Thursday, October 17, 2019

Donald Trump and Bill Barr Are Setting a Religious War Trap

Paul Krugman was not wrong to observe that there was a reason these three people, all at the epicenter of a sprawling national scandal over a shadowy foreign policy dedicated to boosting Trump’s 2020 electoral fortunes, might choose this as their path of deflection:

This outburst of God-talk is surely a response to the way the walls are closing in on Trump, the high likelihood that he will be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. Trump’s response to his predicament has been to ramp up the ugliness in an effort to rally his base. The racism has gotten even more explicit, the paranoia about the deep state more extreme. But who makes up Trump’s base? The usual answer is working-class whites, but a deeper dive into the data suggests that it’s more specific: It’s really evangelical working-class whites who are staying with Trump despite growing evidence of his malfeasance and unsuitability for high office.

In Krugman’s view, this comes down to the “the efforts of Trump’s henchmen to use the specter of secularism to distract people from their boss’s sins.”

William Barr’s Wild Misreading of the First Amendment

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