Evangelicalism, evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, take your pick, is a global transdenominational movement within Protestant Christianity. My father was a Baptist preacher. You might say he was an evangelical. As someone who practices the Christian faith, is to this day a regular churchgoer, and who considers my father my greatest influence, by a wide margin, I suppose that means, at the very least, I am endowed with some measure of evangelical lineage. On most days I am intellectually capable of coming to terms with that logic framework.
Before going any further, let me be clear, my father did not raise another preacher. Good, bad, or indifferent, that path never spoke to me; it was not on my radar. Still, growing up in church, and around ministers, I had ample opportunity to observe the sausage making aspects of church life from an up close and personal angle, starting at an early age, and extending to my early thirties, when my dad passed away.
I needed to posit the preceding paragraphs to establish the predicate for the assertion of the premise of the subject line. Jerry Falwell, Jr., scion of his namesake, Jerry Falwell, is like his father before him, one of the most prominent evangelicals in America. He is a lawyer, and also like his father, who preceded him in that capacity, the President of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
This past Saturday evening, Falwell, Jr. tweeted the following:
“After the best week ever for @realDonaldTrump – no obstruction, no collusion, NYT admits @BarackObama did spy on his campaign, & the economy is soaring. I now support reparations-Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.” (Jerry Falwell, Jr.)
Donald J. Trump retweeted Falwell’s message Sunday afternoon.
That is just the latest from Falwell’s growing Library of Trump sycophancy. Here’s a dandy from a few months ago:
Christ has finally delivered us a man worthy of grace in President Donald J. Trump. After 8 long years of Barack Obama’s tyrannical rule we have a President who prays like us, serves like us, and looks like us. 6:47 PM – 21 Feb 2019 (Jerry Falwell, Jr. Tweet)
I don’t even plan to address the latter tweet, other than to note it’s interesting that one of Falwell’s 3 elevated points is that Trump “looks like us.” I’m not really sure if that pertains specifically to people who are rotund, overweight, with thinning hair…or just to the entirety of white America. I mean, I can’t know what’s in his heart, right? Take your pick. I have no interest in debating the matter.
Let’s get back to the alleged coup attempt. First, it’s instructive to note this was not the only time Trump has inserted coup into the conversation, presumably to establish victimhood bona fides and light a fire under his acolytes.
In an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News on April 25, 2019: Trump said:
“This was a coup. This was an attempted overthrow of the United States government. … I think it’s far bigger than Watergate. I think it’s possibly the biggest scandal in political history in this country. Maybe beyond political. … This was a coup. This wasn’t stealing information from an office in the Watergate apartments. This was an attempted coup.”
In the weeks leading up to the Hannity appearance in which Trump referred to a coup, he retweeted or quoted in tweets several allies using the term. The first was pro-Trump commentator Dan Bongino, who said on Fox & Friends on Feb. 18 that “this was an illegal coup attempt on the President of the United States.”
It should be noted that Mueller found no conspiracy with Russia; if Mueller had been part of a coup, he could have thrown Justice Department guidelines to the wind and indicted Trump. Moreover, let’s go deeper.
A coup d’état is defined as the sudden and irregular (i.e., illegal or extra-legal) removal, or displacement, of the executive authority of an independent government. The principle and irreducible element of a coup is it is first and foremost an action carried out beyond the bounds of legality. Conversely, the inescapable point about the Russia investigation is it was undertaken by law enforcement, and adhered to relevant laws.
By using the word coup, Trump, Falwell, Bongino, and anyone else who subscribes to that notion are suggesting that Trump’s own Justice Department, comprised of and more pointedly, run by people he appointed, acted at variance with the law.
There are at least 12 types of coups, including:
- Military coups
- Rebel coups
- Popular revolts
- Dissident actions
- Palace coups
- Foreign coups
- Internationally mediated transitions (Which may be what Trump is attempting to foment in Venezuela, but I digress)
- Forced resignations
- Self coups (Which is what some believe Trump may do if he loses the 2020 Election, but again, I digress)
- Attempted coups
- Coup conspiracies
- Counter coups
Here’s the bottom line. The Russia investigation began before Trump was elected. And at a time when it was widely assumed that Mrs. Clinton would win. It cannot have been a coup attempt. It was an effort carried out by duly established arms and agents of the state to prevent seizure of the government by a witting or unwitting Russian agent.
Politifact found that Trump said, the Russia investigation “was a coup. This was an attempted overthrow of the United States Government.”
A thorough review reveals the Russia investigation resulted from a by-the-rules law enforcement inquiry. That’s the antithesis of a coup, for which the defining characteristic is that it’s an extra-legal action. That distinction must be added to the recognition that the investigation began prior to Trumps’ “record-breaking” inaugural, which means…he wasn’t even eligible to be deposed by a coup.
Consequently, this assertion garnered a Pants on Fire rating. Of course, if you read last week’s post, that should come as no surprise, whatsoever. Just add it to the list. And there you have it; got through the whole post without a screed on Falwell and Trump’s new found respect for reparations, or a thoughtful treatise noting, even FBI Director Christopher Wray (that’s Trump appointed Christopher Wray, if you’re keeping score) admits there was no spying on Trump. Anyway, forget about the “Russia hoax.” Instead, focus on “Jerry & Don’s Coup: Fiction on Steroids…The Real Hoax!”
I’m done; holla back!
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