Former Vice President Mike Pence confirmed on Wednesday that he has about as much chance of being the Republican nominee for president in 2024 as Nancy Pelosi has of joining the Radio City Rockettes. Demonstrating a tone-deafness of Olympian proportions, Pence had harsh words for the Republicans who are appalled at how the FBI has become a tool of the partisan vendetta of Old Joe Biden and Merrick Garland against Donald Trump. In Pence’s world, the stout-hearted G-Men are still of unquestionable integrity, square-jawed, patriotic, non-partisan, and ever-vigilant for truth, justice, and the American way. It hasn’t been that way for a long time if it ever was, but Mike hasn’t noticed.

Pence, who has something of the mien of an upright, taciturn fed himself, said: “The Republican Party is the party of law and order. And these attacks on the FBI must stop; calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police.” According to ABC News, Pence added that while he was “deeply troubled” over the raid on Trump’s home, “the party can still hold Attorney General Merrick Garland accountable ‘without attacking the rank-and-file law enforcement personnel at the FBI.’”

Well, sure. There are no doubt a few FBI agents left who are conscientious and patriotic and are trying to do a good job for the American people. If Americans were storming FBI offices in the hinterlands and brutalizing well-meaning agents who had nothing to do with the Russian collusion hoax or the attempt to brand angry parents at school board meetings as terrorists, Pence might have a point. But they aren’t, and he doesn’t.

“The truth of the matter is,” said Pence after ignoring the major facts at hand, “we need to get to the bottom of what happened. We need to let the facts play out, but more than anything else, the American people need to be reassured in the integrity of our justice system and the very appearance of a recurrence of politics playing a role in decisions that the Justice Department demands transparency as never before.”

Yes, that’s actually true in a sense. We do need to get to the bottom of what happened, but Americans who are paying attention have already seen “the integrity of our justice system” seriously called into question. There is not only the FBI’s involvement in the Russia hoax, but the fact that Hillary Clinton and Hunter Biden were not indicted and so much more that indicates that the FBI is not dealing dispassionately and impartially and that the Biden administration is using what is supposed to be neutral law enforcement to play partisan politics in the most dishonest fashion imaginable.

Related: Trump vs. Pence: The Battle the GOP Doesn’t Need

Even besides all that, there is the fact that J. Christian Adams reported about on June 30: Lindsay Capodilupo, the FBI’s “Election Crimes Coordinator” (does she investigate those “election crimes” or perpetrate them?) works closely with the Democracy Fund, which Adams calls “a hyper-funded progressive money source.” Is the FBI’s “Election Crimes Coordinator” also working with some patriotic election integrity group? The chances of that are about zero minus eight degrees.

Has Mike Pence missed everything that has happened over the last few years? Has he missed the deep concern of patriotic Americans that something has gone seriously wrong in Washington, not least with the FBI, and that there is very good reason why the bureau and other agencies are plummeting in the levels of trust they enjoy among the citizens they’re supposed to be protecting?

If the home of any prominent Leftist accused of illegal activity had been raided, Pence might be justified to be so sanguine, but the double standard is glaring. It was with good reason that Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said that the Mar-a-Lago raid was “a complete abuse and overreach of [the FBI’s] authority.” That’s what it looks like. If Pence wants us all to trust the FBI again, that impression has to be definitively dispelled. But do the corrupt Leftists who are running the FBI now even want to dispel it?

Mike Pence is running for president as if it’s 1976 and he is Gerald Ford, the solid technocrat trying to emerge from the shadow of his disgraced former boss. But the FBI trying for years to frame Trump isn’t Watergate, and Pence is not going to get anywhere by buying into the Left’s vicious caricature of Trump as some kind of arch-criminal. Mike Pence is out of touch. If he really hopes to have a real chance in 2024, he needs to get out of the Beltway and find out what Americans are really thinking.

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