Mike Pence walked out of an Indianapolis Colts game last weekend. This doesn't seem that odd since their star quarterback, Andrew Luck, has been sidelined with a shoulder injury and the team had been struggling of late. They were playing another team with rebuilding issues of its own in the San Francisco Forty-Niners, so this was far from a marquee matchup. But Vice President Pence is a Hoosier and former governor of the state of Indiana. He was probably there, as many fans were, to celebrate the retiring of Peyton Manning's number and the dedication of a statue of number eighteen.
Then one of those upstart San Francisco players had to go and kneel.
Mike's boss had given him strict instructions to leave the stadium if such a thing occurred. On his way out, he tweeted: "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." And sure enough, Mike's boss was quick on the Twitter trigger, announcing, "I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen."
You don't suppose that this was some sort of photo opportunity or publicity stunt designed to stir up the folks who may have moved on to this or that other national kerfuffle? While the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has crashed and burned yet again and the country rallies around the open wound that is Las Vegas, how can the POTUS crew remain relevant? Why not conduct their own counter-protest that would have gone virtually unnoticed because, as it turned out, the game was kind of exciting. It went into overtime with the Colts pulling out a victory in the end. They vanquished the godless Bolsheviks of the Bay Area.
By that time, former governor Pence was on his way back to the underground lair where he transmitted his "mission accomplished" tweet to his overlord. The conversation once again settles back to the disrespect of the flag and the anthem, rather than the disrespect toward the citizens which they represent. The victims in this scenario? Poor Mike Pence, who did not pay for his seat or the airfare to get a chance to vacate that seat to pop out of it when he felt his country was being disrespected. Did he stick around to talk with the players afterward, to hear them out or generate some sort of dialogue.
Nope. Mike had a plane to catch and a boss to please.