Charlotte Pence Bought Last Week Tonight’s Book That Takes Aim at Mike Pence’s Policies
Charlotte Pence revealed that she has purchased A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, Last Week Tonight‘s alternative (written by show writer Jill Twiss) to Pence’s own children’s book about the vice president’s family bunny.
Marlon Bundo has been the topic of discussion since host John Oliver brought him up in a segment highlighting Mike Pence’s long history of anti-LGBTQ and sexist statements that have very much burrowed under the surface because Pence gives the illusion of sanity in a chaotic place like the Trump White House. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo pokes at Pence over the issue by focusing on a same-sex romance between Marlon Bundo and another bunny, as well as donating proceeds to The Trevor Project, a charity aimed at suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.
Pence’s upcoming book, which features the adorable bunny, does a lot of work attempting to humanize the vice president, but that’s a smokescreen. As Oliver pointed out on his show, one of the stops on the Pence’s book tour is Focus on the Family, an organization that has promoted conversion therapy and argued that homosexuality is “curable.”
As Jezebel pointed out in a satirical article titled “Marlon Bundo is Complicit,” the cuteness of the bunny plays into our built-in weakness towards fluffy adorable things. The View even had a segment with Charlotte Pence coming on and talking about the book, with the issue of her father’s anti-LGBTQ politics never truly coming up, only Pence assuring us that her father doesn’t hate anyone. I’m sure that is comforting to kids in gay conversion therapy. Who does come out? Marlon Bundo, to a parade of awws.
In talking with The Hill, Charlotte Pence said about her decision to buy the competing book: “He’s giving proceeds of the book to charity, and we’re also giving proceeds of our book to charity, so I really think that we can all get behind it.”
Pence also said there is room for both Bundo books and that the issue “doesn’t have to be divisive […] I think that everybody can come together over Marlon.”
Except that can’t be. You can’t claim not to be divisive when a major leg on your book tour is going to an institution that actively does harm to LGBTQ people. There is no room for both.
According to HuffPo, “Proceeds from the Pence family book will benefit Tracy’s Kids, an art program for children with cancer, and A21, which fights human trafficking. Sales of the Last Week Tonight version will fund the Trevor Project, which supports LGBTQ youth, as well as the AIDS United charity.”
Both sets of charities are noble, but the issue with Marlon Bundo is his cuteness taking precedence over the actual policies that Mike Pence promotes. Like or not, they have found a way to take something cute, fragile, and innocent, and politicize it by going to a place like Focus on the Family. Now, it’s not just a bunny book tour, it’s meeting with your political base that supports an anti-LGBTQ platform.
Sorry, Charlotte Pence, there isn’t room for both.
But maybe that’s lost on the Pences, since they did name their bunny after an actual bisexual actor, who was notoriously liberal, and a longtime Democrat.
(via HuffPo, image: screengrab)
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