Last month, Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana explained why he voted in favor of the 2006 bill which legalized "coercive interrogation"
December 2, 2006

Last month, Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana explained why he voted in favor of the 2006 bill which legalized "coercive interrogation" and indefinite detention:

It is the solemn duty of this Congress and this President to make sure we do everything within our power to protect the American people. The war on terror is not like any war America has fought be before . . . Such extremism demands that America do everything possible to stop it.

The same Rep. Pence, in The Washington Post today:

Congress will convene on Tuesday for what some fear will be the lamest of lame-duck sessions, and GOP leaders have decided to take a minimalist approach before turning over the reins of power to the Democrats. Rather than a final surge of legislative activity, Congress will probably wrap up things after a single, short week of work. . .

"There is a lot of battle fatigue among members, probably on both sides of the aisle," said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), usually a reliable conservative firebrand. "Contrary to popular belief, members of Congress are human beings. They have a certain shelf life and a certain amount of energy to be drawn on. We're tired."

This is why this strong, brave warrior -- lecturing us how we must do "everything possible" to win the "War" -- is so tired and "fatigued" and doesn't want to work any more:

Operating most weeks on a Tuesday-through-Thursday schedule, Congress is poised to finish this year with just 100 working days under its belt -- the fewest since 1948, when then-President Harry Truman famously blasted what he called a "do-nothing Congress."

The year is likely to end with no final action on a number of major issues, including Social Security and immigration reform and tighter ethics standards for lawmakers. . . . This year, Congress will probably end up meeting for about 100 days -- an average of about two days a week in return for a salary of $165,000.

So Mike Pence made $165,000 on the public dole this year as a prominent part one of the laziest, most worthless Congresses in our country's history. And now he is whining that he's too "tired" and "fatigued" to show up for work and do his job, so he and his Republican colleagues are just going to go ahead and give themselves the rest of the year off -- in a so-called "time of war" no less. They'll continue to take their salaries.

Pence is one of those super "pure," doctrinal conservatives -- he was the favorite of the most extremist wing of the right-wing blogosphere for the recent GOP House Majority Leader election, in which he was crushed. He "describes himself as 'a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,'" and claims to be "a national spokesman for conservative principles."

As such, he is one of those conservatives who loves to rail against federal social programs for the poor, telling people that the solution for poverty is just to work harder, get three jobs if they need to, etc. For instance, he recently voted against a bill that would have raised the minimum wage in this country for the first time in nine years. Pence called the increase "excessive" (it would have raised the minimum wage to a lavish $7.25/hour).

Pence recently said on his blog -- "Penceblog" -- that he stands for "the values of community, hard work, dependability and integrity that characterize the heartland." Worse still, Rep. Pence has frequently sermonized that these are not "ordinary times." Rather: "We are a nation at war."

Republican political figures like Mike Pence have been spewing "war rhetoric" for the last five years for domestic political gain and to justify the stripping away of the most basic liberties along with the most grotesque excesses. Yet other than from the members of the military, they have never demanded any of the sacrifices required of a nation truly "at war" -- and, most of all, have never sacrificed anything themselves.

Thus, the pro-war Pence, who never served in the military, now cries that he is too "tired" to continue working this year, and has the disgusting audacity to attribute his petulant need to rest to what he called "battle fatigue" -- even as he continues to support a war and thereby subject real warriors, already on their third and fourth tours of duty in Iraq, to yet more combat. That's your GOP Congressional Warrior for you -- fighting for America and representing the Values of Hard Work and Self-Reliance.

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