Mike Pence: Embarrassing Indiana Yet Again

Nothing like picking up the New York Times, “the nation’s newspaper,” seeing an editorial titled “Judge’s Message to Xenophobes,” and realizing it’s all about Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

The editorial was in response to the stinging decision by Federal Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, in which she not only found what every first-year law student already knew–that federal government, not the state, has jurisdiction over the resettlement of Syrian refugees–but that Pence’s move to withhold resettlement funds was “in no way” justified by his claim that his main concern was the safety of Indiana residents.

Resettlement lawyers said the ruling was the first to address substantively the attempt by some governors, mostly Republicans, to exploit the terrorism issue. The presidential candidates, of course, have been vying furiously to keep up with venomous nativism coming from Donald Trump and from Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who told a conservative radio interviewer that “I don’t think orphans under 5 are being, you know, should be admitted into the United States at this point.”

I had no idea those five-year-old Syrian kids could be so dangerous….but of course, they’re Muslims….

According to the State Department, 67 percent of the Syrian refugees referred to the United States for asylum are women and children under the age of 12. Mr. Trump has falsely suggested that federal officials steered Syrian refugees to states with Republican governors, when in fact resettlement decisions are made by mainstream social agencies like the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Mr. Trump’s claim was one more example of propaganda being used to distort the truth on the refugee issue.

Governor Pence’s willingness to make political points by inflicting unnecessary harm on children who are already in dire straits simply confirms what even the most casual observer has seen: a self-important, self-described “Christian” more interested in pandering to his party’s fundamentalist base than in governing the state of Indiana.

What is even more unbelievable is that Mr. Posturer insists he will appeal the decision. He will expend taxpayer resources to appeal a judicial application of settled law, further announcing to the nation and the world that Indiana is an unwelcoming and discriminatory state.

That ought to be almost as good for business as his defense of homophobia.

I know where you can buy a “Pence Must Go” sign.


  1. a self-important, self-described “Christian” more interested in pandering to his party’s fundamentalist base than in governing the state of Indiana.

    The statement above is the perfect description of Pence. He and his supporters actually seem much more like the anti-Christs of this country.

    We must get him out of office for so many reasons and wasting taxpayer dollars to sue the federal government is just one of them.

  2. I see Mike Pennies will be on the ballot in November. I am going to vote straight Democrat ticket in the prayer that other Hoosier voters are similarly persuaded to express their disgust. I’ll feel good about it even if my vote is wasted.

  3. Corrected post:
    Hopefully even the most devoted of Republicans can see that Pence is a fool.

    My autocorrect hates me. 🙂

  4. I feel like I came back from a 70s LSD trip to now and wow, what happened to this country??? I can not believe these nazi bastards, Snyder in Mich., and the rest of these pundits are in control and killing the citizens of this country me and millions of humans fought to be free, not for this crap!! Peace-be free-enjoy & VOTE BLUE!!!!!

  5. My “Pence Must Go” sign is still in my front yard; it will stay there till he is gone.

    While the NYT article is yet another national embarrassing action on the part of Pence; it is also another example of free publicity during his reelection campaign. It will appeal to all who side with him in his attempt to instill fear in the hearts of Hoosiers regarding these particular refugees and his RFRA fiasco is still making news. The fact that the legislators refused to consider a Hate Crime law for this state is obvious support for Pence and his anti-LGBT stand. All of these “news reports” are free campaign publicity while John Gregg, who seems to fear either the public spotlight or Pence himself, is still in the shadows.

  6. It all makes me wonder what those who elected him in the first place found so attractive in him and his candidacy. His visage is not one of a well-informed official, a decisive leader, someone who sees the “big picture”. Instead he looks like a terrible liar who doesn’t have the conviction to make his lie plausible, compared to someone like Mitch McConnell who has a real talent for lying and is committed to every one of his lies. Pence has been in over his head since he took office and his condition is only getting worse. One question: Where are the democrats?

  7. @ daleb: You wonder what those who elected Pence found so attractive in him? The fact that he is a Republican is the simple answer. It is the same reason that so many Republicans will vote for one of their crazy presidential candidates, rather than a sane Democrat.

  8. Let’s not forget that Pence isn’t acting alone in all this; he’s abetted by GOP members of the General Assembly. They all must go. But, indeed, where are the Democrats? If Pence must go, we must vote. But that means someone must be actively running against him.

  9. In stark contrast, last night on 60 Minutes I saw the Canadian Leader (Trudeau) smiling and personally welcoming humans in need to Canada. What a contrast. A leader warmly welcoming humans in need to their new home – a safe kind place. Yay for them.

  10. OMG Your vote is only wasted if you do not use it.

    JoAnn My Pence Must Go sign is also still up and will remain so until the %*&^(*^& is gone.

