According to a White House deputy press secretary, Mike Pence deserves special credit for accomplishing one of the most basic parts of his job description: meeting with heads of state. As Pence visits Ireland, Judd Deere tweeted this instruction on Monday: “For all of you who still think our @VP is anti-gay, I point you to his and the @SecondLady’s schedule tomorrow where they will join Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar and his partner Dr. Matthew Barrett for lunch in Ireland.”
Literally the White House is demanding credit for Pence’s willingness to be in the presence of a gay couple when one of the people involved is the prime minister of the country Pence is visiting. And note that Deere @-ed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, like, “Hey, buddy, heads up, notice that there’s a general expectation Pence would not want to be in the presence of you and your partner, so be grateful.”
Congratulations, Mr. Varadkar! You might have been the youngest taoiseach in Irish history, the first openly LGBT one (and fourth openly LGBT top government official in the world), and the first Irish head of government of Indian descent, but today you’re just lucky that Mike and Mother didn’t find a way to worm out of sitting down for a meal with you and your partner.
This is setting an astonishingly low bar for Pence both as a vice president and a human being, and it’s setting that low bar out in public like it’s a point of pride.