The pulpit, politics and the proverbial slaps on the wrist

Reach out, Terry McAuliffe. Let me give you a proverbial ‘slap on the wrist’ for flattery video as Vice President Kamala Harris provided your governorship campaign. It will air in 300 predominantly black churches across Virginia on the Sundays leading up to the Nov. 2 election.

Virginians, you deserve a leader who has a vision for what is possible, and the experience to achieve that vision, ”Harris said in tthe clip longer than 2 minutes. “Terry McAuliffe is that leader.

Not exactly the high roof, but OK. Former President Barack Obama and Stacey Abrams of Georgia are among the leading Democratic Party leaders who will or will have come to Virginia to bring their man to the finish line in this closer-than-expected contest.

The broadcast of the Harris video by religious congregations, however, may violate IRS law prohibiting churches that are 501 (c) (3) organizations from participating in political campaigns. You encourage them to become criminals, former (and future) Governor McAuliffe!

By the way, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, also bragged about the Biden administration’s support for you last week. It’s a non-apparent under the Traps Act, which prohibits most members of the executive from participating in such campaigns. (Psaki said the next day that she and Joe Biden took ethics “seriously” and that she would be more careful with her choice of words, because “Words certainly matter. “)

It’s not your fault, Terry, but I’m sure you’re not belittling the love of a president who’s a Democrat – like you. Two slaps, maybe?

I am facetious, of course.

Federal Laws and Rules Involving Politics should to be followed. Yet when such infractions occur continuously and without penalty, everyone knows that there is little risk of getting into trouble.

Another thing : The fact Republicans and conservative commentators point out that the alleged wrongdoing involving McAuliffe is particularly infuriating. They have not been short of violations themselves, especially during Donald Trump’s recently ousted administration. The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says Trump’s White House has consistently ignored the Hatch Act.

Press articles say the federal government has rarely revoked a church’s tax-exempt status. Perhaps officials are reluctant to go after one religious community and not target another, or be accused of allowing a candidate to support a religious candidate – but then suppress his opponent.

“More recently” The Tampa Bay, Florida Times reported in early 2020, “the The IRS has remained silent even as religious leaders on both sides of the spectrum have increasingly engaged in political debates. “

The Virginian-Pilot reported in 2018, for example, that dozens of churches here in the Commonwealth have donated money to campaigns for years “and often to Liberal Democrats, according to an analysis of campaign reports compiled by the non-partisan Virginia Public Access Project.”

This means that the real risk to these churches, synagogues, mosques and the like is practically zero.

Which brings me to the hypocrisy involving certain GOP apparatchiks.

Part n ° 1 is Kayleigh mcenany, one of the many White House press secretaries under Trump. “Why isn’t the media holding @PressSec accountable for potential Hatch Act violations?” ” she tweeted about Psaki. “She has twice defended political candidates from the podium.”

McEnany clearly forgot to speak up for his former boss in his failed re-election campaign and called for an investigation into the “Joe Biden-Hunter Biden situation ”while on White House grounds in her role as press secretary. Twitter users called out McEnany for his apparent amnesia over his alleged Hatch law violations.

It was difficult for me to keep up with all of Trump’s lies, accusations and non-compliance with standards during his tenure. The Washington Post even had a team of reporters documenting his tens of thousands of lies.

So I simply forgot about this nugget when he ran for 2020 re-election: legal experts said he shouldn’t have campaigned in a mega-church near Miami at the beginning of last year. About 7,000 supporters attended the event at International Ministry of King Jesus.

In fact, Democrats are probably fed up with playing by the rules while Republicans chuckle and do whatever they want – standards, laws, and fairness to hell:

Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denied Merrick Garland even a chance to attend a hearing for a Supreme Court opening, though Obama appointed Garland almost eight months ahead of the 2016 election. In 2020, under Trump, McConnell passed the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett just weeks before the election.

Members of the Congressional GOP – at the behest of their overlord, Trump – politicized what was previously a pro forma certification of electoral votes after the 2020 election. Trump’s exhortation to a crowd of supporters led to the assault the U.S. Capitol on Jan.6, but Republicans encouraged the attack with their absurd objections during the certification process that day.

Etc.

McAuliffe is desperate to win next month if he is to enlist Vice President Harris. While an overwhelming majority of African Americans generally vote Democrats, I bet most people would be uncomfortable sitting on the benches hearing his video speech – if not downright angry if they did. supported his opponent.

A spokesperson for the McAuliffe campaign declined to answer my question, via email, about accusations that the video’s broadcast could undermine the tax-exempt status of churches.

But let’s be realistic. The mess on the video does not amount to repeated bad faith and hypocritical actions by Republicans involving laws and procedures.

It’s not even close.

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