But He’s Our S.O.B.

There’s an old political maxim that seems particularly apt in our Trumpian Age of Tribalism.

I remember the first time I heard it; I was sitting in Republican headquarters (reminder: this was at a time when Republicans were sane), and a few stalwarts were discussing one of the party’s candidates for local office. (I no longer recall either the candidate or the office.) No one liked this particular candidate, and the discussion had turned critical when one of the more senior party members admonished us: “Yes, he may be a son-of-a-bitch. But remember– he’s our son-of-a-bitch.”

The phrase displayed the distilled essence of partisanship.

Back then, however, there really were limits on just how much “S.O.B.-ness” someone could exhibit before that partisan solidarity could no longer be invoked to salvage him. (It was always a him.)

Those limits obviously no longer apply. Today, a shameless double-standard prevails. There are plenty of truly egregious examples (Sean Hannity comes to mind), but if we are looking for truly monumental hypocrisy in the service of dominance, you really can’t do better than Franklin Graham.

Graham is a poster child for why conservative Christians no longer have any claim to credibility.

In 1998, when President Clinton was accused of having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, Graham was all about the wages of sin, writing in the Wall Street Journal that “Private conduct does have public consequences.”

“Just look at how many have already been pulled under by the wake of the president’s sin: Mr. Clinton’s wife and daughter, Ms. Lewinsky, her parents, White House staff members, friends and supporters, public officials and an unwitting American public,” Graham wrote….

He continued, saying, “the God of the Bible says that what one does in private does matter. Mr. Clinton’s months-long extramarital sexual behavior in the Oval Office now concerns him and the rest of the world, not just his immediate family. If he will lie to or mislead his wife and daughter, those with whom he is most intimate, what will prevent him from doing the same to the American public?”

Fast forward to 2018, and the serial sinner currently in the Oval Office.

In January, as the news that President Trump paid porn star Stormy Daniels hush money was shaping, Graham urged the American people to believe Trump’s denials that there was no affair – and to do so for the good of the nation….

And even if he’s lying,Graham clearly thinks it’s none of our business.

“I think this thing with Stormy Daniels and so forth is nobody’s business. And we’ve got other business at hand that we need to deal with,” Graham told The Associated Press, as the American Family Association published.

And then there’s this..

“I don’t have concern, in a sense, because these things happened many years ago – and there’s such bigger problems in front of us as a nation that we need to be dealing with than other things in his life a long time ago. I think some of these things – that’s for him and his wife to deal with,” Graham insisted.

“I don’t defend those kinds of relationships he had. But the country knew the kind of person he was back then, and they still made the decision to make him the president of the United States.”

One of the few things that Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have in common–probably the only thing– is their womanizing. But of course, there’s a big difference between Clinton’s sexual peccadillos and Trump’s.

Trump is Graham’s son-of-a-bitch.


  1. Newt Gingrich comes to mind as another of their S.O.B.s. I recall hearing my parents express their support of him in a presidential run, and my mouth literally hanging open – after all the years of Clinton-bashing for his sexcapades.
    Maybe if Clinton had only had the decency to screw around, divorce, and marry the trollops…

  2. They’ve always said the Elite use religion to keep the commoners from killing off the Elite and taking their money back. It’s “morally wrong” to kill others.

    We’re blessing Israel when the Zionists are murdering Palestinians down the street. It’s all theater held together by Mass Media—the entertainment complex.

    Was Col. Jessup right, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

    Christianity and hypocrisy are interchangeable words and have been for eons. Finding the hypocrisy in their words today is becoming easier and easier because we don’t rely on Mass Media—we have options with the internet, which is why the Elite have taken efforts to control the internet.

    Where was the public outcry from the Democratic Party when the internet was turned over to gatekeepers? (crickets)

    Explain this, the East is quickly becoming the most powerful continent on the planet as the USA keeps sliding backward toward nationalism. As such, why don’t the Mass Media and our Elites attack Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Taoism?

    There’s no oil in China or India that we can steal.

    Our democracy isn’t the only laughing stock around the world…our strategy is very apparent and our glaring sins aren’t a mystery to anyone. Why do you think Congress made Russia Today list themselves as “foreign agents”?

