Mike Pence, professional stooge and “second-in-command” in title only, showed up to the San Francisco 49ers-Indianapolis Colts game yesterday for a costly PR stunt, because when you’re the Vice President that no one thinks about because the President is such a dunce, you can do whatever you want. Pence, who is nominally from Indiana and therefore a Colts fan, showed up to the game only to leave shortly after the national anthem, during which 23 players on San Francisco knelt, in protest of police brutality and racial inequality.
Shortly after leaving the game, Pence fired off a series of tweets that said, basically, that he wouldn’t support any disrespect of the flag or the national anthem.
I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
Ignoring the fact that the kneeling protests are not about that, Pence has to think that the American people are stupid as hell if he thinks anyone will believe that this wasn’t the plan all along. To put it another way, here’s what Niners safety–and early Colin Kaepernick supporter–Eric Reid had to say:
— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) October 8, 2017
That PR stunt was presaged by reports that Pence’s news corps were told to not even leave the bus, because the VP’s visit to the game would not be a long one. That means that Pence decided to show up to the game only to make a huge show of leaving it, because what would someone in this administration be if they weren’t trying to divide Americans on racial lines?
Here’s the real kicker, however: Pence had been in Las Vegas earlier on Sunday for a prayer walk for the victims of the mass shooting last week, and he was to be in California later that night for a fundraiser. Why in the name of cheetos did he fly to Indiana–two-and-a-half hours away from Vegas–only to fly back to the West Coast after his short stunt at the Colts game? Well, why not. He got what he wanted out of the short trip, which was to state his backwards idea that the players are disrespecting the flag by kneeling for equality. In essence, he spent a lot of taxpayer money to parrot the Trump line on the NFL. How much money?
Pence's stunt likely cost more than $250,000 at minimum. https://t.co/Y9E9LqvhPG
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 8, 2017
Yeah, a quarter million dollars just to make a point that Trump had already driven home ad nauseam on Twitter during the Puerto Rico/Hurricane Maria crisis. If you’ll recall, Trump also stated that Puerto Rico was messing with the US budget due to the humanitarian crisis, and yet, will we hear a comment about wasting so much money just for Pence to make a poorly-argued point? Of course not.
Thankfully, Twitter did not let that cognitive dissonance slide, coming after Pence and Trump for their laid-bare hypocrisy:
Mike Pence’s need to race bait is really throwing our budget out of whack. https://t.co/DFFKyWnTUL
— Anne Ursu (@anneursu) October 8, 2017
— Matt (@nosoupforgeorge) October 8, 2017
— Bandit Aléatoire (@BanditRandom) October 9, 2017
But remember, Puerto Rico alone threw the budget "out of whack." https://t.co/ZaUpwl61tx
— Matt Mitovich (@MattMitovich) October 8, 2017
— TrivWorks (@TrivWorks) October 8, 2017
A running theme today, this money Pence wasted. But, very few of these people were Twitter-outraged by a $640 billion Defense budget. https://t.co/6t3Hu8kUFv
— Beth Lynch (@BethLynch2020) October 8, 2017