Why would a Conservative Christian Vote for Trump?

Trump wack-a-mole game

John R. Houk

© May 30, 2016


I have never claimed Donald Trump was a perfect candidate for President. Indeed, I was a Cruzer right up until he suspended his campaign after he did the math. From a Conservative perspective Ted Cruz was nearly the perfect candidate:


Unrepentant Conservative in principles: Less government, NO income tax, dissolve the IRS, Pro-Life, Devout Christian, Pro-Israel, Strong Military, Stop illegal immigration, Tough on Islamic terrorism and anti-establishment and more.


Trump is probably not a devout Christian BUT he is not a hater of those who are devout Christians as most Leftist Dems – including Obama and Hillary – in fact do everything to diminish America’s Christian ethos.


My son is a Never-Trump Christian Conservative who is very displeased with all Conservatives who have begun supporting Trump for POTUS. Needless to say he is very unhappy with me.


I do like some of the things Trump has said even if it sounds a bit incredulous. At least he has abandoned political correctness to stick with “Make America Great”: a strong military, build a southern border wall, stop Muslim immigration and Muslim refugees until they are thoroughly vetted as NOT being anti-American-culture and subversive Caliphate globalists. These Trump points alone are a slap in the face of Obama’s degenerative agenda to transform America. THE SAME POLICY Hillary would continue to the detriment of the USA!


My son pointed me to a Never-Trump article entitled, “Dear Christian Leaders, You’re Playing a Very Dangerous Game” by one of my son’s favorite Conservative pundits in Steve Deace. Essentially Deace is concerned that Christian leaders would even think of placing their support behind a man of poor character such Donald Trump.


After expressing his concerns Deace turns to Scripture in Exodus 18 and makes this quote as his premise for Never-Trump:


Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.


Steve fails to give Bible and verse in this quote but points to the NIV portion of the entire chapter 18 of Exodus in a link. The irony is there is a bit of difference from the version Deace quotes and that which he links to.


Now here is the full context of the quote from the NIV that Steve Deace linked to:


13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law [i.e. Jethro the Kenite Midianite Priest] saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”


15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”


17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”


24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves. (Bold Text Editor’s Emphasis – Exodus 18: 13-26 NIV)


I am guessing Deace’s biggest problem with Trump is the potentiality of not being God-fearing, not trustworthy and a recipient of dishonest gain. Deace cites these examples that demonstrate Trump as a man lacking the godly principles set out in Exodus 18:


Now that we’ve addressed the biblical case, what about the moral one?









Steve Deace provided a link for each judged accusation. Let’s look at those links and see if there is any silver lining that still makes Trump a “capable man” in the language of the NIV Bible:


Scam Artist: Deace goes to the National Review which is no Conservative friend of Trump (and neither was I a friend when the NR began attacking him) – “Yes, Trump University Was a Massive Scam


First thing first, Trump University was never a university. When the “school” was established in 2005, the New York State Education Department warned that it was in violation of state law for operating without a NYSED license. Trump ignored the warnings. (The institution is now called, ahem, “Trump Entrepreneur Initiative.”) Cue lawsuits.

Trump University is currently the defendant in three lawsuits — two class-action lawsuits filed in California, and one filed in New York …



How could that have happened? The New York suit offers a suggestion:


The free seminars were the first step in a bait and switch to induce prospective students to enroll in increasingly expensive seminars starting with the three-day $1495 seminar and ultimately one of respondents’ advanced seminars such as the “Gold Elite” program costing $35,000.


At the “free” 90-minute introductory seminars to which Trump University advertisements and solicitations invited prospective students, Trump University instructors engaged in a methodical, systematic series of misrepresentations designed to convince students to sign up for the Trump University three-day seminar at a cost of $1495.



To do that, instructors touted Trump’s own promises: that students would be “mentored” by “handpicked” real-estate experts, who would use Trump’s own real-estate strategies. …


[Blog Editor: after this point there are a series of Youtube videos used to drive home the point of Trump scam artist. Of the videos three are blocked from showing telling the reader they are now marked as “private”. Could it be there might be some legal problems against the videos?]



Meanwhile, Trump — who maintains that Trump University was “a terrific school that did a fantastic job” — has tried to bully his opponents out of the suit. Lawyers for Tarla Makaeff have requested a protective order from the court “to protect her from further retaliation.” According to court documents, Trump has threatened to sue Makaeff personally, as well as her attorneys. He’s already brought a $100 million counterclaim against the New York attorney general’s office.


… (Yes, Trump University Was a Massive Scam; By IAN TUTTLE; National Review; 2/26/16 5:18 PM)


Yup, there is really nothing to defend the Trump U scam. If Trump was promoting a school on Trump principles in business, he could argue that those who failed to make good business decisions with those principles have themselves to blame. But apparently the salesmen for recruiting students, used some kind of “playbook” with principles of hooking a buyer with illegitimate promises combining a business education. No one can make a promise insuring success, rather only a promise to provide the tools to make sound choices that may or may not lead to success. I have to give Deace a plus on this one. However, Americans have to decide if a man that has managed to become a billionaire then go bankrupt, then become a billionaire again is not capable of making different decisions to overcome previous bad decisions.


After nearly eight years of Leftist Dem hubris that a socialized America with humanistic ideology has made America great, I have to give Trump a shot at looking at a different path. Crooked Hillary will simply continue the downward spiral of cultural and economic collapse of America with a transformist concept differing from the Founding Fathers’ vision. Ergo the civil suit does not change my mind.


Consider Nebuchadnezzar. The ten northern Hebrew tribes under the King of Israel was given up to conquest by Assyria because of the Northern Kingdom’s spiral into immorality and rejection of the God who delivered them from bondage in Egypt. That left the two tribes that formed the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Roughly one hundred years later Judah’s leaders were leading that nation to the point of no return in the sight of God. When the leadership of Judah rejected the insights of God given by the Prophets of God, Judah also lost their right to have a governing nation. God sent an unbelieving polytheist conqueror named Nebuchadnezzar who emptied Judah of its leadership families, educated families and Priestly families and sent them to Babylon. Perhaps Trump is America’s Nebuchadnezzar giving Americans a wake-up call to abandon humanistic ungodly ideology and return to God’s morality of purpose:


And command them to say to their masters, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel—thus you shall say to your masters: ‘I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me. And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him. (Jeremiah 27: 4-6 NKJV)


Gossip: Deace here is referencing the Trump camp pushing Ted Cruz had some extramarital affairs: “5 Things You Need To Know About #CruzSexScandal” –


… They’re firmly convinced that the National Enquirer’s anonymously sourced story alleging that Cruz has had extramarital affairs with at least five women must be true. …



  1. Trump’s People Have Been Pushing The Story.Trump has a long, friendly history with the CEO of the National Enquirer, as Gabe Sherman of New York Magazine pointed out back in October:



  1. Katrina Pierson, One Of The National Enquirer’s Women, Has Denied The Story.Pierson, … She would have every interest in confirming the story, given that it would put an end to Cruz’s presidential hopes and, indeed, his entire career. Yet here’s what she’s tweeted this morning about the Enquirerstory:


What’s worse? People who actually believe the trash in tabloids, or the ones who know it’s false &spread it anyway? #stupidity on all levels


  1. Amanda Carpenter, Another Of The National Enquirer’s Women, Has Denied The Story.


  1. The Cruz Super PAC That Donated Money To The Carly Fiorina Campaign Almost Certainly Didn’t Do It To Shut Up Sarah Isgur Flores.


