When Trump was elected, I turned to Barb and said “Before he’s out of office, he’ll piss off everybody who supports him.”
Comes now “Christianity Today.” The alternate Bible of the Evangelical right. “Trump Must Go” the headline blared. Followed by the editor’s statement “That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”
Well, that about settles it. Aside from a spineless, cowardly and deliberately self-debasing group of Republicans on Capitol Hill, who’s left to anger?
“Christianity Today” has only about 100-thousand subscribers plus a couple of million online readers. Not big numbers when speaking of a national publication. But, big numbers aren’t what’s important here.
What IS important is that “crack-in-the-dike” statement comes, not from some “left-leaning newspaper” as Trump called it, but from a most-respected, basic source of information established in 1956 by Evangelical icon, Rev. Dr. Billy Graham.
While Rev. Billy’s offspring, Franklin, is considered by many to have lost touch with his father’s more reasoned outlook on Christianity, the senior Graham is still held in great esteem by those folk, even after his death.
Yes, Dr. Billy was, by his own recorded words, an anti-Semite. And, yes, some of his documented, private statements are considered racist. But, he represented, to the faithful, someone who spoke for the Almighty and his often fiery crusade sermons ignited internal - if not lasting - flames in millions of hearts. Now in TV reruns, the crusade effect is still much the same.
So, with the denunciation of Trump as the banner headline on the elder Graham’s own beyond-the-grave connection to today’s Evangelicals, you wonder if this is an awakening of sorts that’ll carry some authority.
Trump has, from his first days, shown his personal disloyalty to anyone who appears to be a threat. Anyone. He’s thrown so many under the bus in three years that it’s on its fourth set of tires.
Now, he has the impeachment noose draped loosely around his neck, waiting to see if Mitch McConnell comes back from Christmas vacation to set him free or if he’ll spring the trap door. I’d bet on the former but don’t discount the latter.
McConnell is in a serious race to keep his own chair in the Senate. Amy McGrath is not someone he can dismiss. She’s already run one good statewide race and is getting a lot of national support. If McConnell spends the next 30 days at home and senses some unfamiliar rumblings, such as the Evangelical pronouncement, ol’ Mitch might get himself a dose of “Come to Jesus” and reflect anew on his impeachment duties.
I wouldn’t bet the farm on him changing. But, I’ve got a gut feeling a two-week hiatus at home might change some positions on all sides of those proceedings. At the moment, Speaker Pelosi appears to have the whip hand. And Mitch is blustering and making crazy claims that impeachment won’t happen on his watch.
I know, from personal experience, Washington D.C. can be a very isolating place. Spend a year there and your contact with the outside world becomes tenuous and your sense of reality is about as accurate as a mirror at a carnival fun house.
Since September, denizens of that unreal domain have been locked, one way or another, in impeachment activities. Arguments, hearings and whip counts have been grueling and constant. Added to the normal Potomac distorted view of things, some may have lost contact with what’s happening at home and need to spend some time with the locals.
This “Christianity Today” abandonment of Trump is going to take some time to shake out. There’ll be some sermons preached, some camp meeting discussions and some coffee sessions about this turn of Evangelical events. Some may, because of the article, review their own stand on Trump. Some may back away. Some may hang in there.
The last shoe hasn’t dropped on this impeachment business. In all likelihood, there’ll be more unexpected developments. Suppose Trump decides he wants Bolton and his other sycophants to testify. Doubtful, but just suppose. What if a handful of GOP Senators tell Mitch the folks back home don’t see things his way? Could happen. And what if other respected Evangelical voices view the surprising headline from Rev. Billy’s little newspaper as a clarion “call to arms?” Could be.
Trump’s got just short of 13 months left in office. If he makes it that far. And, let’s not forget those brain-dead GOPer’s who’ve covered his backside so far on Capitol Hill. What are they going to find at home in the coming weeks? Sufficient disagreement from constituents so we’ll see more cracks?
You know, there’s no political instinct stronger than self-preservation. Makes people do all sort of crazy things. Nope. It ain’t over. And I don’t see the “fat lady” standing in the wings.