Trump Country

Consider the source: Politico, the house organ of what used to be the Republican Establishment:

This is the new Republican Party: The final GOP holdouts to Donald Trump whimper into oblivion.

Put a blond combover on the elephant. Take down the pictures of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

It’s over. It’s Donald Trump’s GOP.

The anti-Trump candidates are fleeing, and the ones who stick around are getting trampled. The chill has gone out among whoever’s left: there’s no more speaking up, and if there is, it’s just for the sake of a speech, a protest quote that quickly disappears.

They chalk it up to party loyalty, or staying unified for the midterms. They say they still believe in the principles, but they don’t tend to do more than say the words. Then, when the microphones are off, they confide. They complain. They nurse fantasies that there’s a reckoning coming, that maybe this will all end with the Republican Party nominating someone like Eisenhower. Or at least like Paul Ryan.

And each time they watch another of their own go down, they wince, try to move on. Don’t look back. Try to forget. …

Sanford is a former governor of his state and well established member of the House. He’s broken with his party many times over other issues. He’d been around forever. He was durable. But he couldn’t withstand fighting Trump.

So, Republicans wonder, why would anyone else — especially a backbencher — even try?

“People become disenchanted with the way democracies work. A strongman comes along, says, ‘You’ve got to give up some freedoms, but if you do, I’ll take care of these problems for you,’” Sanford said late Tuesday in his concession speech. “We’ve got to stay true to this notion of the democratic principles that our founding fathers laid out.” …

The party of free trade has gone protectionist. The party of spreading freedom and never negotiating with dictators is now full of praise for chumming it up with Kim Jong-un. The party of fighting deficits has blown a trillion dollar hole in the budget.

Family values and moralizing have been replaced by porn stars and Twitter tantrums. Trump goes to war with the G-7, and the sum of the Republican reaction is a statement from John McCain and a few comments on Sunday TV from Maine Sen. Susan Collins.

There aren’t committee hearings. There aren’t bills put on the floor. There aren’t votes that force the president’s hand. It’s well into cliché that the only people who speak out against Trump are the ones who’ve already been chased out of reelection and are heading to their cushy cable and lobbying gigs. …

Sanford declared in his concession speech that “we are a nation of laws, and not men. It is part of my creed that I believe in as a Republican: that I am indeed to cower before god, but no man.” He described his primary as part of “an inflection point” for the country and the GOP. “There’s been too much made of, ‘Are you for one personality, or against it?’ What we’re about as a nation is not being for one, or against one personality.”

“I stand by that belief although in this case it may have had significant electoral consequence,” he said.

Then Sanford walked away from the microphone and headed back to his final months in Congress. Meanwhile at her victory party, Sanford’s opponent, state legislator Katie Arrington, said, “We are the party of President Donald J. Trump.”

An Outbreak of Christianity in the Age of Trump

immigrant child

A resolution adopted today by the Southern Baptist Convention:

WHEREAS, Every man, woman, and child from every language, race, and nation is a special creation of God, made in His own image (Genesis 1:26–27); and

WHEREAS, Longings to protect one’s family from warfare, violence, disease, extreme poverty, and other destitute conditions are universal, driving millions of people to leave their homelands to seek a better life for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, God commands His people to treat immigrants with the same respect and dignity as those native born (Leviticus 19:33–34; Jeremiah 7:5–7; Ezekiel 47:22; Zechariah 7:9–10); and

WHEREAS, Scripture is clear on the believer’s hospitality towards immigrants, stating that meeting the material needs of “strangers” is tantamount to serving the Lord Jesus Himself (Matthew 25:35–40; Hebrews 13:2); and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists affirm the value of the family, stating in The Baptist Faith and Message that “God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society” (Article XVIII), and Scripture makes clear that parents are uniquely responsible to raise their children “in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4); and

WHEREAS, Untold numbers of men and women seeking to enter the United States legally, desiring to become good citizens of our country, often languish at the borders due to the complexity of our immigration system; and

WHEREAS, In its 2011 resolution “On Immigration and The Gospel,” messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention asked our governing authorities to prioritize efforts to secure the borders and to hold businesses accountable for hiring practices as they relate to immigration status; and

WHEREAS, In that same resolution, Southern Baptist Convention messengers also asked our governing authorities to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country; and

WHEREAS, At the time, Southern Baptist Convention messengers made clear that the wording of the resolution was not to be construed as support for amnesty for any undocumented immigrant living in violation of the law of the land; and

