By any measure, Donald Trump is cratering. The latest average from FiveThirtyEight pegs his average approval rating at 37.7 percent–which is absolutely brutal by any standard. But he’s very lucky to be even that high. The religious right has spent the last year-plus bullying evangelicals into bowing down to Trump.
The nation’s moral guardians have told their followers that those who oppose Trump are driven by witchcraft, demons, and the devil himself. Supposedly, those who oppose Trump oppose God’s plan for America, and are guilty of sedition. Those who dare to join the resistance supposedly put themselves at risk for being cursed down to the third generation, and also risk getting “smacked” by the Almighty.
With that kind of talk, it should come as no surprise that the fundie diehards would be up in arms as Robert Mueller started rolling out the indictments, thus fueling talk that Trump could potentially be impeached. But one of Trump’s most diehard fundie supporters believes the anger is even greater than we believed. Supposedly, it’s at the point that if Trump is impeached, evangelicals will riot.
Jim Bakker is almost in a class by himself among the religious right figures who are still worshiping Trump. He believes that any county that voted for Hillary Clinton should be prepared to experience God’s wrath, and that all the talk about Russia hacking the election was a demonic trick. He’s also of the mind that those who oppose Trump probably need a demon cast out of them, stat.
So it should come as no surprise that Bakker was up in arms as we entered the second week of Mueller Time. But what we didn’t expect was for him to warn that impeachment would cause the nation’s believers to haul out the pitchforks and torches. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
While starting the second in a series of broadcasts about the parallels between our time and that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Bakker railed against those who question Trump’s sanity. He claimed it was just an excuse to get him impeached.
Apparently Bakker hasn’t been watching the news lately, because he told his audience that since the Russia probe was going nowhere fast, Trump’s foes are looking for an excuse to dump him.
“There is nothing they can impeach him over because this thing with the collusion with Russia they can’t prove, but they want to say this man’s crazy. And they’re trying to get doctors to say the president is crazy.”
Typical right-wing agitprop at first. But then Bakker took it to another level.
“I’ll tell you what. If they go through with that, there will be a riot in the United States of America. And you’re going to find little old ladies rioting. You’re going to find the church people out rioting, because they’re not going to take it any more.”
Bakker and his guest, Carl Gallups, then went on to peddle the standard right-wing lie that the Uranium One deal made anything Trump did with Russia look minor league by comparison. The Republicans claim that Hillary handed 20 percent of our uranium production to Russia. Never mind that the American uranium facilities were not part of the deal, and in any case produce relatively poor-grade ore. Partly because of this, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave that claim four Pinocchios. And never mind that Trump tried to peddle this in August, when he claimed Hillary was paid to greenlight the deal. Politifact rated this as “Mostly False,” while the Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave it four Pinocchios.
This is a classic case of right-wing deflection. And it’s especially egregious considering that Bakker veered into blatantly incendiary rhetoric. You can’t cut him any slack for this, since it’s not the first time he’s gone there. In June, if you’ll remember, he threatened that impeaching Trump will cause the nation’s born-agains to launch a civil war.
It says a lot about Bakker that he is still willing to bully people into supporting Trump after he saw fit to retweet a violent GIF showing him knocking Hillary down with a photoshopped tee shot. That GIF proved beyond any doubt that the man who boasted that his celebrity status gave him free rein to harass and degrade women is the real Trump. The fact that a supposed minister of the gospel is willing to back such a man, and bully people on his behalf, should leave no doubt–Bakker has bowed before the Orange Calf.
(featured image courtesy Bakker’s Facebook)