Columnist George F. Will has found a new Republican to excoriate — deciding that Vice President Mike Pence is now “America’s most repulsive figure,” besting President Donald Trump in Will’s hall of infamy.
In his Washington Post column Wednesday, Will called Pence “oleaginous,” derided his “talent for toadyism and appetite for obsequiousness” while mocking his evangelical faith.
“Donald Trump, with his feral cunning, knew. The oleaginous Mike Pence, with his talent for toadyism and appetite for obsequiousness, could, Trump knew, become America’s most repulsive public figure. And Pence, who has reached this pinnacle by dethroning his benefactor…is the authentic voice of today’s lickspittle Republican Party, he clarifies this year’s elections: Vote Republican to ratify groveling as governing.”
Referring to a cabinet meeting last December, Will bristles over Pence’s praise for Trump but is especially outraged that the vice president could describe himself as “deeply humbled.”
Will writes, “Judging by the number of times Pence announces himself ‘humbled,’ he might seem proud of his humility, but that is impossible because he is conspicuously devout and pride is a sin.”
Will, an atheist, finds Pence’s Christian devotion a source of contempt, describing him as a “one of evangelical Christians’ favorite pin-ups” while alleging that Pence really worships “at various altars, as the mobocratic spirit and the vicious portion require.”
The conservative columnist reserves sufficient animus for Pence’s decision to exit an Indianapolis Colts football game after the players kneeled in protest during the national anthem. Will finds this moral declaration a mere act of political bravado “demonstrating that football players keeping during the national anthem are intolerable to someone of Pence’s refined sense of right and wrong.”
Then there’s Pence’s support of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, whom the vice president described as “a tireless champion of…the rule of law.” Will presented a less charitable view of Arpaio, calling him “a grandstanding, camera-chasing bully and darling of the thuggish right.”
Will cannot resist an appeal to another Never-Trumper, as he notes that Pence’s praise of Arpaio Pence’s “occurred eight miles from the home of Sen. John McCain, who could teach Pence — or perhaps not — something about honor.”