While many of us were watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi last night, the Democrats held their monthly debate, this one the second-to-last before the Iowa caucuses. I didn’t see it, but I saw all the chatter online afterward (there was relatively little) and read several accounts of the debate, most of which suggest it was a ho-hum affair. Warren went after Buttigieg over the way he finances his campaign — he held a fundraiser in a wine cave beneath a chandelier decked in 1,500 Swarovski crystals where bottles of wine went for $900 — and Amy Klobuchar made a little noise by going after Buttigieg herself. Andrew Yang said he felt fortunate but disappointed that he was the only person of color on stage — we’re all disappointed that you are the only person of color on stage, Yang (except for Donald Glover) — and Tom Steyer was there!
I think maybe the big story to come out of it was the fact that Joe Biden didn’t stick his foot in it. He had a good night, and by that I mean he didn’t make any headlines for the wrong reasons. However, he did once again expose the hatefulness of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and really, the cruelty of the entire Republican party, when Sanders sent a (now deleted) tweet making fun of Joe Biden’s stutter.
Here’s a reaction with a screenshot of the tweet in question.
How many faux-outrage cycles did we go through about people being insufficiently "civil" to her? pic.twitter.com/R0zNfZOaID— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) December 20, 2019
The rest of the reactions are to the deleted tweet, and mostly come from Soledad O’Brien, who was on a tear last night!
For those really ignorant people who think the depths of disgusting-ness will end with Trump: https://t.co/qMw7UA0Mmk— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) December 20, 2019
Biden, who overcame a stutter, was talking about kids who struggle with stutters coming to him for help/advice.— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) December 20, 2019
Sanders is mocking him for this: https://t.co/U9VIDLDID7
Biden has worked to overcome stuttering his whole life and he was invoking all the stuttering kids he comes across on the campaign trail. https://t.co/LjZBc326Vn— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) December 20, 2019
I’ve worked my whole life to overcome a stutter. And it’s my great honor to mentor kids who have experienced the same. It’s called empathy. Look it up. https://t.co/0kd0UJr9Rs— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 20, 2019
Congrats again to everyone who took her side in the Great Red Hen Travesty of 2018 https://t.co/33OeUBOIhK— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) December 20, 2019
This is extraordinarily fucked up. https://t.co/pcdpQQjjHy— Lis Power (@LisPower1) December 20, 2019
That’s exactly the kind of behavior that should generate more backlash by evangelicals, who have steadfastly stuck with Trump, who cheated on his pregnant, third wife with a porn star. However, Christianity Today, an evangelical magazine started by the late Billy Graham, yesterday called for Donald Trump’s removal from office. From the Washington Post:
The editorial, which appeared to draw so many readers that the magazine’s website crashed briefly, was written by editor in chief Mark Galli, who called Trump “a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.”
“Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election — that is a matter of prudential judgment,” the editorial said. “That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”
It’s a big deal, not because it’s going to change a lot of minds, but because it gives some of those evangelicals — and Christians, more broadly — more cover to express their anti-Trump sentiment. Rev. Billy Graham’s son has already come out against it, and Trump is railing that Christianity Today is a left-wing rag (ha!), but it’s a crack, and some of Trump’s supporters may take notice after the editorial called them out, too:
“To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve,” Galli wrote. “Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior.”
Trump has the support of 99 percent of Christian evangelicals … but make that 98 percent now, and in an election that will likely be decided by 397 people outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we’ll take all we can get.