“Religious” Trump follows the global authoritarian playbook


He even got it right side up!

It was a striking moment: Donald Trump, Bible in hand, posing for photos in an apparent moment of political theater made possible by the dispersal of protesters through the use of tear gas.

The president’s visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church, known as “the Church of the Presidents,” came immediately after giving a Rose Garden speech framing himself as “your president of law and order” and threatening to send federal troops to “restore security and safety in America.” The next day, Trump made another high-profile visit to a place of worship, this time Washington’s St. John Paul II National Shrine…

When enough people perceive – or can be convinced – that traditional elements of the social fabric are at risk, religious signaling through the use of symbols and images can help would-be authoritarians cement their power. They present themselves as protectors of the faith and foes of any outsider who threatens tradition.

Useful, educational, thoughtful reflection on what is probably one of the oldest political hustles in the book.

Like any hypocrite$, Bill Barr argued against the crap he now promotes

In defending President Donald Trump against impeachment, the president’s legal team has had to perform legal gymnastics to try and justify Trump’s innocence, using tactics from stonewalling to outright lies…In a memo released prior to Trump’s Senate trial, the president’s lawyers turned to a new line of reasoning in their defense, claiming that “abuse of power,” one of the articles of impeachment the House voted in favor of, is not actually an impeachable offense because it’s not a real crime…

The New York Times points out that in a memo written in the summer of 2018 when he was still a private attorney, now-U.S. Attorney General William Barr argued the exact opposite of what the Trump team is now claiming in their defense of the president. In the memo…Barr argues that the president is shielded from criminal penalties and should not be held accountable by a special prosecutor. Instead, the president is held responsible by Congress and their impeachment powers—not just for criminal charges, but for “any abuses of discretion.” “Under the Framers’ plan, the determination whether the President is making decisions based on ‘improper’ motives or whether he is ‘faithfully’ discharging his responsibilities is left to the People, through the election process, and the Congress, through the Impeachment process,” Barr wrote. “The fact that President is answerable for any abuses of discretion and is ultimately subject to the judgment of Congress through the impeachment process means that the President is not the judge in his own cause.”

I’m not clear which sort of hypocrisy is more corrupt. Just taking your paycheck and vomiting out required paragraphs of legal puke. Or practicing phony law to prop up criminal incompetents because he is your Fuehrer.