    RT was pointing out the hypocrisy and our phony leadership/country on a daily basis.

    By the way, as the censorship tightens, the first round was disguised as just targeting the #FakeNews on the right. The Media Complex kept quiet about the censoring of media sources on the left. And right on cue, the WaPo recently wrote an article that the Democratic Party was embracing “too many socialist principles…socialism is one step closer to communism.”

    Talk about propaganda for the Elite…exactly what Religion is all about. But millions send their $1.00 check in monthly so they can avoid Hell. #Ignorance

  3. In my opinion, it comes down to one issue…..Abortion. As long as a candidate says they are “pro life”, the evangelicals will turn a blind eye towards and tolerate the rest of their bahavior.

  4. There was an opinion column in our little local weekly two weeks ago that made a statement like this about Trump: He’s an idiot, but he’s my idiot. The author was a columnist for another paper – I believe in Ft. Wayne and the IBJ. It isn’t a long leap back to Clinton, so there is that easy comparison. There are now seven members of congress who have resigned in the wake of sexual harrassment or related issues; but Trump still stands tall and proud – maybe he really doesn’t remember what happened yesterday – more likely he doesn’t care. That memory lapse might explain his policies and agenda, except I doubt that any of those were actually his ideas.

  5. Trump is Graham’s son-of-a-bitch, Graham is the evangelical’s son-of-a-bitch, Hannity (replacing Bannon) is the Republican’s son-of-a-bitch…and they all begat and begat and begat, not offsprings but neo-Nazi, White Nationalist and KKK rule of the land rather than rule of law by our Constitution. I do not remember Rev. Billy Graham being anything but a “gimme that old time religion” Christian denomination; but then, that was the religious norm at that time as I remember it. Were any laws based on the religious beliefs of a few elected officials passed prior to the past 5-10 years? Not even 10 years as I recall. The only difference I see between Bannon and Hannity is that Hannity appears to have bathed, shampooed and combed his hair and dressed appropriately before appearing in public. His daily contactS (intentional) with Trump are external rather from inside the White House and he is employed elsewhere and not paid with our tax dollars…that we yet know of.

    The Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky affair (was it an ongoing situation one-time on her knees situation?) has always confused me on two issues. His impeachment was based primarily on his lies about the situation rather than his lack of morals and disrespect for his position as president. And; why did Monica store that blue dress with the evidence of Clinton’s stains; was it her great love for the man and treasuring his bodily fluids or did she consider using it as evidence as she knelt in front of the president? Just askin’

    Anti-immorality and sin used to be the basis of Christianity and the content of Sunday preaching across this land and others. Does the evangelical full acceptance of these issues apply only to our elected leaders or are we all free to “go forth and sin” with a clear conscience? Charles Manson preached, “There is no right and no wrong.” in his attempt to rid their consciences of any semblance of guilt. Our current Republican government appears to have become a branch of the Manson Family as they lie, rob and steal and “free love” is back in style at the highest level.

    Trump may currently be Graham’s son-of-a-bitch but the Republican party knowing for many years “The Donald” was a son-of-a-bitch, nominated and got the son-of-a-bitch elected president of the United States. I keep returning to the same question of HOW and WHY have they done this; we know Citizens United provided the funding.

  6. “Graham is a poster child for why conservative Christians no longer have any claim to credibility.”

    This statement needs to include Christians of all kinds…..everywhere. I just cannot comprehend how anyone can see anything good in this selfish, self-centered, evil excuse for a man. He wants only adulation and power.

  7. I must ammend part of the first sentence of my prior comment: This statement needs to include Christians of all kinds…..everywhere “who admire and support Franklin Graham”.

    It is not just evangelical Christians who admire him. He was able to climb the ladder of success because of his father’s followers. Even Billy Graham admitted to liking power too much back when he was close to the Presidents and was frequently photographed with them. He said that he also enjoyed having the power to persuade Presidents’ thoughts.

    I never could and never will understand why anyone thought Billy Graham was so wonderful.

  8. I am always wary of those who proclaim their “Christianty”. If they have to tell me they’re Christians, that indicates I won’t be able to discern it from their actions.

