For Mike Pence, “a strange new respect”

During his presentation to the Senate, House impeachment manager Rep. Joaquin Castro showed footage of Mike Pence moving away from the angry mob that attacked the Capitol. Castro unctuously declared, “Mike Pence is not a traitor to this country — he is a patriot.”

Before last month, did any Democrat ever suggest that Mike Pence is a patriot? I daresay none did, until he became a prop in the impeachment of Donald Trump.

And speaking of new ones, Rep. Joe Neguse, another of the House managers, completed his speech to the Senate by imploring “we humbly, humbly ask you to convict President Trump. . . .” I can’t recall a previous instance in which House Democrats have done anything humbly — never mind humbly, humbly.

What phonies.

Washington Post writers are less phony. Thus, the Post isn’t giving Pence any love. It attacks him in an article with the headline, “Impeachment trial shows him under attack, but Pence remains loyal to Trump.”

However, there is no contradiction between the two clauses of the headline. It was the mob, not Trump, that attacked Pence. I assume the former vice president understands that Trump neither advocated nor desired the attack.

At the same time, I assume that Pence is displeased by Trump’s behavior in early January. He probably resents being called on by the president to do other than his constitutional duty on January 6 and likely takes serious exception to some of Trump’s rhetoric.

At the same time, though, Pence is surely grateful that Trump (1) gave him the privilege of serving as vice president and (2) gave America the blessing of mostly conservative governance for four years. As much as the Washington Post desires it, there’s no reason for Pence to turn on Trump at this point. And Pence’s good manners and solid values make it unlikely that he will.

The two anti-Trump Post reporters who wrote this story — Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey — accuse Pence of “obsequiousness.” That’s a lie.

Pence was attacked by the mob on January 6 precisely because he is not obsequious. Trump called on him to reject the result of the electoral college. Pence refused.

Good manners, gratitude, and restraint are rare qualities in contemporary politics. Mike Pence has them in spades. He’s worthy of genuine respect, not the strange new kind.

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