Category: Republicans

Letter to U.S. Clerics with Questions on Trump They Refuse to Answer

In December, I sent the letter below to several American religious leaders, quoting the growing chorus of religious and conservative voices speaking out in alarm about the danger to Christianity posed by a passive attitude toward the immorality, corruption, and sordidness of the Trump Administration and asking the recipients to offer their own comments. I gave them the chance to respond before the letter was published on this blog, so they would in no way feel blindsided.   
So far, I have heard from only one addressee, Senior Pastor Bryant Wright of the Johnson Street Baptist Church in Marietta. His reply consisted of a link to one of his sermons, “Looking for a Savior in a President” (11.06.16), available at,  
Technical problems with this blog forced a delay in posting the letter. I publish it in its original form, although the issues it raises have become even more acute as Trump’s Republican Administration has sunk further and further into the gutter—with no concerted response from our major religious denominations, as far as I have been able to discover.

Tom Barksdale, proprietor
(Street Address Redacted)
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. Johnny Hunt
First Baptist Church of Woodstock
11905 Highway 92
Woodstock, GA 30188
Dr. Michael Lewis
Roswell Street Baptist Church
774 Roswell St.
Marietta, GA 30060
Dr. Russell Moore
President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce Street
Nashville, TN 37203


Senior Pastor Bryant Wright
Johnson Ferry Baptist Church
955 Johnson Ferry Rd.
Marietta, GA 30068
 Attn: J. Herbert Nelson, II
Office of the General Assembly:Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY  40202-1396
Bishop Michael Curry
The Episcopal Church
815 Second Ave
New York, NY 10017
Dear (Pastor Johnny) (Dr. Lewis)(Dr. Moore)(Pastor Wright)(Reverend Nelson)(Bishop Curry):
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.
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, (Reverend/Pastor/Bishop), where you 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 You, (Reverend)(Pastor)(Bishop)
When did you and the (First Baptist Church of Woodstock)(Southern Baptist Convention)(Roswell Street Baptist Church)(Presbyterian Church U.S.A.)(Johnson Street Baptist Church)(The Episcopal Church) 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 you 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” 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. Please do the same for each of the bullet points in the sub-section, “The Republicans’ Arrogant Trashing of Jesus’ Golden Rule.”
Do you believe, (Pastor)(Reverend/Bishop), 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: Do you agree or disagree with my statement?
But above all, (Pastor Johnny)(Dr. Lewis)(Pastor Wright)(Dr. Moore)(Reverend Nelson)(Bishop Curry), please tell us how you talk to the children in your flock—or your 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 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 COMMENT to post your reply directly.
Tom Barksdale

The Known Facts about the Crime and Malfeasance in Trumpgate

The New York Times today published a detailed look at the known facts about the crimes and acts of malfeasance already uncovered by Mueller and other investigations. The list further eviscerates any idea that Mueller’s probe is a witch hunt or that his investigation has reached a dead end by allegedly not proving “collusion”–a term that appears nowhere in the Justice Department directive establishing Mueller’s probe.


  • (Mueller) has already provided an instructive guide to the swampy world of corporations, law firms and Washington lobbying shops,
  • The indictment of Paul Manafort lifted a rock on manipulation that’s usually hidden.
  • The lawyer who was found guilty of lying to Mueller’s team came from a major law firm that was among the beneficiaries of $4 million in largess that Manafort  distributed several years ago  in support of lobbying for Russian interests
  • The Obama State Department called a report issued by the law firm in support of that lobbying flawed and inappropriate
  • Mueller’s indictment also revealed that Manafort enlisted the help of the Democratic superlobbyist Tony Podesta and his firm, the Podesta Group
  • Three years ago…the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network fined the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City $10 million for “willful and repeated violations of the Bank Secrecy Act”
  • One-fifth of the condos owned by Trump in the United States were sold to shell companies like those Manafort used…Since Trump won the Republican nomination, 70 percent of domestic real estate sales by his companies were to shell companies
  • A Times investigation found that this sort of behavior is business as usual for many big developers,
  • A shell company obscured the purchase of a lobbyist’s luxurious home by the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, when he was an Oklahoma state senator in 2003.
  • The recent attention to Mr. Trump’s “personal attorney” Michael Cohen illuminated another not uncommon practice of the business world…keeping people quiet.
  • A lawyer from another top law firm has been involved in attempts to squelch the story of Trump’s alleged fathering of a child out of wedlock
  • The same lawyer also worked to try to kill a New York Times report on women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and, on behalf of the fraudulent blood-testing company Theranos, threatened to sue The Wall Street Journal to prevent a report that showed the company was a complete con.
“In the world of white-collar crime, business as usual has meant that the attorney-client privilege has often been a means to keep the law at bay…All this is an indictment of a criminal justice system that has fed the swamp in which Mr. Trump and his ilk thrive. “




Nikki Haley’s Feet of Cay, cont.

Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman and current TV/newspaper commentator, recently wrote that he does not believe Trump will run for re-election in  2010. In the process, he joined the media hallelujah chorus that has turned Trump lap dog Nikki Haley into some kind of Nikki-the-giant-killer avatar because she publicly rebuked a Trump aide for stating she was confused when she said on TV that the U.S. was going to impose more economic sanctions on Russia. 

Turned out that was the decision in place when she went on TV, only Trump had overturned it at the last minute–and no one had informed the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

Scarborough went on to beat the presidential drums for Haley.

IndieDems Comment:

I am about to puke over the media frenzy falsely declaring Nikki Haley as a virtual Joan of Arc for poking Trump in the eye. Scarborough’s joining the hallelujah chorus has only magnified the symptoms. Nikki Haley’s track record shows her as one of Trump’s most sycophantic, obsequious lap dogs.

Where was Nikki Haley’s disgust when Trump:

  • Demeaned the military career of John McCain
  • Accused Obama of engaging in a conspiracy to disguise the “fact” that he was foreign-born
  • Used an ethnic slut to insult a federal judge
  • Accused Mexican undocumented immigrants of being mainly rapists and criminals
  • Praised the thug Putin
  • Said good words about neo-fascists staging Nazi-like parades in Charlottesville
  • Mocked the handicapped
  • Tells lie after lie.

But more to the point, where was Haley’s anger when Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women and called them bimbos; appointed sex predator Roger Ailes as a key advisor; and approved calling his own daughter a piece of a–. Or when Trump appointed white supremacist and overt misogynist Steve Bannon as his campaign czar and then as a Presidential Counselor.

Haley showed no problem with Bannon’s words: “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Tech; Birth control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy; Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?”

But the question Haley needs to be asked: “who do you believe? The women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment, or the Trump who calls them liars?”

Why have our TV pundits gone overboard for the Nikki Haley who only gets mad and reacts when she is personally insulted, but gives not one tinker’s damn about the other targets of Trump’s venom? What a pathetic example of “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” Haley is just another Paul Ryan/Mike Pence clone.

Georgia Republicans Comfortable with Colleagues’ Racist Speak

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has addressed President Trump’s recent words referring to immigrants “breeding” in America’s sanctuary cities. He points out that the use of the term and its companion, “inbreeding,” has been a staple of racist bigots and anti-Semites throughout history,  most notably by Hitler and the Nazis, e.g., Nazi propaganda from 1944:

“Jewry is the product of the inbreeding of asocial, criminal, sick, degenerate, and rejected elements. . . . [It] leads a rootless, parasitic life at the expense of the host peoples. Its current homeland is largely the criminal neighborhoods of the great cities of the world.”

Milbank goes on to provide examples of current Republicans likening immigrants and minorities to breeding animals:

  • Trump appointee Carl Higbie resigned after the publishing of his earlier complaints that black women think “breeding is a form of government employment.”
  • Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) has spoken of immigration policy as “allowing any kind of vagrant, or animal . . . to come in.”
  • Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a Trump ally, described the screening of immigrants: “You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog.”
  • Dan Stein, the president of the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform, famously said immigrants are conducting “competitive breeding” to dilute the white majority.
  • White nationalist Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute frets about white “displacement by the subject race through differential fertility rates and interracial breeding.”
  • Alex Jones’s Infowars, which Trump has also celebrated, has published headlines saying things such as “Top Imam: Muslim Migrants Should Breed With Europeans to ‘Conquer Their Countries.’ ”

The most significant aspect of all this for Georgians is the fact that Georgia Republicans like Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, and Karen Handel–by their silence–show that they are quite comfortable with such speech. But do not doubt Georgia Republicans’ innate morality. Why, any day now, they are likely to erupt with a denunciation of Nancy Pelosi as the embodiment of all evil.

