The Studied Cluelessness of Mike Pence

The Studied Cluelessness of Mike Pence April 2, 2015

Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana mumbled and bumbled through an impromptu press conference, trying and failing to quell the controversy over that state’s new RFRA+ law. That would not surprise you if you’d seen Andrew Kaczynski’s Buzzfeed article that looked at some old op-ed columns that Pence wrote about 15 years ago. The ignorance and total inability to make a logical argument practically screams out at you. Like this statement, about cigarettes:

Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill. In fact, 2 out of every 3 smokers does not die from a smoking-related illness and 9 out of 10 smokers do not contract lung cancer.

Yeah, two out of three smokers doesn’t die from smoking, so obviously smoking doesn’t kill! Do I really need to spell out how illogical that argument is?

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CO2 can’t cause global warming because CO2 is a “naturally occurring phenomenon.” Right. And nuclear weapons can’t cause destruction because uranium and plutonium are natural. And forest fires can’t cause damage because lightning naturally causes them sometimes. Genius, governor. Bloody genius.

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George Washington was a Republican? That will come as quite a shock to Washington, who not only was not a member of a political party, he was a staunch opponent of all political parties and believed they were dangerous to a functioning democracy. In his farewell address, he warned against the formation of political parties, saying that they cause “horrid enormities” and calling them a “frightful despotism.”

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

So he declares George Washington a Republican and saying that Republicans like him have better ideas, while ignoring that one of Washington’s primary ideas was that political parties should not be allowed to form in the country. Nice going, Pence. Back to remedial history for you.

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