  11. I’m asking this because I truly don’t know: Is there a concerted effort to find strong Democratic candidates to run against these guys (and they’re mostly guys)? Where are the leaders who will fight for what’s right? Anger ginned up by Republicans (Pence, Trump) gets all the attention, but where is the progressive strategy to make positive change?

  12. I first took notice of Pence when as a US representative he would occasionally sit in for Greg Garrison on WIBC.

    I usually talk back to my radio when listening to the right wing nuts but Mike Pence really creeped me out. I’d never heard such nonsense. I couldn’t believe that he actually believed the stuff that he was spouting.

    And as Sheila has written many times, he seemed impervious to any other viewpoint, or for that matter, any facts or information that would at very least cause one to pause.

    He is an embarrassment, an ideologue, who really belongs to another time and place, not in the office on the main floor of the Indiana Statehouse. I just wish that it had been somewhere other than the 21st century and the state of Indiana.

  13. Pence Must Go!

    Let’s list his NO way list; No to GLBT, Not to Immigrants from a war, No to Clean Air, No to his Lt. Governor, Not to Affordable Health Care, No to Federal Assistance (when the Administration offers), Wants Federal Assistance (when the Administration does not offer it).

    His Administration is a bust (i.e., Overcharging by the BMV), his Business record (loosing Carrier), his desired Media Control (his government “on-line newspaper” and his use of PR firm ($300K wasted Hoosiers money).

    Let’s fast track him back to Columbus and vote him out!

  14. President Reagan was, as Gov Pence is, a man too simple to run government but no more complex than the average person on the street.

    In his first inaugural speech Reagan said:

    “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.”

    Some truth, some child like fantasy.

    Of course those entertained by an actor’s ability to play a role rather than actually execute executive power remember only “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” or they might have been captured by “that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people.”

    Of course mankind learned millennia ago that libertarianism works only in a very few small very mature families. Anything more requires organization and rules and adjudication and process. But wouldn’t it be nice if this wasn’t true?

    America’s founders of course believed that powerful capable federal government was essential but risky unless periodically chosen by those governed. They who knew that had already chosen the most capable among them to write the rules of federal government, the Constitution which they enshrined.

    Reagan was harmless because he was only acting and let others carry the heavy load. Bush was not anywhere near as good an actor but also let others do the heavy lifting. Unfortunately his father had picked Cheney for that job but he went the way that Lord Dalton predicted: currupted by absolute, non-elected power.

    So returning to the founders prescriptions is necessary. A powerful elected by democratic votes government of the most capable people among us. Put aside childish things and use adult thinking. Government is more important and more difficult than running a business and requires the most capable among us. Send home the clowns and elevate the gifted.

    The Reagans and Pences of the world walk among us and enrich our culture. That’s wonderful. However, government requires much, much more and adult thinking is our democratic responsibility.

    I’d like to say time to man up, but that could be construed as sexist. Adult or mature up are not very poetic though.

  15. John Carter; thanks for your most informative post regarding the connection between Pence and Greg Garrison. How many of you reading this remember the fight over the “Pence Must Go” sign on private property in a downtown residential district shortly after the sign became available. “Someone” driving an SUV registered to Greg Garrison had a physical fight with the elderly homeowner while trying to destroy his “Pence Must Go” yard sign. Garrison said he had loaned his vehicle to a friend that night….suuuuuuure he did. I’m sure his face is easily identifiable but, this situation was quickly hushed up.

  16. And don’t forget the DNR–clearcutting state forests, dunes development deal with pavilion, fenced deer hunting (which brought in animals carrying rocky mountain spotted fever) and for rate payers who have no real recourse against utility and health insurance rate increases. But when you operate health insurance companies in one of the most polluted states in the US it gets expensive paying for the illnesses that causes.

  17. You can put up all the signs with Pence Must Go that you want, NYT can rage against our Governor Dense. The key point is who will challenge Pence. So far the Democratic Candidate John Gregg has been no where, which is why I call him the No Where Man from the Beatles Song.

    Other than a vote against Pence, John Gregg has provided no reason to vote FOR him. The selection of Gregg who lost to Pence before by the Democratic Party is a symptom that the Democrat Establishment seems content to win a few districts in the State and conceding the Republicans the Governor’s Seat and keeping the Republicans a Super Majority in Indiana.

  18. John Carter makes another interesting point about “he seemed impervious to any other viewpoint, or for that matter, any facts or information that would at very least cause one to pause.” I correspond with Dan Coats on a fairly regular basis and Luke Messer less frequently and they both seem impervious to any viewpoint opposing their own on a variety of issues. Now that Coats has his pension and other income to fund his retirement, he’s moving on after a solid 6 years of doing nothing constructive. Unfortunately, I expect Messer to hang around for a while.

  19. Don’t forget, Indiana is the middle finger of the south…just like all of those red states that are racists!
    Where oh where are the Democrats?

