Well Mike, We Always Suspected You Skipped Con Law in Law School…

Courtesy of Talking Points Memo, we learn that Mike Pence not only remains firmly wedded to “The Donald,” that he not only applauds Trump’s creepy performance in the second debate, but that he chose as one of Trump’s “finest moments” the declaration that has received shocked criticism from people on both sides of the aisle.

Mike Pence on Monday morning applauded Donald Trump’s comment during the Sunday night debate that if he is elected president, he will have a special prosecutor investigate Hillary Clinton and that she will “be in jail.”…

“I thought that was one of the better moments of the debate last night,” the Republican vice presidential nominee continued.

As Politico–among others– noted

Donald Trump’s debate-night vow to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s email setup and put her “in jail” provoked a sharp blowback from former U.S. prosecutors, who said Trump’s view of the Justice Department serving the whims of the president is antithetical to the American system.

While presidents appoint the attorney general, they do not make decisions on whom to prosecute for crimes — and were Trump to do so, prosecutors warned, he would spark a constitutional crisis similar to that of the “Saturday Night Massacre” in the Nixon administration. In that case, Nixon attempted to fire the prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal, and the top two Justice Department officials resigned on the spot….former Republican appointees to senior Justice Department posts used words like “abhorrent,” “absurd” and “terrifying” to describe Trump’s threat to use the legal system to imprison Clinton.

And from the New York Times (which I’m pretty sure Pence never reads):

When Donald J. Trump told Hillary Clinton at Sunday’s presidential debate that if he were president, “you’d be in jail,” he was threatening more than just his opponent. He was suggesting that he would strip power from the institutions that normally enforce the law, investing it instead in himself.

Political scientists who study troubled democracies abroad say this is a tactic typical of elected leaders who pull down their systems from within: former President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the fascist leaders of 1930s Europe.

Those of us who live in Indiana have learned that, despite ostensibly having attended and graduated from law school, Governor Pence remains…let’s just say “unaquainted” with the U.S. Constitution. His efforts to substitute (his version of) biblical authority for legal and constitutional principles have repeatedly been struck down; the most recent lesson on constitutional governance was delivered by conservative jurist Richard Posner, delivering the Seventh Circuit’s unanimous opinion that the Governor could not exclude Syrian refugees from the state:

[The state’s] brief provides no evidence that Syrian terrorists are posing as refugees or that Syrian refugees have ever committed acts of terrorism in the United States. Indeed, as far as can be determined from public sources, no Syrian refugees have been arrested or prosecuted for terrorist acts or attempts in the United States.”

The policy “is discrimination on the basis of nationality,” Posner concluded in a section that compared Pence’s argument to the argument of a person claiming that it would not be racial discrimination to say that one ‘wants to forbid black people to settle in Indiana not because they’re black but because [the person]’s afraid of them.’”

As Politico noted,

Judge Posner’s opinion was joined by two conservative legal stalwarts, Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judge Diane Sykes — yes, the same Judge Sykes who’s on Trump’s Supreme Court shortlist.

It would be nice to think that Pence might learn something from his repeated losses, but as we all know, he doesn’t believe in evolution, either. It shows.


  1. Since I was unable to provide a link to this info, I copied the letter from Common Cause sent to my email regarding the final meeting for Indiana Redistricting. It also contained a map of the districts, but that didn’t transfer over:

    Dear Nancy,
    The end is near! At least in terms of the Special Interim Committee on Redistricting, the group established by the state legislature to study states with alternatives to legislative-controlled redistricting and to propose reform for Indiana.
    The study committee will hold its final meeting on Monday October 17 and at that time the members will vote on a draft proposal to send to the full General Assembly. This meeting is our last opportunity to shape what the committee’s proposal will contain and we need your help getting the attention of committee members.
    Contact Representative Torr and tell him to listen to the Coalition for Independent Redistricting!indiana redistricting
    We’ve already won a major battle in convincing the committee to come forward with a reform recommendation. A couple of the members appear to still be in denial about the existence of gerrymandering in our state, but we’ve done such a great job packing the committee hearings and with grassroots organizing efforts, they are feeling the heat and will produce a reform proposal. The problem? It’s not going to be as strong as it should be.
    But, with your help, we can make the committee’s proposal stronger and set the stage for real redistricting reform.
    The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting, which Common Cause Indiana founded and leads, delivered a reform proposal to the study committee at its last meeting, and it should be the basis for the study committee’s recommendation. Our proposal would create a nine member redistricting commission composed of 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats and 3 Hoosiers who are neither Republican nor Democrat. Political insiders would be prohibited from membership but any other registered voter could apply for membership. Legislative leaders would pick the 30 best applicants – 10 Republicans, 10 Democrats and 10 who are neither Republican or Democrat and then a blind draw will select 3 from each pool, for a nine member redistricting commission that is balanced and reflective of Indiana voters.
    Our proposal is fair and in the public interest. Naturally, the legislative members of the study committee have deemed it too “complicated.” Help us change their minds.
    Contact the chair of the study committee, Rep. Jerry Torr, with this message: Listen to Common Cause Indiana and the Coalition for Independent Redistricting!
    Their reform recommendation is fair and in the public interest. All Hoosiers need a seat at the redistricting table, not just Republicans and Democrats.
    If you can, please join us at the State House on Monday, October 17 for the final study committee meeting. If you need more information, please contact me at jvaughn@commoncause.org.
    Thanks for all you do.
    Julia Vaughn, Policy Director
    Common Cause Indiana