  9. I would agree with Kevin F >> In my opinion, it comes down to one issue…..Abortion. As long as a candidate says they are “pro life”, the evangelicals will turn a blind eye towards and tolerate the rest of their behavior.<<<

    The other part of the litmus test of evangelicals is authoritarianism, and patriarchal control. No matter what changes in society, the dogma remains the same. You must obey, no deviation can be tolerated.

    The oral (pun intended) diarrhea of the various evangelicals from Oral Roberts, Franklin Graham and this week from pastor Jeffress, who blessed our new embassy in Jerusalem was once found in remote shacks with a pastor handling poisonous snakes. Come to think of it maybe The Trumpet (Agent Orange) is the poisonous snake.

    The other piece of this toxic pie is the prosperity gospel. These televangelists remind me of the various scam artists who promise a miracle product in this case redemption and the "good" life for a donation.

  10. Nancy,

    “I never could and never will understand why anyone thought Billy Graham was so wonderful.”

    It probably was because of his outspoken anti-Semitism, which for political reasons he later recanted. That gets you a long way especially with the Bush family. Billy Graham was no fool.

    I’ll never forget my teammate Chuck Smith on the Penn golf team. His father was one of the benefactors of the university. During the summer of ’57, as a devout Christian, he spent it with the Billy Graham Crusade. He saw what it was all about…..$$$$$$. He lost his belief. When he returned to playing golf in September, before the cold weather set in, he couldn’t help making fun of Graham by imitating him on the first tee before teeing off.

    I’ve been tracking the Religious Right/Far Right for a long time. It began on the golf course in ’57. Warning Intelligence necessitates having first hand knowledge, like that delivered by Chuck Smith.

  11. You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

    Anne Lamott

  12. My, my goodness! Near unanimity in today’s comments, made by thoughtful readers of Dr. Kennedy’s blog. Franklin Graham is a hypocrite, and so are many other ministers of the many denominations. But the wholesale condemnation articulated today is appalling. This humanist has close relatives who practice their belief in the tenets of their religion and yet live quite moral lives. They are morally offended when licentious acts are committed: are equally offended by racism, homophobia, ecological degradation, war, ill treatment of veterans, turning a blind eye to the multitudes suffering from the greed of corporate capitalism. Agreed that religion is irrational (ala Thomas Paine Jefferson, Madison, et al) yet many adherents are aware of values by which to live a wholesome life.

  13. Wayne Moss,

    “But the wholesale condemnation articulated today is appalling.”

    For the most part, I don’t see a wholesale condemnation of Christianity in today’s blog. I sure don’t feel that way.

  14. However, it is important to remember that in the 30’s, 60% of the Christian churches in Germany, mostly Lutheran, VOTED to swear allegiance to Adolph Hitler.

  15. Wayne; it appears to me that the condemnation is toward far-right Republican evangelicals posing as Christians, I know mine is. Here in Indiana we suffered under Pence passing a law which throws pregnant young girls and woman on the sacrificial altar by forcing them to carry a pregnancy endangering their lives to term…or termination of both lives. My granddaughter died at age 24 because she opted to try to carry her baby to term knowing it further endangered her life due to life-threatening seizures. We will never know if or how many may have died due to Pence’s law here but they would be just as dead and buried as my granddaughter and great-granddaughter.

  16. Nothing I’ve said about Christianity absolves the Israeli conduct, for the world to see, in their embracing of Donald Trump. It’s hard to distinguish the different degrees of throwing-up.

  17. Pretty sad state of affairs as I see it. So-called seekers of ‘truth’ and purveyors of ‘hope’, never answers of substance.., ‘take it on faith!’ I see a very close kinship between the Son of a Bitch and the son of a son of a bitch, and their insane rhetoric. There is a reason I quit being a ‘Christian’ a long time ago.., I found way too many serpents: and never enough doves.

  18. Speaking of bitches… Graham is Trump’s bitch. Devin Nunes is Trump’s bitch. Trump is Netanyahu’s bitch. Hannity and Trump take turns being each others’ bitch. When people lay down with dogs, they shouldn’t complain about waking up with fleas.

    Oh, and Todd, the EAST is not a continent. I think you mean Asia. LOL.

