May 18, 2017

HE'S ACTUALLY GOVERNED:

What will the Pence presidency be like? (Paul Waldman, May 18, 2017, The Week)

[P]ence would immediately change the focus of the administration. While Trump doesn't have much of a personal ideological agenda, Pence would work intently on enacting hard-right social conservatism in every way possible. Don't get me wrong: Pence loves tax cuts and deregulation like any Republican. But his career has been marked above all by the culture war, his efforts to fight the acceptance of gay Americans, roll back reproductive rights, and create special privileges for Christians.

How much of that he'd be able to pass into law is hard to say. But on legislation, he'd certainly be more likely to get things done than Trump -- having served in Congress for 12 years he knows how it works, and he wouldn't be the kind of erratic, disruptive force Trump has been to GOP legislative efforts. That wouldn't necessarily make the ambitious items on the Republican agenda, like repealing the Affordable Care Act and enacting tax reform, much easier. But it would likely produce progress on smaller bills.

And while nobody ever accused Mike Pence of being a genius, it's safe to say that his White House wouldn't be the kind of Thunderdome of infighting, backstabbing, and press leaks that Trump's is. He'd probably replace many of Trump's cadre of revolutionaries and nincompoops with standard-issue operatives and policy wonks, the kind you'd find in any Republican administration (many of whom have refused to work for Trump). Which means the entire government would start working better -- but whether you think that's a good thing depends on your political perspective.

Posted by at May 18, 2017 6:58 AM

  

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