And–gasp!–have you heard about Hillary’s private email system?

Christian Leaders’ Feckless Tolerance of Trump Continues

Michael Gerson, conservative commentator and former G.W. Bush speechwriter, recently published a column “Are these evangelicals ready to topple the idol of politics?”

(Excerpt) …the reaction against the Trump evangelicals among other evangelicals is still in the emergence stage…a group of 50 ethnically and denominationally diverse evangelical leaders (recently)  met to discuss the sad state of their movement…The predominant narrative of white evangelicalism is tribal rather than universal: Christians, who once set America’s moral and political terms, are under legal and cultural siege by the forces of secularism. Now they must find political allies and fight back before they are thrown to the lions…

IndieDems Comment:

Why does Gerson limit his remarks to evangelicals? Where in God’s name are the leaders of our major Christian denominations? They remain silent as Trump and his Republicans sink deeper and deeper into a cesspool of criminality, corruption, and contempt for America’s basic moral and democratic values, contempt for God’s Commandments, and contempt for common human decency.

The absence of a concerted Christian opposition to Trumpism takes us back to the days when Christians remained silent about slavery and then segregation. Christian hypocrisy has reached new heights of shame.

Our current Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Catholics seem closer to the doctrines of the 19th Century Baptists who founded the Southern Baptist Convention as the Christian instrument to perpetuate slavery. Or the 1950’s Christians who let it up to the lawyer Joseph Welch to point an accusing finger at Joe McCarthy and his Trump-like followers to start the destruction of McCarthyism.

It’s not just the love of money that characterizes our putative Christian leaders, as some claim. It’s their total abandonment of the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule to accommodate Trump and his morally and intellectually corrupt Republicans that makes American Christianity nothing but an exercise in hollow hypocrisy.

Our current Christians’ silence as Trump deals daily blows to every principle of the Judaeo-Christian ethos has become equal to the silence of previous generations of Christians to slavery, segregation–and the rise of fascism and Naziism in the march toward the Holocaust. Christian hypocrisy once more knows no bounds.

When did we reach the point where the only thing you need to do to show you are a Christian is point your accusing finger at abortion, gays, or the use of contraceptives? Or at Bill Clinton? Trump literally tramples on the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule daily–and our so-called Christians keep their heads firmly in the sand.

But God is not mocked, and these hypocritical Christians are in for a rude shock on judgment day.

Giuliani Joins League of Republican Adulterers

Trump, unable to get high-level prominent lawyers to represent him, has appointed former New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani as his senior attorney.

Wow. Trump and the Republican Party are in overdrive to make adultery a way of life in America, the way they have worked to make lying a way of life. Trump, Giuliani, Newt Gingrich–birds of a corrupt, adulterous feather do stick together, don’t they?

To you young Americans: the Republican Party was once actually led by decent, honorable people. Go to Wikipedia and look up Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight David Eisenhower. Those days are obviously gone forever.

Yes, you live in an era of the total moral and intellectual corruption of the Republican Party, and the total hypocrisy of your religious leaders for failing to speak out against the immorality and corruption in which the Trumpists are enveloping us. But do not despair. Remember, Trump’s opponent got 3 million more popular votes than he did, and the strength of the lying and adultery-loving immoral and corrupt Republicans is exaggerated by the unrepresentative U.S. Senate and the Republicans’ gerrymandering of Congressional districts to frustrate the popular will.

Rededicate yourselves to ousting these NRA-loving sleazebuckets from office and have faith better days will come.

A Christian Universal Get-Out-of-Jail Pass?

The Reverend Frank Graham on April 4 tweeted the following:

How does someone not fear death? Because of the assurance knowing that their soul is secure in the hands of Almighty God. That’s our hope–that one day we’ll be in His presence, not because we’re good people but because we’ve been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Thank you, Rev. Graham, for assuring us that Trump can tell all the lies, commit all the adulteries, and sexually abuse all the women he wants, and preside over a totally corrupt Administration, and still be assured of going to heaven.

Rev. Graham explains that when Trump said he could shoot someone on Fifth Ave. and get away with it, he not only knew what he was talking about, he was being a good Christian. In fact, Graham has explained the genesis of slavery, segregation, and the Holocaust.

