in what one commentator memorably put it “Chewbacca bikini.”
And there was one more detail, which surely made his decision not to disobey the will of the people all the easier. As Pence was headed over to the Capitol, Trump called him one last time. “You can either go down in history as a patriot,” Mr. Trump allegedy told him, “or you can go down in history as a p*ssy.”
Perhaps Trump’s swearing finally got to Pence — or simply fearing for his life as the president’s base raised some Cain.
(Via The New York Times)