God I love it when people cut straight through the bullshit and get to the heart of it. For more than a year and a half now, people have been looking at former Vice President Mike Pence as a tragic hero standing resolutely alone in face of the constitution on January 6th. And it turns out it was all nothing more than bullshit.
You need to follow the timeline here. On December 7th, Pence held a two hour meeting with his lawyer to discuss his duties for the counting of the votes on January 6th. Pence specifically remembered being elected to the House in 2000, and taking part of the counting of the votes in 2001, when then Vice President, and presidential election loser Al Gore gaveled down several objections to the counting of the votes.
It was agreed on December 7th that Pence’s role was largely ceremonial, he had no power to change the results. His lawyer remembers that there was a deep discussion into constitutional weeds involving the Vice Presidents’ role. And Pence came away convinced that his role was ceremonial, Count and certify the electoral votes.
It’s critical to remember that. Pence came out of that December 7th meeting convinced that there was nothing that he could to alter or overturn the election results. His role was almost purely ceremonial, and he never changed his mind on that subject.
Which is critical, because less than 2 weeks later, thanks to douchebag lawyer John Eastman, Trump started floating the idea that the Vice President could refuse to certify the cotes in contested states, swinging the election back to Trump. Which Pence already knew wasn’t true.
And and on December 19th, Trump tweeted out for his followers to converge on the Ellipse in Washington on January 6th, and promised that it would be wild!
Here’s the thing. Trump had already contacted Pence several times with the scheme to either refuse to certify, or send the certified results back to the contested states in order to stay in power. And every single time he did so, Pence shot him down. He advised him repeatedly that he didn’t have he power to overturn the election.
And Trump’s pressure campaign on Pence to overturn the results only grew. Trump called Pence on January 6th, one last time, to beg him to play ball. And Pence refused. In his Ellipse speech, Trump mentioned Pence 12 different times, telling the crowd that Pence had the chance to do the right thing, and flip the election to Trump. And if he didn’t, he was weak.
For 30 days, from December 7th until January 6th, Pence was dead sure that he had no power to change the process. His own lawyer and Chief of Staff testified that his resolution never waivered. But it wasn’t until the Capitol riot was already well under way that Pence released a written statement plainly saying that it was Beyond his power as Vice President to change the outcome of the electoral college results. Adn according to his own staff’s testimony, he never wavered in that belief.
Which is where the cowardice comes in. Trump had started pushing the electoral college lie weeks before. Pence was already a lame duck. Why wouldn’t he immediately come out with public statements, both print and oral, educating people that the Vice President didn’t have that power. The answer is simple. Pence wants to run for President in 2024, and he wants Trump voters.
But just think of the option here. What if Pence had come out in the 3rd or 4th week of December, or even in the first week of January, and said, Don’t bother coming folks. You can protest all you want, but there’s nothing I can do to change the ultimate election results. Do you think that that may have shrunk the attendance at the rally, and changed the course of history?
I’ll be the first to admit it, I bought into the Pence constitutional hero mantra at the start. But thanks to the J6 committee hearings, it is now clear that Pence was nothing more than one more craven coward who waited until the last minute to offend Traitor Tot. Life lesson learned.