Commentators on the right gave Mike Pence high marks for his showing in the vice-presidential debate, largely because he, unlike Donald Trump, articulates straight-no-chaser conservatism. To Esquire’s Charles Pierce, however, the ideological divide between Pence and Trump is about as wide as a crack in the sidewalk.
In a Wednesday post, Pierce predicted that even though Trump represents the “obvious culmination” of movement conservatism, Republicans will instead treat him as “an aberration,” and that in the VP debate, “Pence gave us a vivid peek at how” GOPers will reorient themselves after the election (“this is where the talk radio, Fox News base is going to go”).
Should that happen, wrote Pierce, it “will guarantee that…another Trump (or another dozen Trumps) will rise somewhere down the line. Trump's great beautiful wall is no more (or less) nutty than intelligent design or gay conversion therapy. If the Republicans try to remake themselves by distancing themselves from the former and not the latter, they're sucking around for the same reaction Pence got when he tap-danced away from his anti-gay law in Indiana—incoherence that makes everybody angry.”
Those people already shining up the PENCE 2020 buttons should keep in mind that the future of conservatism lies with a creationist sexual bigot who believes gayness is a condition that can be cured and that Disney cartoons are weakening the U.S. military.
Party of ideas!