Mike Pence's heavy-handed NFL stunt not only backfired, it showed him to be a hypocrite who fails to honor and respect U.S. servicemen and women.
In a bout of widely mocked political theater, Mike Pence and Donald Trump tried desperately to reignite their sagging cultural war with the NFL by staging an expensive Pence walk-out of a game on Sunday.
The stunt was clearly planned well in advance, and Pence elaborately advertised the move via Twitter with a long string of messages about how vitally important it is for America’s future that every professional athlete stand during a three-minute anthem.
The entire premise of the flimsy, expensive stunt paid for by U.S. taxpayers is that Pence and Trump are standing up for U.S. troops because somehow NFL players who silently protest inequality on the sidelines during the anthem are insulting the U.S. military. (They’re not.)
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 Mike Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
So on Sunday, that was Pence’s stated public priority: He could not physically remain in a football stadium where U.S. troops were allegedly being disrespected.
You know what has not been a public priority for Pence and Trump in recent days? Honoring and respecting four U.S. soldiers who were killed in an ambush in Niger last week.
On Wednesday, the four “died from wounds “sustained during enemy contact” when the small group of U.S. and Nigerien troops was ambushed by dozens of heavily armed militants riding in pickup trucks,” according to the Washington Post.
The U.S. currently has approximately 800 personnel stationed in Niger.
Yet since Wednesday, nowhere on Trump or Pence’s twitter feed has there been any mention of the fallen troops. There have been no remembrances, and neither men have thanked the troops for their service, or offered condolences to the families.
Trump and Pence are too busy attacking the NFL’s right to free speech.
The four American who died in Niger were Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39; Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia; and Sgt. La David Johnson, 25.
Meanwhile, note that on Saturday night, white nationalists and Nazi sympathizers returned to Charlottesville, Virginia for another hateful, torch-led march. On Sunday, neither Pence nor Trump used social media to condemn the event. Instead, they remained focused on waging war against professional athletes who protest inequality.