  1. Cruz Has Denied The Story, And Blamed The Trump Campaign For The Smear.



UPDATE: Trump has now responded in his own typically bombastic manner:

View image on Twitter

Trump Responds to Cruz Accusations on National Enquirer Story

Trump Responds to Cruz Accusations on National Enquirer Story


(5 Things You Need To Know About #CruzSexScandal; By BEN SHAPIRO; The Daily Wire; 3/25/16)


I believe Ted because well, he’s Ted. Ben Shapiro posts the Trump denial as if we shouldn’t believe him because well, he’s the Donald. Ben you have to prove Trump ordered the story just like Trump and the National Enquirer would have had to prove that Ted Cruz was an adulterer. There is and was no proof from anyone’s camp. It all falls on the National Enquirer.


But you have to ask yourself if Trump or someone in his campaign did push an untrue story, why would he do so? Because Trump believed the Cruz campaign posted some photos of Trump’s wife Melania with a nude model, shot in bad taste with the epithet that went something like, “This could be your First Lady.”


Trump typically lost his New York temper. Who do you think he was going to blame? Of course Ted denied he had anything to do with disparaging Melania Trump. So Trump posted an unflattering photo of Ted’s wife Heidi Cruz beside Melania. Then Ted went ballistic. Then somewhere in there, Trump says he’ll spill the beans on Heidi which never came to light as far as I know. The point is Trump isn’t the only gossip. Yet the Never-Trump people never talk about the other gossipers in politics. Let’s be consistent.
Slanderer: This is more Trump vs. Cruz tit-for-tat. I assure you if Donald was attacked he would not attack back: “Trump accuses Cruz’s father of helping JFK’s assassin” –


Donald Trump on Tuesday alleged that Ted Cruz’s father was with John F. Kennedy’s assassin shortly before he murdered the president, parroting a National Enquirer story claiming that Rafael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963.

… (Trump accuses Cruz’s father of helping JFK’s assassin; By NOLAN D. MCCASKILL; Politico; 5/3/16 07:36 AM EDT)


Even if that was true and it is not, what does or did that have to do with today’s Ted Cruz? So why did Trump pop-off with another tabloid-sourced accusation that is easier to disprove than to prove? Here’s the New York reasoning of Donald Trump:


After Ted Cruz’s father Rafael pleaded with believing Christians to support his son, Trump slammed him, saying that it was a disgrace for Cruz to say that the election of Trump could contribute to the destruction of America. Rafael Cruz had stated from the pulpit:


I implore, I exhort every member of the body of Christ to vote according to the word of God and vote for the candidate that stands on the word of God and on the Constitution of the United States of America. And I am convinced that man is my son, Ted Cruz. The alternative could be the destruction of America.


Stung, Trump pouted:


I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to do it. I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to say it … You look at so many of the ministers that are backing me, and they’re backing me more so than they’re backing Cruz, and I’m winning the evangelical vote. It’s disgraceful that his father can go out and do that. And just — and so many people are angry about it. And the evangelicals are angry about it, the way he does that. But I think it’s horrible. I think it’s absolutely horrible that a man can go and do that, what he’s saying there. (Trump Says Cruz’s Father Shouldn’t Be ‘Allowed’ To Say Mean Things About Him; By HANK BERRIEN; The Daily Wire; 5/3/16)


Trump took Pastor Rafael’s plea to vote for his son Ted amidst an Evangelical crowd as a slight interpreting “The alternative could be the destruction of America” as an unnamed slight to himself rather perhaps to Hillary. I wasn’t there so I don’t know the context of Pastor Rafael’s speech. If it was a Trump slight, I do understand the Trump response. The response goes, “You hit me I hit back harder.” The response valid or invalid is what has attracted voters to Trump. It’s kind of like the disagreements people have in a living discussion. It’s plain speaking. People like plain spoken.


Trump as a Misogynist: Here Deace uses People Magazine, alluding that Trump is a misogynist because defending his wife by attacking the wife of the candidate he believed slighted Melania, makes Trump a misogynist. Then the People post provides a lesson in a happy marriage message. Since People believes all the tit-for-tat is all Trump’s doing and nothing to do with Ted defending his wife Heidi, then Trump needs this good marriage advice. Apparently Deace feels since Trump must need marriage advice he must be a misogynist: “Doubling Down, Donald Trump Tweets a My-Wife’s-Prettier-Than Yours Meme Featuring Heidi Cruz – and Ted Fires Back”.


I think Steve Deace should have found a better to prove Trump misogynism. The only thing Deace could find was either Trump defending his wife or counter-attacking a lady (e.g. Fiorina or Hillary) for attacking him. Ergo misogynist disproved in this case.


Trump as an adulterer: Deace offers no proof or even an accusation from another woman or a cuckcolded husband, but turns to an innocuous quote from Trump’s book The Art of the Deal. Deace uses The rightscoop as his adulterer source: “Here’s when Trump BRAGGED in his book about his MULTIPLE AFFAIRS with wealthy married women!” –


The Daily Beast has the quote:


“In The Art of the Deal, Trump boasted about bedding other men’s wives.

‘“If I told the real stories of my experiences with women, often seemingly very happily married and important women, this book would be a guaranteed best-seller,” he wrote.’” (Here’s when Trump BRAGGED in his book about his MULTIPLE AFFAIRS with wealthy married women! By [This pseudonym is hilarious] SooperMexican; The rightscoop; 3/25/16 9:20 AM)


I have a huge problem with adultery even those who may brag in jest to inflate their manhood. Nevertheless, it is apparent Trump parted ways with previous marriages on good terms and his marriage with Melania appears solid at the very least evidenced by Trump’s rash defenses of her honor. I find it unfortunate that Steve Deace is stooping to Dem Party standards to smear Donald Trump.


