The headline says it. Mike Pence is perhaps the most dangerous vice presidential candidate ever - even more so than Sarah Palin or Dick Cheney. When Palin was selected as the GOP vice presidential candidate back in 2008 the "heartbeat away" argument was a very convincing argument. She was clearly inept, as demonstrated by her speeches and interviews, governorship, and debate performance (anyone remember her claim that the Constitution provided the role of vice president with much "authority" and "flexibility," especially in regards to Congress?). Thankfully she was corrected by Biden in that debate but it appears Republicans have seemed to ignore that little civic lesson offered by the now vice president of almost 8 years, Joe Biden:
Biden: Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.
And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.
The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he's part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous.Fast forward to 2016 and what we are seeing is a party that has rapidly degraded. Both Donald Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, and his running mate, Mike Pence advocate the suspension of the Constitution and the abandonment of international law and treaties.
For instance, Trump had stated in his first debate that stop-and-frisk was legal (despite being ruled unconstitutional) and that a "very against-police judge" was to blame, and that seemingly made the unconstitutional assertion "wrong." Trump than continued to defend the illegal action and endorsed its continued use.
This is troubling, especially when coupled with things Pence said (or did not say) during the vice presidential debate. Most importantly, look at his defense of stop-and-frisk, barring Syrian refugees, and last but not least, personal faith and abortion.
"You just heard Senator Kaine reject stop-and-frisk" Pence admonished, proceeding to try and paint Kaine as out-of-touch with "families that live in our inner cities that are besieged by crime," a hark back to Trump's assertion that Black and Hispanic inner city dwellers are "living in hell" and that by simply walking down the street you will get shot.
In regards to Syrian refugees, a matter that Pence has recently been batted down by federal courts (and by conservative Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush appointees nonetheless) because it utilized discrimination against a certain population because of "nightmare speculation", Pence insisted that he should have the authority to suspend a legal program unilaterally based solely on a hunch, despite the federal government having precedence over the matter. When Kaine stated that "Donald Trump said keep them out if they're Muslim" Pence interjected with an "absolutely false" despite this is perhaps one of the easiest lie to debunk.
This leads to the question regarding personal faith and governance (isn't lying a sin?), which Pence used to attack Clinton on abortion rights, defend the Hyde amendment, and gloss over the fact Donald Trump stated that women who have an abortion would receive "some form of punishment" by stating that Trump "is not a polished politician." While he refuted the claim that punishment would be doled out, he left it as just a comment that was not clearly articulated by the presidential candidate.
Now take into consideration his acts as governor and a representative, such as signing a bill that mandates funerals for fetuses of miscarriages and abortion, a bill that bans abortions for genetic defects, grant money to organizations that lie about abortion to promote child birth, and redefine rape to prevent coverage
Just look at the "feticide" case of Purvi Patel in Indiana, where a woman was charged, convicted, and sentenced for a miscarriage because a religious doctor deemed her miscarriage a self-induced abortion, notifying police for her arrest while in the hospital. While some of the charges were reduced or thrown out, there was remaining debate as to the validity of the state's assertions and use of discredited tests to prove child neglect against the fetus.
While a horrible situation, just take into consideration a combination of Trump and Pence's statements, in which they have asserted that their policies and beliefs are right and the actions they have taken (or promise to take) to enact such policies, even when such policies have already been deemed unconstitutional.
Discrimination against a particular religious or ethnic group? Why not? The FBI have stated there is no way of knowing if a refugee is really a terrorist.
Stop-and-frisk in predominantly minority inner-city communities? Why not? They believe it to work, even though it was already ruled unconstitutional.
Legislate religious beliefs? Absolutely!
And while we are at it, let's take a look at some of the fear-mongering Trump has used in his own performances, namely his strategy (or lack thereof) against ISIL. As Kaine mentioned, "Donald Trump doesn't have a plan. He said, "I have a secret plan," and then he said, "Um, I know more than all the generals about ISIL." And then he said, "I'm going to call the generals to help me figure out a plan." And finally he said, "I'm going to fire all the generals."
Who does that remind you of?
Nixon had a "secret plan" to end Vietnam, much like Trump's "secret plan" against ISIL. Does the contempt against politicians and journalists sound familiar?
So secret plans, outright lies, and a preference to ignore constitutionally established rights paints a pretty dangerous picture. And since there were reports that Trump's son offered to make Kasich the "most powerful" vice president ever by giving him control over domestic and foreign policy, this basically makes Trump and Pence the most dangerous team out there to ever run to lead the United States of America.
And since this website had previously endorsed Bernie Sanders, let this serve as a warning to all the #BernieOrBust and #JillNotHill folks - Bernie is on board with Clinton for big reason - strategy. You cannot advance a progressive agenda if you have a presidential candidate who will appoint at least one conservative supreme court justice (who will tilt the balance of the courts to the right for decades) and who will have an impact on our lives currently. I have seen comments dismissing the impact one president or one justice can have, but just consider the countless legislative attacks Republicans have made against things ranging from campaign finance and voter identification and procedures to abortion. While the courts did occasionally rule in favor of things like gay marriage or the government mandate for healthcare, that was by a slim margin. They have thrown everything against the wall to see what sticks and considering that not only has there been the longest vacancy on the supreme court in history, but there are also countless judicial emergencies across this nation as Republicans obstruct nominations in hopes of a Trump win in November. Prospects of the GOP retaining the Senate look good so if Trump and Pence are victorious, the Republicans will no doubt fill those judgeships with conservative judges, and I don't think they will be as restrained in regards to setting the Senate rules.
So basically, do not be so ignorant and blinded by your ideology and hand Trump a victory. You will screw yourself over in the long run, but than again, that is par for the course for Democrats and liberals. Republicans know how to play the long game.
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