Jon Meacham: “I am a huge admirer of @JohnFea1’s, and love his ‘court evangelical’ coinage”

Yesterday, in a generally positive post related to historian and writer Jon Meacham’s appearance on Morning Joe in which he discussed evangelicals and Trump, I wrote:

I agree with Meacham, but I am disappointed in him.  Last year I sat next to him at dinner before his speaking engagement at Messiah College and told him all about my book Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.  I am OUTRAGED by the fact that he does not cite the book here!   🙂  (I will give Joe a break here since I have never talked to him face-to-face about Believe Me!).

Read the entire post here.

As the smiley-face emoji suggests, I was (mostly) joking with Meacham. The esteemed presidential historian not only read this post, but he understood my humor.  Here is what he tweeted last night:

I now have a new favorite presidential historian!  🙂

18 thoughts on “Jon Meacham: “I am a huge admirer of @JohnFea1’s, and love his ‘court evangelical’ coinage”

  1. I am not surprised that Jon Meacham likes the “court evangelical” expression. Jon is a staid and starched Episcopalian prep-school product living in a exclusive part of town. That sort of religious expression is for those “other” people.

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    • James, In that light, how do you describe the President?
      Wasn’t he a privileged child? Product of private schooling?
      Accustomed to living in nice places? He was a partaken of a pretty blah religious place with Peale.
      I don’t put much stock in that. Robert Mueller came from a more affluent background but has integrity, intelligence, a history of service, even at the risk of his life in Vietnam.

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      • Jeff,

        The difference between Trump and Meacham is that, despite similar backgrounds, Trump connects emotionally with the common man. Mr. Meacham travels in the circles where the common man washes his car and delivers his mail.

        If I am not mistaken, Jeff, you have mentioned Mr. Mueller previously. I think a case can be made that there are two Muellers. The first man had exemplary military service and deserves full credit for it. The latter man is a dweller in The Washington Swamp. I respect the first Mueller.

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        • “Trump connects emotionally with the common man. Mr. Meacham travels in the circles where the common man washes his car and delivers his mail.” James, you obviously don’t know much about Donald Trump. I would be surprised if he ever washed a car or got his own mail. And as far as connecting emotionally with the common man I assume you mean flying into cities on his private jet, spewing out divisive rhetoric for an hour, and then flying back home.

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          • John,
            You missed my point. I did not say that Trump wastes his own car or his jet. I said that he connects with the people who do. How many common folks have read Meacham’s books or even know who he is?
            James

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        • Wow.
          Trump doesn’t connect with me. And I am very ordinary and common!
          Mueller did not change.
          He is just the man to deal with the corruption of those that aided this president in getting into the White House. See all the indictments.

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          • Jeff,
            The indictments mostly are process crimes or crime that took place before Trump was a candidate. A few of the indictments make me think of old L. Beria’s dictum. “You show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.” American justice should not work that way.
            James

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              • Jeff,
                No argument from me on the fraud and tax evasion. The lying charges, however, were “artificial” in that there should never have been a Russia collusion investigation. The interviewees were tripped up by professional shark investigators. Comedy even boasted about how they duped General Flynn. This technique and the whole supporting Steele Dossier was not worthy of U.S. justice. Shades of Beria! Hopefully Mr. Barr will look into this shameful behavior by the Comey-Lynch team.
                James

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                • Well right now they are busy. You know, if Trump had quitetly acted like a dignified innocent man there would have been a lot less hoopla. The Mueller mandate was to investigate potential issues with the Trump campaign. There was enough evidence to warrant that. He could have quietly encouraged them to investigate those below him in the campaign, behaved aloof because he was innocent. Instead he acted defensively just as a guilty guy would. Of course being as he IS guilty of all kinds of stuff I guess it’s understandable. I am sure he is rightfully worried about looks into his taxes, business practices, payoffs to keep stuff out of the news.

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                  • Jeff,
                    I get it that you don’t like the rough edges of Trump’s personality. His manner is not the way I interact sith others nor do I find it always helpful to his cause. With that being said, the main justification for going after him and his associates was the discredited, bogus Steele dossier. You won’t hear that loudly on CNN or MSNBC. Again, I hope that the new attorney general looks into the fraud which was committed against a FISA court and that it results in justice for those who were involved. This Mueller hunt for Russian collusion has cost the taxpayers far too much already.

                    As far as other things Trump might have done, Jeff, I will quote Beria again. “You show me the man, and I will show you the crime.” None of us could stand if the full weight and power of the U.S. Government really set out to do us harm. Bona fide serious crimes are one thing and statist harassment is quite another.

                    James

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        • James: I will say this about the second Mueller. His vaunted integrity took a major hit when he decided to form a team filled with not only D donors, but also multiple attorneys who had represented Hillary, her Foundation, and her employees (including the guy who smashed her phones with a hammer while they were under Congressional subpoena).

          Mueller’s 2nd in command, Mr. Weissmann, is a longstanding Democrat VIP who attended Hillary’s election night party, and who lauded Sally “Logan Act” Yates for her refusal to enforce Trump’s travel ban. Those who claim that none of these obvious conflicts and indications of bias matter — because these folks are all “professionals” (see, cough, Page, L.; Strzok, P.) — are being disingenuous to the point of self-parody. A responsible lawyer tasked with investigating the President of the United States, with all the weightiness that entails, would have made sure, at the barest minimum, that people who had donated to the political opponent of the target of his investigation, and who had acted as lawyers for that same person, did not find their way onto his team. Instead, he sought them out. Inexplicable. At least, inexplicable if one is at all interested in preserving both the actual and perceived fairness of one’s investigation.

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          • Tony,
            You are correct. It was very unwise and unprofessional to stack the investigation.
            I wonder if Weissman’s departure was a result of Attorney General Barr calling Mueller about the impropriety or if Weisdman simply knows he can’t get a collusion charge on Trump?

            James

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    • I am not Episcopalian. I attended a public high school in New Jersey. I have never lived in an exclusive part of town. I grew up in a working-class household. And I think “court evangelical” accurate describes the evangelical who flatter Donald Trump.

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      • John,

        I must give you credit for coining the term but from what I can see, your motivations were somewhat different than Jon Meacham’s. You are rather partisan and the term was, in my opinion, a backhanded jibe at other partisan Christians with whom you differ.

        Mr. Meacham, on the other hand, is much less overtly partisan. After all, wasn’t he selected by the Bush family to do the biography the elder Bush? In addition to his desire to stay on the good side of most “acceptable” political factions, Mr. Meacham arguably also likes to maintain his credentials as a “respectable” member of the journalistic, religious, academic, and talking-head communities. Dismissing so-called court evangelicals is not going to cost Meacham any points in his circles. In fact, it will win friends and influence people. After all, the Bushes don’t like Trump and it goes without saying that his journalist friends agree with the Bushes. Those Baptists and Pentecostals who support Trump just don’t quite fit in. Furthermore, on his return visits to Sewanee, the low-church “courts” may be good as the butts of a few sophisticated jokes. After the polite and restrained laughter, they can pass around a second glass of sherry.
        James

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        • In Johns defense, (as far as I can tell) Jon Meacham isn’t a christian, and so he can observe the influence of court evangelicals purely academically. I might be projecting, but what you see as partisanship I see as attempts to break the influence of politicians on the church.

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          • Alex,

            I cannot comment on Jon Meacham’s relationship to Christ. I do, however, have a good working knowledge of the journalistic and ecclesiastical circles in which he travels.
            James

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