Earlier this week Mike Pence abruptly canceled his big overseas trip to the Middle East at the last minute, citing the supposed need to remain in Washington DC in case he had to break a tie on the tax scam vote. However, a tie wasn’t mathematically possible in this case, meaning he was lying. Now, even as his own Republican Party is making increasingly bizarre moves with regard to Donald Trump, suddenly Pence has done something even stranger.
Pence popped up today in Afghanistan with no advance warning and addressed the U.S. military stationed there, in a blatant attempt at looking presidential. This wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, except that Pence had been trying to lay low of late, seemingly trying to remain out of the spotlight as the Russia investigation continues to march Trump closer to the door. But now Pence has suddenly decided to try to look as presidential as he possibly can, at a time when lazy Trump just announced he’s about to head out of town on yet another prolonged vacation at one of his golf resorts. So what’s really going on here?
Over the past week, even as the Republicans in Congress have publicly aligned themselves with Donald Trump, behind the scenes they’ve begun quietly blocking his nominees to various positions. This has come even as the GOP frantically pushed its half-finished tax scam bill through in a desperate attempt to pass it before going on recess, suggesting that the party is expecting a major mess of some kind by the time it comes back in January.
This comes back to the central question of the week: what do the Republicans know that we don’t? They appear to believe things may be so untenable by January that they’re desperate to get the tax bill done now. They’re quietly cutting off Donald Trump’s ability to appoint any more people. And now Mike Pence, who canceled his Middle East trip and lied about the reason, has instead popped up in a war zone with the aim of looking presidential. Is it possible they’re plotting the 25th Amendment behind Trump’s back?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report