It has been amply established that Donald Trump is morally and temperamentally unfit for office. Any doubt of this should have been erased on Wednesday. His desire to get back at the woman who has proven to be his biggest gadfly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is so great that he has no qualms about recklessly putting her in danger.
On Wednesday, Pelosi suggested that Trump should postpone the national broadcast of the State of the Union address until the government reopens. She argued that with the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security hamstrung by furloughs, neither agency had enough staffers to manage security for the event. Pelosi said that one of those furloughed DHS staffers had alerted her staff with concerns that there weren’t enough active employees available to handle security for what has been designated a “National Special Security Event”–which calls for the full resources of the government to be devoted for that event’s protection.
Later, Pelosi suggested that Trump could either send his remarks to Congress in writing, or deliver it from the Oval Office. In a normal administration, this would be a reasonable request. Not so with Trump. Less than 24 hours later, Trump responded by telling Pelosi that if she and a delegation of other lawmakers wanted to fly to Afghanistan to visit troops stationed there, they couldn’t do it on a government jet. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released the letter Trump sent to Pelosi–presumably on Trump’s orders.
One problem–that trip was supposed to be secret. And for good reason–you never publicly announce in advance that VIPs are going into a battle zone. As a result, Pelosi had to back out of her plans to fly commercial. She did so after officials from Trump’s own State Department advised that with the plans now public, the risk to the safety of lawmakers, support personnel and troops was well beyond acceptable limits.
Needless to say, Pelosi was not happy about it. Watch her reaction here.
Pelosi had every reason to be upset. In his desire to “own the libs” once again, Trump recklessly put her in danger. No one seriously believes that this move was payback for Pelosi’s more than reasonable request to either postpone the State of the Union or find an alternate way of delivering it.
A number of Republicans saw Trump’s move for the petty act that it was. Among them was Senator Lindsey Graham, who apparently saw it as a case of both sides going too far.
Graham got it only partly right. Pelosi wasn’t trying to cancel the State of the Union. She just wanted to postpone it until the government reopens, or have Trump deliver it in writing or from the Oval Office. But Graham was absolutely right on one thing–canceling Pelosi’s trip was improper, especially considering that it was hardly an “excursion,” as Trump put it. And for Trump to do it in the manner that he did–well, calling it “sophomoric” is being extremely kind to it. Indeed, it amounts to reckless endangerment.
But apparently some elements of the right have no problem with a president engaging in such petty and reckless behavior. That’s the only conclusion you can draw from how one of the generals in the Trumpvangelical Army, Lance Wallnau, responded when he learned that Graham had called out Trump on this. He urged his followers to crash Graham’s inbox and demand that he stand with Trump.
Wallnau was referring to how Graham became a hero to Trump’s base–particularly the fundies–for his furious defense of Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. The reality-based world saw something differently–a man who beclowned himself on national television after years of portraying himself as a conservative with scruples.
And now Graham has–at least in this case–seemingly rediscovered those scruples. Apparently that doesn’t sit well with Wallnau and friends.
Um, Lance? Regardless of what you think about Pelosi’s motives, there is no defending Trump’s decision to publicly out her trip to Afghanistan. It cannot be stated enough–this was a SECRET trip that was kept that way for a reason–to keep bad actors from doing them harm. Imagine if Barack Obama had felt slighted by a Speaker Paul Ryan, and reacted by not only telling him he couldn’t use a government plane to go see the troops, but publicly outing those plans. It would have been petty and wrong–just like what Trump did was petty and wrong.
But then again, Wallnau has already amply demonstrated that he is perfectly fine with despicable behavior. He claimed that Russia had every right to hack the 2016 election–even though the Kremlin and its minions resorted to putting thousands of innocent Americans in danger by plastering their personal information for all to see. More recently, he signed an open letter demanding that the House Republican leadership apologize to Congressman Steve King and give him back his committee seats. In so doing, Wallnau is throwing his weight behind a man who has had no qualms about blowing racist freight train whistles.
And now we know that Wallnau apparently thinks Graham is wrong to call out behavior that any reasonable person would consider to be petty and reckless. It’s only fair to wonder–who is Wallnau worshiping? Is he worshiping Jesus, or is he worshiping Trump?
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