Donald Trump may be a completely clueless narcissistic embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger effect, a man so incompetent that we are convinced he actually believes he’s good at governing, but Vice President Mike Pence is a true believer evangelical right-winger who hates women to have any reproductive choices or cheap access to reproductive healthcare.
As my friend Joey Kennedy frequently says, Trump is an idiot. And that is certainly true. But Pence is just plain evil.
Today, he used one of the few powers of the vice presidency to advance a bill to allow right-wing states to block funding to health care clinics, such as those run by Planned Parenthood, that also provide abortions.
Vice President Mike Pence cast a rare tie-breaking vote Thursday in the Senate to pass a bill allowing states to withhold federal funds from health care clinics like Planned Parenthood.
The measure would roll back an Obama-era rule that barred states from withholding funds from clinics that also offered abortion services.
Two Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — voted against the 48 other GOP senators. The party has a 52-48 majority in the Senate, with lawmakers voting 51-50 to pass the legislation.
Now, you need to understand that nothing in existing law prevents the states from refusing to fund the actual abortion services offered at Planned Parenthood clinics. This bill will let backwards states like Alabama and Indiana discriminate against medical clinics that offer an array of healthcare services simply because a procedure of which they disapprove takes place in the same building.
The effect of the bill will be to further limit poor women’s access to basic healthcare, like mammograms, prenatal care, and treatment for STDs.
Planned Parenthood slammed the bill, saying it could potentially encourage states to discriminate against family planning healthcare providers that offer abortions.
“Mike Pence went from yesterday’s forum on empowering women to today leading a group of male politicians in a vote to take away access to birth control and cancer screenings,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement. “There’s a reason they could barely get enough votes to get this bill through a procedural step: People are sick and tired of politicians making it even harder for them to access health care, and they will not stand for it.”
Mike Pence believes so strongly in denying poor women access to basic reproductive healthcare that he went out of his way to cast the tie-breaking vote, a highly-unusual move by a Vice President, to ensure the right of hick states to stick it to Planned Parenthood and similar clinics.
Trump is in real trouble, and he could be impeached. There is more smoke coming out about his administration’s ties to and communications with Putin’s Russia than came out of my house when it burned down last month. If he is impeached or resigned, then Pence would become president.
Then, we would replace a swaggering nitwit with a child’s grasp of how the government works with a man who believes with all his heart that every word uttered by his evangelical preacher ought to be enacted into law.
It’s a choice between a shit sandwich and a vomit casserole.