Category: Conservatives

McCain Imbroglio Reveals Extremism, Isolation of Trump & Republicans

Nothing has more graphically revealed the startling separation of the Republican Party from mainstream America than the Trump-created imbroglio over honoring John McCain. McCain’s death unleashed a universal chorus of praise and more praise for McCain’s life, his principles, his courage, his status as just about the best role model for a politician we have seen in the current era.

What was Donald Trump’s reaction? He refused to release an official White House statement drafted by his own staff praising McCain’s service to his country. Instead, he issues a tweet expressing condolences to McCain’s family—a petty but in-your-face insult by any standard. He then proceeded to double-down on his campaign of petty vindictiveness by:

  • Raising the flag over the White House back to full staff while the rest of the country continued to observe the mourning period
  • Ignoring for three times on Monday shouted questions to him about McCain from reporters, invited into the WH for official events

This pettiness by a President of the United States continued throughout the day—even as Americans’ TV screens were filled with near non-stop coverage of McCain, the public accolades continued, and even some Republicans rose in the United States Congress to praise McCain.

A turning point apparently came when the American Legion issued a sternly worded statement calling on Trump to treat McCain with more reverence. According to media reports, Trump’s closest advisers’ also urged him to be more praiseworthy of McCain.

Late in the afternoon, Trump grudgingly relented enough to state at a dinner for visiting evangelicals: “Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment.”

This anodyne utterance, of course, does not erase the fact that it took a firestorm of public opinion, including a strong rebuke from one of America’s premier veterans’ groups, to get the President of the United States to surrender his petty vendetta and issue some version of what should have been a standard statement on the death of a revered public figure.

Trump’s late and grudging act only served to reinforce what a debased moral character Trump possesses and the extent to which he has besmirched and degraded the Office of President. The Washington Post sums it up well:

“Shunned at two funerals (McCain and Barbara Bush) and one (royal) wedding so far, President Trump may be well on his way to becoming president non grata…Less than two years into first term, Trump has often come to occupy the role of pariah — both unwelcome and unwilling to perform the basic rituals and ceremonies of the presidency, from public displays of mourning to cultural ceremonies.”

The McClain imbroglio also highlights how the Republican Party, like Trump, is becoming increasingly isolated from mainstream America. The few Republicans who rose to praise McCain only highlight the fact that the overwhelming number remained mute or critical.  We ordinary Americans can only marvel (and recoil) at a political party whose members despise a man whom the rest of the country admires as one of the finest Americans ever. Republicans, like Trump, are blind to the gap.

In a few days, the McCain incident will die down, and Trump’s disgraceful and despicable actions regarding the Senator will not amount to a pitcher of warm spit in shaping Republican opinion of Trump.

About 90 percent of Republicans will continue to support this immoral, lying, adulterous, narcissistic, sexist, racist, slanderous, xenophobic, bullying thug as President of the United States.  (See “The Full-spectrum Corruption of Donald Trump” )

The rest of us can only look to the November elections and do our best to oust the corrupt and incompetent Trumpists.

Trump’s Craven Character Shown in His Pettiness Toward McCain

News story:

“Trump rejected plans for a White House statement praising McCain”

(Excerpt) “President Trump nixed issuing a statement that praised the heroism and life of Sen. John McCain, telling senior aides he preferred to issue a tweet before posting one Saturday night that did not include any kind words for the late Arizona Republican.”

IndieDems comment: We realize Republicans have abandoned any semblance of morality, decency, intelligence, or common sense in asserting their support for Trump. From the beginning, Republicans tossed Christianity itself aside and turned their backs on God’s 10 Commandments and Jesus’ Golden Rule in order to worship Trump.

Republicans today are to Trump what Germans were to Adolph Hitler. They state explicitly that they know all about Trump’s lying, adultery, and contempt for our basic democratic and moral values and common human decency. The Republicans tell us: they just do not care.

We now have had several weeks of sworn testimony in open court, guilty pleas, recordings, and revelations in books by his former associates that reinforce conclusions about Trump’s debased moral character. Some of Trump’s closest confidants and business associates have deserted him and are cooperating with law enforcement officials.

Trump’s poll numbers in his Republican base remain unchanged. We know that there is no act that Trump could commit or words he could speak that will provoke serious Republican criticism, much less cause them to abandon him.

BUT–the rest of us must continue to record his depredations,   not in any hope of changing Republicans’ closed minds, but to remind ourselves of the necessity of driving these people from power.

We must speak out very loudly when Trump’s words or deeds take us to a new low in debased human behavior. And for certain, Trump’s refusal to have any words of praise for John McCain after his death, while voices from across the civilized word sing his praise,  is an act that shocks the conscience of any ordinary human being. Which obviously does not include Republicans.

No other act of Trump so decisively defines the difference between ordinary Americans and the Republican Party. No Republican can defend this act of crass, personal pettiness on the basis that it is a defense against a “witch hunt” or “fake news.” Trump’s refusal to say good words about McCain lays bear his debased moral character–and the extent to which Republicans share and revel in  that debasement.

Many months ago, this would have been the point at which to ask the famous question Joseph Welch posed to Joseph McCarthy, “at long last, Senator, do you have no sense of decency?” Except, the question has been asked hundreds of time over as Trump’s perfidy has unfolded–like, when he bragged about sexually assaulting women or mocked a handicapped person, or told another of his over 4,000 lies, etc., etc., etc.

We now have conclusive proof that Trump and the Republicans have no sense of decency and never will.

