The Monday Morning Teaser

This week the separating-families-at-the-border issue blew up, with even Republicans trying to distance themselves from it. Hostage-taking has been part of the Republican toolbox at least since the debt-ceiling crisis of 2011, but it has never been done this nakedly before. Trump is terrorizing young children, and promises to keep doing it until his demands are met. He wants a wall, changes in immigration laws, and safe passage to a country of his choice. (OK, I made that last one up.)

More significant reports were issued this week than I was able to read. There was the NY attorney general’s lawsuit against the Trump Foundation, the Supreme Court’s OK of Ohio’s voter suppression plan, and the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation. I’ll have to rely on other people’s opinions on most of that.

Oh, and North Korea. Remember North Korea? That’s so last week, but people have been making up their minds about the outcome of the Trump/Kim summit. My opinion is that we’ll be lucky if it turns out to have been just a big photo op. A far worse outcome is that Trump makes a bad deal and then can’t admit it, so to protect his own ego he winds up covering for Kim’s misbehavior (in much the same way that he has been covering for Putin).

What I like to do with the Sift is mention and link to the important stories of the week, but also take a step back and look at the bigger picture. This week’s big-picture view de-wonkifies a Paul Krugman column that explains something important: There’s a reason why the big corporate tax cut passed in December is never going to trickle down to workers, and it has to do with the difference between an information economy and an industrial economy. We all sort of know that things are different now, but still a lot of our economic intuitions come from the age of Henry Ford and J. P. Morgan. That article “The corporate tax cut will never trickle down” should be out before 9 EDT.

Another long-view question I want to raise is whether Trumpism is turning into a religion. As the majority of evangelicals continue to support him (in defiance of just about everything Jesus ever said) and the anti-Trump minority begins to peel off, more and more people are starting to use religion as a metaphor for Trumpism. But what if it isn’t a metaphor? What if Trumpism is really, literally becoming a new American religion? I still haven’t decided whether that’s its own article or just a paragraph or two in the weekly summary.

There’s still a lot to do on the summary, so I’ll be lucky to get it out by noon.

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  • Fred Rickson  On June 18, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Just saw that the tabloids are being taken over by a Trumpite. Every time I see those at the market check-out, I’m reminded where Trump gets his base.

    • GJacq726  On June 18, 2018 at 9:02 am

      And knowing Murdoch a the father of tabloid news, that exactly how see FOX, as tabloid TV. Sigh…

  • GJacq726  On June 18, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Your Trumpism as religion remark makes me think of something I heard on a radio show I happened upon up in WI this weekend away to the effect of… Trump and the GOP are reaching cult-like status. If that happens, we are in deep trouble.

  • cgordon  On June 18, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Here’s an article in The Atlantic about Southern Baptists, subtitled “America’s largest Protestant group moves to cut ties with the Republican Party and re-engage with mainstream culture.” I have no idea what to make of it.

  • Roger Owen Green  On June 18, 2018 at 9:11 am

    The lesson to be drawn here is this: the great majority of Christians in America who call themselves evangelical are simply not formed by Christian teaching or the Christian scriptures. They are, rather, formed by the media they consume — or, more precisely, by the media that consume them. The Bible is just too difficult, and when it’s not difficult it is terrifying.

    So many Christians simply act tribally, and when challenged to offer a Christian justification for their positions typically grope for a Bible verse or two, with no regard for its context or even its explicit meaning. Or summarize a Sunday-school story that they clearly don’t understand, as when they compare Trump to King David because both sinned without even noticing that David’s penitence was even more extravagant than his sins while Trump doesn’t think he needs to repent of anything.

    • GJacq726  On June 18, 2018 at 11:40 am

      I learned in a religious literacy mooc by Harvard just how interlinked culture and religion are, so yeah.

  • Carol  On June 18, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Actually Trumpism is a religion from before Trump’s time, based on what is called the Prosperity Gospel

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