Is Trump a Deceiver: In high stakes business I have no doubts that Donald Trump used his share of smoke and mirrors in making deals. Again no one thinks Trump is a devout Christian. He is a secular minded fellow that DOES NOT discount Christianity as the American Left has gone to great measures to do to transform America into a Socialist-Humanistic culture. If you actually listen carefully to the CNN video at the top of this post, the newscasters are doing the misdirection and smoke and mirror deception. They correctly state that Trump opted out of the last GOP debate in favor of a Veterans fundraiser. The CNN deception is on how they reported on the disbursement of Six Million Dollars Trump claims he raised. When listening carefully, only ONE charity claims they did not receive any money. ALL the rest claimed they received money and ONLY one of those charities disclosed the amount. And makes Trump a deceiver, how? “Trump campaign admits it did not raise $6 million for veterans” –


CNN VIDEO on Youtube: Did veterans group get millions raised by Trump?



Posted by CNN

Published on Mar 3, 2016

Donald Trump says he raised six million dollars for veterans including a million dollars of his own money. CNN’s Drew Griffin has been tracking down the donations.



The list showed that the majority of the money that had been donated at that time came from Trump’s foundation or the foundations of two of his friends, businessman Carl Icahn and pharmaceutical billionaire Stewart J. Rahr.


The campaign did not identify any contributors Friday who pledged funds without following through in actual donations.


Charities that have benefited from the fundraiser include Fisher House Foundation, Green Beret Foundation and Disabled American Veterans, while others, such as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said they did not want to receive any of the contributions. (Trump campaign admits it did not raise $6 million for veterans; By Curt Devine; CNN; 5/20/16 Updated 6:55 PM ET)


Where in the world in this article or video does ANYONE in the Trump campaign ADMIT that “$6 million” was NOT raised for veterans? The only Trump campaign admission ranged from uncertain to the exact amount to a guess of about $4.5 million. Talk about deception! This why I often say the acronym for CNN stands for the Communist News Network.


Is Trump a liar? Steve Deace goes to The Daily Wire which claims to provide 101 absolute lies Donald Trump. I’m not going to go through all 101 accusations. Frankly that would take too much of my time to see if Trump told a flagrant lie, made a mistake, said something taken out of context or told the absolute truth. I have to wonder if The Daily Wire is going to go through all the lies Hillary (and Bill) told to the American public and measure her verbiage as outright lie, mistaken, taken out of context or (chuckle) told the absolute truth?


The article Deace goes to is “Lyin’ Donald: 101 Of Trump’s Greatest Lies”. If the next 100 accusations are as flimsy as the first listed accusation, one has to wonder on the integrity of The Daily Wire


  1. March 30: Trump claims MSNBC edited their released version of his interview with Chris Matthews in which Trump stumbled on abortion: “You really ought to hear the whole thing. I mean, this is a long convoluted question. This was a long discussion, and they just cut it out. And, frankly, it was extremely — it was really convoluted.” Nope; that was a lie. (Lyin’ Donald: 101 Of Trump’s Greatest Lies; By HANK BERRIEN; The Daily Wire; 4/11/16)


Hmm… The accused lie is that MSNBC edited the Chris Matthews-Donald Trump conversation to make Trump look bad. However, the real problem Trump has is being made to look bad for saying quite haphazardly that women that seek an abortion should be punished. Huh… Maybe Deace would have had a better chance with the misogynistic accusation if he went to the abortion issue in this conversation. The Dems and the Pro-Choice (i.e. women can have a doctor kill their unborn baby as a birth control method) think such Trump thoughts are misogynistic.


So I’m going to share the MSNBC transcript the begins with abortion rather than the entire transcript:


MATTHEWS:  OK, look, I’m monopolizing here.


Let’s go, young lady?


TRUMP:  Hello.


QUESTION:  Hello. I am (inaudible) and have a question on, what is your stance on women’s rights and their rights to choose in their own reproductive health?


TRUMP:  OK, well look, I mean, as you know, I’m pro-life.  Right, I think you know that, and I — with exceptions, with the three exceptions.  But pretty much, that’s my stance.  Is that OK?  You understand?


MATTHEWS:  What should the law be on abortion?


TRUMP:  Well, I have been pro-life.


MATTHEWS:  I know, what should the law — I know your principle, that’s a good value.  But what should be the law?


TRUMP:  Well, you know, they’ve set the law and frankly the judges — I mean, you’re going to have a very big election coming up for that reason, because you have judges where it’s a real tipping point.


MATTHEWS:  I know.


TRUMP:  And with the loss the Scalia, who was a very strong conservative…


MATTHEWS:  I understand.


TRUMP:  … this presidential election is going to be very important, because when you say, “what’s the law, nobody knows what’s the law going to be.  It depends on who gets elected, because somebody is going to appoint conservative judges and somebody is going to appoint liberal judges, depending on who wins.


MATTHEWS:  I know.  I never understood the pro-life position.


TRUMP:  Well, a lot of people do understand.


MATTHEWS:  I never understood it.  Because I understand the principle, it’s human life as people see it.


TRUMP:  Which it is.


MATTHEWS:  But what crime is it?


TRUMP:  Well, it’s human life.


MATTHEWS:  No, should the woman be punished for having an abortion?


TRUMP:  Look…


MATTHEWS:  This is not something you can dodge.


TRUMP:  It’s a — no, no…


MATTHEWS:  If you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal with it under law.  Should abortion be punished?


TRUMP:  Well, people in certain parts of the Republican Party and Conservative Republicans would say, “yes, they should be punished.”


MATTHEWS:  How about you?


TRUMP:  I would say that it’s a very serious problem.  And it’s a problem that we have to decide on.  It’s very hard.


MATTHEWS:  But you’re for banning it?


TRUMP:  I’m going to say — well, wait.  Are you going to say, put them in jail?  Are you — is that the (inaudible) you’re talking about?


MATTHEWS:  Well, no, I’m asking you because you say you want to ban it.  What does that mean?


TRUMP:  I would — I am against — I am pro-life, yes.


MATTHEWS:  What is ban — how do you ban abortion?  How do you actually do it?


TRUMP:  Well, you know, you will go back to a position like they had where people will perhaps go to illegal places.




TRUMP:  But you have to ban it.


MATTHEWS:  You banning, they go to somebody who flunked out of medical school.


TRUMP:  Are you Catholic?


MATTHEWS:  Yes, I think…


TRUMP:  And how do you feel about the Catholic Church’s position?


MATTHEWS:  Well, I accept the teaching authority of my Church on moral issues.


TRUMP:  I know, but do you know their position on abortion?


MATTHEWS:  Yes, I do.


TRUMP:  And do you concur with the position?