Question: Is this universal get-out-of-jail pass really the foundation of the Christian faith? Do Christians really believe they can rape, lie, cheat, steal, and commit adultery with impunity, and get to heaven as long as they claim they were saved by Jesus Christ?

Paul Ryan’s Exit: “A Scam of a Party Says Goodby to Its Top Fraud”

Paul Ryan has announced he will not seek re-election in November, stating as his main reason the need to spend more times with the kids. Many observers believe that clearly played a role, but equally–or more–likely, Ryan is fed up with his Party’s drift and chaos, he expects the Democrats to be the majority party next January, and his own re-election is far from certain.  Here are some commentaries, and IndieDems response.

A scam of a party says goodbye to its top fraud

(Excerpts)...shows just how hollow the conservative project in America has become…After 15 months with total control of the government, Ryan and his colleagues achieved almost nothing, and he has now decided that there is nothing more to do…Ryan failed at both his pretend goal and his real goal…when it comes to legislation, the Republicans’ time in power has pretty much consisted of trying and failing to repeal the ACA, cutting taxes, and calling it a day…

Paul Ryan was always a fraud. He pretended to be a wonk’s wonk, but his budget and policy plans were full of sleight-of-hand and magic asterisks that fell apart on the most superficial examination…And he pretended to be scandalized by Trump’s repugnant words and actions but, after a few regretful words and a furrowing of his brow, would always go right back to supporting the president. 

IndieDems Comment: Waldman has written the pluperfect description of Paul Ryan’s personal and political character. He is a hollow man, a liar, hypocrite, coward, and flim-flam artist beyond compare. And thank you, sir, for reminding people, as I do, that Ryan is a disciple of the atheistic, anti-Christian doctrines of Ayn Rand. In fact, Ryan announced at the beginning of his political career that Rand was the inspiration for his choosing politics, and he would dedicate his life to implementing her “Virtues of Selfishness.” He never wavered.

Paul Ryan’s Devastating Timing

IndieDems Comments: I presume any sentiment human being knows Ms. Tumulty has accurately described Paul Ryan as one of the most sniveling cowards ever to hold high public office in the United States. That is Ryan’s chief legacy. What a wretched, depraved person he is.

The similarity between Republicans like Paul Ryan who support Donald Trump as president, no matter how corrupt and immoral he proves to be, and the Germans who supported Adolph Hitler while rapping his knuckles for starting a war and implementing the Holocaust, becomes more glaringly apparent every day.

German cowards and sycophants brought the Nazis to power. Cowards and sycophants like Paul Ryan brought Donald Trump to power and keep him there. Ryan has uttered not one word expressing serious criticism of Trump, much less separated himself from Trump’s agenda. On the contrary. Ryan has been and remains a faithful Trump lap dog, a fervent supporter of Trump’s legislative acts.

How Does David Perdue Betray America? Let Us Count the Ways…

“With the blessing of Republican leaders, the lickspittle wing of the GOP is now firmly in charge. The existence of reckless partisans such as Nunes is hardly surprising. The nearly uniform cowardice among elected Republicans is staggering. One is left wishing that Obamacare covered spine transplants. The Republican-led Congress is now an adjunct of the White House. The White House is now an adjunct of Trump’s chaotic will.” –Michael Gerson, conservative (traditional) newspaper columnist and former George W. Bush speechwriter, in his column “The Cowardice among Republicans is Staggering,”  February 5, 2018.

IndieDems note: The following by no means covers all the acts and words by Donald Trump that Senator Perdue has supported, condoned, or tolerated. But…who knows what might follow—or what more research might reveal—that could delay publication? So, here’s the first draft of what is likely to be a continuing serial.

David Perdue betrays America by continuing to support a President who has thrown God’s Ten Commandments overboard—especially the ones about not lying and not committing adultery.

David Perdue betrays America by continuing to support a President whose virtually every tweet and utterance shows disregard for Jesus’ Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

David Perdue betrays America by abandoning any semblance of exercising Congressional oversight of Trump’s Executive Branch and by joining the Republican herd in displaying staggering cowardice toward Donald Trump.

  • What may have begun as Perdue’s temporary political compromise with Trump has become an indelible moral stain.

David Perdue betrays America by continuing to support a President who praises Vladimir Putin and delayed taking any action against Russia’s flagrant use of cyberwarfare and disinformation to interfere in America’s elections. President Trump for months explicitly ignored a law passed by the U.S. Congress calling for sanctions against Russia for election meddling and aggression against Ukraine.

