Does the Vice President think he is invisible? It’s possible. After all, the President sucks up all the spotlight with his stream of garbled tweets and his meandering rants from the White House Rose Garden. This week, the President actually used an altered National Weather Service map to bolster his claim that a hurricane was bearing down on Alabama, rather than just admit he’d made a mistake. That’s hard to top in any news cycle. But the Vice President has also been having a bad week and it’s purely a crisis of his own making.
This week, Pence and his wife visited Iceland. It’s not clear why they decided to visit Iceland, but it is clear that most of the people of Iceland did not welcome the second family. The Pences brought along a massive (taxpayer funded) security detail, which seems like overkill in a place where even the police rarely carry guns. Pence and his wife were greeted with displays of rainbow flags, a symbol of LGBTQ pride, and both the President of Iceland and his wife wore rainbow bracelets for their meeting with the VP. The Pences are well known anti-LGBTQ bigots, of course. Karen Pence works at a school that bans gay teachers. Mike Pence has spent his political career opposing gay marriage, encouraging discrimination against LGBTQ people in the workplace, and promoting conversion therapy.
Fun fact: Conversion therapy isn’t therapy. It’s an abusive, psychologically destructive program employed mostly by ultra-religious families to try and turn their gay kids straight. It doesn’t work and it causes tremendous lifetime harm to the people forced to participate. This is not speculation. Every credible study of these programs proves that they rise to the level of abuse. Conversion therapy is illegal in 18 states. This week, the founder of one of the most popular conversion therapy programs denounced the practice and came out publicly as a gay man. He is not the first to do so and I don’t believe he’ll be the last.
But back to Pence. Before his seven-hour visit to Iceland, he spent a few days in Ireland, where he also behaved badly. Instead of staying in or even near Dublin, he stayed THREE HOURS AWAY in a luxury resort owned by Donald Trump. Pence actually had to fly from his hotel to his meetings every day. That’s ridiculous. It’s an incredible waste of resources and money. And it’s not like Trump offered his good buddy Pence free accommodations at the resort. No. We, the taxpayers, are footing the bill. Look, you could go back to any administration in our history and find examples of our leaders wasting our money. This is not a partisan problem; it’s an American problem. But I don’t believe we’ve ever asked the taxpayers to spend a ton of money that would end up in the actual pocket of the President. The first family is running a massive scam, the second family is in on it, and we are all being robbed.
When questioned about why he stayed in Trump’s resort in Ireland, Pence looked shocked that anyone would challenge him on his accommodations or his choices. That’s because we don’t challenge him often enough. We need to.
While in Ireland, Pence expressed support for Brexit and urged leaders to negotiate in good faith. It was an insult to insinuate that they haven’t been negotiating in good faith and it was a ridiculous thing to say while in Ireland. Northern Ireland is the stickiest wicket in the increasingly complicated effort to separate Britain from the European Union. Expressing support for Brexit in Ireland is basically the same as showing up at your friend’s second wedding and giving a glowing toast to the first wife. However you feel about the divorce and the new union, some things are better left unsaid. But Pence doesn’t care, because Pence believes he can say anything.
Pence spreads his ideas of hatred and exclusion and most of us don’t even hear him, because we’re too distracted by the ridiculous antics of his boss. But we should keep a closer eye on him. He’s dangerous. When 2020 rolls around, I certainly hope he’ll be out of a job. Let’s make sure he never gets another job that matters. I’ll be voting against Trump in the upcoming election, but I’ll also be voting against Pence. I hear what he’s saying and I don’t like it one bit.