There’s an old political saying to the effect that publicity is always good, as long as they spell your name right.
Not so much.
There’s been a lot of attention focused upon Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a result of his RFRA signing and his obvious inability to understand the blowback or handle the subsequent fallout. But aside from generating increasingly serious concern about the damage done to Indiana, the weighing in by pundits and the skewering by late-night talk show hosts, the controversy has also encouraged media exploration of the Governor’s past performance and policy positions–and that exploration has underscored Pence’s deeply-rooted animus to LGBT folks, his contempt for women’s rights, and…how to say this?…his less than adequate analytical skills.
In the wake of the eruption over RFRA, I’ve seen the following:
A 2008 article about Pence’s bizarre 2005 proposal to advance Social Security privatization. Here’s the first paragraph:
There are very few members of congress with whom I’ve ever had the opportunity to discuss a substantive matter of public policy. But as it happens, one of them — the one with whom I’ve had the second-longest exchange — is Mike Pence (R-IN) who I’ve seen on television today repeatedly discussing the Republican Study Group’s “plan” for the financial crisis. And I can tell you this about Mike Pence: he has no idea what he’s talking about. The man is a fool, who deserves to be laughed at.
The remainder of the article explains how the author came to that conclusion–and explains a lot about the “growth” policies the Governor has been pursuing in Indiana.
Then there was “Smoking Doesn’t Kill and Other Great OpEd’s from Mike Pence, which I originally thought was a joke, but apparently isn’t. It reproduces several op-eds penned by Governor Pence over the years; my favorite was on climate change, where Pence wrote that CO2 from burning fuels can’t cause increased global temperatures because they are a “naturally occurring phenomenon in nature.” (He also mixed up India with Indonesia.)
Perhaps the most telling–given the Governor’s protestations to the effect that he doesn’t believe in discrimination– was this article, detailing his long history of anti-gay bias. From Business Insider, no less. That one begins:
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) apparently previously advocated far more controversial positions on gay rights than his state’s controversial new “religious freedom” law.