— CNN (@CNN) June 15, 2017
It was generally believed, back in the day, that the GOP forced Spiro Agnew on Nixon because anybody looking to impeach Tricky Dick would hesitate at the thought of installing a notorious old-school machine pol as his replacement. Turned out, of course, that Spiro got busted for simple envelopes-stuffed-with-cash graft before that could happen… so the GOP chose Gerry Ford, a grinning nonentity with a reputation for probity based on the fact he was too dumb to get away with anything, as Agnew’s replacement.
Mike “Dense”, as second-in-line to the Asterisk-in-Chief, was supposed to combine the recoil-in-horror social policies of Agnew with the ventriloquist-dummy reliability of Ford. Nobody wants to see a man who takes so much pride in his retrograde social opinions in the Oval Office; but if it should happen, the Repubs are sure he’ll be happy to sign whatever garbage the Freedumb Caucus or the Koch / Mercer / Thiel think tanks drop on his desk.
The tricky bit is that the people pulling Trump’s strings are a lot smarter than your average Repub backroom schemer. I rate the chances of Putin not having some kompromat on Mr. Mike as approximately as high as my chances of winning a medal in the next Olympics. Even if Pence were actually burdened with political ethics — how long has he been a Republican? — Lord Smallglove’s reverse-Midas gift for befouling anyone that approaches him too closely is not a factor in his favor. From the CNN article above:
… A senior administration adviser acknowledged there have been weeks of hand-wringing behind closed doors among members of Pence’s team, and an acceptance that the questions about Russia and the Trump campaign were not disappearing. Pence has been under fire for not knowing a number of things that happened during the transition — which he led as chairman.
A number of Pence advisers and staff worked out of Trump Tower during the transition — and are now worried about being dragged into legal issues…
I just asked VP Pence about hiring a private lawyer and he said: "It's very routine. Very routine."
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) June 16, 2017
Especially for people who could be facing treason charges. https://t.co/4eDaXSLEOX
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) June 16, 2017
You're allowed to use campaign $ to pay criminal defense lawyers. Pence set up his own PAC a few weeks ago. Now has a $1000/hr lawyer.
— Salacious Materiel (@ZeddRebel) June 16, 2017
But, hey! There’s always Media Village Idiots looking to curry favor with a “rising star”…
— POLITICO (@politico) June 16, 2017
this becomes a lot less dramatic when you realize that it's just "Mike Pence is the vice president" stated twice https://t.co/KuQch75zWB
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) June 16, 2017
— Katherine Miller (@katherinemiller) June 16, 2017
Just in case you worried the Beltway courier class would have trouble pivoting from ‘Trump voters continue to support him’ to ‘Mike Pence, godling among political mortals’ given the speed of the modern news cycle. Anybody prints out this article for Trump to read, the resulting twitter-tantrum should be one for the National Archives.