The voters of the United States must now say to them what Oliver Cromwell said to the Rump Parliament in 1653: “Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. . . . Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance. . . . Go, get you out! Make haste! . . . In the name of God, go!”

“The Full-spectrum Corruption of Donald Trump”

A life-long Republican writes the (for now) ultimate word on the depths of Donald Trump’s moral turpitude–and of his supporters.

“The Full-spectrum Corruption of Donald Trump”
 – by Peter Wehner. (@Peter_Wehner), a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, served in the previous three Republican administrations
Excerpts:
  • For Republicans (and many “Christians“), honor and integrity are now passé. We saw it again last week when the president’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen — standing in court before a judge, under oath — implicated Mr. Trump in criminal activity, while his former campaign chairman was convicted in another courtroom on financial fraud charges. Most Republicans in Congress were either silent or came to Mr. Trump’s defense, which is how this tiresome drama now plays itself out.
  • For many Republicans, this reality still hasn’t broken through…the moral indictment against Mr. Trump is obvious and overwhelming. Corruption has been evident in Mr. Trump’s private and public life, in how he has treated his wives, in his business dealings and scams, in his pathological lying and cruelty, in his bullying and shamelessness, in his conspiracy-mongering and appeals to the darkest impulses of Americans…Trump’s corruptions are ingrained.
  • The Republican Party’s as-yet unbreakable attachment to Mr. Trump is coming at quite a cost…the damage to the white Evangelical movement, which has for the most part enthusiastically rallied to Mr. Trump and as a result has been largely discredited.

Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, Handel & Staffs: Natural Swamp Dwellers All Along

Three days ago, I started drafting a post on how Georgia’s Congressional Delegations are deeply enmeshed in the culture of corruption that Trump and the Republicans have brought to Washington. The eager participants I focus on are:

  • Senator Johnny Isakson and his Chief of Staff Joan Karr and Immigration Legislative Assistant Michael Black.
  • Senator David Perdue and his COS Derrick Dickey and Immigration LA Drew Robinson
  • Rep. Karen Handel and her COS Muffy Day and Immigration LA Elisabeth Conklin
  • Rep. Barry Loudermilk and his COS Rob Adkerson and Homeland Security LA Susannah Johnston

My approach was to simply provide a compilation of recent news reports and commentaries, together with some excerpts, that reveal with facts and figures the depth of the corruption, incompetence, malfeasance, and sheer criminality that the above people consider normal. A minimum of my own analysis, in other words.

The project is taking longer than I expected because the data, even in summary form, is so extensive.  But an even greater barrier to completing the task: new events are happening almost daily that graphically demonstrate the depth of the swamp that is the natural home of Isakson, Karr, Black, Perdue, Dickey, Robinson, Handel, Day, Conklin, Loudermilk, Adkerson, and Johnston.

So I decided to interrupt the larger project to provide this summary of some recent manifestations of the Trump/GOP swamp. Followed by a reminder of the real American conservatives who put country above party—unlike Isakson, Karr, Black, Perdue, Dickey, Robinson, Handel, Day, Conklin, Loudermilk, Adkerson, and Johnston.

IndieDems Comments are in italics.
Immigration

Trump’s latest immigration injustice is a malicious travesty  (To which Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, Handel, Karr, Black, Dickey, Robinson, Day, Conklin, Adkerson, and Johnston have taken no dissent)

The Trump administration wants you to believe it’s devoted to protecting American taxpayers from supposedly welfare-mooching foreigners. Don’t. What President Trump   (And Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, Handel, and staffers) is really doing is shutting the door on all but a small sliver of well-heeled immigrants — while telling the “tired,” “poor,” and “huddled masses” yearning to put cheap food on American dinner plates to get lost. (Endorsed by Georgia Congressional Republicans

Three reasons Trump’s new immigration rule should make your blood boil

“Once again, the Trump administration is looking to punish immigrants. And once again, innocent children are getting hurt in the process. This time, however, many of those innocent children are likely to be U.S. citizens.”

Trump and Stephen Miller are now targeting legal immigrants. This will get uglier.

“Republicans become deeply offended when you suggest that their party is in the process of adopting a white nationalist agenda, and that many of their voters are motivated by xenophobia. No, no, they say, we acknowledge that America is a nation of immigrants; we just want a secure border and all the laws to be enforced. We welcome legal immigrants; it’s illegal immigration we have a problem with.”

“But then you get something like this…” (i.e., the new GOP immigration policy)

Rampant Republican Racism
(Not a problem for Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, Handel, Karr, Black, Dickey, Robinson, Day, Conklin, Adkerson, and Johnston)

Virginia GOP candidate attacks Muslim gubernatorial candidate as an ‘ISIS commie’

“Corey Stewart, a neo-Confederate and the Republican nominee for Senate in Virginia, called Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed an “ISIS commie” on Twitter Wednesday…Stewart’s own record and platform are in every way El-Sayed’s opposite. He has a history of defending the Confederate flag and Confederate monuments and also:

  • Supports the abolition of background checks and once raffled off an AR-15
  • Blamed the left for anti-Semitism
  • Once called members of his own party “flaccid” for supporting Medicaid expansion.

VA GOP Senate candidate praised southern secession in 2017 campaign appearance

(Unsurprisingly, Stewart has been endorsed by President Donald Trump.)

Laura Ingraham: America as we know it doesn’t exist anymore due to ‘demographic changes’ (Not one word of dissent from Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, Handel, Karr, Black, Dickey, Robinson, Day, Conklin, Adkerson, and Johnston)

The Fox News host on August 8 “lamented that the ‘American we know and love doesn’t exist anymore’ because of demographic changes in the country that she blamed on illegal and legal immigration.

