Thursday, April 12, 2018

Are you there, God? It's me, Ross.

Via St. Thomas More Catholic Church and Parish School, Houston, a St. Thomas that actually looks a little like Ross Douthat.

Or maybe the Blessed Virgin, but definitely requesting a miracle ("Why Not Mike Pence?"):
DOUTHAT: Ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae, amen. And soften the hearts of the Republican caucus in the House, and let them impeach the Trump, for that is seriously a good idea to make Pence president before the midterms, if you can swing it. If they'd managed to convict Bill Clinton in 1998, see, and Gore had been president going into the 2000 election, he would have won, and...
B.V.M.: He did win. St. Thomas More intervened to stop the recount. I told him to leave it alone, but that man never listens to anybody.
DOUTHAT: Oh, yeah, well... Pence probably needs a bigger miracle than Bush did, because he has to get nominated in the first place.
So that's the general idea: there's old Pence, the exact sort of guy all those white evangelical men of virtue think of themselves as being, bland as a boiled potato and as fanatical under the blandness as his talk radio background could make him, positioned to become president without even having to go to the trouble of getting elected, if only the Republicans could make up their minds to do it.

The interesting part is that Douthat, the smartest of our rightwing columnists, as I've always said, though not the least dishonest, seems to have become the first to broach the possibility that the orange asshat could be guilty of something; putting it with the most extreme delicacy—
once the Mueller investigation ceases to be a black box and delivers whatever it’s going to deliver (you’ll get no predictions from me!)
—but putting it, nevertheless:
Which means that if, in what is no longer an absurd hypothetical, the president were to face real legal-political jeopardy over the Stormy Daniels business, the evangelical leaders currently fretting about Trump’s political position would face a case where doing the consistent thing — namely, returning to their Bill Clinton-era position that character counts in presidents and using illegal means to conceal gross infidelities are impeachable offenses — would actually deliver something closer to what they claimed to want, not so very long ago: not a liberal in the White House, but President Mike Pence.
Of course it's only Stormy so far, he won't acknowledge any kind of seriousness to the Russia imbroglio or any of the tangle of self-dealing, nepotism, and fraud that has marked the presidency itself, but he's pulling the thought onto the stage.

And his idea of the miracle is pretty funny (I mean, possibly on purpose):
Sure, making use of Donald Trump to keep Hillary Clinton from being president is a fascinating flourish by history’s Author, but the idea that the Almighty might use a porn star to make Mike Pence president represents, if anything, an even more amazing miracle. So anyone interested in looking for the hand of God in history should probably welcome that miracle’s arrival, rather than resisting in the name of MAGA.
I'm starting to feel this weird little surge of optimism, myself; I think Pence would make a terrible candidate, in 2020, with that wooden face and oily insincerity and Tea Party contempt for the poor and lousy record as Indiana governor (in which he pioneered some of the horrors of Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and West Virginia), but a little President Pence combined with a Blue Wave in this year's congressional elections would not be the worst thing that could happen. Not by a long stretch.

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