  19. Wayne Moss,

    In my comments I was only condemning those so-called Christians who worship people like Billy and Franklin Graham. They are the people who fall for False Prophets like the Grahams and others.

    As you pointed out, and I agree, there are many Christians who do not fall for those false prophets. However, like those of us on this blog do, it would be much more helpful if all of the people (Christians) who recognize the false prophets would speak out against them. When people choose to stay silent they are allowing the false prophets to gather more followers.

  20. Marv,

    I chose not to listen to Billy Graham after hearing a small portion of one of his televised sermons when I was in Junior High. I immediately spotted a bad apple. By not listening to him, I never knew that he spewed anti-semitism.

    I hope your golfing teammate made sure to inform everyone he knew about the Grahams and their hunger for money and power. In fact, I hope he is still telling people what they are truly all about.

  21. Marv,
    I’d like to give a more complete picture of that “Luthern Church” vote. There were all sorts of Nazi highjinx to accomplish that vote, including “removing” any pastor who did not agree with the regime or join the party, with a Nazi party official – not necessarily Luthern. Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer (removed) and like minded Lutherans formed the “Confessing Church” and continued to fight anti-semitism in Germany. He traveled to both England and the US to try to find aid and warn of the coming disaster. He was safely in NYC in 1939 and voluntarily returned to Germany to open a seminary aligned with the “Confessing Church”. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I am certainly not excusing anyone but many German Christains, like Bonhoehoffer, gave their lives for their faith. I am proud to be a German Lutheran and BTW I am very much the liberal who actually tries to live the faith I was taught. Not all Christians are hypocrites though it seems like it some days.

  22. Bit of trivia: the “our son of a bitch” goes back to FDR, who said it about Nicaraguan strongman Anastasio Somoza.

  23. I always carry away ideas to think about from Professor Kennedy’s blog. The many comments from her many readers are sometimes interesting but could be less verbose. Shorter is often better usually. Especially when everyone more or less agrees.

    What are the practical steps that could help change this political scene we hate and fear? Who do we direct comment after comment after comment
    to if we want to help move our political life in what seems to us a positive direction? What are the marches, the sit-ins, the writing campaigns, the action groups we should back with bodies present when we can, voices and what money we can spare to see if we can promote change? Instead of trying to change each others’ only slightly different opinions, could some of you offer practical advice for change?

  24. Sheryl,

    “I’d like to give a more complete picture of that “Lutheran Church” vote.” “I am proud to be a German Lutheran and BTW I am very much the liberal who actually tries to live the faith I was taught.”

    Thanks for completing the picture. I’ve mentioned Dietrich Bonhoeffer many times on this blog. My longtime companion, Barbara, who co-authored “Democracide: The Far Right’s Path to Power, received her masters degree in religious education from Union Theological Seminary in New York where Bonhoeffer studied and lived before he returned to Germany. After Barbara died in 2009, I spent about two weeks living on campus, reading or analyzing almost everything in their magnificent Bonhoeffer collection.

    As you know, Lutherans are FORMALLY divided along conservative and liberal lines. Over the years, when I have needed religious support, almost all of it has come from the liberal side of the Lutheran Church.

  25. MG; this is an open forum where freedom of speech reigns. We inform one another, add to their comments or argue with them…or with Sheila. If we were not allowed to speak our minds, at times using up more space than YOU believe is necessary, we wouldn’t be here and often the entire blog would be less interesting. Sheila and others on this blog are also aware that, due to current conditions in the government today, we need to vent and this is an excellent outlet.

    Scroll past the long ones.

  26. There is a HUGE difference between the extramarital sexual conduct of Bill Clinton, JFK and FDR, whom the Trumpsters love to point to as an excuse, distraction or accusation of hypocrisy every time one of Trump’s former sex partners is revealed, and that is: Clinton, JFK and FDR never bragged about it, especially to a reporter. They weren’t proud of it, like Trump is. They also didn’t believe they were entitled to randomly grab women by their genitals merely because they believed she was “beautiful”. Also, their wives weren’t purchased accessories. Despite the cheating, they each genuinely respected their wives. Trump treats Melania like arm candy. She is there to make him look masculine, wealthy and powerful because he thinks other men are jealous that he is able to purchase an attractive woman young enough to be his daughter.

