On Jan. 6, danger threatened Mike Pence and his family as the vice president stayed the course to meet what the Constitution required of him to confirm the 2020 election.
Our democratic institutions have held because Pence refused to join Trump’s pressure campaign, and for that he deserves to be called a “hero.” But now he looks January 6th in the rearview mirror and calls it “a tragic day” the Democrats use to distract from their failed policies.
Pence’s brief foray into heroism took real courage. He stood firm as Trump-instigated rioters stormed the Capitol for a day that lasted into the wee hours before Congress finally wrapped up its work and confirmed Joe Biden as the next President. Pence, under the state of siege, refused a request from the Secret Service to get in a car that would take him away from the Capitol. He knew that leaving would halt the certification process and trigger a constitutional crisis.
Pence deserves full credit for standing up to Trump and the mob chanting “Hang Pence.” But he also deserves condemnation for his continued efforts to appease Trump — and perpetuate the nightmare he helped Trump create — by signaling he will not voluntarily appear before the January 6 Committee and making the hearings “a distraction.” called.
“If I were advising the committee, I would ask Pence to appear voluntarily,” said Ned Foley, director of electoral law at Ohio State University. “You can’t understand January 6th without understanding what everyone was up to, including Pence.”
Pence’s role must be seen in the context of the two months between Election Day and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. “Pence undeniably deserves credit for what he failed to do despite the pressure he must have felt from Trump. He has to be given credit for not bowing to Trump’s pressure,” Foley told The Daily Beast.
But that’s not the whole story. More than a month elapsed between November 7, when the three major television networks announced the nomination for Joe Biden, four days after Election Day, and the December 14 Electoral College meeting. And then there were three weeks until January 6th.
“History will have to judge how much pence is largely responsible for this snowball that continued to grow between the December electoral college meeting,” says Foley, “a crucial pivot” in the path leading to the attack ran the Capitol.
The day after voters met, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a speech in the Senate congratulating Biden and Harris on their election victory and ending his long silence following the November election. “I wish he’d done it sooner,” says Foley. “But whatever you think of McConnell, he did the right thing after the voters met and that signaled he would never go along with any plot to overthrow the election.”
It was Pence’s chance to clear up, say the election was over and congratulate the new president and vice president. The January 6 committee will want to know why Pence remained silent despite knowing what he knew or should have known. “What I can blame Pence for is his behavior from December 14th to January 6th,” says Foley. “You can’t repeat the tape, but I don’t think the crowd would have gathered to the degree that it did and Trump couldn’t have said, ‘It’s going to be wild,’ if Pence McConnell had followed suit.”
“‘[Pence’s] The January 4th speech did much to stoke the passions. He went straight to the line and paused to say the election was stolen.”
Instead, on Jan. 4, Pence rallied a friendly crowd of evangelicals in Georgia to vote Republicans in two runoffs that would determine which party controls the Senate. “I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities, and I promise you’ll come this Wednesday, we’ll have our day in Congress,” Pence told those Georgia voters.
Trump voters, hearing the words “our day in Congress,” had every reason to believe Pence would act on their behalf and nullify the election results. “I tend to credit Pence’s instinct, as his people have attested, that he didn’t think one person should have the power to change the election results,” Foley says, “but his Jan. 4 speech got a lot of buzz.” excites the passions. He went right up to the line,” pausing to say the election was stolen.
Pence’s ability to pull this off depended on what he knew about the Senators and MPs who were ready and willing to turn down the ballot. GOP Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz defied Leader McConnell by staging their objections to the Arizona and Pennsylvania election counts. Hawley was photographed raising a fist in solidarity with the crowd on Jan. 6 before heading into the Capitol.
At the committee hearing on Jan. 6, we learned that Republican Senator Ron Johnson’s chief of staff was attempting to set up a meeting with Pence on the morning of Jan. 6 where Johnson could give him the alternate electoral lists in Wisconsin and Michigan. Pence’s legislative adviser turned down the offer, and Johnson told reporters he didn’t know what was in the package and was merely the courier, straining credulity.
Pence should have made it clear well before Jan. 6 that he would not be involved in the plan, which we now know attorneys John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani and others were peddling. “That would have greatly defused what happened on January 6,” says Foley. Instead of “waiting until 1 p.m. on January 6 to follow the rules… it would have been a lot better if.” [Pence] had previously pulled the plug.”
We consider the vice president to be part of the executive branch, but his constitutional duty is to Congress, where he serves as president of the Senate and chief legislative officer. He’s bridging the two branches, and for that reason alone Pence owes it to the January 6th committee to come back and explain a lot more about what he was doing and thinking during that critical time when the big lie became an attack on the Capitol.
President Gerald Ford willingly testified before Congress in October 1974 about the pardon he had granted to disgraced former President Richard Nixon, explaining why it was warranted and insisting there was no settlement when he took office of the Vice President accepted. Tuesday’s hearing showed that there are Republicans with the character and stamina to stand up to Trump and his lies. Pence did it counting on that one day in January. Will he make the right choice in the many days to come? Or will he retreat to the cowardice of the big lie that has engulfed so much of his party?
As more information emerges at the hearings, it will be tempting for Pence to resist testimony and rest on his laurels as a hero someday. This image can only be spotted with further details.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/mike-pence-was-a-jan-6-hero-but-hes-still-a-big-lie-coward?source=articles&via=rss Mike Pence was a January 6 hero, but he’s still a big coward of lies