Not one of those.

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:

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.

Posted at 12:43 pm in Current events |

22 responses to “Not one of those.”

  1. Jeff Borden said on October 8, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    The militia indictments in Michigan are scary. One of these days we’re going to have a Ruby Ridge or a Branch Davidian situation in a statehouse or federal court or city hall and it will be gruesome. So many militia nutters and so many guns.

    The political writer in the Sun-Times gave the debate win to Dense, largely because he did no damage. Other views I’ve read are colored by the writer’s political viewpoints, i.e., the hideous Marc Theissen arguing Dense gave a master class in debating. I would’ve preferred a strong performance by Harris, but from what I’ve read, there were fears a more aggressive demeanor would saddle her with the “angry black woman” tag.

    Finally, I’ve believed for the last several weeks the GOP and tRump are committing willful sabotage to put this country down as hard and hurtfully as they can to make it even harder on the Dems to correct course. Republicans are those kind of assholes.

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  2. ROGirl said on October 8, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    I envision him destroying it all behind him, riding on the bomb as it flies down to earth like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove.

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  3. Jim said on October 8, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    The Mother thing. It is an Appalachian thing.

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  4. Sherri said on October 8, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Mike Pence is just Dan Quayle, redux: a mediocre white guy from Indiana picked for the ticket because he wouldn’t outshine the nominee, then not given any real power as VP. Nor does he have the political skill to take any power.

    Because he’s been told all his life how important and smart he is, and what an important role he has to play in the world, it never occurred to him that he’d have to work hard and learn and adapt, it was all just supposed to happen.

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  5. alex said on October 8, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Oleaginous is the word I used last night while texting back and forth with a friend during the debate.

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  6. Suzanne said on October 8, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    LOL! Oleaginous is a great word. I simply called Pence greasy.
    Perfect description of him, Sherri. Or as my daughter says, “Mediocre white guy who believes he’s the smartest guy in the room.”

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  7. Sherri said on October 8, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    I have to deal with way too many of his type. They have no awareness of how often they interrupt you, but boy, they get pissed if you interrupt them!

    And when it does finally penetrate their consciousness that they aren’t actually the smartest person in the room, they get mean.

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  8. Scout said on October 8, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    The word that comes to my mind for Pence is smarmy. I think most women watching noticed how he tried disarm Kamala by complimenting her just before he launched into obnoxiously talking over her and mansplaining for the remainder of the debate. His lack of respect for women was also evident by his rudeness to Susan Page.

    Trump’s video on Twitter this morning looks like it was shot in front of a green screen, and later in the comments there are more details noticed by people who know how these tricks are accomplished.

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  9. susan said on October 8, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    militia decoder

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  10. Mark P said on October 8, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Pence tried to deflect criticism of their handling of the pandemic by saying that Obama/Biden did a bad job on the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. All it takes to show that for the lie it is is to read the Wikipedia entry on the pandemic in the US. The comparison to Trump couldn’t be more telling. But then, there were too many lies to try to debunk all of them.

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  11. Jim said on October 8, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    Has anyone else seen the disgusting ads claiming that if radical sympathizers take control of Congress there will be rampant violence, including rape and murder?

    In my case, I should vote for Jim Banks, who, IMO, is saved from being the biggest asshole Jim in Congress only because of the existence of Jim Jordan.

    So, no.

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  12. ROGirl said on October 8, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I worked for one of those mansplaining, bloviating, insufferably smarmy men in my previous job. It’s so wonderful not having to deal with him any more.

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  13. Sherri said on October 8, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    You know, it’s telling how many white men who are all “personal responsibility!!!1!!” never take any personal responsibility when they do something wrong.

    On running off a family of campers in Forks because of fear of antifa:

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  14. smartin said on October 8, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Nancy, could you please explain what’s going on in MI to your loyal readers?

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    • nancy said on October 8, 2020 at 6:29 pm

      I’ll try to post something tomorrow about this. The story is still developing, as we say, and more may well be revealed. But thanks for asking.

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  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 8, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Mnuchin seems to keep doing CPR on a stimulus deal, for obvious self-interested reasons (he wants to go back to Wall Street, soon probably); see this Twitter thread for details of today’s maelstrom —

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  16. Heather said on October 8, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    I think we’ve all worked for at least one of those smarmy guys. The whole “look at me with my white skin and suit–I’m so reasonable compared to this hysterical uterus owner” vibe is classic.

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  17. Sherri said on October 8, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    When my friend ran for mayor last year, her opponent was a mediocre white guy in his mid-60s who had no coherent plan for anything other than he was a man and she was a woman who didn’t know anything. Our strategy in candidate forums was to ignore him. Just pretend he wasn’t there, not react to him, answer the question and not say anything about whatever crazy thing came out of his mouth this time.

    She had a third opponent on the primary who was a younger version of the same thing. You could practically see the arrogance rising in the air.

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  18. St Bitch said on October 8, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Dropped my absentee ballot into a secure box (emptied 3 times/day) outside the Scott County Auditor’s building today. It will be taken to a floor only accessible to a few with proper entry codes, and stored in a vault-like room. On Monday, Nov 3, it will be opened and sorted, monitored by a bipartisan team of poll workers; and counted on election day. The woman who imparted this info on the phone said a record 37,000 requested ballots have gone out for this county. Early voting has begun in Iowa.

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  19. beb said on October 8, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    The best response to the fly on Pence’s head was a photoshop of the fly holding a tiny Biden-Harris poster.

    The shorter answer about what’s happening in Michigan is to say the Ammon Bundy is alive and well in the land of two penisulas.

    Josh Marshall, I think, has it right. McConnel has seen the writing on the wall and has decided to poison the well for the next administration.

    We are Mom and Dad to our daughter. She’s “my wife” in more formal situations and “Denice” only among out friends. People who call their wife “mother” are kind of strange.

    I keep hearing that Democrats shoukld not attack the SCOTUS nominee because it will offend Americans (Christians) in general. But the point is that “People of Praise” are no more Christian than the people of Jim Jones’ flock. They’re cultist and promote radical, un-American ideas. She was literally a “handmaiden” until the group stopped using that term. And what about the stuff that a woman defers all opinions to her male superior? These are things to know before putting her on the for the rest of her life.

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  20. Dexter Friend said on October 9, 2020 at 3:33 am

    The judge was from Auburn, Indiana, De Kalb County. He traveled to Thailand and other places. The following is just hearsay: I spoke to many people there on my job, many who knew what was going on at the courthouse, and the gossip about that judge was jaw-dropping. Keyword is Thailand. Stories about why the judge loved visiting Thailand were bandied about. Yes, he died before anti-viral AIDS cocktails curtailed that epidemic. His family arranged for the judge to lie in state in the courthouse. His family told the press the good judge had passed away from eating tainted or poisonous fish. My good friend, perhaps the most knowledgeable of the local gossips told me “yeah…trouser trout”. Not fit for print today, but this is a history lesson.

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  21. James Bowater said on October 9, 2020 at 4:49 am

    Not so much gay – but bi-sexual .

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