In Shirley Jackson’s story “Charles,” a child returns from kindergarten each day with a new tale of outrageous misbehavior by “Charles,” the class bad boy. So I sometimes ask my wife, “Did you hear what Charles did today?” Referring, of course, to you-know-who.
On Saturday, after hearing a news report, I ran to tell her the latest: saying the injunction against his Muslim travel ban was issued by a “so-called” judge!
Meantime (trying to defend the indefensible) the administration denies it is a Muslim travel ban. Seriously? After so memorably announcing in the campaign, “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States . . . .”
Then he said the U.S. is no better than Russia with regard to political killings. Well — at least here, unlike in Russia, presidential critics suffer only childish insulting tweets. So far.
And he continues calling the press dishonest — him, the biggest liar and fraudster in political history.
And then there’s his attack on the Johnson amendment, supposedly in the name of freedom of speech and religion.
Named for Lyndon Johnson who sponsored it as a senator, the law denies tax exemption to religious outfits that endorse political candidates. This actually just clarified longstanding policy. The tax exemption for charitable, educational, and religious organizations has never applied to ones engaging in partisan politics.
This restricts no one’s freedom. Anyone is free to back any political candidate. But if you do, you’re not entitled to tax exemption. And political donations have never been tax deductible. The Johnson amendment prevents getting around that by routing a donation through a “church” which then passes it on to a candidate.
Trump’s vow to “destroy” the Johnson amendment, if successful, would open the floodgates for churches to not only engage in partisan politics, but also to launder political money to make it tax deductible.* A very bad idea.
From a very bad man. America is full of wonderful people — how did we get this creep as president?
* I actually favor a (limited) tax credit for political contributions, as a form of public campaign finance, to combat pay-to-play culture. But that’s a very different matter.