How Dan Quayle Saved Democracy. Yes really.

It’s okay, me neither.

After all, the Indiana senator who became much-maligned vice president under George HW Bush left national politics with exactly one thing attached to his name: he couldn’t spell “potato.” Well, now Quayle is going to be known throughout history for something a little more positive: to help save democracy.

You see, Quayle served as a sounding board for Vice President Mike Pence in the final days of administration as President Donald Trump leaned heavily on him to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.

The back-and-forth is documented in “Peril,” a soon-to-be-published book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

Here is the key point:

“Several times Pence asked if there was anything he could do.

“Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget that. Put it away, ”Quayle told him.

“Pence pressed again.

“You don’t know what position I am in,” he said, according to the authors.

“I know your position,” Quayle replied. I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian. That’s all you do. You have no power. “

If you think I’m exaggerating the role Quayle played, consider how things might have turned out if he’d taken a different tact with Pence, telling him to do what Trump asked.

(Pence and Quayle know each other through Indiana politics. Pence spent years representing Indiana in the House before being elected Governor of Hoosier State in 2012. Quayle also spent time in the House before winning a Senate seat in 1980.)

At best, it would have led to a series of lawsuits contesting whether Pence had the ability to annul the election. This process would have lasted for weeks, if not months, leaving the country in limbo in a way that could well have spawned further violence.

At worst, we could have witnessed the legitimate decline of American democracy, with the demonstrated will of the people overthrown by one man.

Consider THAT. And then say a silent thank you to Dan Quayle, yes DAN QUAyle, for keeping our republic intact.

Point: The aftermath of the 2020 elections showed how fragile democracy can be. So fragile that a man, who hasn’t held a national office for decades, may have saved it on his own.


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