By Sushil Kutty
President Donald Trump’s voters and supporters have a name for Vice President Mike Pence, ‘Pontius Pence.’ Yet others of Trump’s legion say ‘Judas Pence’ suits ‘Silent Pence’ better. Be that as it may, but if there’s a person in the United States who’s more “unpopular and reviled” than Donald Trump, it’s his ‘rogue’ VeePee Michael Pence.
Did Mike Pence backstab Donald Trump? The evidence is overwhelming. Mike Pence till the other day was Donald Trump’s mirror image except for the white head of hair. In pictures that are there in the millions, he’s always seen standing silent behind Donald Trump – in the Oval Office, at the Rose Garden or at war memorials, wherever Trump happened to be on a particularly important ‘military’ date.
Nobody likes ‘Judas,’ especially Christians. Betrayal betrays emotions that strike deep, hurt hard. It brings about not tears but waves of frustration and anger. We cannot blame Donald Trump if he says that he “does not like Pence” after what Pence did to Trump at a time when Trump needed his Vice President the most, when Trump was running out of “friends” and “colleagues,” rendered “lonely at the top.”
Mike Pence cannot play it safe now, after standing behind Trump, in every sense of the phrase, for four straight years. He cannot blame and accuse and castigate and indict Trump when he himself was complicit in every so-called “crime” that Trump allegedly committed. Pence was, and is, in fact, the epitome of American superiority complex, and America’s imperial mindset, a throwback to George W. Bush’s “imperialism,” “let’s go hunt for WMD in Iraq and Iran.”
In fact, if anybody in the Trump Administration was White supremacist and Christian righteousness combined, it was ‘Saint Mike Pence.’ For four years, this man soaked in all the praise that Trump could dump on him, in the media and on the podium, like a sponge and then when it came time to stand firm behind the commander-in-chief, he cast aside Trump like a wet rag and joined the diatribe against Trump.
Don’t blame common folk if they don’t see anything good in Pence to praise or like notwithstanding his high-sounding words from behind the high table in the United States Senate. His weak defence that he was doing only that which the United States Constitution mandated a Vice President to do was a pittance and not sufficient to justify his rank betrayal!
This, just a couple of days after Pence told exuberant supporters of Trump at a rally in Georgia that “I will see to it that we have our day in Congress.” Needless to say, Mike Pence’s casual about-face left millions and millions of Americans, supporters and voters of the Trump-Pence ticket, disappointed and depressed, angry beyond words. In fact, if anybody is really to blame for the “Capitol Hill breach,” it’s Mike Pence, to a large extent.
Mike Pence could have sent the disputed electoral votes to the respective states for the legislators in those states to “decide” which ones should be counted and which should not. He could have otherwise listened to Senator Ted Cruz and appointed a “commission of inquiry” to probe the accusations of widespread electoral fraud and cleared the air on the simmering dispute once and for all.
But Mike Pence did not do either. He took the easy road and when news broke and the crowd surged he acted high and mighty and spoke words that painted him like he was a paragon of righteousness and grace when people everywhere, from the United States to Australia and Europe, knew that he was nothing less than a political hack and backstabber, a practiced turncoat.
So, now, they not only want Trump to “concede”, but also to nail his hide to the wall, either impeach him or “dismiss” him outright, using the 25th Amendment, which will make Judas Pence “President of the United States” for a dozen days! Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the loudest voice for this option and suddenly everybody sees that Pelosi and Pence are like gloves and fingers, tight as a tippler and his glass!
Mike Pence and his unfulfilled ambitions! The question will be asked, “What made Mike Pence turn? Why after four years of being Trump’s shadow, did Mike Pence throw off the cloak of the syrupy sycophant?” the answer to that is rhetorical, “Could it be that Trump humiliated his VeePee in private, repeatedly?” and Pence did not have the belly in him to strike back immediately, right there and then, but was waiting to hit back at the exact right time?
Like they say, revenge is a dish best eaten cold. Mike Pence apparently wanted his chilled, minus 40 degree Celsius! For all we know, Mike Pence might have his unique reasons to go rogue on Trump, but why has Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned his back on “friend Trump?” Modi tweeted the other day, strong words against “violence” and “peaceful transfer of power” blah blah…
The question is, how’s the shenanigans in the United States affecting Modi and his politics? The Prime Minister does not like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau interceding on behalf of India’s farmers but is not beyond loath to poke his nose in Trump’s and the United States’ affairs. This, after repeatedly hugging Trump all over the world and in the White House, and in Ahmedabad and Delhi.
If in India, it was ‘Namaste Trump’, in Houston it was ‘Abki Baar Trump Sarkar’ in reply to ‘Howdie Modi.’ Truly, turncoats come in various shapes and sizes sporting Indian and American monikers. But they all speak the same language and behave the same. Whether it’s Mike Pence or Narendra Modi, both are made of the same broadcloth, the cloth spun by Judas and sold short.
You do not have to be Trump’s friend or a Trump supporter to “feel” for him, if only for the here and now. Only the newborn must not have felt betrayal and betrayed at least once in his/her lifetime. Even love does not strike all, but betrayal leaves no one untouched. Mike Pence and Narendra Modi are like seasonal frogs. They flip and do the somersault at the turn of a coin, a pence!
By the way, don’t be fooled if you spotted the tricolour outside Capitol Hill on January 6. That was not Modi paying his respect to American democracy or telling Donald Trump that he stood firm behind him in his hour of need. Narendra Modi, like Mike Pence, is an entrenched swamp creature.
In fact, why should “We the People” expect anything positive and good from politicians of the Modi-Pence ilk? They only think of themselves. The power struggles at the top are for the pieces of pie these people squabble over and for. Do not go by the empty words they throw at the hoi polloi.
By the way, the Indian carrying the tricolor outside Capitol Hill on January 6, has been identified as Vincent Xavier alias Vinson Palathingal of M’Clean Fairfax County, Virginia. He’s a “fiscal and social conservative” and a member of the Republican Party and a supporter of Donald Trump, originally an “engineering graduate from Kerala” who moved to the United States when he was 25. “I am an Indian-American and a Republican,” he says. (IPA Service)