Hoaxes

First there was this:

Now there is this:

Believe me.  These hoaxes are real.  Believe me.  🙂

Has America Failed?

Russia US Summit in Helsinki, Finland - 16 Jul 2018

Historian Heather Cox Richardson asks this question in a piece at CNN titled “Americans are right to wonder if the Great Experiment has failed.”  Here is a taste:

Americans are right to wonder if, at long last, what George Washington called the Great Experiment has failed, and that our founders have lost their extraordinary wager that regular people could govern themselves better than a few rich men could.

Consider that in his disastrous press conference in Helsinki Monday — and again in a comment before a Cabinet meeting Wednesday — President Donald Trump sided with a hostile foreign oligarchy over our own democracy.

Asked by a reporter Wednesday, “Is Russia still targeting the U.S., Mr. President?,” Trump responded, shaking his head “Thank you very much. No.” (Later, his press secretary, Sarah Sanders, offered that he was saying “no” to answering questions.)

Trump’s alliance with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, in defiance of America’s own intelligence community, the Department of Justice, and the bipartisan report of the Senate Intelligence Committee, forces us to face that the fundamental principles of our nation are under attack.

History suggests the game is not yet lost. Three times before, in the 1850s, the 1890s, and the 1920s, oligarchs took over the American government and threatened to destroy democracy. In each case, they overreached, and regular folks took back their government.

Read the entire piece here.

Did Trump Commit Treason in Helsinki?

Russia US Summit in Helsinki, Finland - 16 Jul 2018

No. It was not treason.

While I generally think that Trump’s words in the United States were not befitting of an American president, I am afraid that Thomas Friedman and John Brennan are wrong.

Here is Fred Barbash at The Washington PostBut nothing Trump did in Helsinki and nothing he has done otherwise that anyone knows of are likely to qualify as treason, at least by its legal definition.

“Treason against the United States,” says Section 3, Article III, of the U.S. Constitution, “shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” It’s the only crime explicitly defined in the nation’s founding charter. The framers clearly wanted it used sparingly, declaring that “no person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.” The absence of an “overt act,” among other factors, helped former vice president Aaron Burr win an acquittal in 1807 in the most famous treason trial of all, after he was accused of plotting to set up his own empire in the west.     

Trump and treason? “No, not at all,” Carlton F.W. Larson, an expert on the subject at the UC Davis School of Law, told The Washington Post.

“It’s funny,” he said, “because people keep asking me if it’s treason yet. He could hand the nuclear codes over to Putin and it wouldn’t be treason. This isn’t anything as bad as that. Groveling in front of a foreign leader, putting the interests of a foreign country ahead of the United States, displaying horrific judgment in foreign policy — none of those things are treason.”

Trump would have to be participating in waging war against the United States or giving “aid and comfort” to the nation’s enemies to be vulnerable to treason charges, either in a court or an impeachment proceeding.

Problem one: The United States is not at war.

Read the entire piece here.

Would or Wouldn’t?

Here is Trump today

It took Trump and his team 24 hours to come up with this explanation?  Does he expect the American people to believe this?

And then he said that he accepts the intelligence community’s conclusion about Russia meddling in the 2016 election and immediately follows that statement with “could be other people also, there are a lot of people out there.”

So who else could it have been?  Maybe it was the 400-pound guy sitting on his bed:

Like the post-Charlottesville video, Trump went off script today and made it worse.

Thanks to CNN and Anderson Cooper for inspiring this post.

Court Evangelical Radio

Metaxas

This is my new name for the Eric Metaxas Radio Show.

Today I listened to Metaxas defend Donald Trump’s remarks in Helsinki with three guests: comedian Joe Piscopo, Newt Gingrich, and Fox News commentator Judge Jeanine Pirro.  Even when Gingrich wanted to criticize Trump’s remarks in Helsinki, Metaxas kept steering the conversation toward Trump’s “accomplishments” and “reforms.”

Click here for previous posts on Metaxas and his court evangelicalism.

“Narcissism as a Foreign Policy Doctrine”

Russia US Summit in Helsinki, Finland - 16 Jul 2018

Here is Michael Gerson at The Washington Post:

In the run-up to Helsinki, Trump actively advanced many important national objectives — of Russia. He claimed Crimea to be Russiancredited Putin’s denials of cyberaggressionattacked NATO, called the European Union a “foe,” openly supported Brexitdisparaged the leadership of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, pushed for a trade war with Europe and blamed tension in the U.S.-Russia relationship on the United States. At Helsinki, having imitated Neville Chamberlain in every detail but the umbrella, he declared a famous victory. And so our president, who shows how tough he is by abusing migrant children, was a cringing coward before a dictator.

One of the problems with narcissism as a foreign policy doctrine is that it hides national challenges from the president that are blindingly obvious to everyone else. While Trump employs a mirror, others in the federal government have been using a magnifying glass to find a direct and growing threat to U.S. national security.

Read the entire piece here.

More Court Evangelicals Defend Trump’s Helsinki Remarks

Here is court evangelical Franklin Graham:

Here is Southern Baptist minister Jack Graham:

Why are these evangelicals so supportive of Donald Trump?  I try to answer that question in Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.

Believe Me 3d