Mike Pence's moral case for removing a president from office

Amused

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Apr 14, 2001
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https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/06/politics/kfile-mike-pence-moral-columns/index.html

Mike Pence's moral case for removing a president from office

Vice President Mike Pence once argued the president of the United States should be held to the highest moral standards to determine whether he should resign or be removed from office.

Pence made the argument in two columns in the late 1990s, where he wrote that then-President Bill Clinton's admission of an affair with a White House intern and prior lies to the public about the matter, possibly under oath, meant Clinton should be removed from office.

Yet Pence also moved beyond the specifics of the Clinton case: He made a far-reaching argument about the importance of morality and integrity to the office of the presidency.

Pence wrote the columns in the late 1990s when he was a local Indiana radio host and prominent conservative voice in the state arguing Clinton had lost his moral authority to lead the country. One of the columns, "The Two Schools of Thought on Clinton," was posted on his now-defunct website for his radio talk show. Another column, "Why Clinton Must Resign or Be Impeached," was posted on his congressional campaign website. Both columns were archived by the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. The columns ran in various Indiana newspapers at the time but did not get national attention.

Dismissing the idea that the president is "just the like the rest of us," Pence wrote, "If you and I fall into bad moral habits, we can harm our families, our employers and our friends. The President of the United States can incinerate the planet. Seriously, the very idea that we ought to have at or less than the same moral demands placed on the Chief Executive that we place on our next door neighbor is ludicrous and dangerous.
"Throughout our history, we have seen the presidency as the repository of all of our highest hopes and ideals and values. To demand less is to do an injustice to the blood that bought our freedoms."

The revelation of Pence's Clinton-era columns comes as President Donald Trump faces allegations of extramarital affairs from former adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. The President also faces a defamation suit brought by former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos, who says Trump sexually assaulted her a decade ago. Trump has denied all the allegations.

Trump also denied knowledge of payments made to Daniels and McDougal during the 2016 presidential campaign but subsequent statements and recordings have raised questions about his denials.

Pence has largely remained silent on the allegations and called Daniels' assertions of an affair "baseless."
In addition to the moral argument Pence makes in the columns, he focused on the fact that Clinton was in office when his affair took place and that he "very likely" committed perjury when he denied in a deposition having a "sexual relationship" with Monica Lewinsky. The allegations against Trump all took place before he stepped into public office, and Trump has not testified about the alleged affairs and therefore does not face any allegations he lied under oath about them. But Pence was not exclusively concerned about Clinton's misstatements under oath, also arguing that Clinton's public statements about Lewinsky damaged the institution of the presidency.

The Vice President's office did not respond to a request for comment on the columns.

Trump is also facing questions about his statements concerning any relationship between his campaign and Russia. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between his son Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer was "a meeting to get information on an opponent." It was the most direct admission yet of the true intent of the meeting and also an acknowledgement that Trump Jr.'s initial explanation for the meeting -- that its primary purpose was to discuss adoptions - was grossly misleading. That explanation came in a statement that was dictated by the President.

In one of his columns about Clinton, Pence wrote, "Further, the Presidents (sic) repeated lies to the American people in this matter compound the case against him as they demonstrate his failure to protect the institution of the presidency as the 'inspiring supreme symbol of all that is highest in our American ideals.'"
He continued, "Leaders affect the lives of families far beyond their own 'private life'. In the Bible story of Esther we are told of a king who was charged to put right his own household because there would be 'no end of disrespect and discord' among the families of the kingdom if he failed to do so. In a day when reckless extramarital sexual activity is manifesting itself in our staggering rates of illegitimacy and divorce, now more than ever, America needs to be able to look to her First Family as role models of all that we have been and can be again."

Pence also wrote that Republicans needed to act to remove Clinton even if it meant losing the majority in Congress.

"If our leaders flinch at this responsibility, they would do well to heed the Proverb 'if a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked,'" he added. "Our leaders must either act to restore the luster and dignity of the institution of the Presidency or we can be certain that this is only the beginning of an even more difficult time for our land. For the nation to move on, the President must move out."
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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Gee, whatever could have changed.

If there is one silver lining to this it’s that the complete hypocrisy of Christian conservatives has been exposed for the whole country to see. From here on out any time they attempt to make a claim based on morality the only answer you need is ‘you supported Donald Trump’. They have lost any claim to moral authority.
 

Starbuck1975

Lifer
Jan 6, 2005
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Pence was correct then and a hypocrite now for not holding Trump to a standard of behavior that all Americans should expect of any President.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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Pence was correct then and a hypocrite now for not holding Trump to a standard of behavior that all Americans should expect of any President.

I personally don’t believe a president should be impeached for marital infidelity. Clinton also perjured himself, which is a big deal, but the perjury had nothing to do with the job.

We know Trump lies about everything and that’s a problem too but frankly if he just kept his lies to pretending he’s richer than he is or things not germane to his office I wouldn’t want him impeached for that either.

Sigh. If only that were all Trump was lying about.
 

