Friday, September 22, 2017

Impeaching Trump and America Under a President Pence

While I have posted on this subject before the 2016 election, in this time where it appears that Washington (including both the Democrats and at least some Republicans) along with the mainstream media are doing everything in their power to get rid of Donald Trump, I thought it would be prudent to revisit the belief system of the man that will replace him, Vice President Mike Pence, a man who garners almost no press coverage.

Thanks to the internet which never forgets anything, we can see what Mr. Pence had to say about key issues during his tenure in Congress and as Governor of Indiana.  The website, On The Issues, provides us with a complete listing of every vote that Mike Pence took part in while in Congress as well as what he had to say about key issues during his tenure in government prior to entering the White House.

As a bit of background and to help you put the dates into context, between January 3, 2001 and January 3, 2011, Mike Pence served as a Republican Representative in the House of Representatives from Indiana's second and sixth districts.  From January 14, 2013 to January 9, 2017, he served as Governor of Indiana.

Here is a summary of his voting record on seven key issues that provide us with a snapshot of Mike Pence's political leanings:

1.) Budget and the Economy:

  
In 2011, he was one of the co-sponsors of House Joint Resolution 2 which proposed a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States as shown here.

As governor of Indiana, he also was in favour of adding an amendment to the Indiana state Constitution that would require a balanced budget as shown in this excerpt from a "state of the state" speech he gave on January 13, 2015:

"Remarkably, Indiana is one of the few states in the country that does not have a balanced budget requirement in its constitution. It is a tribute to the public servants in this room that Indiana has adhered to that practice in recent years even though it is not required.

A balanced budget requirement in the Constitution will assure Hoosiers that today and tomorrow Indiana will spend wisely, protect our state from an economic downturn, and unlike Washington, D.C., we won’t bury our children and grandchildren under mountains of debt.

I commend Senator David Long for his leadership on a federal balanced budget amendment. I call on this General Assembly to begin the process of adding a balanced budget amendment to the Indiana Constitution in this session and send this historic reform to the people of Indiana."

2.) Civil Rights:


Note that he was in favour of making the highly invasive PATRIOT Act permanent.  We will learn more about his stance on state-related privacy issues later in this posting.

3.) Energy and Oil:


Three words - "Drill Baby Drill.

Here are some quotes that clearly show his thoughts on climate change back in 2008:

"I would not agree that there is broad consensus on man-made or human activity being the proximate cause of global warming. I think there is more diversity of opinion among many scientists in this area of discipline than most people realize. I don't  think global warming as caused by human activity is a settled question in the scientific community."

"Claims of catastrophic consequences in global warming are not reflective of the majority of the opinions even among IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientists … "

4.) Free Trade:


Given that Mr. Pence hails from a state in the industrial heartland (now the Rust Belt), it's not terribly surprising that his views on trade lean heavily to the freer trade side of the spectrum, a stance that is in very sharp contrast to his current boss.  In fact, his stance is so contrary to that of the President's, it's a wonder that he was selected as Vice President!

5.) Health Care:


In 2010, he was in favour of deauthorizing funding for Obamacare and wanted the law repealed.

6.) Immigration:


He was ahead of his time when it came to promoting the Mexican border fence!

Mr. Pence also stated that he wished to declare English as the official language of the United States in 2007 and that "anchor babies" would not automatically be granted Birthright Citizenship, co-sponsoring H.R. 1868 (the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009) which considered a person a citizen only if they were born to a parent who was a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident and an alien performing active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

7.) Homeland Security:


Obviously, under a Pence presidency, those of us that are concerned about personal privacy should expect the highly invasive state-based intelligence snooping status quo to continue.

As history has shown us, United States presidents don't always get to impose their personal beliefs on the nation as a whole, particularly when those beliefs contrast with the agenda of the "Deep State" (for lack of a better term), however, as the Trump presidency has shown us, the president's belief system can, at the very least, throw the nation into turmoil, angering at least half of the voting public. From the information in this posting, it would look like a President Pence would do little to undo the political polarization that America has experienced over the past two decades since his voting record suggests that he leans rather heavily to the right side of the political spectrum.