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Bibi and the Pope

It's basic. America stands for freedom. It does not tolerate discrimination, particularly if it is based on religion or race. We have constitutional based laws that protect that principle. That means discrimination is illegal even if someone thinks there are "Fine People" doing the discrimination. If people violate our laws and constitution, it can be argued that they cannot be "Fine People." Hitler was not a "Fine Person." Of all people, our President should know that.

In my book, The Golden Years of the Florida Legislature, '70's and '80's, I opined that there are usually one, two or all three drivers in politics--money, sex, and....religion. Yes, religion. I was really talking about wars and international conflicts, but religion could be a driver in trying to distance America from Trump's repugnant comments after Charlottesville about the "Fine People" in the KKK, Neo-Nazi Hate Groups, and Anti-semitics. Consider:

There is no question that Trump's family influences least a little. In the case of his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, their Jewish faith is important. Israel Premier Bibi Netanyahu is a close friend of the Kushner family. After Trump's comments in New York about Charlottesville, Netanyahu apparently brushed over the comments and reiterated his support for Trump; it was said, at the urgent request of Trump. There is no way Bibi can be pleased with the President's apparent embrace of the KKK, Nazi's, Racism, and Antisemitism. I predict the powerful Jewish Lobby in the Capitol, American Israel Public Action Committee (AIPAC) is going to lean on Bibi hard to divorce Israel from Trump's remarks. I do mean hard.

Also, approximately 1/4 of the Senators are Catholic, with similar numbers in the House, so a strong message from the Pope right now might be expected. The Holy Father has been outspoken against Trump before, so Trump's latest remarks about the 'fine people' of the hate groups, above, should be easy for the Pope to condemn. Speaker Paul Ryan is said to be a devout Catholic, and although generally perceived as a cover for Trump, he might listen to a strong message from the Pope. The Speaker knows that his actions now could determine whether he remains Speaker, after next year's election.

Independent of religion, we have had some very concerned Republican members of the Senate criticize Trump's New York remarks. They include Senators: Sullivan, Corker, Graham, McCain, Rubio, Flake, Sasse, Gardner, Collins, Murkowski, and Scott, among others. They have, and no doubt, will be attacked by Trump for criticizing his New York remarks after Charlottesville. But the Leader of the Senate, a Protestant, Mitch McConnell is not among them. Perhaps the fact that the Senator's wife is on the Trump Administration payroll renders him conflicted out. But if enough Republican Senators, including the Dean Orrin Hatch, push their Leader, McConnell may cave.

But the driver for American distance from Trump's 'Fine People' remarks about Hate Groups will probably be religion--from Bibi and the Pope.


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