Clippings, 1/4/19


A reminder that not all “Evangelical” Trump supporters are merely self-described Evangelicals who do not actually go to church:

You and other white evangelical leaders have strongly supported President Trump. What about him exemplifies Christianity and earns him your support?

What earns him my support is his business acumen. Our country was so deep in debt and so mismanaged by career politicians that we needed someone who was not a career politician, but someone who’d been successful in business to run the country like a business. That’s the reason I supported him.

Is there anything President Trump could do that would endanger that support from you or other evangelical leaders?


That’s the shortest answer we’ve had so far.

Only because I know that he only wants what’s best for this country, and I know anything he does, it may not be ideologically “conservative,” but it’s going to be what’s best for this country, and I can’t imagine him doing anything that’s not good for the country.

Washington Post interview with Jerry Fallwell Jr..

Don’t lose sight of the credulity amidst that idolatry. Jerry Fallwell Jr. actually believes that Trump is a successful businessman, not conman and tax fraudster who played a successful businessman on Reality TV.

I bow deeply to young, über-progressive Godbeat reporter Elizabeth Breunig for her synopsis:

Jerry Falwell Jr. is once again spreading his uniquely modern, American version of a business philosophy roughly based on the religion known as Christianity.

He seems … to have been reasoning backward, trying to explain in Christian terms why he holds the conclusions he does, rather than beginning from the religion and following it to its own conclusions ….

Breunig is not doing the usual cherry picking of progressive or secularist “clobber passages.” She reminds me instead of the conservative American Christian who went to Europe, found people who shared his religious convictions, but was stunned to find that they considered themselves socialists.


[T]he problem is the emergence, over the course of a century, of a fourth branch of government neither conceived by nor desired by the framers of the Constitution: a network of administrative agencies that combine legislative, executive and judicial powers and therefore threaten the integrity of the constitutional framework and the basic rights of the American people …

But conservatives often misdiagnose the process by which the administrative state has arisen. We emphasize the hyperactivity of the executive and judicial branches, and these are certainly part of the problem. But hiding in plain sight is a deeper cause: the willful underactivity of the legislative branch. In an effort to avoid hard choices and shirk responsibility, Congress enacts vague statutes that express broad goals, empower executive agencies to fill in the practical details, and leave courts to clean up the ensuing mess. The result can look like executive overreach and judicial activism, but the root of the problem is legislative dereliction.

Yuval Levin, reviewing Judicial Fortitude by Peter Wallison.

Exactly. Thank you.


[A] certain kind of judicial activism is actually a necessary precondition to judicial restraint and to any form of originalism: Judges must make sure that each branch of government does no more but also no less than the job the Constitution assigns it. “If Congress were permitted to delegate its exclusive legislative authority to the administrative agencies in the executive branch,” he writes, “the separation of powers would be a nullity and the dangers to liberty envisioned by the Framers could become a reality.” To avoid that, judges must insist that Congress engage in actual legislating by preventing it from handing over its power to regulatory agencies.

I very much like this idea. I’m tempted to buy the book to see how Wallison elaborates on “statutes that express broad goals, [and] empower executive agencies to fill in the practical details.” Is it just laziness, or is it fear of dark money ads ominously saying that “Congressman Schmoe voted against the Apple Pie, Motherhood and the Flag Act.”


I haven’t kept a scorecard, but I’ve been watching Kamala Harris since her days as California Attorney General, and she is toxic and hostile to people like me. Her treatment of Catholic judicial nominee Brian Buescher is not an uncharacteristic break in a record of tolerance, but just another mark of her progressive totalitarianism, her intent to use the levers of government to silence religious conservatives.

She is a very dangerous woman. And she’s generating a lot of buzz as the 2020 Democrat Presidential nominee.

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