I wouldn’t rank Mike Pence as the worst vice-president in history. That’s a dishonor I bestow on the blood-gargling Dick Cheney. But I don’t find much to quibble with in the following:

The nonprofit group Human Rights Campaign once rated Pence “the worst vice president for LGBTQ people in modern history,” noting his long record of voting against LGBTQ equality as a member of Congress and then for supporting Trump administration policies that undermined LGBTQ rights.

Pence can appear almost as a statesman when compared with his twice-impeached, disgraced ex-president running-mate. But he’s still a dullard and a bully.

The White House is calling on former vice president Mike Pence to apologize for “offensive and inappropriate” jokes he made about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s parental leave and about postpartum depression.

While speaking at the Gridiron dinner Saturday, an annual black-tie gathering of Washington politicians, journalists and public figures, Pence joked that nationwide transportation woes were prompted by Buttigieg taking two months of “maternity leave” to adopt newborn twins in 2021 with his husband.

“When Pete’s two children were born, he took two months’ maternity leave whereupon thousands of travelers were stranded in airports, the air traffic system shut down, and airplanes nearly collided on our runways,” Pence said.

“Pete is the only person in human history to have a child and everyone else gets postpartum depression,” Pence added.

If you want an easy laugh, tell a room full of self-satisfied “success stories” a joke about a gay guy being weak and effeminate. Make fun of gay marriage and wonder about which man took the “maternity” leave. Make light of postpartum depression, just to put him down some more. These are irresistible jokes for conservatives, and not only conservatives. Still, it’s striking to see Pence so explicitly make the case that Buttigieg is a bad cabinet officer because he’s a gay parent in a gay marriage.

Even if this were true, it would be an improvement on Pence who has no excuse at all for being a monumentally shitty public servant. Refusing to go along with a coup attempt to stay in power after losing a reelection bid does not meet the prerequisites for being considered a good leader. Good leaders don’t punch down when they tell jokes. They don’t appeal to the basest fears and hatreds of their followers.

Pence is a piece of shit, and it’s not because he isn’t “woke.” It’s because he’s part of a political movement that spends the vast majority of its energies picking on people for being different.

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