Perfidious Pence

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Former President Trump is growing more vocal in his criticism of former Vice President Mike Pence for certifying the 2020 Presidential election. At a Texas rally on Jan. 29, Trump said that Pence could have sent electoral votes from disputed states back to their state legislatures, thereby overturning the 2020 presidential election results. Trump followed this with an official statement the next day.

If the Vice President (Mike Pence) had ‘absolutely no right’ to change the Presidential Election results in the Senate, despite fraud and many other irregularities, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins, are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election?

Vice President Pence did the country a disservice on Jan. 6, 2021 by not allowing time for the seven states still conducting investigations into voting fraud to recount their electoral votes. All Pence had to do as presiding officer over the House and Senate was to make a speech identifying the ongoing investigations and the consequent need for a delay in the approval of the electoral college. But he did nothing. Pence’s inaction was the real threat to our democratic system, not the peaceful protest that took place the same day in Washington, D.C.

At that time, Pence intentionally misrepresented the powers of the office of vice president, obfuscating the issue in a letter to Congress. He stated, “It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.” And earlier in the letter: “The Presidency belongs to the American people, and to them alone.”

It is true that under the Constitution, the vice president has no “unilateral authority” to determine what electoral votes should be counted. That power is invested in Congress. But Pence wasn’t called on to count or not count electoral votes, as the media implied. He was called on to heed those state legislatures who suspected their electoral votes were tampered with. If these states found nothing wrong, they would have just submitted the same vote to the electoral college. Pence, however, did not have the courage to speak up for the rights of these states. He failed to defend the American people’s right to vote. He has all the moral backbone of a chocolate éclair. And in rolling over, he proved that there is no real opposition party in the United States.

Two months later, Pence changed his tune. He admitted that there were indeed “voting irregularities” and questioned the integrity of the 2020 election. “After an election marked by significant voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law,” Pence wrote in a March 3rd Daily Signal op-ed, “I share the concerns of millions of Americans about the integrity of the 2020 election.”  

On a recent lecture tour, however, Pence faced a hostile question from an Iowa student who asked him about the 2020 voting process and why he didn’t stand up for the voters. The student then asked Pence the name of the person who told him to betray President Trump and the American voter. Pence avoided the question by naming James Madison, implying that that he had made a principled defense of the Constitution. But the opposite is true. Madison supported checks and balances in the Constitution to protect our country against corruption. It was these very checks and balances that Pence ignored.

Through this system of checks and balances, the United States has developed a voting system that protects both the legitimacy of an election and the privacy rights of the voter from outside interference. Without both of these two components, we have no fair and stable system of elections.

Our current system of voting came into being via the progressive reform movement in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries. Until that point, political parties printed their own ballots, and ward bosses paid people to vote for their candidates, stuff ballots, and vote repeatedly. Ardent progressive reformers, like 19th century socialist Henry George, strove to prevent this corruption, championing the method of voting by an official ballot printed at public expense by a neutral authority. The new reform specified that a citizen coming to the poll be registered to vote and identified, giving his name and address before receiving an official ballot and marking it in the secrecy of a voting booth. Additional laws were passed, which survive today, protecting the voter from solicitation at the polls.

But voting corruption always lies in wait, and vigilance is required to protect the process from new attacks as well as new technologies.

The 2020 presidential election was an unfair one, and, using COVID as an excuse, the Democrats and corporations, along with the corporate media, sought to abolish how we conduct elections in the United States. Pence’s lack of courage didn’t help in this corrupt situation. Unfortunately, Pence’s cowardice was evident early in Trump’s presidency. Think back to Dec. 11, 2018, when Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer tried to badger Trump in the Oval Office. Pence just sat there and didn’t say a word—like a plate of sour cream curdling before the nation.

Flickr-Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0