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The Last Temptation of Pence, Brunswick Beacon

Brunswick Beacon, 07.14.22

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s book “Peril” describes how Trump pressured Mike Pence to overthrow the 2020 election. He bullied him. He cajoled him. He tempted him with awesome power. Trump asked Pence to use Attorney John Eastman’s plan and, as President of the Senate, disqualify Biden electors from several states. This, Trump said, would allow their Republican legislatures to certify alternate slates of Trump electors and make Trump president.

“You can either go down in history as a patriot,” said Trump, “or you can go down as a [expletive].”

Pence aimed to please, but was scared off by conservative Judge Michael Luttig. Eastman had clerked for Luttig 30 years earlier. Luttig warned: “The Constitution does not empower the Vice President to alter in any way the votes that have been cast.”

Pence told Trump he couldn’t help. “You don’t understand, Mike,” Trump said. “You can do this. I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this.”

Again, Pence said he lacked the power.

Gesturing to the MAGA crowd assembling for his January 6 rally, Trump said, “If these people say you had the power, wouldn’t you want to?”

“I wouldn’t want any one person to have that authority,” Pence replied.

“But wouldn’t it be almost cool to have that power?” tempted Trump.

Pence knows his Bible, so Trump’s pitch must have seemed familiar. It’s the Devil’s last temptation Christ.

“The devil took Him onto a mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said, “I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus answered, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Matthew 4:8-10).

The fact that Trump's temptation of Pence is like Satan's temptation of Christ doesn't make Pence Christ, nor Trump Satan. It simply shows that if Trump were the Devil, he would have done the same damned thing.

Vince Amoroso

Sunset Beach


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