WHEREAS, After seven years of continued policy gridlock, there have been no substantive changes in the immigration system that would make it more just, humane, efficient, and orderly; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, affirm the value and dignity of immigrants, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, culture, national origin, or legal status; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we desire to see immigration reform include an emphasis on securing our borders and providing a pathway to legal status with appropriate restitutionary measures, maintaining the priority of family unity, resulting in an efficient immigration system that honors the value and dignity of those seeking a better life for themselves and their families; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we declare that any form of nativism, mistreatment, or exploitation is inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all elected officials, especially those who are members of Southern Baptist churches, to do everything in their power to advocate for a just and equitable immigration system, those in the professional community to seek ways to administer just and compassionate care for the immigrants in their community, and our Southern Baptist entities to provide resources that will equip and empower churches and church members to reach and serve immigrant communities; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage pastors to address immigration issues with their local churches and to exhort their congregations to serve their local immigrant communities; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we affirm that all immigrants are either brothers and sisters in Christ or people whom God loves and has given us an opportunity to reach with the gospel where otherwise they may never have heard.

Where We Are Today: A Summing Up, With an Original Thought or Two


Intra-Republican Wedge Politics

Republican pols used to be really good at driving wedges into the electorate. Remember Bush’s brain? Works just fine if you can manage to drive the wedge into the right place, so that the majority is on your side.

Trump is really good at driving wedges, too, but unlike Karl Rove he drives them in at the wrong place. He is succeeding wonderfully at driving a wedge into the Republican Party—forcing a division between the unapologetic asshole slight Republic majority and a slight minority of Republicans who want to pretend to be sane and respectable. Witness Roy Moore in Alabama, Lou Barlettaa in Pennsylvania, and yesterday’s primary victory by Corey Stewart in Virginia. Not to mention Mark Sanford’s political assassination by Trump, resulting in a narrow loss by Sanford—a perfect illustration of how and where Trump’s intra-Republican wedge politics is working.

Jerk Flags Flying Proudly

Meanwhile, Trump aides let their jerk flags fly.

(Most) Women Hate it when Men Act like Jerks

That’s something I learned practicing law. Lawyers are expected to be aggressive. But there is a huge gap between men and women about reactions to really aggressive verbal behavior.

My own tastes and values tend toward the irenic, but as an advocate, I understood that you needed to make your point firmly and colorfully. Many times, I found that language that seemed acceptable to me and the other men in the room was a serious turnoff for any women present.

This is one of many things that Trump does not understand.

Districts Continue to Flip Democratic in Special Elections

Yesterday it was Wisconsin State Senate District 1. Trump won it by 17 points. Yesterday the Democrat won 52-48.

Savvy readers will grasp that there is a close causal connection between women hating jerks and Democrats flipping Republican districts.

Not Surprisingly, Republican Pols Remain Scared Shitless of the Trump-supporting Narrow Republican Majority

That is why they are not lifting a finger to stop Trump’s trade war.

And Maybe the Republican Pols Have Decided Just to Let the Economic Disaster Happen

Morbid fear of Trump is a sufficient explanation for their fecklessness—an explanation of which Occam would approve. But I think there may be an additional explanation, over and above cowardice. I suspect that some of them have figured out that the last hope of breaking the Trump fever is for the Trumpists to experience an economic disaster clearly of Trump’s making.

And that, ladies and germs, is what we are going to have.

Unless Trump backs down and makes nice to Justin Trudeau and Angela Merkel.

You never know. It just might happen.


Why Kim Wanted to Meet Trump, Why Trump Wanted to Meet Kim

Why Kim Wanted to Meet Trump

Hans explains:

Because he had to wait for someone on the U.S. side to whom he would not have to feel intellectually or morally inferior.

Why Trump Wanted to Meet Kim

Aardvark explains:

Because he wanted to be sure that, when the time comes, he can fly to North Korea on Air Force One and gain asylum.

I hear they have some nice beachfront property there.


In Historic Meeting, Trump Formally Joins Axis of Evil

… Kim and Trump Issue Joint Communiqué Praising Authoritarian Kleptocracy and Brutal Suppression of Dissent, Condemning Free Press and Constitutional Government, and Expressing Ridicule for Canadian Politeness

In Related News, Tiffany Trump is Engaged to General Kim Chang-Son, Cementing Alliance Between the Two Ruling Families