Because we can’t even have a spiteful daydream in this smoking ruin of a year without having reality come in to complicate it, as delicious as the schadenfreude over Donald Trump’s impeachment would be, the fact of the matter is that we’d be stuck with a President Pence at the end of it. And while Pence probably wouldn’t provoke a nuclear war with North Korea on Twitter, he’s hardly the savior leftists (and Ann Coulter) have been waiting for.
For the time being, we still have Trump, self-declared defender of Judeo-Christian values and accused sexual predator. Trump apparently loves to give Pence shit about his aggressively biblical worldview, as quoted in a lengthy new New Yorker cover story chronicling Pence’s political career and current role as a lapdog to a radioactive chicken nugget with a raging inferiority complex:
A staff member from Trump’s campaign recalls him mocking Pence’s religiosity. He said that, when people met with Trump after stopping by Pence’s office, Trump would ask them, “Did Mike make you pray?” Two sources also recalled Trump needling Pence about his views on abortion and homosexuality. During a meeting with a legal scholar, Trump belittled Pence’s determination to overturn Roe v. Wade. The legal scholar had said that, if the Supreme Court did so, many states would likely legalize abortion on their own. “You see?” Trump asked Pence. “You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.” When the conversation turned to gay rights, Trump motioned toward Pence and joked, “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”
Pence has made repealing Roe V. Wade one of his central issues, and even signed a law requiring that fetuses be either buried or cremated, even in cases of miscarriage. (The law was recently declared unconstitutional.) He’s just as bad on LGBTQ issues: Pence was behind the infamous 2015 “Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act” that prompted boycotts of the state from the likes of Wilco and Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, and although he has been wishy-washy on whether he actually supports the widely discredited practice of gay conversion therapy, it’s safe to assume that this suspiciously mild-mannered fundamentalist is no friend to the LGBTQ community. He also has called climate change a “hoax,” and due to his creepily milquetoast nature would be infinitely more effective than Trump in actually enacting these and other far-right initiatives.
It really is a no-win situation.