Douglas Whaley. Law professor, gay rights advocate, atheist, heart transplant recipient, actor, director, novelist, playwright, bridge player, husband, father, cat owner, storyteller. Much humor and, since the writer is a teacher, advice on many topics.
Trump's VP Choice: Introducing Sarah Palin . . . uh . . . Mike Pence!
THE HAPPY COUPLE
Donald Trump has gotten where he is by trusting his
instincts to outpace the common hoard by doing outrageous and over-the-top
things to attract attention, demonstrating he’s a very different candidate than those the Republican party has forwarded since Lincoln, its first. Therefore it’s interesting to watch him make a
mistake when choosing a vice presidential mate and going for what he assumes is
the “safe” and “responsible” choice, as traditional Republicans urged
him strongly to do. My guess is that Donald’s
gut pushed him to tap Newt Gingrich, upsetting a lot of responsible
Republicans but in keeping with Trump as Trump. Gingrich (intelligent, experienced, half mad)
would have filled the usual role of VP candidate job as “attack dog” with canine
ferocity approaching “wolf.”
Mike Pence is more poodle.
Sure, on cue he’ll yap fiercely, but he has all the gravitas of a
vaguely animated corpse, not quite alive, trying very hard to appear
human. It’s easy to picture him at a formal
viewing playing the part of the deceased.
Okay, I’m being too hard on the man (though he’s oh so easy
to make fun of). Let me try instead to
lay out the facts as clearly and fairly as I can. (Deep breath)
Actually Michael Richard Pence and I have a number of things
in common. We were both born in southern
Indiana, raised Catholic, and graduated from law school (though two decades
apart—I wonder if he used my textbooks when in school). We both married and raised a family. After that, however, our stories differ
Mike (as he prefers to be called) is a far right
conservative. That statement more or
less sums him up. Whatever the far right
embraces, he likes it, urges it, and pushed its agenda when he was a
Congressman, and, as a governor, signed its bills into law. He is the darling of the NRA, hates legislation
restricting tobacco (“Smoking doesn’t kill,” Mike stubbornly insists),
dismisses climate change as fantasy, loves charter schools, and has said that
the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Obamacare was as bad as the 9/11 attacks
(though he later apologized for that claim).
In Congress and as governor he has worked hard to abolish any right to
abortion. Most recently he signed into
law a bill that would have made women who aborted fetuses bury or cremate the
remains, and made it a crime for doctors to assist in an abortion if the woman’s
stated reason was a disability in the fetus—this law was recently struck down
as unconstitutional by a federal judge. Michael
Pence doesn’t believe in evolution, favors using coal as a major energy source,
and signed a bill that forbade Indiana municipalities to raise the minimum wage
above the federal level. Mike sums
himself up as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that
It’s Mike Pence’s record on homosexuality that made him a
national disgrace in March of 2015, which I’ve written about before: “A Gay Hoosier Lawyer Looks at Indiana’s
RFRA: The Religious Bigot Protection Act,” March 30, 2015;http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2015/03/a-gay-hoosier-lawyer-looks-at-indianas.html. Pence has always being rabidly
anti-gay, opposing gay marriage as violating God’s will, against any protection at
the state level from anti-gay discrimination, and (when in Congress) pushing for
a bill that would have taken federal money from groups fighting HIV-AIDS and
divert it to groups engaged in “conversion therapy” (i.e., “pray-away-the-gay”
and professional reparative therapists who “talk it away,” all of which have
been much debunked by medical groups and even some reparative groups who have finally
given up this ridiculous farce). But
that March, after pressure from religious groups, Mike signed into law Indiana’s
“Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” which, through clever wording, voided all
of Indiana’s municipal LGBT protection ordinances and specifically allowed
private individuals to discriminate against gays in employment, housing, and
public accommodations when doing otherwise would violate a person’s religious
liberty. Mike’s signing of the bill was
attended by many happy religious figures.
The outcry was enormous: quickly companies pulled out of
deals to open up shop in Indiana, sports organizations threatened to move big events
elsewhere, major celebrities went to social media and whipped up anti-Indiana
activity, other states forbade travel to Indiana, and the Indianapolis Star ran a banner headline addressed to Pence and the
legislature saying starkly “FIX THIS NOW.”
