And then, Jesus wept.

July 13, 2017

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

We know what to expect from US Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Madison). We’ve heard his hateful rhetoric for long enough.

But even I never expected the words now coming out of the mouth of US Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose), once one of the few “reasonable” Alabama Republicans out there. I was pulling for Byrne when he ran for Governor against Dr. Dr. Robert “Luv Guv” Bentley. His programs were reasonable; he wasn’t even close to being an alt-right Republican. But then he drank the Kool-Aid. Hell, he overdosed on it.

And Byrne isn’t the only one. There’s former State Attorney General-now-mysteriously-appointed US Sen. Luther Strange, who, more and more, I see called “Strange Luther,” and for a good, not strange, reason.

When did these two once-outstanding Republicans lose all sense of reason? Or all reason of sense?

Here’s Byrne, quoted in a story by Alabama Political Reporter’s Brandon Moseley, on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare: The GOP, he said, is “on a rescue mission to save the American people from the failures of Obamacare.”

Well, I guess so, if Byrne’s “rescue mission” is to throw millions of Americans out of health care altogether and to make sure just about every pre-existing condition under the sun will allow insurance companies to deny health insurance to consumers or charge them prohibitive prices for coverage.

That’s what Byrne voted for in the US House – and he’s proud of it, even though in Alabama, the poor State he represents, many are without health insurance even under the ACA.

Why didn’t Byrne and other GOPers, who have from the outset, tried (and succeeded) to undercut the ACA, make it better? They could have, except for one little problem: It was Obama’s program, and anything “Obama” is worth running against, even if it’s apple pie and newborn babies. These people are still running against Obama, and he left office six months ago.

Then there is Strange Luther … er … Luther Strange. Appointed by the disgraced “Luv Guv” Bentley under questionable circumstance, Strange is now trying to actually get elected to the Senate in a special election (the party primaries are in August; the General Election, in December).

Strange, at one time, proposed reasonable programs, too, but he’s given all that up. And in what was, indeed, strange, Strange this week before the Montgomery County Republican Executive Committee, said this: “President Trump is the greatest thing that’s happened to this country. I consider it a Biblical miracle that he’s there.”

A Biblical miracle? Like the parting of the Red Sea? Or like Jesus feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, or turning water into wine?

Trump, a Biblical miracle? A man who is a philanderer, twice divorced, vulgar, who hates people who don’t look like him, who doesn’t have a clue how to follow Jesus’ greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”

A Biblical miracle? Which Bible would that be, anyway? Not the one where Jesus told those who were going to stone the adulteress: He who is without sin, throw the first stone. And then, to the adulteress: Go and sin no more.

So the GOP will rescue Americans by denying them health insurance, and Trump is a “Biblical miracle.”

Jesus wept.


Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]

 

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