God bless Senator Mike Lee. He tried.
Pence, the governor of Indiana, made the rounds in the U.S. Senate with an eye on smoothing over frayed relations between Donald Trump and some conservative lawmakers. He met with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who has refused to endorse Trump and who said the campaign must take a tougher stance against Duke and the alt-right movement that some have described as racist.
Pence had refused to call former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard, David Duke, “deplorable.” He referred to him as a “bad man,” but stopped short of denouncing him and the alt-right movement.
The alt-right movement make up some of Trump’s most vocal supporters on social media and at rallies, which likely led to Hillary Clinton’s comment regarding the “basket of deplorables.”
“Lee emphasized that Republicans must identify David Duke’s racism as deplorable, acknowledging that he ordinarily uses terms like ‘deplorable’ to describe messages, ideas, actions and organizations, but not people,” a GOP aide said.
“This, Lee explained, is consistent with his belief as a Christian that even people who do bad things are redeemable. Lee also encouraged the Trump campaign to be explicit in its denunciation of the alt right movement.”
No one is beyond redemption. Not Duke. Not Trump. Not even the vile and hateful rabble that make up the alt-right movement.
That being said, there comes a time to distance yourself from those elements that may drag you down or create the illusion of compliance.
This was Pence’s moment, and he missed it.