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AFTER former Vice President Mike Pence refused Trump’s order to overturn results in the key states that had gone against the President, the evangelical VP who spent years fawning over the Insurrectionist-in- Chief, was told ‘You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a pussy.’

Shortly after, in a speech to the crowd who went on to mob the Capitol building, Trump pretended he had not already been told by Pence to go  jump in a lake, and insisted that his VP still had the power to overturn the election results.

According to this Guardian report – subheaded “As vice-president, he abased himself and his office. In reward, Donald Trump sent a mob to kill him” – Trump told his supporters:

I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so. Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election … All Vice-President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to re-certify and we become president and you are the happiest people.

And I actually, I just spoke to Mike. I said: ‘Mike, that doesn’t take courage. What takes courage is to do nothing. That takes courage’ … And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country because you’re sworn to uphold our constitution … And Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our constitution and for the good of our country. And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you.

Shortly after, the mob broke into the Capitol to lynch Pence:

Secret service agents hustled Pence out of the chamber. ‘Where’s Mike Pence?’ chanted the mob, racing to locate him. They carried a noose, marked with his name. Pence was in an office only about 100ft away.

A quick-thinking Capitol police officer steered the rampaging throng to chase him in the opposite direction. At 2.24pm, amid the mayhem, Trump tweeted: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!

One rioter, later arrested,  said in a video posted on YouTube.

Once we found out Pence turned on us and that they had stolen the election, like, officially, the crowd went crazy. I mean, it became a mob.

Another of those arrested texted:

When we found out Pence fucked us, we all stormed the Capitol building and everyone forced entry and started breaking shit. It was a like a scene out of a movie.

The cult of Trump

Writing yesterday (Sunday) for the Guardian beneath the heading “The Martydom of Mike Pence”, Sidney Blumenthal said:

Nobody was more responsible for fostering the cult of Trump. The evangelical Pence had been Trump’s rescuer, starting with his forgiveness for the miscreant in the crisis during the 2016 campaign over Trump’s Access Hollywood ‘grab them by the pussy’ tape and then over the disclosure of the ‘Individual One’ hush money payoff to a porn star about a one-night stand to shut her up before election day …

Pence was the indispensable retainer who delivered the evangelical base, transforming it through the alchemy of his faith into Trump’s rock of ages. After every malignant episode, from Charlottesville (“I stand with the president”) to coronavirus (“The president took another historic step”), the pious Pence could be counted on to bless Trump for his purity of heart and to shepherd the flock of true believers.

Blumenthal said this of Pence in his concluding paragraphs:

He became something he never anticipated: the fall guy. He never expected he would be Trump’s patsy. It was one thing to be his flunky, but Pence never thought, even after all the other adults in the room had departed in obloquy, he’d be the last patsy standing.

Pence may consider himself one of the most unselfish Christians. The extreme case of humility is when a person gives his all to someone who is completely selfish and has no other purpose. Now loathed by evangelicals, Pence must console himself with the holy paradox invested in martyrs, in which the martyr scorned by his own people suffers for the greater good of the Lord.

Only later is the martyr beatified as a saint. Becoming such a martyr might get Pence a stained-glass window in some future crystal cathedral, but it will not get him anywhere in the Republican party.

Pence is reportedly isolated, in a borrowed cabin in Indiana, having arranged to be a ‘visiting fellow’ at the Heritage Foundation.

No evangelical leader has stepped forward to defend his honor. No Republican leader has vouched for his virtue, obligations and higher loyalty. Abandoned and alone, the object of hatred, the target of threats. Pence had taught his flock to worship its lord and cast out heretics. He delivered everything to Trump, and Trump delivered Pence to the mob as a scapegoat. Pence had shown them the way to follow Trump as a true servant. And they did.

• Sidney Blumenthal is the former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. He has published three books of a projected five-volume political life of Abraham Lincoln.

• Please report any typos/errors to barry@freethinker.co.uk

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