MATTHEWS:  I concur with their moral position but legally, I get to the question — here’s my problem with it…




TRUMP:  No, no, but let me ask you, but what do you say about your Church?


MATTHEWS:  It’s not funny.


TRUMP:  Yes, it’s really not funny.


What do you say about your church?  They’re very, very strong.


MATTHEWS:  They’re allowed to — but the churches make their moral judgments, but you running for president of the United States will be chief executive of the United States.  Do you believe…


TRUMP:  No, but…


MATTHEWS:  Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no as a principle?


TRUMP:  The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.


MATTHEWS:  For the woman?


TRUMP:  Yes, there has to be some form.


MATTHEWS:  Ten cents?  Ten years?  What?


TRUMP:  Let me just tell you — I don’t know.  That I don’t know.  That I don’t know.


MATTHEWS:  Why not?


TRUMP:  I don’t know.


MATTHEWS:  You take positions on everything else.


TRUMP:  Because I don’t want to — I frankly, I do take positions on everything else.  It’s a very complicated position.


MATTHEWS:  But you say, one, that you’re pro-life meaning that you want to ban it.


TRUMP:  But wait a minute, wait a minute.  But the Catholic Church is pro-life.


MATTHEWS:  I’m not talking about my religion.


TRUMP:  No, no, I am talking about your religion.  Your religion — I mean, you say that you’re a very good Catholic.  Your religion is your life.  Let me ask you this…


MATTHEWS:  I didn’t say very good.  I said I’m Catholic.




And secondly, I’m asking — you’re running for President.


TRUMP:  No, no…


MATTHEWS:  I’m not.


TRUMP:  Chris — Chris.


MATTHEWS:  I’m asking you, what should a woman face if she chooses to have an abortion?


TRUMP:  I’m not going to do that.


MATTHEWS:  Why not?


TRUMP:  I’m not going to play that game.




TRUMP:  You have…


MATTHEWS: You said you’re pro-life.


TRUMP:  I am pro-life.


MATTHEWS: That means banning abortion.


TRUMP:  And so is the Catholic Church pro-life.


MATTHEWS:  But they don’t control the — this isn’t Spain, the Church doesn’t control the government.


TRUMP:  What is the punishment under the Catholic Church?  What is the…


MATTHEWS: Let me give something from the New Testament, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  Don’t ask me about my religion.


TRUMP:  No, no…


MATTHEWS:  I’m asking you.  You want to be president of the United States.


TRUMP:  You told me that…


MATTHEWS:  You tell me what the law should be.


TRUMP:  I have — I have not determined…


MATTHEWS:  Just tell me what the law should be.  You say you’re pro-life.


TRUMP:  I am pro-life.


MATTHEWS:  What does that mean?


TRUMP:  With exceptions.  I am pro-life.


I have not determined what the punishment would be.


MATTHEWS:  Why not?


TRUMP:  Because I haven’t determined it.


MATTHEWS:  When you decide to be pro-life, you should have thought of it.  Because…


TRUMP:  No, you could ask anybody who is pro-life…


MATTHEWS:  OK, here’s the problem — here’s my problem with this, if you don’t have a punishment for abortion — I don’t believe in it, of course — people are going to find a way to have an abortion.


TRUMP:  You don’t believe in what?


MATTHEWS:  I don’t believe in punishing anybody for having an abortion.


TRUMP:  OK, fine.  OK, (inaudible).


MATTHEWS:  Of course not.  I think it’s a woman’s choice.


TRUMP:  So you’re against the teachings of your Church?


MATTHEWS:  I have a view — a moral view — but I believe we live in a free country, and I don’t want to live in a country so fascistic that it could stop a person from making that decision.


TRUMP:  But then you are…


MATTHEWS:  That would be so invasive.


TRUMP:  I know but I’ve heard you speaking…


MATTHEWS:  So determined of a society that I wouldn’t able — one we are familiar with.  And Donald Trump, you wouldn’t be familiar with.


TRUMP:  But I’ve heard you speaking so highly about your religion and your Church.




TRUMP:  Your Church is very, very strongly as you know, pro-life.


MATTHEWS:  I know.


TRUMP:  What do you say to your Church?


MATTHEWS:  I say, I accept your moral authority.  In the United States, the people make the decision, the courts rule on what’s in the Constitution, and we live by that.  That’s why I say.


TRUMP:  Yes, but you don’t live by it because you don’t accept it. You can’t accept it.  You can’t accept it.  You can’t accept it.


MATTHEWS:  Can we go back to matters of the law and running for president because matters of law, what I’m talking about, and this is the difficult situation you’ve placed yourself in.


By saying you’re pro-life, you mean you want to ban abortion.  How do you ban abortion without some kind of sanction?  Then you get in that very tricky question of a sanction, a fine on human life which you call murder?


TRUMP:  It will have to be determined.


MATTHEWS:  A fine, imprisonment for a young woman who finds herself pregnant?


TRUMP:  It will have to be determined.


MATTHEWS:  What about the guy that gets her pregnant?  Is he responsible under the law for these abortions?  Or is he not responsible for an abortion?


TRUMP:  Well, it hasn’t — it hasn’t — different feelings, different people.  I would say no.


MATTHEWS:  Well, they’re usually involved.  Anyway, much more from the audience here at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.  We’ll be right back.






… (FULL TRANSCRIPT: MSNBC Town Hall with Donald Trump Moderated By Chris Matthews; MSNBC; 3/30/16 5:10 PM EDT)


On a personal level I wouldn’t punish a woman for participating with baby-murder with done as a form of birth control. I might not have a problem with accessory to murder. Trump’s complaint is this townhall meeting was skewed to defame Trump as a misogynist and mentioned very little Chris Matthews double-talk hypocrisy on being a good Catholic agreeing with Church doctrine against abortion but being pro-abortion legally for those deluded women who want birth control by murder.


And so merely by showing that the first accusation in The Daily Wire was actually disingenuous manipulation and time constraints I’m not going to wade through the 100 other skewed accusations of Trump lying. AGAIN Steve Deace should examine the Hillary lies and make a voter decision based on how wicked she is rather than how much Trump doesn’t measure up to Conservative snuff or Christian ethics.


JRH 5/30/16

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Nefarious Presidential Actions – Teddy to Harding

T Roosevelt Big Stick Diplomacy toon

  Warren & Florence Harding political toon












John R. Houk

© August 7, 2014



Here is a quote from a comment exchange on my G+ page pertaining to the SlantRight 2.0 post entitled, “Sarah Palin Doubles Down – Impeach Obama 7-19-14”.




Gideon fewer Executive Orders does not translate into less unConstitutional actions. Obama’s EO’s contradict the Constitution’s Separation of Powers instituted by the Founding Fathers.