Some Voices of Real American Conservatives
(An endangered species being hunted to extinction by the likes of Trump, Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, Handel, Karr, Black, Dickey, Robinson, Day, Conklin, Adkerson, and Johnston)

Michael Gerson: The only way to save the GOP is to defeat it

George Will

William Kristol

“It’s sad that the national anthem has become, in the era of Trump, the first refuge of the scoundrel.” (Twitter, 8/10/18)

The Rising Tide of Racism, Fueled by Trump and His Republicans

The Washington Post and the New York Times on Sunday published articles that deliver an alarming message about the extent of racist bigotry in America that is being inflamed by Trump and his Republicans. These are not, mind you, editorials or op-ed commentaries. The WP article provides extensive, direct quotes of Southern Baptists speaking racist jargon. The one in the NYT is the first-hand account by a mother of the racism her black child experiences while being raised in a Red Republican state.

Reading them will send shills up the spine of any decent American. Here is the IndieDems analysis of the WP article.

As a native born Southerner who grew up in the Bible belt during the years of the Civil Rights struggles, this article hit me like a ton of bricks. Not because I was surprised at the outlook of these Southern Baptists, but because it revealed the absolute worst case scenario of trends I have recognized for some time.

Beginning about one year ago, I summed my thoughts up this way: “It’s as if Donald Trump and his Republicans have erased the last 60 years of race relations and taken us back to the time when you could lynch a black man on Saturday and attend church on Sunday morning and be assured your immortal souls was assured eternal salvation.”

What this article tells me is: Southern Baptists have not retrogressed. They never went beyond that mentality to begin with.

Ms. McCrummen is dead-on in saying Christian pastors in the South either defended segregation or remained silent. She would have provided more insight if she had reminded her readers that the Southern Baptist Convention was founded explicitly to defend the perpetuation of slavery as an institution ordained by God and Jesus.

The sheer ignorance and blindness that the Baptists now repeat in defending Trump as an instrument of God is bad enough. Their hypocrisy about their own supposedly bedrock approach to the Bible is even worse. Every word they speak to give legitimacy to their defense of Trump requires massive amounts of interpretation of the Bible—contravening their professed belief that the Bible must be read as the literal truth. Where is there any passage in the Bible that says mortal human beings can sacrifice the 10 Commandments on the altar of banning abortion?  What words spoken or written by Trump reflect “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”?

In December 2017 and last month I posted on my blog letters I had sent to the SBC and other clerics. Read them here and here.

Letter to Christian Clerics – December 2017

IndieDems.com
Tom Barksdale, proprietor
1025 Rose Creek Dr.
Suite 620 – PMB 223
Woodstock, GA 30189

“You don’t save Christianity by betraying its message.” – -David Brooks, dean of conservative columnists, New York Times, 12/7/17

Dr. Russell Moore

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce Street, Suite 550,
Nashville, TN 37203-3696

Dear Dr. Moore,

I am writing to ask your opinion of recent acts that I consider a travesty against the Christian faith committed by President Donald Trump and some who defend him in the name of Christ. Recent Tweets and public statements by President Donald Trump have, by any rational, objective analysis, crossed the line into expressions of outright racism and bigotry. He is also reliably reported to have, in private, distanced himself from expressions of remorse and apologies he was forced to make in response to public outrage over some of his previously expressed lies and hateful words.

I am writing because I believe that the silence of our major Christian denominations and churches in the face of Trump’s travesties constitutes a betrayal of the Christian message.

Trump on November 29 retweeted a series of inflammatory Islamophobic videos originally posted by a British far-right activist known for his extreme anti-Islamic views. The videos purportedly showed violence being committed by Muslims. The commentary on one of the videos, claiming it sowed a Muslim attacking a Dutch citizen, was patently false. It had already been proven the attacker was a Dutch citizen. The accuracy and circumstances of the other two videos are unknown. In short, the videos’ flagrant Islamophobias is unquestioned.

On November 27, Trump during White House ceremony to honor Navajo veterans of World War II resurfaced his derogatory reference to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” without explicitly using her name. His words: “Although we have a representative in Congress who, they say, was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.” The use of the racial slur was widely condemned, including by Russell Begaye, the president of the Navajo Nation, who called the president’s mention of Pocahontas “derogatory” and “disrespectful to Indian nations.”

Trump’s previous nadir in his expressing an explicitly racist outlook occurred in August in his response to neo-fascist demonstrations held in Charlottesville, VA. Trump public played down the racist and anti-Semitic views of the white supremacists who held a proto-Nazi torch light parade that included chants of “Jews will not replace us.” He drew an apparent moral equivalency between neo-Nazi marchers and anti-racist protesters, declaring that there were “fine people” on both sides, and he blamed the news media instead for stoking racial divisions.

Trump’s remarks were roundly condemned, even by many Republican leaders and, reportedly, in private by members of his Administration. American Jews reacted strongly: “Four coalitions of rabbis, hailing from different strains of American Judaism, publicly spurned Mr. Trump, denouncing him in unusually pointed language, and pre-emptively announcing that they would not participate in any conference call before the Jewish holidays…” (See “Rabbis Protest Trump’s Comments by Boycotting Conference Call”)

It is the above explicitly racist comments by Trump which sparked this letter. But in the background are the plethora of words Trump has spoken in the two and one-half years since he has announced his candidacy for president that prove him to be, undeniably, a serial liar, racist, bigot, misogynist, nativist, demagogue, xenophobe, and bully. For almost a year, Trump and the Republican Party have waged a war against America’s basic moral and democratic values and against common human decency. The few Republican leaders who have dissented have paid by having their political careers ended.

