Sunday, July 17, 2016

Wash. Post Editorial Board Castigates Pence For His “Hypocritical Decision” To Join Trump’s Ticket

The Washington Post editorial board lambasted Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as a “hypocrite” for calling himself a “Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” yet agreeing to become the running mate of Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump, “an uncharitable man who habitually insults minorities, religions and vulnerable people.”

Many conservative media figures characterized Trump’s choice of Pence as “a nothingburger” and hold reservations about Pence’s abilities to explain away Trump’s controversies. According to Indiana jouranlists, Pence has had a “divisive” tenure as governor thanks in part to his efforts to limit reproductive rights in his home state and his support for a controversial “religious freedom” bill that could have given businesses license to discriminate against LGBT people.

In a July 15 editorial, the Post wrote that Pence’s “policy record suggests he will indeed appeal to right-wing voters” that Trump has been courting, noting that the Hoosier has “waged war against Planned Parenthood while in Congress” and is a “staunch opponent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.” The paper concluded by calling Pence a “hypocrite” because he “has called himself ‘a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.’ But he has agreed to run on a ticket with an uncharitable man who habitually insults minorities, religions and vulnerable people, who wants to economically isolate the United States and who regularly displays his ignorance of the Constitution and policy”:

Mr. Pence’s policy record suggests he will indeed appeal to right-wing voters — but perhaps not many others. He waged war against Planned Parenthood while in Congress, saying in 2011 that he was willing to shut down the government in order to defund the organization. A staunch opponent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, he favored a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman. He pressed for a constitutional amendment that would cap federal spending at 20 percent of the economy, which would badly hamstring the government as baby boomers begin drawing retirement benefits. He also voted for and defended free-trade deals of the sort Mr. Trump has incorrectly blamed for hollowing out the economy.

Mr. Pence ran for governor as a fiscal rather than a social conservative, and he began his term by signing a large tax cut into law, which has made finding money for road construction a challenge. He has shown some practicality, taking federal money to expand Medicaid in his state under Obamacare as other GOP governors held out in irrational protest. His defining decision in Indianapolis, however, was signing into law a “religious freedom” bill that encouraged discrimination against LGBT people. He subsequently scaled the law back after a national uproar. Though this unnecessary foray into social issues hobbled him politically, he followed it up with a bill restricting abortions in Indiana. And while he condemned Mr. Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, he also tried to suspend the settlement of Syrian refugees in his state.

Mr. Pence appears to be executing his biggest mistake, by far, right now. He has called himself “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” But he has agreed to run on a ticket with an uncharitable man who habitually insults minorities, religions and vulnerable people, who wants to economically isolate the United States and who regularly displays his ignorance of the Constitution and policy. As he campaigns with Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence will have to add “hypocrite” to his list of labels.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/07/16/wash-post-editorial-board-castigates-pence-his-hypocritical-decision-join-trump-s-ticket/211618

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