  • David Perdue violates his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States and does nothing while the United States #1 enemy delivers hammer blows against U.S. national interests.

Editorial note: On February 13, 2018, the six chiefs of our intelligence services appeared before a Senate committee to report: Russia Likely to Meddle in 2018 Races, Officials Tell Senators. Here are excerpts that show what David Perdue has done little about:

  • “In an effort to deepen political divisions, U.S. intelligence chiefs said, Moscow is using fake accounts on social media — many of them bots — to spread disinformation.”
  • The warnings were striking in their contrast to President Trump’s (and David Perdue’s) views on Russia.

Continued: David Perdue betrays America and his office by continuing to support a President whose assertion that Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is a hoax was blown to smithereens by the facts in Mueller’s indictment of 33 Russians for waging a massive covert campaign to distort America’s democratic process by inciting political conflict and discord.

David Perdue doubles down on his betrayal of America and his office by continuing to support a President who, in response  to the indictments, issued an irrelevant statement  that the indictments showed no collusion between his campaign and the Russians—while refusing to propose any concrete actions to punish Russia for waging war on the United States.

David Perdue betrays America by continuing to support a President who compounds his inaction against Russia by lavishing praising on the dictatorial, murdering thug Vladimir Putin.

David Perdue betrayed America by approving the release of the memo released by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes, a memo roundly denounced even by some Republican as failing miserably to make its intended case that the FBI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party.

  • The Perdue-approved effort ended in a pathetic fizzle. Nunes’ brief, amateurish document failed to demonstrate that FBI surveillance was triggered solely or mainly by a Democratic-funded dossier.
  • But for cherry-picking above and beyond the call of duty, Nunes and Perdue deserve their own exhibit in the hackery hall of fame.

David Perdue betrayed America and showed his lack of a moral conscience by approving Trump’s actions in the Rob Porter affair, in which someone known by Trump’s staffers to be a wife beater—including knowing that the charges were responsible for his failure to obtain a security clearance—was kept in his White House job until media revelations forced a decision by Chief of Staff John Kelly.

  • Perdue shows no problem with the fact that even after the revelations were made public, the first response of Trump’s Chief of Staff was to issue a press release stating “Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor and I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional.”
  • Just to make sure Trump, Kelly, and Perdue’s view was made clear, Trump press spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders—after Porter announced his departure—stated  that Porter still had the White House’s support and that the decision to resign was his own. She continued: “I have worked directly with Rob Porter nearly every day for the last year, and the person I know is someone of the highest integrity and exemplary character. Those of us who have the privilege of knowing him are better people because of it.”

Kelly and Sanders’ praise of wife beater Porter apparently had Perdue’s full approval. He has not publicly stated otherwise.

Only after the media followed up with a photo of one of Porter’s abused former wives sporting a horrible black eye did Donald Trump and John Kelly decide he had to go.

David Perdue showed his contempt for common human decency and morality by continuing to support Trump as President after Trump in a press conference praised Porter, wished him well—and said not one word about the two abused women.

David Perdue betrayed America and showed his lack of a moral conscience by continuing to support Trump even after, two days past Porter’s resignation, another Trump staffer—a speechwriter—resigned after his former wife claimed that he was violent and emotionally abusive.

David Perdue’s contempt for America’s basic moral values continues a pattern he showed when he by continued to support Trump for president after then-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was shown on video assaulting Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, and Trump described him as “a very decent man.

David Perdue betrays America by continuing to support Trump as President after incident after incident and tweet after tweet proved how rudderless and dysfunctional the White House remains—and how unfit Perdue’s hero Trump is to be president.

David Perdue betrays America by continuing to support a President whose son-in-law and top aide, Jared Kushner, and dozens of other White House staffers spent over year without security clearance—but were allowed access to the most sensitive and highly classified information in the U.S. Government.

David Perdue doubles (triples?) down on his—and the Republican Party’s—hypocritical betrayal of America by tolerating Trump’s sellout of U.S. national security interests—after spending years in near hysteria claiming that Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system posed a grave danger to U.S. security, even though nine years after its establishment, Hillary’s emails have caused not one iota of harm to U.S. national interests.

