The vice-presidential nominee points to one path forward for Republicans in 2020-albeit one that seems unlikely to work.
If you care to gaze a little further into the future than that, Tuesday night’s vice-presidential debate revealed something big: a deep appetite among traditional Republicans for traditional Republicanism.
Pence made the strategic decision that this message was a message Republican voters would now welcome-and judging by the first reaction among Republicans and Republican-leaners, Pence got that decision right.
Pence chose not to play the part of Donald Trump’s defense attorney.
He did not come to rebut, to mitigate, or to justify Trump’s words or actions.
Many in the media, like my Atlantic colleague James Fallows, have worried about “Normalizing” Trump by accepting the unacceptable.
The Trump candidacy succeeded because of a massive revolt among rank-and-file Republicans against their leaders.
Should the Trump candidacy fail, as now seems likely, those leaders stand ready to deny that the revolt ever happened.