Mike Pence Has Apparently Changed His Mind

Once again, we’ve been told that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein’s job is safe.

At least for now.

Rosenstein’s been on the hot seat since the set-up crew took down all those unused chairs after the president’s inauguration and that seat grew hotter recently after an anonymous source said Rosenstein suggested taping the president at his incoherent best and then attempting to use the 25th amendment to the constitution to remove him from office.  It’s not clear whether Rosenstein said it seriously, said it in jest, or never said it at all, but the idea of removing a president from office just because you don’t like him is actually pretty appalling.

Don’t you agree?

But here’s something interesting:  vice president Mike Pence doesn’t think such an idea is so far-fetched at all.

At least at one time he didn’t.

CNN tells the story:

Vice President Mike Pence once argued the president of the United States should be held to the highest moral standards to determine whether he should resign or be removed from office.

Pence made the argument in two columns in the late 1990s, where he wrote that then-President Bill Clinton’s admission of an affair with a White House intern and prior lies to the public about the matter, possibly under oath, meant Clinton should be removed from office.

Yet Pence also moved beyond the specifics of the Clinton case: He made a far-reaching argument about the importance of morality and integrity to the office of the presidency.

Pence wrote the columns in the late 1990s when he was a local Indiana radio host and prominent conservative voice in the state arguing Clinton had lost his moral authority to lead the country. One of the columns, “The Two Schools of Thought on Clinton,” was posted on his now-defunct website for his radio talk show.Another column, “Why Clinton Must Resign or Be Impeached,” was posted on his congressional campaign website. Both columns were archived by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. The columns ran in various Indiana newspapers at the time but did not get national attention. 

Dismissing the idea that the president is “just the like the rest of us,” Pence wrote, “If you and I fall into bad moral habits, we can harm our families, our employers and our friends. The President of the United States can incinerate the planet. Seriously, the very idea that we ought to have at or less than the same moral demands placed on the Chief Executive that we place on our next door neighbor is ludicrous and dangerous.

“Throughout our history, we have seen the presidency as the repository of all of our highest hopes and ideals and values. To demand less is to do an injustice to the blood that bought our freedoms.”

When it comes to self-righteousness, this guy even has The Curmudgeon beat

And there’s more.

In one of his columns about Clinton, Pence wrote, “Further, the Presidents (sic) repeated lies to the American people in this matter compound the case against him as they demonstrate his failure to protect the institution of the presidency as the ‘inspiring supreme symbol of all that is highest in our American ideals.'” 

He continued, “Leaders affect the lives of families far beyond their own ‘private life’. In the Bible story of Esther we are told of a king who was charged to put right his own household because there would be ‘no end of disrespect and discord’ among the families of the kingdom if he failed to do so. In a day when reckless extramarital sexual activity is manifesting itself in our staggering rates of illegitimacy and divorce, now more than ever, America needs to be able to look to her First Family as role models of all that we have been and can be again.”

Pence also wrote that Republicans needed to act to remove Clinton even if it meant losing the majority in Congress.

“If our leaders flinch at this responsibility, they would do well to heed the Proverb ‘if a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked,'” he added. “Our leaders must either act to restore the luster and dignity of the institution of the Presidency or we can be certain that this is only the beginning of an even more difficult time for our land. For the nation to move on, the President must move out.”

One can only guess that holier-than-thou Mike Pence never imagined that a Republican – a Republican! – could be capable of such awful behavior.

But then maybe the 1990s Mike Pence who wrote this hadn’t yet met – or even heard of – Donald Trump.

Or if he had, maybe he never imagined that such a defective human being could ever become president.

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