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Fri Oct 9, 2020, 08:18 PM

What Makes Mike Pence's Complicity So Chilling [View all]

The vice president will be remembered as the great enabler.

By Timothy Egan

Somewhere under the cornfields and backyard hoop courts of Indiana is a small black box holding the conscience of Vice President Mike Pence. He buried it four years ago, when a tape emerged of Donald Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women.

Pence and his wife, Karen, whom he reportedly calls “Mother,” had rushed home to pray during the biggest campaign crisis of 2016. Ever since an evangelical conversion in college, Pence had been a beacon of Hoosier holiness, using his talk radio show and his political perch to preach biblical values in the public sphere.

But, of course, he buried them in a heartland moment. And by 2017, Pence would have this to say about Trump to religious conservatives: “This is somebody who shares our views, shares our values, shares our beliefs.”

As we saw in Wednesday night’s debate, Pence is not just the great enabler of Trump’s awfulness, but the man who puts a godly sheen on it. In that sense, he’s more dangerous, and arguably more evil, than Trump.


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