Pence’s commentary from this period is a near-…

Pence’s commentary from this period is a near-perfect time capsule of ’90s culture-war trivia. He railed against assisted suicide (“Kevorkian is a monster”) and fretted about the insufficient punishment given to a female Air Force pilot who had engaged in an extramarital affair (“Is adultery no longer a big deal in Indiana and in America?”). He mounted a rousing defense of Big Tobacco (“Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill”) and lamented parents’ growing reliance on day care (pop culture “has sold the big lie that ‘Mom doesn’t matter’ ”). Pence also demonstrated a knack for seizing on more-creative wedge issues. For instance, a 1995 initiative to reintroduce otters into Indiana’s wildlife population became, in Pence’s able hands, a frightening example of Big Government run amok. “State-sanctioned, sanitized otters today,” he warned, ominously. “Buffaloes tomorrow?”