Mr. Perfect

He believes he can do no wrong. So does his sidekick

The man currently occupying the Oval Office doesn’t own up to making mistakes. Not ever. Whether trivial or momentous, his errors either aren’t errors at all or they’re somebody else’s fault, or so he says. The Democrats are to blame. The media. Some loyal former staffer who gets thrown under the bus. Now his running mate has joined in the act. Actually, he joined in four years ago, but this time there are fewer hypotheticals; these two have a track record to defend. A sorry one, at that.

Downright reptilian in appearance and demeanor, Vice President Mike Pence was coldly smug at last night’s debate. Demonstrating more self-control than his boss had in last week’s debacle with Biden, he did afford Senator Harris the opportunity to speak, although it was touch and go there a couple of times. He came out swinging—never connecting, mind you, but that didn’t prevent him from continuing to flail away at any suggestion that DT’s administration has been anything less than perfect in every way, even in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 Americans thus far. He blamed it on China. He blamed it on the Obama administration and Joe Biden. This paragon of Christianity sat there and bore false witness again and again.

If DT and his sidekick are to have any hope of winning this election—and I sincerely hope they don’t—it would lie in fessing up to their failures and promising to learn from their mistakes. That’s what normal people would do, anyway. These two are so far removed from anything approaching normality that it’s a forlorn hope. So just keep blaming everyone but yourselves, guys. Keep digging yourselves in deeper. The world is waiting for some good news this fall.

A heartbeat, or an impeachment, away

One of the endlessly fascinating what-ifs involves what would happen if DT won the election but the Republicans lost the Senate. If that were to happen, in all probability there would be a rerun of last winter’s impeachment, with a different ending: the Senate voting to convict. Then, barring an impeachment of the sidekick, Pence would be in charge.

Many of us have been wrestling with the question, “Would that be a good thing,” for the past four years. My view is that it would—as long as we accept “good” as relative. Pence has done a piss-poor job as vice president. He is also a scary guy, a religious extremist with bigoted views and authoritarian tendencies. Unlike DT, however, he shows no signs of extreme narcissism, let alone sociopathy. He also is less mercurial and more measured in what he says and does. While he would undoubtedly pursue an extreme right-wing agenda, he wouldn’t employ the scorched-earth tactics that are standard operating procedure for his boss. Perhaps most importantly, he has never fired up a crowd the way DT has, and would be unlikely to inspire as much loyalty. So he wouldn’t have as unified a Republican Party behind him, and even if the midterms saw the Senate flip back to the GOP, it’s doubtful that they’d do too much irreparable harm legislatively.

Nevertheless, with Pence at the helm, it would be highly improbable that Congress could enact the necessary corrective measures to undo the past four years—most critically, the Supreme Court. So we need to defeat DT at the polls and elect a Democratic majority in the Senate.