    You can glean all you need to know about Trump, his shallowness, egotism and values just by looking at Melania and her ostentatious designer wardrobe. She once told an interviewer she is required by The Donald to wear the 4 1/2 inch CFM* pumps. This interview took place shortly after Barron was born, She was awkwardly trying to navigate walking in these shoes while carrying the young baby and a huge bag, and the reporter asked her why the very high heels. There is a world of difference between Trump and the other Presidents.

    *the Urban Dictionary will explain this abbreviation.

  27. Bravo MG, bravo!

    You’re asking the most essential questions that will lead us in finding concrete and workable answers to fixing this horrific mess where we need to get past all of this internecine conflict in terms of our thinking, beyond all the political posturing and name calling, the SOBs of all stripes, and move onward toward putting all of what we continuously disparage into the dustbin of history. Everything you mentioned needs to be done.

    These are far from ordinary times and the fight we need to engage in will be far from being ordinary itself so it’s going to require all of us to stand up to, possibly quite literally, to what is attempting to wreck this country and stop it in its tracks. If it involves civil disobedience of the type that was conducted during the height of the civil rights campaigns and the antiwar demonstrations of the 1960s, so be it. It is very likely that we will only have one shot at doing this so it’s got to be effective and correct in its intent because we’re not only taking on all these so called SOBs but their masters, whoever and whatever they are, as well.

    This is our country and we cannot just sit back and lament what is going on and just criticize both the protagonists and antagonists in these various fights. We will ultimately have to do far more than that. Thanks for helping to show us all the way!

  28. Tom,

    “This is our country and we cannot just sit back and lament what is going on and just criticize both the protagonists and antagonists in these various fights. We will ultimately have to do far more than that.”

    Agreed. I’m not arguing with you. This is the time, but is this the place? I wish it was. However, I don’t think it is. What you and MG want is a forum which will take action. You have to have someone in command to do that.

    Sheila is a MAGNIFICENT college professor, but from what I can tell from the past three years, she is not looking to be a military-like commander. Maybe I’m wrong.

  29. Pete: Perfection in one simple sentence!

    Vernon: Thanks for the geography lesson. I thought we might have added a continent overnight. I spotted it early this morning and was just too sleepy to try to explain it to Todd.

    MG: Nice one! Scrolling past is a very useful skill here.

    Marv: Always useful info. You and Sheila know exactly what is happening to us. Thank you!

    All: We are sure as the world watching the formation and development of a very dangerous cult or the closest thing to it. The deprogrammers have a lot of work ahead of them.

  30. Graham is a phony, of course, but he has historical company. Thus popes who shared or even assumed secular powers gave us an illiterate Charlemagne as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, which Voltaire rightly described as neither holy, Roman nor an empire. Apparently Graham as a self-appointed Protestant Pope lusts for that day in which secular rulers were appointed by religious leaders, so it is no surprise that he can pretend to forgive those who further his grand design (read clueless Trump with a terminal case of zipperitis in need of divine forgiveness) while putting down those (Clinton et al.) who are opposed to religious and secular rule in one package in favor of secular rule (Constitution, laws etc.), all of which amounts to an endless replay of church v. state brought up to date.

    Graham and other such would be rulers have ignored belief in their version of the sayings of Jesus Christ, who was the very first to come down on the issue of church and state with his red letter statement to “render unto God what is God’s and to Caesar’s what is Caesar’s.” One can argue that Jesus was feeling the Roman heat and an early crucifixion and came up with such a statement as a political matter, or one can argue that he recognized early on that some matters were for the church and others for the state and advised his followers to distinguish between them based upon his further statement that “my kingdom is not of this world.” Secular rule is plainly of this world, so, case closed, Mr. Graham. Go back to your pulpit and tell the rest of us that it is all right to violate the Commandments if we have more important things to consider, as does Trump, who can’t be bothered to follow the rules you insist the rest of us must follow.

  31. Betty,

    “All: We are sure as the world watching the formation and development of a very dangerous cult or the closest thing to it. THE DEPROGRAMMERS HAVE A LOT OF WORK AHEAD OF THEM.”