Perdue betrayed America by supporting a President who was warned not to appoint Mike Flynn as National Security adviser, appointed him anyway, and had Flynn subsequently plead guilty to a federal crime.

Perdue betrays America by continuing to support a President who forged a close political alliance with Paul Manafort, despite his shady dealings with foreign countries and businesses, and has seen Manafort indicted on federal criminal charges—along with his associate, Rick Gates.

Perdue betrays America by supporting a President who hired George Papadopoulos as a foreign policy adviser—and has seen him plead guilty to a federal crime.

Perdue betrays America by supporting Trump as President after his COS, Kelly, stated publicly that young undocumented immigrants were “too lazy” to sign up for DACA and then doubled down after a public backlash.

David Perdue betrays America by supporting a President who has proven he is a congenital liar, responsible for over 2,000 lies or misrepresentations in one year.

Perdue betrays America by supporting a President who had words of praise for the racists and neo-fascists who marched through the streets of Charlottesville, bearing torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us,” in flagrant imitation of the Nazis.

Perdue betrays America by supporting a President who labeled Haiti and African countries as “shitholes.” (Even Perdue’s Senate colleague, Johnny Isakson, managed a rap on Trump’s knuckles for this one—the supreme act of rebuke for Trump lackeys like Isakson and Perdue. House Speaker Paul Ryan is the all-time champion of issuing these meaningless verbal reprimands—which, of course, reinforce rather than diminish what a toady the “critic” is.)

Perdue betrays America by supporting a President who prefers to surround himself with toadies constitutionally incapable of standing up to him and prepared to pay the price of slathering him with praise.

  • Perdue could have no doubt about the banana republic Trump is transforming the United States into after, at Trump’s first full Cabinet meeting in June, the attendees  attempted to outdo each other in delivering gushing, sycophantic  praise of their leader—a display reminiscent of a gathering of the top aides of Adolph Hitler or Benito Mussolini—or Idi Amin.

David Perdue betrays America by continuing to support a President who endorsed a candidate for the U.S Senate who was an accused child molester who had also showed contempt for the rule of law by twice defying court-ordered restraints on his behavior.
Perdue’s Republican Party also officially endorsed the candidate.

Perdue betrays America by supporting a President who was forced to withdraw his controversial nominee to head the Council on Environmental Quality, after even some Republicans questioned her credentials.

David Perdue betrays America by continuing to support a President who was forced to withdraw three of his nominees for federal judgeships after their unfitness was revealed.

  • One nominee, during his Senate confirmation hearing, was unable to answer basic questions about the courtroom process, showed little familiarity with federal trial rules, and acknowledged that he had never prosecuted or defended a case.
  • Another also had scant trial experience and apparently had spoken favorably about the Ku Klux Klan under a pseudonym on a website.
  • The third once described transgender children as proof of “Satan’s plan.”

David Perdue betrays America by supporting a President whose appointee as Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, who resigned in disgrace in September after he was found to have spent $400,000 chartering private jets at taxpayer expense.

David Perdue betrays America by accepting as normal the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, after revelations that Pruitt was:

  • Living for $50 a day in a Washington condo owned by the wife of a powerful fossil fuel lobbyist whose client was recently given the green light by the EPA to expand a pipeline project. The lobbyist had previously donated to Pruitt’s campaign for attorney general in Oklahoma and even hosted a fundraiser for him.
  • Regularly flying first class and being accompanied by large security team, although there is no know threat to Pruitt that would warrant such expensive coverage
  • For a more detailed look at the corruption of Scott Pruitt, read “Scott Pruitt Is a Cartoon Villain.”

David Perdue betrays America by supporting a President whose appointee as director of the Center for Disease Control, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, resigned this past January after it was revealed she had recently bought stock in a tobacco company.

  • She had spent months recusing herself from various official duties because she owned shares in bio-tech and health-information companies.

(Read the report by a science writer and also Trump Could Help Curb a Potential Pandemic. Instead, He’s Been Silent, about how Trump’s disastrous choices for public-health leadership left the country woefully unprepared for this year’s virulent flu epidemic and will contribute to the flu deaths that will occur between now and summer—deaths for which David Perdue will also bear blame).

David Perdue betrays America and makes it more vulnerable to suffering a catastrophic pandemic by supporting Trump’s massive cuts in the CDC budget—and his proposal for even more cuts. (Read the above articles for details. Quote: “For a fraction of what the president (and Perdue) wants to spend on his pointless barrier with Mexico, we could make ourselves infinitely safer from infectious diseases.”)

