The Odd Couple

Shortly after the news media announced that Trump had chosen Mike Pence as a running-mate (a choice that Trump later last night said was not yet firm!), I received a request from the New York Daily News to send them 350 words describing the Governor. Here’s what I sent. (I actually think I was restrained. I could have given them the whole list.)

Yesterday, Donald Trump ended a week of feverish speculation (at least in Indiana) by choosing Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.

Color me bemused.

Pence, who describes himself as Christian, Conservative, Republican in that order,” has a well-earned reputation as a culture warrior. In his eleven years in Congress, he was best known for efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. A bill to end tax breaks for insurance providers whose policies covered abortion appears to be the only legislation for which he was actually responsible, not just a cosponsor.

As Governor, it quickly became obvious that he had no interest in the nitty-gritty of public administration. Instead, he continued his war on Planned Parenthood, signed the most restrictive anti-abortion bill in the country, diverted education funding to an extensive school voucher program—a gift to the state’s religious schools—and most famously, infuriated the business community and a majority of Hoosiers by signing a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT citizens.

The blowback to RFRA was so intense that Pence folded, and signed an amendment “clarifying” the original bill. That retreat, in turn, infuriated the Indiana religious right activists who had promoted the measure—and who are Pence’s base.

Pence has been so inept at justifying these and numerous other unpopular actions that most political observers expect him him lose his re-election bid. That likely loss probably explains why he found a spot on Trump’s ticket attractive, despite the fact that it will require “Mr. Family Values” to sell a thrice-married proud philanderer who talks about the size of his penis to the only constituency with which he has any currency: the religious right.

What Pence adds to the ticket is harder to fathom. He certainly won’t help with women, or LGBT folks, or immigrants (he tried to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in Indiana). His much-ridiculed interview with George Stephanopoulos in the wake of the RFRA debacle suggests he isn’t nearly ready for the scrutiny he will receive on the national stage.

Trump must really need those Evangelicals.

Among the (many) things I didn’t mention was the fact that any credible Republicans who might actually have helped the ticket had previously signaled that they that weren’t interested. (Even Joni Ernst–the hog castrater–declined to be considered.)

Trump’s available choices were Newt Gingrich (six wives between them, and visions of a colony on the moon….), Chris Christie (He’s got a bridge…and an attitude) and our very own Mikey. All wounded, all with favorable ratings in the 30s or below.

Talk about your B teams…..


  1. Nah, Pete. You just went down a notch in credibility, man.

    You go on with your non-culture, or yes-culture, or empirical-culture, or darwinian-culture, or your pastafarian-culture, whatever rocks your boat. Super. I’ll do the same.

    Don’t try to make me compromise MY culture, to accommodate YOUR culture.

    I don’t force you to do MINE, you don’t force me to do YOURS. Let’s play.



  2. I think the PsyD is added to say, “I am just a little bit smarter than the rest of you.”

    There is always someone in the tribe that has to get a leg up. My opinions are better. I am more qualified. My rights are more important.

  3. “The difference is that I am not trying to silence anyone with intimidation, insults, and bereating comments and vile ad-hominem accusations.”

    “Sheila and the liberal left continue in their Goebbelical crusade: repeat a lie until it becomes a truth.”

    Both your words.

  4. Thanks, Marv! She’s baiting us and waiting to see how we respond. Go ahead and throw the BS flag on her! Fifteen yards!

  5. Interesting:

    According to Dr Google:

    Your search – Goebbelical – did not match any documents.


    Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
    Try different keywords.
    Try more general keywords.

  6. Pete,

    and I take responsibility for my words and I repeat them. That is neither bullying nor intimidation. I know you’re trying to get 100 comments in here, and I am taking the bait.

    Like we say in Arabic and in Hebrew: We’re grinding water here.

    This discussion can continue ad-nauseum. But it will have to be without me. I stated my opinion, and now I need to tend to more mundane things, like washing my hair.

    Y’all have a fantastic evening. And remember Sheila’s piece before this one: try to mingle a little bit more with those who don’t think like you do. I know it’s scary, you might have to revisit your opinions, or at least, reformulate them and defend them in a rational discussion, rather than in a bullying and insulting fight.

    Have a good day!


  7. Oh but Pete-
    What if my privately owned business is in MY owned space, and I pay my taxes. What if it has nothing to do with your space?

  8. That’s right, Betty. Don’t take the bait. Stick to the tribe’s script. She is trying to confuse us. We must stay on message.

  9. OMG OMG OMG Pete,

    now you lost ALL credibility, man! You are insulting my creative vein, and that is unforgivable.

    Goebbelian: [adj] Indicative or, pertaining to, or mimicking Goebbels’ principle of propaganda, based on repeating a lie until it becomes truth.

    Would you like a copy of the Martina Levi’s Multilingual Lexicon? As a linguist, I have compiled a rather exhaustive glossary, comprised of many words that obtain relevance based on cultural, ideological, societal, or political waves. Although lacking the traditional orthodoxy, my Lexicon can be useful in understanding current and/or past trends in language and society.

    And on that note, I must leave you. You may continue, until you reach your coveted 100 comments. It will be without my charming self, but don’t despair. I have faith in you. You can do it! If not, just send those ladies who call people names, they’ll keep the fire going!


  10. A couple of points.

    If your business is not licensed to serve the public then I suppose you are right. You can license it as a private club perhaps.

    My expectation of debate is back and forth each side of the issue addressing the other side’s points. Apparently conservatives debate differently along the Limbaugh model. One side gets the microphone the other side gets the speakers, the only way Rush stood a chance at debate.

  11. Shhhh, Pete!

    You are steering off the reservation! The tribe don’t like that!

    Have a food night and a good weekend!

  12. Is Trump’s Tweeted announcement legal regarding the choice of Pence for vice president? Saw a post supposedly from MSNBC that Trump was in California and was upset about the early leak of the choice because he was having second thoughts about Pence. Local news reported the documentation of Pence’s removal from the ballot has been started and the three wannabes are filing their applications.

    How are we supposed to know who or what to believe in the media; especially with anything regarding this current presidential nomination process? I did see a report on CNN showing a heavily padlocked Post Office drop box across from Trump Tower to prevent a bomb from being dropped in. The convention poses heavy safety problems for participants, supporters, protesters and all form of public safety precautions. These are troubling times for all of us. The “Odd Couple” themselves also pose trouble for all of us; I believe their supporters will be in for some unpleasant surprises if they are elected. Have said before that, either way the election goes, we could be in for violence.

  13. Donald’s choice for Veep makes sense to only one small group – the conspiracy fans who believe Donald and Bill Clinton (golfing buddies have conspired to ensure Hillary becomes the first female POTUS.

    Other than these fortune tellers, Donald’s decision makes no sense if he truly wants to become Commander-in-Chief.

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