The Republicans’ descent into a moral sewer has reached its current nadir (although most likely not its last) with their endorsement of sex predator Roy Moore for United States Senator. I cite below one of the Republicans for whom this goes too far. My own response is: if you support this despicable cretin, may God have mercy on your immortal soul.

Even more chilling is the defense offered by many average Americans for sticking with Trump despite his in-your-face trampling of the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. Yes, they say, I know all about what Trump is doing. “I just don’t care. He speaks for me.” According to a recent poll, 72 percent of evangelicals now say that “an elected official who commits an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public and professional life,..”

Conservative and Christian Voices Condemn Trump & Trumpists

(All words in red or bold face are “emphasis added”)

Lest I somehow be accused of bias, let me quote from some of Trump’s conservative and evangelical critics, who have already made the case against him much more eloquently and forcefully than anything I could add.

David Brooks, dean of America’s traditional conservative columnists, recently delivered a forceful indictment that is riveting in its recognition that Trump’s assault on America’s basic moral and democratic values is an assault on Christianity itself:

  • “…First, (Trump) asked the Republican Party to swallow the idea of a narcissistic sexual harasser and a routine liar as its party leader. Then he asked the party to accept his comprehensive ignorance and his politics of racial division. Now he asks the party to give up its reputation for fiscal conservatism. At the same time he asks the party to become the party of Roy Moore, the party of bigotry, alleged sexual harassment and child assault.”
  • “…Trump…is defined by shamelessness, and so there is no bottom. And apparently there is no end to what regular Republicans are willing to give him.”
  • “You don’t help your cause by wrapping your arms around an alleged sexual predator and a patriarchic bigot. You don’t help your cause by putting the pursuit of power above character, by worshiping at the feet of some loutish man or another, by claiming the ends justify any means. You don’t successfully rationalize your own tawdriness by claiming your opponents are satanic.”
  • “You don’t save Christianity by betraying its message.”
  • “ ‘What shall it profit a man,” Jesus asked, “ ‘if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?’ The current Republican Party seems to not understand that question…The rot afflicting the G.O.P. is comprehensive — moral, intellectual, political and reputational.”

Michael Gerson, former GW Bush speechwriter & a Washington Post columnist, after his exhaustive review of Russiagate:

  • “In all of this, there is a spectacular accumulation of lies. Lies on disclosure forms. Lies at confirmation hearings. Lies on Twitter. Lies in the White House briefing room. Lies to the FBI. Self-protective lies by the attorney general. Blocking and tackling lies by Vice President Pence.”
  • “This is, with a few exceptions, a group of people for whom truth, political honor, ethics and integrity mean nothing.”
  • “We are witnessing what happens when right-wing politics becomes untethered from morality and religion.”
  • “What does public life look like without the constraining internal force of character — without the firm ethical commitments often (though not exclusively) rooted in faith?
    • It looks like a presidential campaign unable to determine right from wrong and loyalty from disloyalty.
    • It looks like an administration engaged in a daily assault on truth and convinced that might makes right.
    • It looks like the residual scum left from retreating political principle — the worship of money, power and self-promoted fame. The Trumpian trinity.”

 

Gerson returned to the fray after Trump’s vociferous denunciation of NFL players who kneeled during opening ceremonies of football games to protest the mistreatment of African-Americans, under the headline America has a racial demagogue for a president:

“(Trump’s) ignorance is matched by malice. Trump must know that rallying his white base against young African American protesters is feeding racial tension and providing permission for bigotry. He is essentially accusing these athletes of disloyalty, just as he accused Mexicans of being rapists and Muslims of being threats. This is a pattern and habit of division by race, ethnicity and religion.”

Jim Wallis, president and founder of Sojourners, wrote on November 17:

  • “President Trump is an ultimate and consummate worshiper of money, sex and power. American Christians have not really reckoned with the climate he has created in our country and the spiritual obligation we have to repair it. As a result, the soul of our nation and the integrity of the Christian faith are at risk.
  • “…Trump’s boastful treatment of women — including bragging in a video about grabbing their genitals — and his serial infidelity and adultery are clear evidence of his idolatrous worship of sex.
  • Alabama evangelicals expressing support for Senate candidate Roy Moore “may be the most damning testimony as to the politicized moral hypocrisy of white evangelicals…”
  • “Week after week, Trump reveals that his leadership is always and only about himself; not the people, the country or even his party — and certainly not about godliness.”

Kurt Bardella, a Republican and former spokesperson for Breitbart, the white supremacist group once led by Steve Bannon, announced on December 8, 2017 that he was quitting the Republican Party and joining the Democratic Party, after Trump traveled to Pensacola, FL., to deliver a rousing speech endorsing sex predator Roy Moore for U.S. Senator from Alabama.   In a scathing op-ed in USA Today, Bardella said:

  • “This is not a party I want to be associated with anymore”
  • He accused Trump and Bannon of “ignoring legitimate issues about race relations in America, environmental policy, gun reform and equality to instead pander to a lunatic fringe that subscribes to an ideology of hate and fear.”
  • “This is a party that constantly buries its head in the sand on climate change, racial profiling, guns, LGBTQ equality, income inequality, food insecurity, paid family leave and the treatment of women.”
  • “The embrace of Moore by the Republican Party’s top ‘leadership’ is all the proof you need to know that this is a party that no longer stands for anything.”

Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center who served in the previous three Republican administrations, wrote in the New York Times on December 9, 2017: Why I Can No Longer Call Myself an Evangelical Republican.

  • “I’ve been a part of both (the Republican Party and evangelicalism) for my entire adult life. These days, though, in many important ways they are having harmful effects on our society.”
  • “Yet the support being given by many Republicans and white evangelicals to President Trump and now to Mr. Moore have caused me to rethink my identification with both groups.”
  • “I consider Mr. Trump’s Republican Party to be a threat to conservatism, and I have concluded that the term evangelical…has been so distorted that it is now undermining the Christian witness.”
  • “Where exactly is the bottom? And at what point do you pull back from associating yourself with a political party and a religious term you once took pride in but that are now doing harm to the things you treasure?”

Mr. Wehner goes on to quote three of his evangelical colleagues who say they will no longer use the term because, in the words of one, “the term is now so stained as to ruin my ability to be what evangelicalism was supposed to be.” He also quotes Bill Boyce, the head of the Princeton Evangelical Fellowship, a campus ministry for more than 80 years, explaining why the group changed its name to the Princeton Christian Fellowship. “We’re interested in being people who are defined by our faith and by our faith commitments and not by any sort of political agenda.”

William S. Brewbaker wrote from Tuscaloosa, AL on November 15: “As an evangelical Christian, an Alabamian and a Republican, I’m ashamed of Roy Moore and upset that so many people are determined to defend him against sexual assault allegations, no matter what. I’m even more bothered, however, by what Mr. Moore’s popularity says about the sorry state of evangelical Christianity.”

  • It is wrong to attack one’s critics…as “the forces of evil” and attribute their questions about serious allegations to “a spiritual battle.”
  • It is wrong to excuse one’s own moral failings while rushing to judgment over the sins of others…We are to love and forgive our enemies, as God has loved and forgiven us.
  • Brewbaker took issue with some evangelicals for “arrogantly identifying the success of a given party or political movement with the advancement of the Kingdom of God.”

Numerous other conservative voices recognized long ago what a threat Trump is to traditional conservative and Christian principles: George Will, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Jennifer Rubin, to name a few. For a selective sample of these critics, see our blog page “Trump’s Conservative Critics Expose the Rot in the Republican Party.”

More Trump Lies in Arrogant Violation of God’s Commandment

The Washington Post reported on November 14 that Trump had made 1,628 false or misleading claims in the 298 days of his presidency. The number included claims he had made numerous times. As of November 14, Trump in the previous 35 days had averaged an astonishing nine claims a day. (See also: When it comes to lying, Trump is in a class by himself; “Donald Trump is constantly lying”; “Trump’s lies: the definitive list”)

The Republicans’ Arrogant Trashing of Jesus’ Golden Rule

Please explain to me, Dr. Moore, where Southern Baptists find one iota of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” in a President who:

  • –Bragged about sexually assaulting women and called them bimbos
  • –Hired sex predator Roger Ailes as a chief adviser, after Ailes was forced out of Fox News
  • -Demeaned John McCain’s military service
  • –Mocked a physically handicapped person
  • –Impugned the integrity of a respected federal judge on the basis of his ethnic origin
  • –Belittled the mother of a martyred American-Muslim soldier
  • –Talks about Muslims the way Hitler talked about Jews
  • –Incited his followers to violence.
  • –Praises the thug Putin.
  • –Appointed an alt-right white nationalist extremist as his Presidential Counselor
  • –Advocated punitive measures against American citizens on the basis of their religion.
  • –Used profanity in public
  • –Accused Ted Cruz’s father of involvement in JFK’s assassination
  • –Refuses to pay the bills due small businesses who worked for him.
  • –Bilked innocent people of their money in a scam involving a phony university

Reverend Frank Graham on Trump

Despite all the above, Reverend Franklin Graham said in early December, 2017, that no president in his lifetime had taken such a “strong, outspoken stand for the Christian faith” than President Trump. After Trump’s election last year, Graham stated that Trump defeated Hillary by the “hand of God.”  

My Questions to the SBC, Dr. Moore

When did the Southern Baptist Convention decide to throw overboard God’s Ten Commandments and Jesus’ Golden Rule? (Which you have done by remaining silent in the face of Trump and the Republicans wholesale defiance of both.)

When did America’s major religious denominations decide that the Bible’s words about abortion and homosexuality had completely replaced the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule as edicts to live by?

When did putative Christians decide that “I don’t care” about Trump’s immoral acts is an acceptable response to explain their continued support for Trump?  Does God really accept this as a reason to live in defiance of His Commandments and the Golden Rule? Do you?

If you choose to defend your refusal to denounce Donald Trump and the Republican Party, please include specific words that refute or take issue with the specific words published by the Trump critics cited above, especially those printed in red.

In regard to the bullet points in the sub-section, “The Republicans’ Arrogant Trashing of Jesus’ Golden Rule”: please tell me how you talk to the children in your congregation and to your own children and grandchildren about having as a role model a President who has spoken those words.

Do you believe, Dr. Moore, that the opinions of the religious voices (including yours, if it applies) that support Trump are worth more than the dissenting voices of Peter Wehner, William S. Brewbaker (and other evangelicals), Kurt Bardella, Michael Gerson, David Brooks, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, and Jennifer Rubin?