Read more on what Senator David Perdue considers competent government:

At White House, 34% Turnover Rate and Many Vacancies

The good news for President Trump: He has set a modern White House record. The bad news: It’s for the high staff turnover in his tumultuous administration.

The Gang That Couldn’t Think Straight

The astonishing incompetence of Trump appointees.

In memoriam: One year in, a look at who’s been fired or resigned from the Trump administration

  • David Perdue betrays America by supporting a President who used tweets to abruptly announce he wanted to bar transgender people from the military. Trump’s arbitrary act demeaned the office of President, short-circuited an ongoing military review of the issue, and inflicted emotional suffering on transgender troops who are serving their country with pride and distinction—something, of course, Donald Trump never did.
  • David Perdue betrays America by proving over and over again that Trump was correct when he said during the presidential campaign that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.
  • David Perdue betrays American values and morality by supporting a President who keeps Kelly as Chief of Staff after Kelly attacked Florida Democrat Rep. Frederica S. Wilson as an “empty barrel” and a video showed that Kelly had misrepresented her comments. Kelly vowed he would “never” apologize.
  • David Perdue betrayed America by supporting a President who demeaned the military service of John McCain.
  • David Perdue betrayed America by endorsing Trump for President after he berated and threatened a federal judge of Mexican heritage; falsely claimed that most illegal Mexican immigrants were criminals and rapists; and called out to a black person at a rally, “Look at my African American.”
  • David Perdue betrayed America by supporting a President who calls women bimbos and bragged about sexually assaulting them.
  • David Perdue betrayed America by supporting a President who mocks handicapped people.
  • David Perdue betrayed America by supporting a President who incited his followers to violence.
  • David Perdue betrayed America by supporting a President who foregoes any attempt to forge national unity and appeals to anger, hatred, racism, and frustrations.
  • David Perdue betrays America with his continued effusive support for Trump, which has provided political cover for a weakening of the constitutional order. Trump is using Perdue as a tool. The way Perdue is headed, history offers two possible verdicts: Either he enabled an autocrat, or he was intimidated by a fool.
  • David Perdue puts his legislative agenda above his own professed principles and the good name of the country so someday he can say, yes, Trump got us into a ruinous trade war but I passed a tax cut for the rich and rimmed a bit off the Affordable Care Act.

Perdue’s response to the recent Mueller indictments, the wife abuse scandals, and the lawsuits involving Trump’s adultery, in short, has continued to display the flaws that have become the hallmark of Trump and Perdue’s character. The scandals have reinforced the fact that the Trump administration and its enablers like David Perdue suffer from a singularly morally bankrupt strain of Republican tribalism. Perdue prizes loyalty to President Trump above all else, and Trump’s failings are ignored.

 In short, Trump and Perdue deserve each other. Their country deserves better.

Trumpism Is Normal? Like the Republicans’ Previous Normal, McCarthyism?

Gary Abernathy, the publisher and editor of the Hillsboro (Ohio) Times-Gazette and a Washington Post columnist, has written another apologia for the Trump Administration.

Surely, at this point, it is abundantly clear that any word or deed that makes Trump’s morally and intellectually corrupt Administration the new normal is the equivalent of saying that slavery and segregation were normal. Or that McCarthyism or Watergate or Iran-Contra was normal. Or of Germans deciding that rule by the Nazis was normal.

Trump and his Republicans are an abomination to all that America is supposed to stand for. Abernathy has joined Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, and Nikki Haley in savaging our basic moral and democratic values. Give them credit: They have not taken half-steps. They began at the top, by declaring null and void God’s 10 Commandments, especially the ones about adultery and lies. They have now added a stupefying willingness to acquiesce in Putin’s war against our democracy.

Abernathy’s aggressive apologia for Trump will earn him a place in history right up there with the Americans who sanctified slavery, segregation, and racism–and the Republicans who worshiped Joseph McCarthy. Or apologized for Nixon until the smoking gun was found that made clear what any half-wit already knew.

Abernathy is a living, breathing symbol of the callousness and inhumanity that has seized the hearts and souls of so many affluent, middle-aged, powerful white males. They are the living embodiment of what used to be a caricature.