  2. He is more evil than Trump in so many ways, but especially because he calls himself a Christian while his words and actions are in direct opposition that.

  3. I think that’s why some attorneys say that they “attended” law school and not that they “studied” law.

  4. While this presidential campaign is showing us a very ugly side of one third of our fellow Americans, it has barely shown the public the ugly side of Pence. Because compared to Trump, he “seems” reasonable (anyone could fill that post) , Pence’s very ugly extremist religious views have not been covered by the media. It isn’t just that Pence does not understand and accept the role of the president in relationship with the Department of Justice, it is that he does not understand and accept the concept of the separation of Church and State.

    The “ugly” isn’t only in the words of Trump riding the bus, but also in the words and actions of his running mate Pence.

  5. The primitive cult people like Pence refer to as Christianity brainwash the easily hypnotized (that is, stupid with authoritarian personalities) while providing the willingly hypnotized (clever with authoritarian personalities) the perfect example of how to run an effective con. This is in fact why Trump’s true believers include the True Believers in Jeebus (not Jesus Christ, he was another dude entirely). Is Pence evil and calculating, or is he really devout? Yes.

  6. Thanks Theresa; you stated the basics of this national crisis so well. Pence has never had an original thought as Indiana Governor; he simply followed Mitch Daniels’ playbook and took up where Daniels left off. He is now following Trump; we can hope following him into oblivion. Rachel Maddow reported last night that donor appearances by Pence in two states had been cancelled “due to lack of interest”. I have seen little Pence support for Holcomb’s campaign here; could this be Holcomb’s choice to distance himself from Pence and Trump at this junction?

    And Trump has brought the entire GOP to an actual junction within the Republican party. Pence, having no original thoughts or gonads, trails along behind his chosen mentor. I have used this comparison before on other issues but it comes to mind at this time; Trump is dragging Pence along behind him like an incomplete abortion. Again; just when you believe Trump and/or Pence cannot get any worse – they get worse. Trump continues his outlandish behavior and lying accusations against Hillary Clinton, and now Paul Ryan, because he knows the GOP CANNOT remove him from the presidential ballot. They caused this shit-storm but we are the ones caught in the storm with no protection. God help us all!

  7. JoAnn,

    “They caused this shit-storm but we are the ones caught in the storm with no protection. God help us all!”

    In a takeover, the first thing you do is to neutralize your major opponent. That’s been done very successfully from the beginning, almost 50 years ago. Consequently, Trump/Pence are free to say and do anything they like. It will now get much worse, as Trump has said, “the shackles are now off.” Like I’ve been telling you for some time, you have ABSOLUTELY no protection.

  8. Pence is a leader in the white Christian Privilege sector. Both are out-dated in our democracy mix but his ilk is fighting desperately to retain a majority strength that is long gone.

  9. Republicans, in general, seem to want to parse both the Constitution and the Bible. They talk about the 2nd Amendment, but they ignore the first part of that Amendment. They also ignore Article 1, Section 8, that calls for well regulated militias to be established by the states. They take the 1st Amendment to mean that they are free to practice Christianity any way they wish. Other religions don’t really count. They love the hell fire and brimstone of the Old Testament, but the love and forgiveness of the New Testament, not so much.

    Now they have candidates for the highest offices in the land who make a mockery of everything America used to stand for. Make sure you get out and vote on the 8th.

  10. Sheila: “Political scientists who study troubled democracies abroad say this is a tactic typical of elected leaders who pull down their systems from within: former President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the fascist leaders of 1930s Europe.”

    Let’s make sure we don’t mix apples and oranges….An election and an attempted takeover from the extreme right. This is a two front battle for the future of America. America better wake up!

  11. In the VP debate, Pence said that no one on the R ticket believes that women should be punished for choosing abortion. I wish that someone would play that clip for him, and then ask him to explain what happened to Bei Bei Shuai and Purvi Patel.

