It could probably be argued that Donald Trump hasn’t had a good week since November of 2016, but man alive, Trump is having a bad week.

First, excerpts have emerged from Bob Woodward’s new book about the President, and they’re every bit as damning as one would expect. This is particularly awkward for Trump as he has previously praised Woodward’s reporting on other presidents, and must now attempt to paint Woodward’s current book as a pack of lies. Even by the standards of a man who makes desperate, hollow attempts at deception on an almost hourly basis, Trump’s condemnation of Woodward reaches new levels of empty, pitiful bravado.

If that weren’t enough, a new piece in the New York Times has been written by someone “very high up” in the Trump White House. The author claims to be working on the inside to stop the worst excesses of the toddler-in-chief.  This insider, from the looks of things, is none other than Mike Pence.

That’s right. The Vice President – who constitutionally cannot be fired – is working against the President. If this were a movie it would be too far fetched, but as I’ve said before, the writing on reality has really gone to shit in these last couple of years, so here we are.

The smoking gun in all of this seems to be that the anonymous NYT author used the word “Lodestar,” and none of the usual suspects in the White House have ever been on record as using it before. Pence, meanwhile, has used it multiple times in speeches and in writing over the years.

If true – and the logic seems pretty solid – it’s a stunning turn of events, but it’s crucial that we don’t lose sight of the motivations for Pence’s rebellion. Make no mistake: This is a tactical move.

Inch by inch, Trump is sinking into the legal quicksand of the Mueller investigation. Mike Pence has seemingly decided that the President is nearly at the drowning point, and is launching an attempt to win hearts and minds. Trump is doomed, but Trump is also a crooked real estate baron and reality TV star. Pence, by contrast, is a career politician. He needs to salvage political capital for the future, and a well timed dagger in the back of his despotic boss will play well for the rubes. “Pence isn’t a bad guy,” they’ll all say. “He was working against Trump all along! He even wrote that piece in the New York Times…”

In a just world, it wouldn’t be enough – anyone who was anywhere near the Trump administration would be permanently untouchable. Unfortunately, if Trump’s presidency proved anything, it’s that a distressing number of people in the real world are stupid and gullible. With this fact in mind, we should never forget – and never allow others to forget – that Mike Pence was happy to hitch his wagon to Trump’s far-right cesspool-circus when it suited him. And suit him it did, because Pence is a sterling example of everything that’s wrong with modern Republicanism. Rabidly religious, patronisingly sexist, staunchly opposed to abortion and maniacally homophobic in a way that only the deeply closeted can ever be – one great tragedy of Pence replacing Trump would be that America would have its first gay president and he would never be able to admit it.

Pictured: The most sexually gratifying experience of Mike Pence’s life.

Pence is on record as wanting to overturn Roe vs. Wade, wanting to teach intelligent design in schools, and according to last month’s White House staffer turned whistle blower Omarosa Maginault-Newman, Pence literally believes that Jesus speaks to him and tells him what to do. Presumably, the recent advice from Nazareth’s most famous carpenter was “throw Trump under the bus and run for President in 2020!”

Pence has always been a cynical oppourtunist, as evidenced by his spectacularly awkward attempt to convince people that he habitually attends football games with his wife at the height of the take-a-knee controversy…

Ten bucks says the price tags were still on the back of those jerseys.

…or his continual hawking of his pet rabbit in an attempt to humanise himself and make a quick buck in the children’s book market. (Last Week Tonight put paid to that in masterful fashion, full story here.)

 We shouldn’t be so easily duped as to believe that Mike Pence’s sudden opposition to the President is anything more than a cowardly and self-serving leap from a sinking ship. Pence wouldn’t make a move like this unless he was planning to stick around in public life. We should all do our best to make sure he doesn’t, and we should NEVER be fooled into thinking he’s a hero.


Editor’s note: Since this piece went to press, Mike Pence has stoutly denied writing the anonymous oped. On the other hand, he would, wouldn’t he?