Gideon Money:


How so? Be specific and use SCOTUS precedent, not Fox talking points.


There many comments from others as well as between myself and Gideon. So I decided to embark on a journey to research the issue. I made the mistake to look at the controversial actions of 20th century Presidents through to Obama. This has turned into a larger project than I anticipated.


As you may realize there are thousands of Executive Orders in the time period between Teddy Roosevelt which begin in 1901 through Obama’s present in August 2014. I even suspect before I end my journey BHO will undoubtedly deliver some Executive Orders that will further degrade the Constitution and Congress.


Hence I am going to divide the research into parts. As of writing this I have no idea how many parts are to come our way. When I started with this research I decided to eventually stick with controversial Presidential actions and decisions that should have been impeachable BUT political expediency always took a back seat to defending the U.S. Constitution. This will hardly be an exhaustive posting of any President’s actions. I am going to stick to ones that were the most controversial in the Press, against Congress, involving SCOTUS dramatically and violations of American citizen’s Constitutional rights. At this point I am up to President Warren G. Harding who died in Office in 1923.


When I get to the last part I will post many of the comments that led up to Gideon’s challenge delivered on August 5, 2014. There is a chance to more comments have already taken place on the G+ post. This would mean a marathon of responses. I ain’t gonna do that.


So now I begin with President Theodore Roosevelt.


Theodore Roosevelt: 3/14/1901 to 3/4/1909


President T. Roosevelt had a number of Constitutional issues. The ones that went to the Supreme Court all decided in his favor.


Here are a list of TR actions that bristled his Congress during his terms of Office:


Panama Canal


Originally started by the French, the Panama Canal was intended to drastically shorten the travel time of ships going between the Pacific and the Atlantic. The French project turned out to be a disaster, and they were eager to hand the project off. So when Theodore Roosevelt offered to buy it, they were more than willing. However, the United States Congress was less eager to spend the money. In order to speed things up, Roosevelt helped organize a revolution that overthrew the government of Panama and replaced it with a nation whose constitution had been written by Americans and whose flag had been designed by the wife of a pro-intervention congressmen. Roosevelt’s actions would remain controversial for the rest of his life. (Top scandals and controversies of each United States president – Theodore Roosevelt; By Freeman Stevenson; Deseret News; 3/20/13 12:51 p.m. MDT)


On January 22, 1903, the Roosevelt administration and Colombia signed the Hay-Herrán Treaty, which allowed a canal to be built across Panama. However, Colombia’s legislature refused to ratify the treaty.


Later that year, Panama, which was under the control of Colombia, revolted and declared its independence on November 3, 1903. The United States recognized the new government of Panama on November 6, and a week later Panama signed a treaty with the United States providing for the construction and operation of the canal in Panama. The treaty, which granted sovereignty to the United States for a ten-mile-wide strip-the Canal Zone-in which to construct the canal, was approved by the U.S. Senate on February 23, 1904.


Roosevelt is alleged to have encouraged the 1903 revolution for independence in Panama. The revolution conveniently began after the U.S. warship Nashville docked in Colón, Panama. (What controversy surrounded Theodore Roosevelt and the Panama Canal? Answers.com)


Executive Orders


Teddy Roosevelt greatly expanded the use of Executive Order in terms of both quantity and reach. He declared certain lands set aside for military reservations or wildlife refuges. He made dozens of people available for appointment to government offices without regard to whether they met Civil Service requirements. (Above the Law: History and Development of Presidential Executive Orders, Part One; By John A. Sterling; LawAndLiberty.org; last revised – 12/31/01)


William Howard Taft: 3/4/1909 to 3/4/1913


To solve one impasse during the 1909 tariff debate, Taft proposed income taxes for corporations and business. … Supreme Court, in Flint v. Stone Tracy Company, approved it. …  An income tax on individuals, (unlike the tax on corporations) required a constitutional amendment. One was passed with little controversy in July, 1909, unanimously in the Senate and by a vote of 318 to 14 in the House. It quickly was ratified by the states, and in February, 1913, it became a part of the Constitution as the Sixteenth Amendment, as Taft was leaving office. (William Howard Taft16th Amendment; Conservapedia)


Taft was considered a do nothing President that caused a split in the Republican Party. The GOP gained the reputation as a Conservative under his aegis and the Republicans considered “Progressive” left to form the Progressive Party-later Bull Moose Party-later dissolving and joining the Democrats. Regardless of Taft’s do-nothing reputation politically his Administration successfully won a huge amount of anti-trust suits. To the modern Conservative, Taft could easily be vilified as the author of Income Tax with the 16th Amendment (Events leading to passage).


Woodrow Wilson: 3/4/1913 to 3/4/1921


Woodrow Wilson, who served as President from 1913-1921, was an enthusiastic advocate of such an arrangement, stating:


“The President is at liberty, both in law and in conscience, to be as big a man as he can. His capacity will set the limit; and if Congress is overborne by him, it will be no fault of the makers of the Constitution … but only because the President has the nation behind him and Congress has not.”



… To guide society along this path, said Wilson, society needed a “true leader” who could stir the passions of the masses and use them like “tools.” “Men are as clay in the hand of the consummate leader,” he said.


Under President Wilson, progressives perfected the art of government propaganda. Wilson appointed the journalist and former muckraker George Creel to head the Committee on Public Information (CPI), the first modern ministry for propaganda in the Western world. Thus empowered, Creel methodically assembled an army of nearly 100,000 “Four Minute Men,” each trained by the CPI to deliver, at a moment’s notice, four-minute propaganda speeches at town meetings or any other public venues where they might be heard. In 1917–18 alone, these operatives delivered some 7.55 million speeches in 5,200 communities.


The Espionage Act of June 1917 and the Sedition Act of May 1918 made it illegal, under penalty of imprisonment, to utter any criticism of the government — even in the privacy of one’s own home. The progressives in the Wilson administration confrontationally questioned the patriotism of anyone whose beliefs did not seem to be “100 percent American” – i.e., anyone who was not passionately and unwaveringly pro-Wilson. …



Also during the Wilson administration, the Postmaster General was authorized to deny mailing privileges to any publication that did not meet with his approval politically; at least 75 periodicals were banned under this regulation. Journalists who printed anything critical of Wilson’s military policies faced the very serious threat of incarceration, or of having their supply of newsprint terminated by the War Industries Board.


Wilson’s Justice Department created – again, with large sums of taxpayer dollars – the American Protective League (APL), whose agents functioned as private investigators on behalf of the federal government. Their task was to monitor the activities of their neighbors, co-workers, and friends; to read their neighbors’ mail and listen in on their phone calls, all with the explicit approval of the government. As of 1918, the APL had branches in some 600 cities and a membership in excess of 250,000. The U.S. Assistant Attorney General boasted that America had never been more effectively policed.