Here is my statement about Franklin Graham: “I believe that Reverend Frank Graham’s declaration that Trump has taken a stronger, more outspoken stand for the Christian faith than any other President in his lifetime is, itself, an act of blasphemy and a travesty of Jesus’ message.”

  • My question, Dr. Moore: Do you agree or disagree with my statement?

But above all, Dr. Moore, please tell us how Southern Baptist clergy talk to the children in their flock—or to their own children and grandchildren—about having as a role model a President who approves of calling his own daughter a piece of ass?

I am sending you this message prior to its posting on my blog IndieDems.com in order to give you a chance to consider it and respond. If you wish to reply in advance of its posting, please send me a copy as an attachment to an email. I will publish it verbatim. Or, you can wait until it is posted on my blog, and click the blog’s COMMENT to post your reply directly.

Sincerely,
/S/
Tom Barksdale
tbarksdl@aol.com
770-517-5993

ALSO SENT TO:

  • Dr. Johnny Hunt
  • First Baptist Church of Woodstock
  • 11905 Highway 92
  • Woodstock, GA 30188
  • Dr. Michael Lewis
  • Roswell Street Baptist Church
  • 774 Roswell Street, Marietta, GA 30060
  • Office of the General Assembly
  • ATTN: J. Herbert Nelson, II
    Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
    100 Witherspoon Street
    Louisville, KY  40202-1396
  •  
  • Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
  • The Episcopal Church
  • 815 Second Ave
  • New York, NY 10017

Trump and Georgia Republicans Rush to Bow Down to Putin

IndieDems.com
Special Bulletin #3 – July 20, 2018
Trump’s Georgia Republican Lackeys Go Along with His Doubling Down on His Betrayal of United States

Trump invites Putin to White House to continue his treasonous effort to make the United States a vassal state of Russia

  • Sends in-your-face message to critics of his obsequious kowtowing to Putin in Helsinki that he does not give a damn
  • Bypasses his own national security advisers to emphasize his unfettered dictatorial control of foreign policy

Georgia Congressional Republicans Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, and Handel—who never criticized Trump’s Helsinki kissing of Putin’s butt—seem poised to continue their obsequious endorsement of Trump’s betrayal of America and their blind eye toward his governing like a third-world dictator.

“Congressional oversight? What the hell is that?” say Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, and Handel.

But a Congressional Republican colleague—a rare sitting Congressman willing to speak the truth, who is also a former CIA officer—says in today’s New York Times:

 Trump Is Being Manipulated by Putin. What Should We Do?

By Rep Will Hurd, (R-TX)

(Excerpt) “Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them.”


White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a tweet on Thursday announced that Trump had invited Russian President Putin to visit Washington in the fall. The announcement came even as the fallout of Trump’s unprecedented kowtowing to Putin in a joint press conference capping the Helsinki summit created a jumbled mess in Washington and left the United States Government paralyzed in chaos and confusion.

The monstrous flaws at the heart of Trump’s Republican Administration were revealed when the unexpected announcement of the invitation was delivered to Andrea Mitchell as she was interviewing Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coates on live TV at the Aspen Security Forum.

Coates had been discussing the role of the intelligence community in the Trump Administration in the wake of Trump’s explicit statement in Helsinki that he believed Putin’s denial over the U.S. intelligence community’s findings that Russia had waged cyberattacks in the 2016 elections designed to support Trump’s campaign over Hillary Clinton’s.

The announcement plainly caught Coates by surprise, indicating Trump bypassed the intelligence community in whatever decision-making occurred. It seems clear Trump once more chose to avoid mobilizing the foreign policy apparatus to make careful preparations for such a momentous event. Trump, in short, learned nothing from the disastrous results of the Helsinki summit.

Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, and Handel care not about this gross mis-government.

Before receiving the surprise of the Putin invitation, Coates had told Mitchell that Trump had not briefed him about what transpired in the one-on-one Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki. The idea that Trump’s senior national security advisers can do their jobs effectively without knowing that information is pure horse manure. But this glaring flaw in the Trump White House means nothing to Georgia’s Republican Senators and Representatives.

This fly-by-the-seats-of-your-pants decision making in determining America’s future, of course, is looked upon with great enthusiasm by Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, and Karen Handel. It’s their definition of good government. They’ve had virtually nothing but praise for Trump for the past 19 months.

In the three days between the Helsinki debacle and the new announcement, Trump aggressively defended the Helsinki outcome, demonstrating beyond the shadow of a doubt his determination to continue acting as a vassal of Putin. His new invitation doubles down on his willingness to subordinate the national interests of the United States to the dictates of Vladimir Putin.

IndieDems rejects the Georgia Republicans’ cowardly obeisance to Trump and joins with conservative voices like Rep. Hurd (R-TX), John McCain, Newt Gingrich, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, (yes, Fox News), and George Will—among others—in condemning Trump’s flagrant betrayal of the United States. Add the latest column by TV news host and former Congressman Joe Scarborough “Republicans Should be Repulsed.”

The Evidence Says: Trump is an Agent of Putin

IndieDems is more convinced than ever of its previously stated conclusion that Trump is an agent of Putin—a conclusion that gained support after Trump’s Helsinki treason, increased further after he spent days rejecting all criticism of Helsinki, and has reached new heights with his invitation to Putin. More and more average Americans are reaching the conclusion that here is no other alternative.

The Offense is Treason

Section Three of the U.S. Constitution reads: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” The legal consensus seems to be that treason can only be committed if U.S. is waging war.


