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I enjoy the fact that some of you are now referring to Donald Trump as Donnie Two-Scoops. The “two scoops” thing is from an interview/profile with Trump several months ago, wherein Trump was given two scoops of ice cream while his guests (the journalists) only got one scoop. In that same article, Mike Pence is Trump’s near-constant shadow, quietly eating his fruit plate and perhaps saying a prayer that a double-scoop heart attack takes out the emperor. This is the near-constant war game at this point, for Republicans: they like that Trump is so crazy, because his insanity hides their multitude of sins, aka their real agenda. Their idea was to use Trump as the crazy front man while they quietly worked through their agenda with Mike Pence as the Shadow President. That isn’t going so well.

So my question is this: if the Republicans like working with Pence so much, why not just go ahead and impeach Bigly so Pence can be president? The only answer I have is that the GOP is more afraid of their “base” of Trump-supporting Deplorables than anyone even realizes. If they flip the switch on impeachment too soon, the Deplorables will start coming after Paul Ryan and Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell. So it is on this scarred battlefield of GOP politics that Mike Pence has begun to make some moves.

The New York Times reported this weekend that Pence’s aides have begun to tell GOP donors that Pence was prepared to run in 2020, if and when the inevitable impeachment happens or if Trump “decides not to run” (insert eyeroll). This article seems, to me, like the journalistic equivalent of “water is wet.” Of course Pence is prepared to do everything and anything. Of course VP Fruit Plate knows that Donnie Two Scoops is highly unlikely to serve one full term, much less two. Still, Pence wants to keep the Deplorables on his side. Which is how we got this official denial:

Vice President Mike Pence blasted assertions that he, along with top aides, is running a 2020 shadow presidential campaign, calling them “disgraceful and offensive” and “laughable and absurd.” Chief among those assertions is a Sunday New York Times article that reported key Pence aides have told major Republican donors that Pence would be prepared to run for president in 2020 if President Trump does not.

“Today’s article in The New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team,” Pence wrote in a sharply-worded denial on Sunday. “The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration.”

Pence launched his own leadership PAC, Great America Committee, this May to aid his own political interests. The group has raised more than $2 million. Aides to the vice president have maintained that the group is purely intended to help the vice president support other candidates in the 2018 midterms and his own eventual run for re-election as vice president. Nick Ayres, one of the two aides who started the PAC, took over as the vice president’s official chief of staff two weeks ago.

Through his first six months in office, Pence has engaged in a number of noteworthy political events, appearing just two weeks ago in Washington at a fundraiser for his own PAC and then headlining this week the Tennessee GOP’s annual dinner, just one day after returning from an overseas trip to Eastern Europe.

[From NBC News]

As I said the morning after the election, we (as Democrats) don’t own what happens next. We are outsiders looking in on this process, and I’m just as mystified as everyone else why it looks like Republicans are dragging out the inevitable: that Mike Pence will assume the office of the presidency at some point, so why not sooner rather than later? How bad does it have to get?

Meanwhile, this is how bad it actually is. This is what Pence is afraid of:

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