All told, during the Wilson years, some 175,000 Americans were arrested for failing to adequately demonstrate their patriotism. All were punished in some way; many were jailed. (READ ENTIRITY – POLICIES OF PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON; Derived from Paul A. Rahe [Progressive Racism] – 4/11/13 and Jonah Goldberg [Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning] – 1/8/08; DTN)


The supporter of Barack Obama and my critic of my posts – Gideon Money, would point out this is a “Right Wing” website hence unreliable. The reality is DTN is a well sourced website that Left Wingers hate because the real truth hurts. I should also note that especially after Wilson finally decided to enter WWI he had wide support of the public. It was only after WWI in 1918 that American Conservatives began to reassert themselves in Congress. David Greenberg writing for Slate and posted 12/27/10, concurs with the abuses exposed here, but he can’t help himself by going of the topic of Wilsonian nefariousness by basically saying but hey – Reagan and Bush II did a similar thing that makes them more heinous than Woodrow Wilson. Tom Head (Left Wing bona fides) writing for About.com also agrees with DTN with more of an emphasis on the 1918 Sedition Act. Head brings up the fact that both Acts were passed overwhelmingly by Congress sponsored by Democrats. He also shows that the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutionality of both Acts in which Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Coined the justifying phrase “Clear and Present Danger.” The Espionage Act and thus the connecting Sedition Act were repealed by Congress in 1920 which enabled many violators convicted to be set free from prison.


Warren G. Harding: 3/4/1921 to 8/2/1923


Harding was a Republican that had success with a Reaganomics-like program of less taxes-less government and higher revenue via economic growth. Ironically list him as one of the worst Presidents in U.S. history. Largely due to a couple of scandals that are not traced to his person but was responsible via choosing horrible greedy administrators who both ended up in jail.


Charles Forbes and Veterans’ Bureau Scandal


Colonel Charles R. Forbes, a chance acquaintance of Warren Harding, was appointed to head the recently created Veterans’ Bureau. It was later revealed that Forbes entered into corrupt arrangements with a number of contractors, particularly with those involved in the operation of hospitals, and sold government property at a fraction of its value. Charles F. Cramer, attorney for the bureau, committed suicide, which brought increased attention to the agency. In 1923, Forbes resigned his position and fled to Europe.


A Senate investigation in 1924 found that Forbes had looted more than $200 million from the government. He was subsequently indicted for bribery and corruption, and was brought back for trial in 1925. He was convicted, fined $10,000 and sentenced to two years in Leavenworth. (Veterans’ Bureau Scandal; United State History)


Teapot Dome Scandal


Teapot Dome, in U.S. history, oil reserve scandal that began during the administration of President Harding. In 1921, by executive order of the President, control of naval oil reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyo., and at Elk Hills, Calif., was transferred from the Navy Dept. to the Dept. of the Interior. The oil reserves had been set aside for the navy by President Wilson. In 1922, Albert B. Fall, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, leased, without competitive bidding, the Teapot Dome fields to Harry F. Sinclair, an oil operator, and the field at Elk Hills, Calif., to Edward L. Doheny. These transactions became (1922–23) the subject of a Senate investigation conducted by Sen. Thomas J. Walsh. It was found that in 1921, Doheny had lent Fall $100,000, interest-free, and that upon Fall’s retirement as Secretary of the Interior (Mar., 1923) Sinclair also “loaned” him a large amount of money. The investigation led to criminal prosecutions. Fall was indicted for conspiracy and for accepting bribes. Convicted of the latter charge, he was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $100,000. In another trial for bribery Doheny and Sinclair were acquitted, although Sinclair was subsequently sentenced to prison for contempt of the Senate and for employing detectives to shadow members of the jury in his case. The oil fields were restored to the U.S. government through a Supreme Court decision in 1927. (Teapot Dome; Cited Sources – Teapot Dome (1959) by M.R. Werner & J. Starr AND Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. (© 2012); infoplease.com)



The oil barons [i.e. Harry Sinclair & Edward Doheny] were happy when Wilson left office and Harding—a Republican—was elected in 1920. Many had donated large amounts of money to Harding’s campaign in hope of overturning the conservationist policies of previous administrations. Sinclair himself donated $1 million to Harding’s campaign and became a good friend of the new president. When Sinclair came to Washington, he joined in the White House poker parties and was often invited to stay over night (sic) as Harding’s guest. Doheny had not made a huge donation to Harding’s campaign (he had contributed $25,000), but after the election, he sent congratulatory letters to the president and offered Harding the use of his 375-foot yacht for a post-election vacation cruise.


The oil barons’ wishes came true when Harding announced that he had appointed Albert Fall, a former senator from New Mexico, as secretary of the interior. Fall was a rancher, mine owner, and former prospector.


He was an “old pal” of Doheny. Fall had hopes that when he left the Cabinet (he planned to stay for only one year) that Doheny would hire him. Fall knew that Doheny had hired the previous secretary of the interior.


Fall was also a good friend of Harding, whom he played poker with two or three times a week. When he served in the Senate, Fall had strongly opposed the conservation policies put in place under Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson. He believed that the government’s land should be placed in the hands of private interests and exploited as soon as possible.


Fall wasted no time in helping the oil barons get leases to public lands. One of the first things he did as secretary of the interior was to persuade Harding to transfer authority over the naval reserves from the secretary of the navy to the Department of the Interior. Two months after being inaugurated, Harding signed an executive order putting the reserves in the hands of Secretary Fall.


That same month, Fall went to the Kentucky Derby as Sinclair’s guest. He also wrote a letter to his friend Doheny, stating that he had everything worked out with the Department of the Navy. He assured Doheny that he will “conduct the matter of the naval leases under direction of the President” without having to consult with the navy.


Many officers in the Navy opposed Harding’s executive order. One admiral complained that if the reserves were turned over to the Interior Department, “we might as well say good-bye to our oil.”



The first lease, for the California reserves, was negotiated with Doheny in November 1921. Under the terms of the proposed lease, Doheny’s company, Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company, was to build storage tanks in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to store oil for the navy, to put crude oil in the tanks, and to pay royalties on the oil drilled from the reserves at a low price. It was a great deal for Doheny. He estimated it would give him a profit of $1 million. In return, Doheny made a “loan” of $100,000 to Fall. On November 28, 1921, three days after Doheny made his offer, his son, Ned Doheny, carried a black satchel containing the $100,000 in cash to Fall’s hotel apartment and watched him count the money.



