Pastor Robert Jeffress is now the center of a national controversy thanks to remarks he made about a “second Civil War” if Donald Trump were impeached and removed from office — remarks that were echoed by Trump on his Twitter account.
As the firestorm over Jeffress’ remarks rages on, radio host Rush Limbaugh is taking credit for it. Why? Because he says remarks he made last week were the impetus for what the pastor said on Fox News.
First, the quote in question from Jeffress, the sometimes controversial pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. During an appearance Sunday on Fox News, when asked about how the evangelical community would respond to Trump’s impeachment, Jeffress said that “the only impeachable offense President Trump has committed was beating Hillary Clinton in 2016. That’s the unpardonable sin for which the Democrats will never forgive him.
“And I do want to make this prediction this morning. If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office, I’m afraid it will cause a Civil War-like fracture in this nation from which this country will never heal.”
This produced a lot of social media pushback even before President Trump retweeted it:
….rid of Donald J. Trump – And the Democrats don’t care if they burn down and destroy this nation in the process. I have never seen the Evangelical Christians more angry over any issue than this attempt to illegitimately remove this President from office, overturn the 2016….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2019
….If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2019
Jeffress made it clear to the Dallas Morning News that he wasn’t advocating civil war here, merely that if Trump were removed by the Democrats (something which has almost zero chance of happening, mind you), “such removal would cause a fracture in our country like our country experienced after the Civil War.”
However, Limbaugh said on his Friday show he thought the Ukraine whistleblower complaint has already exposed the fact that we were in a “cold civil war” on a political and cultural level.
“There really is no whistleblower. This is just a leaker who followed procedures that have been established to give whistleblowers protection,” Limbaugh said, according to RealClearPolitics.
“Bottom line, there isn’t anything really new here. This is just the next phase of ‘Get Trump.’ This is the next phase of the operation to overturn the election results of 2016.
“It’s the same players, it’s the same technique, it’s the same play. The whistleblower report, it was probably prepared with the assistance of House Intelligence Committee staffers.”
Limbaugh added that the report was “all about overturning the election results of 2016” and “about making sure the American people do not learn the extent of the corruption in the Obama administration and the Democrat Party at large, and particularly among these people in the deep state who did what they did to deny Trump his election victory.”
That last part was referring to the Justice Department probe into the intelligence that was the genesis of the Trump/Russia investigation, including the Steele dossier. The fact the Trump administration is looking into this is “why Pelosi’s out there today saying that Bill Barr has gone rogue,” Limbaugh said.
“The media is not media. It’s just Democrats who work in the media, and the whole group of ’em is aligned. And what we are in the middle of now, folks, is a cold civil war,” he said.
“It has begun. It is a cold civil war as opposed to hot. There’s no hostilities declared. There’s no two clear sides of this. And certainly no shots have been fired. But nevertheless we’re in the midst of a cold civil war, and it encompasses a lot of things.
“It encompasses overturning the election results of 2016, it is about protecting and defending the deep state, the Washington establishment going forward. Their careers, their fortunes, their corruption. There are terribly big stakes involved here for these people. And Trump is on the cusp of overturning it and exposing it. They cannot allow that to happen.”
On Monday, Limbaugh claimed he’d played a part in the weekend’s events — and wasn’t necessarily unhappy with the fact, either.
“I had so much influence over the weekend media coverage. That is just one example,” he said. “I was the first to call out Schiff’s fake stuff as committee chair. There’s a bunch of other examples here. Anyway, they’re just dumping all over Jeffress. Some Yale professor, other people say (impression), ‘It’s just obscene! It’s irresponsible to say that there’d be a cold civil war.’ Man, I’ll tell you, folks: When you call ’em out, when you ID what they are doing, is when they go bat-crap crazy — I mean, even crazier than they are on a normal day.”
The question is whether or not we’re talking about actual civil war here. Limbaugh made it clear he was talking about a political and cultural war that entrenched Washington elites and the media have long been waging against conservatives — and which, in his telling of it, conservatives were just becoming (ugh, I hate using this word) woke to.
In Jeffress’ case, the context wasn’t immediately clear but could be inferred. In both situations, I don’t think that either was picturing MAGA hat-wearing soldiers — all assuredly armed with “assault weapons” that the Second Amendment allowed them to procure — hunkered down in an encampment outside Manassas, waiting for the next battle against the Democrats and writing Ken Burns-style letters to their loved ones in the form of a Twitter thread. “My dearest Alexa, Our provisions are so low that we can only have avocado hard-tack thrice a week, and without a poached egg at that…”
However, the United States is a polarized country where those opposed to the current president call themselves #TheResistance and have actively decided to rush an impeachment inquiry through Congress, an inquiry not designed to find facts but to provide the justification for an impeachment liberals have been calling for since the president was inaugurated.
If there is a cold civil war, it could well be argued conservatives weren’t the ones who fired the first shots.
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