The Case For Keeping a Watchful Eye on Mike Pence

America has had a long week. Between the aftermath of two horrifying and epic natural disasters and the never-ending dystopian reality show that is the Trump presidency, it’s hard to focus on anything besides making it to the end of the month in one piece. But we’d like to draw your attention to someone we should all be keeping an eye on, even if he isn’t gleefully manufacturing camera-ready dumpster fires in between Arby’s runs and Fox & Friends like his publicity-addicted boss.

We’re talking about Mike Pence (the awfulness of whom we have chronicled for you here).

Relative to Donald Trump, Pence seems low key, quiet, calm. So quiet, he sometimes seems harmless. But you know what they say about the quiet ones; they sit around waiting for their bosses to self-immolate so they can finally achieve a level of power that they’d have never in a million years been anywhere near if they hadn’t failed upward into a senior level position solely because no serious Republican was willing to hold his or her nose and get behind Donald Trump.

(Okay, that’s not exactly what they say about the quiet ones, but you get the picture.)

So we’re here to make a case for not letting the beady-eyed Vice Weasel off the hook just because he’s made to look like a saner head in an administration peppered with white supremacists, grossly incompetent amateurs, incorrigible liars, and Donald Trump, who manages a trifecta on all three counts. If Pence seems like the reasonable person in the room, that says more about the room than it does about Pence.

Here’s a case in point. What is Michael Richard Pence doing right now? (Besides fantasizing about redecorating the Oval Office and anxiously avoiding being alone with a woman for any reason.)

We’ll tell you: he’s convening an all-white, all-male voter suppression effort disguised as a voter fraud committee. Among other things, the committee is considering background checks to determine voter eligibility, but Pence is personally no stranger to more on-the-nose efforts to prevent non-Republicans from voting, having undermined African American voter registration efforts in his home state of Indiana.

And it’s easy for this to get lost in the unending stream of chaos that is the Trump administration. There have been arguments made that if Trump leaves office, a Pence presidency would something of a relief, if only because you wouldn’t expect him to impulsively declare war on a country he can’t spell, or accidentally tweet out the nuclear codes.

But we think that’s a failure of the imagination. What do we already know about Mike Pence? We know he is a liar. We know he may have had some involvement in Russian interference in the last election and likely knew that Trump was planning to fire James Comey to try to suppress investigation efforts into the same.

We also know what his policy stances are, and they’re far more extreme than Trump’s in most cases. So we’ve decided to provide a static reminder of what we’re in for, if Trump leaves office for any reason.

As a public service, we’ve created aPENCEcalypse Now, a site dedicated to envisioning the ramifications of a Pence presidency and tracking the damage he’s already doing as Donald Trump’s creepy teeth-achingly ambitious understudy. And if you want real time updates, you can go to @apencecalypse on Twitter, or to monitor Pencian malfeasance as it happens. We will obsess over him for you, and as he gets inches closer to the presidency, we’ll publicly smack his hand away and say, “Nope, not for you, Pencey. Not in our lifetimes. Back to Indiana with you! And Mother, too.”

Someone has to do it.

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