The Case for Treason

Special Counsel Mueller indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers, the findings of our intelligence services, and the recent report of the Senate Intelligence Committee verifying those findings leave no doubt that we are under attack by Russia.

  • And by any reasonable definition of those words, refusing to punish Russia for its attacks on America and refusing to take any steps to prevent the attacks from continuing, is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
  • In short, as of right now, Donald Trump is committing treason against the United States. As are any who support him.

Georgia’s Congressional Republicans Shrug Off Trump’s Treason in Helsinki

Georgia’s Congressional Republicans Continue Their Supine Support for Trump Despite His Treasonous Performance in Helsinki
Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, and Karen Handel show they care not a tinker’s damn about Trump’s selling out America to Putin
  • Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, and Handel are betraying their country for Donald Trump the way Trump betrayed his country for Putin in Helsinki.

Newt Gingrich, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and George Will (details below) lock and load on Trump for his Helsinki press conference with Putin—and all Georgia Republicans can muster is a bunch of anodyne pablum! What a price to pay for having Donald Trump as your one constituent—having to be cringing cowards living in mortal fear of offending the Wizard of Oz, even after the curtain has been pulled back.

Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, and Handel are engaging in a dereliction of duty unparalleled in Georgia’s history.

___________________________________________/

The AJC on July 16 publishes a review of how Georgia Republicans have reacted to Trump’s press conference in Helsinki that has been roundly criticized even by many Republicans.

  • “Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and U.S. Reps. Karen Handel and Jody Hice underscored that they believed Russia interfered in the most recent major U.S. election. But they took care not to directly repudiate Trump or his comments.” (Emphasis added)
  • “Many of the president’s most vocal backers, including U.S. Sen. David Perdue and gubernatorial candidates Brian Kemp and Casey Cagle, kept quiet.”

The Verbatim Statements

Isakson: “The Russians have been attempting to influence democratic processes across the world for decades. Russia has done nothing to deserve our trust, and they should receive no special treatment. Nothing from the meeting between President Trump and President Putin in Helsinki has changed this assessment. I was encouraged to see the July 3 bipartisan summary from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that supported the U.S. intelligence community’s 2017 findings that Russia’s cyber operations were extensive and sophisticated in their attempts to influence the 2016 election.”

Handel: “As I have said before, Russia is not our friend; Russia is not an ally. Based on U.S. intelligence community findings, as well as the findings of the House Intelligence Committee, it is abundantly clear that Russia did indeed interfere with the 2016 elections. Russia’s actions to undermine our democratic process and divide Americans must not be tolerated, and they must be held accountable.”

With these empty words, Isakson and Handel show they remain wedded to the same approach they have taken toward Trump and the Russian attacks on America for the past 19 months: they intend to continue to allow Trump and the GOP to do absolutely nothing to retaliate for the Russian attacks or to implement counter measures to prevent future attacks—attacks which our intelligence services tell us are continuing right now and will gain force as the November elections near.

Isakson and Handel are engaging in the same double-talk many other Republicans are playing in their treatment of Helsinki: they state they accept the obvious fact that Russia interfered in U.S. elections—but refrain from saying one word of direct criticism of Trump, or offering any concrete proposals to rein him in or to implement measures to block Russia’s ongoing cyberattacks on the U.S.

Isakson and Handel ignore the whole tone of Trump’s cringing sycophancy toward Putin and the broader implications of Trump’s recent words and deeds for the whole fabric of U.S. alliances and its international prestige.

Most of all, Isakson and Handel say nothing about the fact that Trump has betrayed America by not retaliating for the Russian attacks or implementing measures to frustrate future attacks. These failures, plus Trump’s gushing praise for the person who ordered the attacks, constitute providing “aid and comfort to the enemy”—the Constitution’s definition of treason.

Other Conservative Voices

While Isakson, Handel, Perdue, and Loudermilk cringe in fear of condemning Trump:

Newt Gingrich tweeted: “President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected—-immediately.”

Even Trump-friendly news media found fault with Putin summit in Helsinki

According to TheHill.com: The Wall Street Journal editorial board slammed President Trump over his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it a “personal and national embarrassment” in a scathing editorial…The editorial went on to say that…Trump “projected weakness” and went “soft” on Putin.

Fox News: “Putin eats Trump’s lunch in Helsinki — This is no way to win against Russia…At their joint press conference, President Putin was calculated and in control. Conversely, President Trump seemed to lack authority, praising Putin when he should have been condemning him, and ceding opportunities to confront Putin on his most egregious actions of the past decade – including meddling in the 2016 election and the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014…For a sitting U.S. president to say publicly that he believes a foreign leader over his own intelligence team is shocking and admonishable. At a time when our democracy faces grave threats, it is deeply troubling that the president would side with the very country who attacked us.”

George Will: This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man

Questions

While the cringing cowardice of Isakson, Handel others causes them to focus on the narrow issue of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, what answers do they give to the following questions:

  • Why do you not care that the Office of President suffer severe degradation when the incumbent stood next to an enemy who attacked us and displayed obsequious deference to that enemy?
  • Why don’t you give a damn that Trump has not confronted Putin head-on about his interference in the 2016 elections and his ongoing interference in the 2018 elections?
  • What is the impact on our European allies of watching this obsequious sell-out of U.S. interests? Won’t they ask: if Trump is so willing to sell out U.S. interests to Putin, why should we believe he will protect our interests?
  • Senators Isakson and Perdue and Reps. Loudermilk and Handel, please give us your assessment of the following: The past week has convinced our NATO allies in Europe that the United States can no longer be trusted.
  • Isn’t the security of the United States placed in grave danger by having the President of the United States openly ignore and insult our intelligence services and law enforcement agencies? What if the intelligence community concludes that the U.S is about to be attacked by North Korea—but Trump ignores the warning because Kim Jong-Un declares it’s not true? What if the IC concludes Iran is not about to attack the U.S.—but Trump overrides the IC and orders a pre-emptive attack?
  • Why should foreign intelligence services with whom we maintain critical liaison arrangements give our services any credibility?

