I know we’ve all had a good laff over it for the last four years, but I’ve come to the conclusion Mike Pence isn’t gay. After watching him last night, it’s just so obvious to me, although I fully and happily admit I’ve been wrong about these things before. But let’s look at the “evidence,” such as it is:
The Mother thing. I hate to break it to you, but I’ve heard this many times in my life, especially in Indiana. I always thought it was a farm/country thing, and the farm is never far away in Indiana, even in the cities. When you add children to a marriage, your role in the group changes, and it goes like this: “Ask your mom” > “Ask mom” > “Mom.” Or Mother, or whatever. I know couples who call one another Mom and Dad with a certain ironic twist, certainly. Yeah, you’d think that when it’s just the two of you, the names come back out, but given the way people talk to their pets, I really don’t find this so alarming, or even telling.
The Never-Alone-With-a-Woman thing. Given that the Pences are pretty hardcore Christians, again: Expected. Plus, I can totally see a little mouse like Karen telling her husband, who resembles a Ken doll left out in the sun too long, that he’s SUCH A HUNK that she just can’t trust ANY woman around him. And I can totally see how that husband, thus flattered, would make such a promise. And keep it.
The most persuasive piece of evidence is the story Karen told, about how she got so tired of waiting for Mike to pop the question that she had a piece of jewelry made, engraved “yes.” But ultimately, meh. Lots of guys are clueless that way.
Also, he lacks what I’ve come to think of as the Tell for the deeply closeted Hoosier man, i.e., some mania to sublimate/cover his tracks. Collecting something. An enthusiasm for theater and art so avid it leads him to New York and Chicago every other weekend, it seems. There was the judge in Steuben County, a Republican but you already guessed that, who collected political ephemera and took long overseas — far overseas — vacations. He died at the height of the AIDS epidemic of, as I recall from his obit, “a wasting disease he contracted from something he ate on one of his many world travels.”
At least he didn’t kill anyone, not with violence, anyway. That wasn’t unheard-of in the Hoosier state, either, as Alex can tell you. God, those stories.
What Pence is, though — and this is something I wrote on Facebook today — is a creature of talk radio. Everyone forgets about his background as a talk host. He was a mediocre congressman and on his way to being a one-term governor (so I’m told), and most people concentrate on that when telling his story, but trust me, the key to understanding him is: Talk radio. Remember how impressed some were when Tim Kaine didn’t destroy him in the 2016 debate? How surprised everyone was? It was all talk radio skills. The voice, the delivery, the artful sidestep, the comfort in front of a microphone. This guy did the deep dive, four years ago.
I used the word oleaginous on Facebook. I stand by it.
I’ve heard some people marveling at Trump’s jettisoning of the stimulus deal. I think Josh Marshall said it best:
Decent chance McConnell suckered Trump into pulling the plug on stimulus. Party is in bust out mode. McC likely sees that Trump is finished, probably senate majority too. Get the Court seat and leave the economy as wrecked as possible to ensure a Biden admin is stillborn.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 7, 2020
What else? Here are a couple of stories to consider. One is from my shop, but not mine: A look at the “politically disengaged” black voter in Detroit. These are people who are halfhearted, or no-hearted, voters, who don’t see the point of voting when nothing ever changes for them.
And the kids-in-cages story from the NYT earlier this week. It’ll turn your stomach:
Government prosecutors reacted with alarm at the separation of children from their parents during a secret 2017 pilot program along the Mexican border in Texas. “We have now heard of us taking breastfeeding defendant moms away from their infants,” one government prosecutor wrote to his superiors. “I did not believe this until I looked at the duty log.”
Stillborn or not, these people have to go. And they should go to The Hague, to be tried in the International Criminal Court. Doubt that’ll happen, but it should.
Also: Holy fucking shit.
OK, that’s it for the week, I think. Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back when it’s done.