Starbuck1975

Lifer
Jan 6, 2005
14,698
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I personally don’t believe a president should be impeached for marital infidelity. Clinton also perjured himself, which is a big deal, but the perjury had nothing to do with the job.

We know Trump lies about everything and that’s a problem too but frankly if he just kept his lies to pretending he’s richer than he is or things not germane to his office I wouldn’t want him impeached for that either.

Sigh. If only that were all Trump was lying about.
For infidelity, no. But there was a sexual predatory aspect to Clinton’s infidelity that puts him closer to the Trump/Weinstein end of the spectrum, and he was foolish enough to perjure himself, which was about a certain job and a cigar.

Trump has been a liar his entire career. He should have come clean that his campaign sought dirt on Clinton, to include the Trump Tower meeting.

Was he really that stupid or brazen to think that this meeting would go unnoticed?

The Bush and Clinton campaigns certainly figured out a way to legally obtain “opposition research” from foreign entities.
 

sportage

Lifer
Feb 1, 2008
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Since when is Mike Pence or anything he says worth a hoot?
The day I start listening to Mike Pence or taking his advice on anything is the day when...
Well, lets just say that day will never come.

It would be interesting to have a president Pence should Donald be impeached or choke to death on a KFC chicken bone.
When Mike is so use to following, how could he lead?
Now THAT would be interesting to watch.

Poor Mike.
He knowest not what he do.
 

HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
35,705
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I personally don’t believe a president should be impeached for marital infidelity. Clinton also perjured himself, which is a big deal, but the perjury had nothing to do with the job.

We know Trump lies about everything and that’s a problem too but frankly if he just kept his lies to pretending he’s richer than he is or things not germane to his office I wouldn’t want him impeached for that either.

Sigh. If only that were all Trump was lying about.
I'm consistent with my position on this. No President should be impeached for marital infidelity. If Trump cheated on Melania with 50 strippers and lied about it that's fine with me. Crimes against his family are not crimes against the United States.
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
26,057
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mike pence is the insurance policy for trump.
When trump picked his running mate, he simply found somebody "worse" than him.

If you impeach trump, you get stuck with pence.
 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
14,384
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Fake is as Fake does. Pence really is symbolic and symptomatic of the present state of the Repub Party. Everything about the party reeks of "fakery". Heh, the moment the evangelicals of all people gave Trump their stamp of approval the stench of "fakery" saturated the air around them.

I would laugh in their faces if any of them tried to convince me that their disgraceful hypocrisy was somehow justifiable.
 

Puffnstuff

Lifer
Mar 9, 2005
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Fake is as Fake does. Pence really is symbolic and symptomatic of the present state of the Repub Party. Everything about the party reeks of "fakery". Heh, the moment the evangelicals of all people gave Trump their stamp of approval the stench of "fakery" saturated the air around them.

I would laugh in their faces if any of them tried to convince me that their disgraceful hypocrisy was somehow justifiable.
I don't know about laughing but I would shake my head in disgust over it.
 
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alien42

Lifer
Nov 28, 2004
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mike pence is the insurance policy for trump.
When trump picked his running mate, he simply found somebody "worse" than him.

If you impeach trump, you get stuck with pence.

Pence was how trump secured the votes of evangelicals.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,114
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Fake is as Fake does. Pence really is symbolic and symptomatic of the present state of the Repub Party. Everything about the party reeks of "fakery". Heh, the moment the evangelicals of all people gave Trump their stamp of approval the stench of "fakery" saturated the air around them.

I would laugh in their faces if any of them tried to convince me that their disgraceful hypocrisy was somehow justifiable.
You are talking about people who were told that the inborn selfishness of the reptilian brain made them tainted by evil with the consequence that they hated who they were and had to become moral hypocrites to survive such feelings of humiliation. The only force that keeps people like that from exploding with the violence of suppressing that so called evil self is fear. They have to hold the world in contempt to emphasize how superior they are in difference. Their survival as egos depends on their projection of the hatred of their own repressed feelings of being evil. Let he who isn't like that cast the first stone. I suggest there is a difference between telling people they are worthless and telling them why that had to feel that way and why feeling that way causes it to be factual in reality. I think the way people change is via seeing what they really are and that seeing how you are as something you had no personal responsibility for being, no guilt in being, makes the possibility of opening that door into introspection easier than telling people their guilt is real. My opinion, of course and not a criticism of your post but an addition. To the extent that I can't forgive my own hypocrisy they also make me sick.

And PS: Apparently nobody told Pence we become what we hate.
 
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tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
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I don't know about laughing but I would shake my head in disgust over it.

Allow me to clarify. The laugh I would laugh is the one with a blending of disbelief, sarcasm, plain 'ol yukkiness and a 'lil dab of condescension all wrapped up with a look that says "you gotta be fvcking kidding me, right?" ;)
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
110,437
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Pence was correct then and a hypocrite now for not holding Trump to a standard of behavior that all Americans should expect of any President.

I don't think he was correct then and I don't think he would be correct now, holding that same standard (infidelity) to Trump.

But yeah, he's still a flaming hypocrite.