The special prosecutors also filed four criminal cases. One charged Fall and Doheny with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Another similar case was against Sinclair and Fall. A third case charged Fall with bribery. And a fourth case charged Doheny and his son Ned with bribery. These cases, which were tried over a period of six years, were less successful. In the conspiracy cases, defense lawyers managed to convince the juries that Doheny and Sinclair had no intent to defraud the United States. The juries accepted the argument that the leases were made to help the navy prepare for war and to protect the country. They found the defendants not guilty. Doheny and his son were also found not guilty of bribery. Only Fall was convicted, for having accepted a bribe while acting in his official capacity. The prosecutors made a strong argument that the evidence showed “the criminal intent of Fall to make money out of his position of trust and honor,” and the jury agreed. Fall was sentenced to a year in jail and to pay a fine of $100,000. His appeal was denied on June 6, 1931, and he was sent to the New Mexico State Penitentiary.


* * * * *

As a result of the diligent investigation of the Senate committee and the persistence of the special prosecutors, the rich oil fields at Teapot Dome and in California were recovered and returned to the U.S. Navy. The government collected millions of dollars from Doheny and Sinclair as well as almost $50 million for the oil drilled in its reserves. The Harding administration has remained a symbol of corruption. The Teapot Dome scandal illustrates the dangers that money and corporate power can pose to democratic government. Even the appearance of corrupt influences can erode people’s faith in democracy. (READ ENTIRETY BRIA 24 4 The Teapot Dome Scandal; CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOUNDATION: Bill of Rights in Action SPRING 2009 (Volume 24, No. 4))


Meanwhile, President Harding took a summer trip west, stopping in Wyoming, enjoying Yellowstone and continuing on to Alaska and, eventually, to San Francisco. While there, the President died suddenly. Some historians believe Harding escaped impeachment for his role in Teapot Dome by having the “good fortune” of dying as the scandal was unfolding. Of course, such a conclusion cannot be proven. (Excerpted from: The Teapot Dome Scandal; By Phil Roberts; WyoHistory.org)


See Also: Graft and Oil: How Teapot Dome Became the Greatest Political Scandal of Its Time AND The Strange Presidency of Warren G. Harding


The scandals in Warren G. Harding’s life is only rivaled by Slick Willie Clinton.



… good ole Warren was having an illicit affair with not only a young campaign volunteer but there were other women as well. Two of the women were personal friends of his wife Florence, and the campaign volunteer was a young woman named Nan Britton who developed a big honking crush on the President when he was still a mere congressman and was determined to make him hers.


… Harding was an unrestrained womanizer. … his wife Florence, known as the Duchess, was the power behind the throne. Five years older than her husband, Florence married Harding against her wealthy father Amos Kling’s wishes. Her first husband had been the ne’er do well son of a wealthy family. As far as Kling was concerned, Harding was cut from the same cloth. But Florence saw a diamond in the rough and was determined to polish him up. Their marriage was a solid business partnership, not a love match. She brought drive and money to the table, and Warren brought her political opportunity.


Harding first cheated on Florence three years into the marriage with Susie Hodder, his wife’s best friend since childhood. Then he began a 15 year affair with another friend of the couple Carrie Fulton Phillips. Carrie was blonde and beautiful with the figure of a Gibson girl, tiny waist and a generous bosom. To make it even more complicated, Harding and Carrie’s husband were good friends. The affair started in 1905, a year after Carrie and her husband James lost their young son. James had a nervous breakdown and spent time at Dr. Kellogg’s sanitarium in Battle Creek. While he was a way, the grieving wife was comforted by Harding. Despite their respective marriages, Harding and Carrie found ample time for their trysts. They would sneak away when the two couples took joint vacations to Europe. Once they even managed to meet up in Montreal for New Year’s Eve.


Most historians consider Carrie to be the love of his life. More than 100 intimate letters were discovered in the 1960’s but publication of the letters has been enjoined by a court order until 2014. Historians who have seen them say that they are very touching in some ways and also very erotic. The relationship foundered when Carrie developed a passion for all things German, moving to Berlin in 1911, where she may or may not have become a spy for Germany during World War I. At the very least she was outspokenly pro-German. When Harding supported President Wilson’s aggressive response to the sinking of the Lusitania, Carrie was pissed. She threatened to reveal their affair if he voted for war with Germany, but she didn’t go through with her threat. Harding warned Carrie that if she kept it up she faced arrest. Still Carrie was such critic that the Bureau of Investigation put her under surveillance. The Bureau got wind of Harding’s affair but kept silent.


After fifteen years, Carrie was tired of being Harding’s mistress, she wanted to be his wife. … While he had no passion for his wife, he did for politics. Carrie had had enough. During the presidential election of 1920, Carrie blackmailed Harding ending up with lump-sum of $25,000 and $2,000 a month for as long as Harding was in politics. She and her husband were also sent on an all expense (sic) paid trip to the Far East courtesy of the Republican party until the election was over.


There were minor flings with Augusta Cole, whom Harding impregnated and then forced to have an abortion; Rosa Hoyle, who gave birth to Harding’s illegitimate son; a distraught New York woman who committed suicide when Harding refused to leave his wife. There is also some evidence that Harding may have been responsible for the accidental death of prostitute at one of the many wild parties he hosted. Apparently Hardings (sic) cronies had a secret bank account to buy the silence of his ex-flames.


His third mistress Grace Cross had been one of Harding’s secretaries during his senate years, and received a substantial blackmail payment for the return of incredibly sappy and juvenile love letters Harding wrote her. But it was his fourth mistress who was the most infamous, a beautiful blonde named Nan Britton. Britton was a campaign volunteer began sleeping with Harding when she was 20 and he was 51. While other girls pasted photos of movie stars on their walls, Nan plastered his campaign photos on her bedroom walls. Harding and her father were friends, and he knew of her infatuation but pooh-poohed it at the time, insisting that she would meet someone her own age.


Harding helped her get a job in the newspaper business, and they began an affair that would last for six years. Nan allegedly lost her virginity to Harding in an (sic) New York hotel room but not before driving him into a frenzy of desire by coyly refusing to sleep with him.  She followed him to Washington when he became a U.S. Senator, allegedly giving birth to a daughter named Elizabeth Ann in 1919 (concieved (sic) during a tryst in the Senate Office building). When Nan told Harding she was pregnant, he offered to pay for an abortion. Nan refused, moving to Chicago with the baby to live with her sister. She saw him secretly during the Republican convention, apparently he spent more time with Nan then he did attending to the business of the nomination. The affair continued even after Harding was in the White House, aided by two Secret Service Agents James Sloan and Walter Ferguson. According to Nan, Florence almost caught them in mid-tryst in one of the cloakrooms in the Oval Office after being tipped off by another agent.