Looking Ahead: Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk and Handel, Please Tell Us…

  • Do you intend to demand that Trump give Congress a report on what transpired at the private meeting between Trump and Putin? What concrete steps have you taken to bring that about?
  • What bill are you sponsoring or co-sponsoring to make sure that there is a comprehensive inter-agency effort to block Russia from interfering in this year’s elections?
  • Why has Trump never directed such an effort?
  • Why have you not cared that Trump never ordered such an effort?
  • What is you deadline for launching such an effort?
  • How many times have you phoned the White House to get an update on what the Administration is doing to put an end to Russian cyberattacks on the U.S.?

(Coming next: Georgia Congressional Democrats do their country proud)

GA GOP Congressional Delegations Sink Deeper into Trump’s Sewer

(Editor’s note: This post first appeared as a  Newsletter on July 7, 2018)

Within the last 24 hours, a plethora of headlines have highlighted the implosion of Trump’s Republican Party into a corrupt, intellectually and morally burnt-out case, with nothing positive to offer America. Trump, with his speech in Montana, shows every sign of being unhinged. And the speech is simply the latest of a growing pattern of flagrant lies and false claims. It’s no longer a Republican swamp. It’s a Republican sewer.

But, Georgians, note this: your Republican Congressional delegations in Washington are swimming happily in this sewer. Our Senators, Representatives, and their staffs remain among the most slavish lackey supporters of Donald Trump. They are eagerly helping Trump to wage his war against America’s basic moral and democratic values, against God’s Commandments, against Jesus’ Golden Rule, and against common human decency.

But let’s get specific. IndieDems provides below the headlines that will lead you to articles that provide sentence by sentence and paragraph by paragraph the facts about the debased Republican agenda and its debased supporters.

As you read, remember this: the following Republicans endorse every word and deed that is being condemned:

  • Senator Johnny Isakson and his Chief of Staff Joan Karr and Immigration Legislative Assistant Michael Black.
  • Senator David Perdue and his COS Derrick Dickey and Immigration LA Drew Robinson
  • Rep. Karen Handel and her COS Muffy Day and Immigration LA Elisabeth Conklin
  • Rep. Barry Loudermilk and his COS Rob Adkerson and Homeland Security LA Susannah Johnston

What human being could listen to a President of the United States in a public speech insult George H.W. Bush and John McCain, call a U.S. Senator “Pocahontas” and then devote hundreds of words to discussing how, in a debate, he is going to have her DNA tested—and not conclude that the President is unhinged? All the people listed above, that’s who.

Details

Trump Assails Critics and Mocks #MeToo. What About Putin? ‘He’s Fine

In a speech July 5 in Montana, Donald Trump mocked or insulted: John McCain, former President George H.W. Bush and his Points of Light, the #MeToo movement, Elizabeth Warren, and Maxine Waters. He did not attack the latter two for their policies. He leveled a racist slur at Warren and a personal insult at Waters. In the same speech, he praised Vladimir Putin—a now consistent Republican policy of attacking friends and allies and decent people, while heaping praise on Putin, Kim Un Jong, and fascists copying Nazi parades by marching through the streets of Charlottesville bearing torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

Trump Administration in Chaotic Scramble to Reunify Migrant Families

These reports of the Trump Administration’s continued chaos and confusion in reuniting the kidnapped refugee children with their families—including an inability to provide accurate numbers—surfaced on the same day that Trump delivered his Montana diatribe. Look at the names of the Republicans above. They give not a damn about what this shows about the state of their debased and incompetent rule.

Scott Pruitt is out, far too late

“The most dishonest and corrupt administration in about a century is only marginally improved by the departure of Pruitt.” A conservative columnist speaks. Georgia’s elected Republican and their staff remain speechless, clear evidence of their acceptance of massive corruption.

Trump and Republicans Cross Over into Outright Racism

Trump over the weekend removed any doubt that racism that is the true guiding force of the Republican anti-American and anti-Christian policies that imprisons thousands of refugee children in wire cages and leaves them there in legal limbo. He did so by telling whopping lies about immigrants’ crime, their numbers, the cost they impose on the United States, and again referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.” He doubled down by employing flagrantly race-baiting language, saying that immigrants come to “infest” America and to “breed” while here.

Trump went even further and trampled the Constitution underfoot by declaring that illegal immigrants should immediately be deported without trial or an appearance before a judge. Lawyers quickly pointed out this would violate the explicit words of the Constitution.

The Reverend Michael Huckabee, prominent Republican and the father of press secretary Sarah Sanders, reinforced the Republican racist message by releasing a photo of MSD-13 gang members and labeling them Nancy Pelosi’s campaign staff.

Wow. That’s as funny as Sarah Huckabee Sanders looking the American people in the eye about five times a week and lying to them. I’ve said for some time, Sarah proves the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Read more from true conservatives:
Republicans have bought into Trump’s racist bilge
Trump sends us down a rabbit hole of white supremacy
Other Voices:
Loyalty to Trump demands a lack of character