    We’re facing a fast moving pandemic of hatred centralized in the U.S. The only move we can make is the one you have just said in 10 words or less.

    “Epidemics of ideas, attitudes, and fashions are not only carried by the simple contagion of face-to-face communication but are air-borne by the swift dissemination of messages in newspapers,radio, television and so on [This was written before the internet]. The rapid spread of hostile attitudes, for instance, at the outbreak of a war may be attributed not to a simple contagion but to the fact that almost everyone is in the same state of mind of a precarious balance between overt friendliness (or neutrality) and covert hostility and almost everyone receives the same information at the same time through the press and the radio, which tips the balance and causes the reversal of attitudes. At this point, simple epidemiological models are not particularly helpful, for what are involved are the symbolic aspects of the national image.”

    “Richardson’s covert-overt model may throw light on a good many dramatic phenomena in history—MASS CONVERSIONS, MASS DEFECTIONS, AND REVOLUTIONS. Sometimes, the existing social group retains the overt loyalty and support of the people at the same time that, covertly, this support is being eroded away. This is particularly likely to be the case WHERE THE FEAR OF VIOLENT CONSEQUENCES IS AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT IN THE SUPPORT OF THE EXISTING GROUP OR REGIME. It is hardly too much to say that every group that attracts support by violence and terror will suffer an erosion of its covert support and that, if this goes on long enough, the group will be suddenly overthrown by a mass transfer of allegiance to another group. The relative impermanence of particular tyrannies is clear testimony to this principle, even though the problem of replacing a tyranny by a better system rather than another tyranny involves a deeper level of social dynamics that is not always achieved.”

    “Conflict and Defense: A General Theory” by Kenneth E. Boulding (Harper & Row Publishers, New York, 1962) pp. 143-4.

    Also of importance, The Political Epidemiology Institute site at http://www.StrategicPower.org.

    DEPROGRAMMING is the only move we can make. All other routes are closed. This can only be accomplished by a WARNING INTELLIGENCE REPORT from the beginning of the spread of the contagion of hatred up until the present which will highlight the weakness of the attack, especially the potential for a CATASTROPHIC BLOWBACK.

    It appears that Trump’s OVERT support has been rising, but what about his COVERT support. From the recent conversations I have had with my Republican friends, I doubt that it is on the rise. I would bet that it is more than likely at the “TIPPING POINT.’

  32. Gerald Stinson – You impart vast wisdom with every post you make. I wish that I lived close to you so I could meet with you to soak up some of your wisdom.

    Do you live in Indiana during the warmer months? Or do you live in FL all year?

  33. Nancy – Thanks for the kind words but it is not wisdom (of which I possess little) but rather experience that I “impart.” I’m old. I live on a lake in Naples, Florida in the winter and on a farm in Michigan in the summer and stop by Indiana coming and going to visit friends and relatives in and near Bloomington. En route to Michigan a few weeks ago I decided to take a side trip to Hawaii and Oregon, and as I write this I am on Maui and headed tonight to San Francisco and Portland and a few days on the Oregon Coast and thence back to Indiana for a high school class reunion and finally to Michigan to do some gardening and blogging. Now, for what it’s worth, you and our blog members know my itinerary.

  34. The first religious huckster I remember from my childhood was Big Daddy Grace. As an ignorant kid from Western Maryland, I remember thinking that only blacks were that easily fooled. Then Franklin’s daddy came along as the Commander-in-Chief chief suck-up, and I concluded that I had erred and that white peopled enjoyed being scammed as well, as long as they could be swindled as part of a crowd that made them feel as if they belonged.

    The Franklins have always been into politics more than religion but big crowds that would listen to their hypocritical poppycock while they cry, cheer and wave their arms at the Big Guy in the Sky were their meal ticket to the big time. And they were very adept at deceiving people looking for an exploiter who would tell them that they weren’t as mentally muddled as they felt.

    No one has ever explained this mentality as incisively as Eric Hoffer. He clarified the epistemological problem of the ignorant as follows: An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.

  35. Gerald Stinson,

    My, you are quite the traveler. I hope you have enjoyed Maui and have a wonderful time in Oregon and Indiana before you return to Michigan.

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