At a time when the White House obsesses about and promotes the idea that it is under threat from a Deep State of the kind that as a meme Glenn Greenwald has vigorously promoted, one of the many flaws in this narrative is the lack of a Deep-State-approved replacement for Trump if the “coup” was to succeed.
In reality, Trump’s replacement spends most of his time standing right at his side and perhaps more so than any other, Mike Pence is preparing not for the possibility but rather the likelihood that before long he will become president.
Josh Rogin writes: The role and influence of the vice president, not enshrined in any law, is determined in any administration by three things: his direct relationship with the president, his building of a personal portfolio of issues, and the effectiveness of his team. When it comes to foreign policy, Vice President Pence is quietly succeeding on all three fronts.
Inside an administration that is characterized by several power centers, Pence must navigate complex internal politics while serving a president who has an unconventional view of foreign policy and the United States’ role in the world. Pence, a traditional hawk influenced heavily by his Christian faith, is carefully and deliberately assuming a stance that fits within the president’s agenda while respecting the prerogatives of other senior White House aides who also want to play large foreign policy roles, according to White House officials, lawmakers and experts.
But Pence’s growing influence on foreign policy is increasingly evident. The vice president was deployed to Europe last month to reassure allies that the United States will stay committed to alliances such as NATO, despite President Trump’s calls for Europeans to pay more for common defense. During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent visit, Trump announced that Pence and his Japanese counterpart would lead a new dialogue on U.S.-Japan economic cooperation.
“The vice president seems to be building on his foreign affairs experience, finding a niche in that arena,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), who served with Pence in Congress. “He brings a level-headed steady hand to the foreign policy of the administration. He’s also building up his own team.”
Inside the White House, Pence is in the room during most of the president’s interactions with world leaders. He receives the presidential daily brief. As head of the transition, he was instrumental in bringing several traditionally hawkish Republicans into the top levels of the administration’s national security team, including Director of National Intelligence-designate Dan Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. [Continue reading…]
In describing Pence, Rogin succinctly and perhaps unintentionally captures a profound hypocrisy at the heart of the republican agenda: ‘Pence, a traditional hawk influenced heavily by his Christian faith…’.
If you can reconcile those two agendas, you can reconcile anything!