It’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand why those who support Donald Trump continue to do so, despite the mountains of evidence against him. The Mueller report documented that Trump had welcomed and encouraged assistance from Russia, and then sought to obstruct justice by covering it up. And the Ukraine affair, wherein he tried to extort a foreign government for his political benefit, is proof that he has no qualms about doing it again.
More facts are being revealed every day, and the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry is proceeding surprisingly rapidly. This has resulted in Trump secluding himself in his bunker and refusing to cooperate in any way with the inquiry. For someone who fiercely insists that he has done nothing wrong, Trump is trying awfully hard to prevent the evidence he asserts would exonerate him from ever coming out.
In the meantime, the StormTrumpers in Congress and the press are digging in deeper than ever. They are no longer simply offering words of support, they are canonizing Trump as some sort of superhuman sent from above to save mankind. It’s a bizarre twist in what would ordinarily be a political debate, but is turning into a test of devotion to the Almighty.
On Tuesday a Fox News legal analyst, Gregg Jarrett. argued that Trump was innocent of any wrongdoing because “abuse of power” wasn’t prohibited by the Constitution. Not only is that false, it’s a remarkably stupid argument in favor of tyranny. On Wednesday a couple of Trump’s evangelical leaders weighed in with equally grotesque positions on Trump’s behalf. The Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed said that American evangelicals “have a moral obligation to enthusiastically back” the president. Really? A moral obligation to back a thrice-married, profane, lying, adulterer, who conspires with America’s enemies? Then Trump’s spiritual adviser Paula White said that “To say no to President Trump would be saying no to God.” So Trump, in her eyes, is on a par with the King of Kings?
And speaking of Kings, Joseph DiGenova, a lawyer and supporter of Trump, told Laura Ingraham of Fox News that the efforts to impeach Trump were “regicide” (killing a king). So now they are admitting that they regard Trump as a king rather than a president who is subject to the tenets of democracy and to the law.
These aberrant views are disturbing, to say the very least. And it isn’t coincidental that they are becoming more extreme as Trump’s situation becomes more dire. He is sinking like a stone into into an abyss of legal trauma that is likely to portend the end of his presidency and perhaps his freedom. And what is becoming abundantly clear is that – he knows it.
On Wednesday morning Trump unloaded a tweetstorm of thirty-three (so far) tweets or retweets. And nearly half of them were were about his precarious position with regard to impeachment. He went after his favorite new nemesis, Rep. Adam Schiff. He repeatedly blasted the whistleblower for having alleged ties to Democrats. Although why that is relevant is puzzling since the “transcript” of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky – and Trump himself – corroborated the assertions in the whistleblower’s complaint.
Trump also ranted about impeaching Schiff (which can’t be done), having a rematch with Hillary Clinton (which won’t be done), and making excuses for having betrayed our Kurdish allies in Syria (which is being done). But his most ridiculous tweet was one that made this flagrantly untrue claim:
There isn’t a single poll that shows Trump with only 25 percent favoring impeachment. In fact, every recent poll has that number between 49 and 58 percent, with support for impeachment having huge gains in the past couple of weeks. The only possible explanation for Trump’s wildly unreal number is that a Washington Post poll had 25 percent of just Republicans favoring impeachment, and Trump is trying to spin that as the entire electorate. It’s not. But it’s a damn high number for just Trump’s own party. By the way, this would not be the first time that Trump tried to pass off a GOP-only number as more broadly representing all voters. But is he lying or is he just incapable of comprehending simple data?
The frantic pace of Trump’s tweeting tells the story of his declining mental state. He is plainly freaking out over what he must know is his doomed fate. And it is this cowardly, terror-stricken, impotent, weakling that Republicans and evangelicals are bowing down to as their savior. So Trump has managed to not only ruin the Republican Party, he is even turning the religious right into a pathetic, idol worshiping, cadre of glassy-eyed disciples who can’t even pretend to adhere to the principles of their alleged faith.
The problem with this is that Trump likely believes his own hype. and there is a risk that he will seek to lead a perverse revolt with his deranged followers of 2nd Amendment wackos, conservative conspiracy theorists, and holy warriors. Of course, they won’t get far, but the damage they are capable of would still be unfortunate, even though minor. Let’s hope they’re not stupid enough to try it.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.