Governor Pence was quizzed on ABC by George Stephanopoulis who, in six tries, couldn’t get Mike to say whether the new statute was meant to discriminate
against gays or not. Here is the short video of
that effort (and if it won't load on your device you can see it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2oeLgAFeCg):
With national finger-pointing aimed at him everywhere, a surprised Pence
quickly huddled with the legislature and had it pass a “clarifying”
amendment, restoring LGBT rights at the municipal level. Pence explained that the Indiana statute was
never meant to discriminate against anyone (!), a remark that shows he’s either
brain dead or so bad a politician that he can’t even concoct a credible lie. This
retreat also made homophobes furious with him, thus alienating a key
support group. They’ve not forgotten how quickly he’ll fold when challenged
on his core principles.
Now Michael Pence is vying for the Vice Presidency of the
United States, and all this baggage is about to be clicked open, contents revealed for all to see.
Viewers will be asking themselves the usual question
they ask about any possible VP: “What sort of president would this man be?”
Trump himself had major worries that he was being railroaded
into choosing Pence, and he dithered until midnight of the final day
it was possible to delay the announcement [Pence had to tell the State of
Indiana that day whether he would run for reelection as governor since state law
did not allow candidates doing so to also run for other offices]. By all accounts The Donald was unhappy at the pressure, and when he
appeared the next day to publicly confirm that Mike Pence was his running
mate, he first spoke for half an hour on unrelated matters before briefly
introducing Pence and then fleeing the stage—not at all the usual hoopla over
the VP choice. It was as if his choice
of Pence was an afterthought, not worthy of much movement of the spotlight away from
Many people have wondered how Trump as president would
handle decisions under pressure, and this display is a bad harbinger. Very bad.
The Trump/Pence logo also appears to have been poorly
thought out, and after being proudly unveiled was almost immediately withdrawn,
another major “OOPS!.” “TP,” alas, is
the usual shorthand for toilet paper, and social media became giddy with mean
menes on point. [If the video below won't load you can find it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tZdNRqF67o]
In the title of this post I jokingly compared Mike Pence to
Sarah Palin, but perhaps a more telling reference would be to Dan Quayle (the
first George Bush’s vice president).
Quayle was a former student of mine from the early days of my career
when I started teaching at the Indiana Indianapolis Law School, though I have
no memory of him (I do remember with admiration his wife Marilyn, also a law
student, and a splendid one). Dan Quayle
was another Hoosier selected as a running mate, and once he became vice
president he had major problems with the job, primarily because he wasn’t sharp
enough to handle himself on the national stage.
Dan Quayle jokes were everywhere, and he ended up being an embarrassment
to whom history will not be kind. Now I
fear that if Trump were somehow elected, Mike Pence will have the same “deer in
the headlights” tenure.
Since I graduated from law school in 1968 I've always had some sort of legal practice which varied from extensive in the early years, to these days when I'm retired and mostly just doing consulting work for a hefty fee.In this period I've written a lot of letters threatening legal action on behalf of my client (or, on the rare occasion, myself—see Related Posts below).In the classroom I've passed on my advice on how to create an effective letter, and now I offer it to you, blog reader.
A letter threatening legal action almost always discombobulates a recipient who is not him/herself routinely involved in legal actions.I tell my law students that in their coming practices they will often receive such letters (or nowadays even emails), and they will calmly evaluate what to do about them depending on the legal issues involved and the wisdom of litigating them.But the non-legal recipient of such a letter is in a very differen…
Having a dispute with a creditor? One way to win it (and fast) is to send that creditor a "payment in full" check [hereafter "PIFC"] and end it things in your favor. How does this bit of legal magic work? Read on.
It's always been the law that if you and I have an existing contract, either one of us can propose a modification to that contract, and if we both agree, the contract changes accordingly. There are technical names for this. Say, for instance, that I owe you an undisputed amount of $500. I send you an email and ask if you would take my horse Dobbins is settlement of the debt, and you reply in the affirmative. My offer of something different than what was originally owed (the horse for the money) is called the offer of an "accord." Your agreement to take Dobbins is the "satisfaction." Thus an "accord and satisfaction" in our law is nothing more than a fancy name for a modification agreement. I no longer owe you $500; I owe…
For the last few years I have been crossing the country giving lectures on what I now call the "Golden Rule of Mortgage Foreclosures," which is that such foreclosures cannot proceed without production of the original promissory note signed at the closing. A symposium at Western State University Law School last year at which I gave the keynote address turned into a law review article on point, and that law review article is reprinted below in full. The correct citation for the printed version is 39 W. St. U. L. Rev. 313 (2012). As subsequent developments occur I will add them in red to the original article below. Any corrections or suggestions may be sent to me at email@example.com.
Mortgage Foreclosures, Promissory
Notes, and the Uniform Commercial Code By Douglas J. Whaley*
Introduction As is true
of many things in life the Uniform Commercial Code’s statutes concerning the