Crazy Donald and Chinese nukes: Pence compromise vs. greater risk of H-bombed D.C.

sarah_palin_by_gage_skidmore_2Thank you, Sarah Palin. Friday you reminded us what a whack job The Donald is, even if your language was more indirect.

Here he’d led you to believe he was a constitutional conservative. But now he’s bragged about a plan for Indiana to pay $7 million in incentives over a decade to keep a Carrier plant in Indiana and not move all jobs to Mexico.

Granted, Palin toned down her indignation with a little double-talk. But the Inner Sarah’s displeasure was clear and abundant, and I’m hardly surprised. Trump is no more a true Republican by Palin standards—or those of many others in the GOP—than his hair is a natural orange. And therein lies an opportunity to save America from Trump through an Electoral College compromise. Enough Democratic electors could agree to vote for Vice President-elect Mike Pence as President instead, in return for enough Republican counterparts agreeing to withdraw support from Trump to throw the election into the House of Representatives.

Via an initiative called The Hamilton Electors, some activists are already asking Republican electors to “select a Reasonable Republican who does not have Donald Trump’s questionable ethics, lack of policy knowledge and lack of relevant experience.” The Hamilton Electors point to “3 tests that the Founding Fathers used to judge the ‘fitness’ of a President,” and as they see it, say Trump would flunk. Bravo! As I see it, however, the “Reasonable” mention isn’t enough. By focusing on Mike Pence and even encouraging Democratic electors to vote for him December 19, the Hamilton Electors group could better deal with criticism that the College was ignoring The Will of the People. Remember, Pence was Trump’s running mate. Of course, I’m rooting for Hillary Clinton to win recounts in crucial states, but don’t count on it, and in fact, in her place, I’d actually lean on the electors to vote for Pence, given the horrors of a Trump presidency.

No, Pence is not my favorite politician. Far from Reasonable, with or without a capital R, most of his policies are loathsome on issues ranging from labor relations to gender equality. But Indiana’s governor has one big thing going for him—notably that he is not Donald Trump. What’s more, he can be reasonable at times within limits. Pence has even called for a federal shield law to protect professional journalists from testifying in court in many cases, a stark contrast to Trump, who, like Putin, loves the idea of using libel laws to squelch uppity editors and reporters.

While by ex-Governor Palin’s standards Pence may have paved the way for “crony capitalism” via the Carrier deal, most Republicans in the House of Representatives would be far more comfortable with him as President than with Trump. And that’s important, for this is one battle that the Hamilton Electors and the rest of the country and planet can’t afford to lose. The experts Trump ridicules are absolutely right. He is an existential threat—something of special interest to those of us who live within a few miles of Ground Zero in a nuclear war. Consider this headline in Politico: “Bull in a China shop: Trump risks diplomatic blowup in Asia. No U.S. president or president-elect is known to have spoken to a Taiwanese leader since 1979.” Is it The Will of The People to be incinerated by Chinese H bombs—far more likely under Trump than under Pence?

Countless reasons exist to thwart The Donald at any cost, but this one is paramount. A Pence compromise, please.

Image credits: Here and here.

Related: Accountability: Why the press needs to ask all 538 electors about Donald Trump.

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David Rothman

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