The Corner

Impromptus

The Road to Hell, Etc.

Vice President Mike Pence waves to supporters at the end of a rally in Kinston, N.C., October 25, 2020. (Jonathan Drake / Reuters)

My Impromptus column today begins with the plague and ends with the piano. In between, there are sundry items, including one that quotes Peter Navarro.

He was President Trump’s trade adviser. Navarro was blasting Marc Short, who was Vice President Pence’s chief of staff. Navarro tweeted the following:

Marc Short is a tool of the Koch Brothers, the most anti-MAGA movement in the country. What @Mike_Pence did under the bad advice of Marc Short was cut & run from @POTUS45 and the Constitution on January 6.

In my column, I have several things to say about that tweet, including its allegation about Pence: Did he “cut & run from @POTUS45 and the Constitution on January 6”?

It seems to me that the words “and the Constitution” were an afterthought. It is Trump, of course, who comes first. And what Pence did, as I see it, was keep his oath, rather than betray it. He followed the law. For his troubles, Trump sent a howling mob after him.

After I wrote my column, a news report appeared, headed “Pence speaks highly of Trump in meeting and plans to launch a political group.” Ah. A congressman is quoted as saying, “He spoke very favorably about his relationship with President Trump. I got the sense they speak often and maintain the same personal friendship and relationship now that they have for four years.”

Sure. What’s a little bloodthirsty mob between friends?

Last week, I received a note from a friend and reader, who is a writer himself, and a veteran one. He was born in October 1929, five days before the Crash. He is a firm conservative. He writes,

I just wanted to tell you that the censures of senators with integrity have decided me: I am no longer a Republican. (Not a Democrat either, of course.) Can’t we have a new party . . .?

No, I doubt it. The Democrats and the Republicans seem fixed. But then again, so did the Celtics and the Lakers, in the NBA finals.

Last night, I spotted a news story, which quotes Mitt Romney as saying that he represents a “tiny wing of the Republican Party.” I thought of something that Bill Buckley said, long ago.

At the time, Charles Krauthammer was still a Democrat. He would not remain so for long. Charles pleaded that he belonged to “the Scoop Jackson wing of the Democratic Party.” Bill teased him, saying, “Wing? It’s barely even a feather!”

Finally, I’d like to publish a note about language. It was prompted by a column in which I spoke of golf announcers and how they use words — one, in particular (“pace”). A reader says,

At least golf announcers haven’t lowered themselves to the level of their football counterparts by tacking a y onto the end of “resilience,” a fine sturdy word that does not need to be adorned with an extra syllable.

Yes. I think of “competency” too. I prefer “competence.” But to each his own.

Which reminds me: A friend writes,

Jay,

I have surrendered. I have knowingly used the plural possessive “their” in a gender-neutral situation where I knew that “his” was correct. How can something so wrong feel so right? The most deceptive thing about the road to hell is how smoothly it’s paved with good intentions to make it a slippery slope.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Yours in spirit, if not in fact . . .

To each their own.

Again, my Impromptus today is here.

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