  20. As for those of you who wonder where are the Democrats in relation to the governor race, I’ve seen John Gregg ads on TV, he is active on social media, I see news articles about him, he makes many public appearances — where else should he be? Maybe the question is, why doesn’t Indiana have televised debates between the gubernatorial (and other) candidates?

    Just an aside — as a long time registered Dem in this usually red state, I also decry the lack of good Democratic candidates at the local and state level.

  21. downstate kochroachiana will vote for their hand-picked minion. just follow the money. the kochroaches have bought and paid for the state basically for the cost of yard signs. it’s so difficult to keep a stiff upper lip when everything is going to hell in a rowboat.

  22. My “Pence Must Go” yard sign may have to remain in its
    current position for an additional four years, if the Gregg
    campaign remains stationary.

    A old seafaring joke, refers to items on deck remaining
    motionless for longer than 10 seconds get painted.

    The Gregg campaign, could have collected several coats
    of paint by now …

  23. “Governor Pence’s willingness to make political points by inflicting unnecessary harm on children who are already in dire straits simply confirms what even the most casual observer has seen: a self-important, self-described ‘Christian’ more interested in pandering to his party’s fundamentalist base than in governing the state of Indiana.”

    You forgot the real zinger here. “Pro-life Christian.”

    But only the lives he deems worth saving.

  24. John: She’s got a lot of loyal followers who share her views and can see that the conservatives are bent on driving the government car into the ditch again, just when it looks like it’s been extricated following the last Republican president’s crash.

  25. Unless USA citizens import their fears and terrors, how could a mature, educated and schooled, long-time evangelical Christian, radio personality be described as “xenophobic” accurately — as in facing any peer accuser and education peer. American English accents are learned with the vocabulary lists for all the national and international students and faculties. Dr Pence was prejudiced toward male companions in any publicity photos from his first frank pieces. His current silence is of the same qualities as any others’ not full-time on records. John Carter wrote a very good summary of the continuing ” femmophobic” Messer’s style, too, full of slogans that are popular with Republican family members who do not acknowledge financial responsibility toward Indiana adult citizens. “Gratitude with an Attitude” was Luke Messer’s line for Puritan rememberance-marketing day, not Miami “redskin” resistance days since 1492 for everyone’s ancestors to now that we walk on or breathe in or carry within our vital DNA.

  26. SSK got my vote in 1980 when she was a member of the GOP with her forward-moving view of the future for this state; she still has my vote today. The GOP changed their foundation so she left it behind and moved forward into the future with other thinking Americans. Read her blogs and learn, John, or stay back there in the mid-20th Century where Jim Crow laws rule, women are kept barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen and gays remain in their closets. I prefer believing there is still hope for a better tomorrow and will follow SSK’s leadership role helping us to move forward.

  27. Here’s the thing John. This is the perfect forum to explain to liberals exactly why conservatism works. What makes it better than liberalism? When and what are it’s successes?

    Teach us.

  28. Actually, it was Pence’s show on WIBC that he gave up when he ran for Congress, and Garrison took it over. Pence was an empty suit then, and he really hasn’t changed in 20 years. BTW, my husband got me an “Expel Pence” sign for Christmas. It went up in the yard that day and will stay up until November. If Pence is reelected, I may totally give up on Indiana.

  29. I must disagree, respectfully, with Professor Kennedy on one aspect of her post today. First-year law students have too many expectations placed upon (or presumptions made about) them. First, Constitutional Law, and thus concepts of division of powers within the context of federalism, is not taught until after first year. Second, I would say a majority of my classmates, albeit 30 years ago, if polled then during first-year, would not have understood these concepts. I agree with Professor Kennedy that the concepts are basic to understanding the Constitution. Students who choose to go to law school should know these concepts—as should graduates of our high schools—without first taking Constitutional Law. Unfortunately, this is the state of our system.

  30. Want to know what’s scary?
    …the TEACHERS who voted for him.

    Hearing my Public School coworkers talking about voting for him the first time around because of his “Values” just about made me sick. They liked the fact that his Wife was a Teacher. [Non-Union Religious School]. I wondered how they could not see through the crap.
    What I found more “amusing” is that at least one of them was a Union Building Rep.
    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

  31. There are “Pence Must Go” signs everywhere, but where is Gregg? He may have some great ideas for the state, but what are they? To whoever is managing his media, he needs to be out there reacting and responding to every stupid thing Pence says and does (even if he only reacted to 10%, he’d be on TV 24/7). Every media story about Pence’s embarrassing deeds is a free campaign commercial for the nuts who vote for him.

    I wish that everyone who is fed up with Pence would push Gregg into the spotlight a bit. We have to have someone to vote FOR, not just someone to vote against. He may not be the perfect candidate, but he’s our only option to defeat what’s-his face.

  32. Is Gregg actually running against Pence? Why has he said nothing on the subject? I am looking forward to voting out the worst governor in Indiana history

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