Vice President Mike Pence made a big deal of walking out on today's Indianapolis Colts because he and President Trump would not "dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem," as he tweeted earlier.
The Colts were playing the 49ers, whose Colin Kaepernick, no longer on the team, started the protests more than a year ago.
Pence's comments extend a controversy over kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games that was re-ignited by Trump more than a week ago.
Setting aside that Colin Kaepernick, who started the protest over police brutality and systemic racism, chose to take a knee rather than to sit during the anthemafter meeting with an army veteran about the symbolism, if Pence says he believes the event is "disrespectful," why did he buy the tickets?
Trump re-ignited the controversy by riling his base up over a protest most people had stopped pretending to be offended by, but the protest has been going on for more than a year.
And Pence certainly knew the history of the 49ers in the protests, or should have. Instead he tweeted excitedly before the game (pic to the right). But had he simply chosen not to attend, he couldn't have put on this show. That required giving money to the organization he claims he's boycotting.
But Pence's move isn't about a genuinely-held belief. It's a rank political stunt at the expense of taxpayers, and reveals the self-masturbatory nature of much of what government officials do.
Pence dragged Secret Service out to Lucas Stadium, only to throw a hissy fit and walk out.
The founders of the country hoped that America's elected officials would not become like the royalty of the British Empire from which they broke off.
Yet over the centuries, the way elected officials treat themselves has approached royalty, particularly for presidents and vice presidents. Millions of dollars of taxpayer money is spent to maintain opulent lifestyles for elected officials—travel is especiallypopular.
The president and the vice president are not American royalty or the American people's parents. No one should care whether or not Pence shows up to an NFL game or walks out in faux outrage, and he should stop trying to make us.