Are Trump Voters Aware That Mike Pence Might Be Running the Show?
When he officially accepts the 2016 Republican nomination for president Thursday night, Donald Trump will do so as a different kind of Republican.
Or so the thinking goes.
A Trump presidency would be just like every other Republican presidency, arguably even worse.
We now know this for fact.
According to a story out today in the New York Times Magazine, when Donald Trump was looking for a running mate, he initially offered the job to one of his former opponents, Ohio Governor John Kasich.
And while that's interesting enough on its own, what's even more interesting is the offer the Trump campaign made to try to convince Kasich to join the ticket.
According to the New York Times, when Donald Trump, Jr. contacted a Kasich advisor about the running mate job, he told that adviser that his father wanted to make Kasich the "most powerful vice president in history."
What happened next reveals a lot about the real Donald Trump.
When Kasich's adviser asked how this would be the case Donald Jr. explained that his father's vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.
Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?
"Making America great again" was the casual reply.
Now, we have no explicit confirmation of this, but everything in the Times' report suggests that Trump made this exact same offer to Mike Pence before making him his running mate.
And if that's true, it reveals two very important things.
The first thing it reveals is Trump's management style. Like a lot of billionaire corporate executives, Trump is a delegator, which is fine for the business world, but poses some big problems for the presidency, a job that requires attention to detail and around-the-clock engagement.
So that's the first thing this Times story reveals. The second thing it reveals is a much bigger deal.
If Donald Trump really did offer Mike Pence complete control over domestic and foreign policy in return for serving his running mate, then that means that Donald Trump's entire campaign is a sham.
Unlike Donald Trump (or at least 2016 presidential campaign edition of Donald Trump), Mike Pence is a rock-solid, down-the-line all-for-the-billionaires-and-corporations Republican.
Pence voted for and supported the Iraq War.
Pence supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership, NAFTA, CAFTA, and all the rest of the so-called free trade agreements that have run the American middle-class into the ground.
Pence supports slashing Social Security, and Medicare, hates unions, and wants to cut taxes for the rich, and on and on.
So if Donald Trump really did offer Mike Pence complete control over domestic and foreign policy in exchange for being his running mate, then that means that a Trump presidency would really just be a Pence presidency.
In other words, if you're thinking of voting for Trump because you hate the TPP and NAFTA and want to bring the jobs home, what you're actually going to get is Mike Pence, who loves the TPP and NAFTA.
If you're thinking of voting for Trump because you're sick of us wasting all that blood and treasure in the Middle East, what you're actually going to get is Mike Pence, who was one of the biggest Iraq War boosters around.
If you're thinking of voting for Trump because you think he's going to protect Social Security, what you're actually going to get is Mike Pence, who's just another Republican who wants to throw granny off the cliff.
You get the idea.
Of course, the fact that his campaign is such a blatant scam doesn't matter one bit to Donald Trump.
He doesn't care about what Pence will do to the middle class, he doesn't care what Pence will do to the nation, and he certainly doesn't care what Pence will do to you and me.
All Trump cares about is inflating his personal brand, and getting elected president is the best way to do that.
But, just because Trump doesn't care, doesn't mean Republican voters shouldn't.
They should be outraged that their candidate is pulling a fast one on them.
Unfortunately, the media is so busy covering the Trump campaign like a reality show that it hasn't bothered pointing any of this out.
Hopefully they do before it's too late, because the last thing this country needs is another right-wing Republican president.