  12. I am ashamed to admit that I went to the same law school as Pence. I did take constitutional law while there and I presume Pence did as well, but it is clear that we came out of such exposure with very different conclusions on how the Constitution was designed to work. James Madison, I am sure, would be friendlier with my understanding than that of Pence, who has perverted the terms of the Constitution to suit his own intents and purposes while claiming that his intents and purposes are congruent with the intents and purposes of our adoption of the Constitution. Pence and people like him are also ignoring the first apostle for separation of church and state – Jesus Christ – who advised us (per red-letter scripture) to “Render unto God what is God’s and to Caesar’s what is Caesar’s.” Thus it was not Jefferson the Deist or some left-wing fruitcake who came up with the idea of separation of church and state; it was first enunciated by the man himself that Pence and his ilk pretend to love and worship. Jesus understood the distinction; Pence does not or pretends not to understand. As for Trump, he doesn’t understand either the Constitution or what it was designed to do (a federation designed to, among other things, end the disastrous Articles of Confederation era). He clearly does not understand the constitutional distribution of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial structure since only the executive exists in his demented mind. Both Trump and Pence are thus enemies of democracy whether they know it or not. I would suggest that both of them not only read or re-read the Constitution but the contemporary and descriptive Federalist Papers as well, though I suspect that such a reading would not help if at odds with Pence’s preconception of how such documents SHOULD read and Trump’s mental block on anything or anyone that conflicts with his runaway narcissism.

  13. I want everyone outraged by Mike Pence to recognize that if we don’t ACTIVELY help the John Gregg campaign, his policies will continue to railroad over the citizens of Indiana who, unfortunately, have a tendency to pull the party lever (R), regardless of their best interests. In addition, people have little access to real information about elections. Do we honestly think these expensive soundbites of bashing candidates on TV are the best means of becoming informed? We have to make phone calls and go door-to-door. This is the most effective means by which we can reach voters. I shudder to think of John Gregg losing. If you absolutely refuse to physically help, then get a donation to him today. It’s a toss-up. AND, while you are at it, work on some state rep./senate seats, too. There are other elections that matter here. We need to get offline and get busy.

  14. We might learn more about Pence’s faith and belief which he practices if we attended the church he does. A visit or three would be very informative.

  15. Do any of you fine folks on Facebook follow Andy Borowitz? He posted some things today that I have been snickering about for over an hour. LOL Be sure to Like his page.

    If Donald Trump or Billy Bush ever actually set foot in a locker room I’m fairly sure they’d get their asses kicked.

    Trump: the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 of American politics.
    (and posted a drawing of Trump with his hair on fire). LOL.

  16. One of the things that regressives accept blindly on faith is that it’s essential to dismantle government. Nobody seems to ever ask why, in favor of what?

    Mike Pence for one acts like he has that faith.

    My view of Mike Pence has mostly been formed here but the VP debate gave me an appreciation of why he’s so dangerous. He’s an accomplished actor. What he is compared to what he comes across as are as disparate as the finest Hollywood performance.

    That is infinitely more dangerous than Trump revealing himself to be an empty celebrity.

    Nobody has the faintest idea who Pence really is and what if anything he believes.

    That is a huge risk.

  17. Pence is in so deep now that there is no turning back. According to an NPR story about Trump supporters in Pennsylvania, the jail comment was the most applauded moment in the debate, which is no big surprise given the “Lock Her Up” chants at Trump rallies. Mike is desperately sucking up to the base.

  18. Pete, I agree with you Pence is an accomplished actor, as an Indiana resident I have witnessed this. Like the Dim Light Bulb Dan Quayle before him he can deliver a prepackaged speech. Neither could think on their feet.

    Pence even comes on far stronger for the Theocracy than family values Quayle. (Remember Qualye’s war with Murphy Brown). Mighty tough to have family values as an important part of the platform with the Trumpet at the head of the ticket. Well maybe Borgia Family values without the killing.

    I thought that whole group of Republicans, especially Cruz espoused the Theocracy as a cure for all that ails you.

    The last time around with the Rombot, some Republicans saw the necessity to expand their base. The Right Wing part seemed to think, we just need to double down on Theocracy. The Rombot was not sufficiently Christian or Conservative. The Trumpet emerged from the muck and mire. The Trumpet degraded the Right Wing further by concentrating it, into an even more toxic brew. This toxic brew was always there, but the Republicans with the Rombot, Palin, Cruz and Pence could add some sweetener to it to mask it’s foul taste. The Trumpet has removed the sweetener, but some seem to enjoy the foul, intoxicating taste from the Trumpet vineyard.

  19. Stuart: Good point. And…and…here’s the best part: God doesn’t think Trump is God either.

    Everybody: Today I want you to visit Juanita Jean’s: The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc., for Carly Simon’s spot-on treatment of her classic hit “You’re So Vain”. It’s the candidate in every word, every line!

  20. Greetings Wayne. No number of visits to any church will leave you informed. Fables of course, but not informed, at least not in reality. Happy Fall Season 🙂 Irvin

  21. The white privilege system’s core, manipulated by the Republican Party for just about 50 years, is malignant, as any political MRI of the body politic would disclose, especially if accompanied with the results of a psychiatric examination of its leader, Donald Trump.

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