I actually think Mike Pence is a worse candidate for national office than Donald Trump. Not because he’s more bellicose, avowedly racist, and a serial liar who makes stuff up just to see if the CNN crawl will call him out on it. It’s because he’s comparatively low-key and seemingly nice and polite with a restrained ego and comparatively polished demeanor. Those are the ones you have to really watch out for.
For example, he was shocked and saddened that Hillary Clinton pointed out that there are those who support his ticket who are racists and religious bigots. Not because they are not (because that’s glaringly obvious), but because that would be rude.
BLITZER: But [Clinton] said, there are supporters, and you know this, there are some supporters of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, who, David Duke, for example, some other white nationalist, who would fit into that category of deplorables. Right?”
PENCE: “As I’ve told you the last time I was on, I’m not sure why the media keeps dropping David Duke’s name. Donald Trump has denounced David Duke repeatedly. We don’t want his support and we don’t want the support of people who think like him.”
BLITZER: “You called him a deplorable. You would call him a deplorable?”
PENCE: “No, I’m not in the name-calling business, Wolf, you know me better than that.”
So he refuses to call a card-carrying, robe-wearing, cross-burning racist anti-Semite “deplorable” because it might hurt his feelings? Aw, isn’t that nice? And he won’t renounce Mr. Trump’s birther campaign because that’s old news; it happened four years ago. (News flash: Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State four years ago when she had the private e-mail account. Why isn’t that old news?)
The loudmouths get all the attention for their outrageous statements and policy pronouncements, but it’s the quiet ones who are genial and benign on TV — “you know me better than that, Wolf” — who do the dirty work behind the scenes and implement the evil that men do. Think Dick Cheney and company. Or if you need a more extreme example, think Himmler and Eichmann.
Oh, okay, so Mike Pence and the Trump enablers may not be harbingers of the Third Reich, but there are those among his followers who would be happy to teach them how to goose-step.