Some historians believe that Nan Britton’s story of her affair with Harding was nothing but fiction.  There is no hard evidence one way or the other, no surving (sic) love letters.  Both Harding’s relatives and Elizabeth Ann’s descendents (sic) refuse to take a DNA test to prove conclusively one way or the other that Harding was her father.


… (Presidential Scandals: The Affairs of Warren G. Harding; By Elizabeth K Mahon; Scandalous Women blog; 2/18/13)


If being a moral reprobate wasn’t being bad enough, even in death the scandal was the gift that kept on giving. Due to the obvious yet mysterious cover-up perpetrated by President Harding’s wife Florence, Harding’s death became wrapped in conspiracy theories as to the nature of his demise. The scintillating and the best short version I could find is at the post entitled, “Warren G. Harding: Heart Attack, Stroke, or Murder?” The best breakdown of the conspiracies, what led to them and the aftermath of the death can be found nine chapter post (which obviously begins with chapter one) entitled, “The Strange Life and Death of President Harding”. The latter title gives a decent outline of the conspiracies surrounding Harding’s death:


1. Natural Causes?


If ever there was a candidate for a heart attack, it was Warren Harding. He lived the fat-filled, tobacco-infused, and alcohol-drenched life of early 20th Century America with gusto.


…  a violator of reasonably healthy behavior. His only exercise consisted of desultory rounds of golf, fairly frequent love trysts, and at least twice-weekly marathon poker games. These card games were drenched in highballs, suffused with cigar smoke, and punctuated with copious expectorations of tobacco juice into strategically placed spittoons. While Harding and his cronies played cards and munched on roast beef sandwiches, the Duchess kept the whiskey flowing. These games often ran past one in the morning.



Dr. Charles Sawyer — Doc Sawyer, as he was known in the Harding family — was a homeopathic physician who believed in herbal preparations, purgatives, laxatives, and other folk remedies. (Harding’s other doctor, a scientifically trained allopathic physician, was Dr. Joel Boone, who was kept at a distance from his famous patient by the jealous and possessive Sawyer.) In brief, Harding’s worsening coronary disease went untreated. (Chapter 6)


2. Negligent Homicide?


Still, because of his cheerful vigor, Harding’s death came as a surprise. For all of Dr. Boone’s concern, one is left with the impression (derived from Dr. Boone’s diaries and memoirs) that he felt that Harding could have been saved. Even with that hopeful outlook, Boone and the specialists brought into the picture when the ill Harding arrived in San Francisco thought that Sawyer’s treatment of Harding was, at best, contrary to the best medical practice, and, at worst, bizarre.


… Sawyer, continuing to mistake Harding’s angina for indigestion, was convinced that its severity was compounded by ptomaine poisoning from “a mess of King Crabs drenched in butter.” Obviously, reasoned Sawyer, he had to purge Harding of the poisons with powerful purgatives. The fact that Harding became weaker and weaker with this treatment did not alarm Sawyer as it had the other three physicians.


The agreed upon “cause of death” was a stroke, although only Sawyer appeared to believe that conclusion. The other three doctors, particularly Boone, believed that Harding died from a heart attack. Most likely, the three allopaths agreed to the diagnosis of a stroke to keep Sawyer’s reputation from being damaged by his inept care of the President of the United States.


A reasonable conclusion is that Harding was a victim of negligent homicide. … Sawyer, having given Harding another powerful dose of purgative, propelled the president into cardiac arrest.


Even if this scenario cannot be proved, it is clear that Sawyer was guilty of horrendous malpractice, both in diagnosis and treatment. It is reasonable to conclude that Harding, who might have died sooner or later from a heart attack, was a victim of negligent homicide. (Chapter 6)


3. Suicide?


But could Harding have hastened his own end?


“I can deal with my enemies. It’s my goddam friends that have me walking the floor at night!” So Warren Harding supposedly told the famous journalist, William Allen White.



There were times during the Western trip when Harding was visibly depressed. He seemed particularly shaken after a private interview in St. Louis with Fall’s wife. There was a sword above his head, and Harding knew it. He had made a new will just before leaving Washington, executed by his personal attorney, Harry Daugherty. He sold his belovedMarion Star a few weeks before — for a sum far exceeding its worth. His newspaper was to be his place of retirement, his home to go to after his presidency was over. All in all, he seemed to be getting his house in order, anticipating his death.



While one of the rumors floating around after Harding’s death was that he committed suicide to avoid impeachment and disgrace, there is little likelihood that he was driven to such an act by ingesting poison. It seems an unlikely method to choose to take one’s life, even if he had been clever enough to select a means that would mimic “natural causes.” Harding might have been corruptible, but he was not so clever and devious. (Chapter 6)


4. Murder?


The specter of murder pervades the characters of the Harding administration. Some of the suicides, notably Jesse Smith, prompted rumors of murder, since the hapless Smith knew too much about the schemes that might have involved Daugherty, bootleggers, grafters, and Harding himself. It is interesting to note that at least five of the principals in this story died suddenly.



In his book, Means claims that he was on special assignment to Mrs. Harding, who directed him to obtain evidence of Harding’s affair with Nan Britton. … Means was asked to pilfer letters and mementos from Nan Britton, and to deliver them personally to Mrs. Harding. Means recorded her fury over her husband’s infidelity. To add more spice to his account, Means has other revelations about Jesse Smith, Charlie Forbes, and other characters.


According to Means, Mrs. Harding had two motives for murdering her husband. The first, and most important, was to protect his reputation from the looming scandals by killing him when he was at the height of his popularity. She could not allow him to be disgraced. His death, she reasoned, would remove him from the tawdry malefactions of his subordinates.


The second motive was revenge, prompted by her jealousy over Nan Britton, who had, she claimed, given birth to Harding’s daughter. The betrayal wounded her so deeply that she could not allow her beloved Warren to live.


As Means’ potboiler of a book steams to its conclusion, Mrs. Harding more or less admits that she poisoned her husband, almost as an act of charity.


…  Most of these murder plots revolved around some idea that Harding had to be silenced, lest he implicate, punish, or otherwise demolish the careers of the grafters.


But this was different. Florence Harding had been dead for some six years at the time of the publication of Means’ book — she had died a little more than a year after her husband — and was, of course, not able to defend herself. As it turned out, there was little need for a defense, since Means, recently released from a federal prison in Atlanta after serving a sentence of two years for graft, was not a very credible witness.


…  Means was shown to be a fraud, convicted [Editor: pertaining to another American tragedy viz. the Lindbergh baby kidnapping], and spent the rest of his life in prison, where he died in 1939.


… the protection of her husband’s reputation was important to her. Her burning much of her husband’s papers immediately after his death evidences this. … (Chapter 6)


All nine chapters are an excellent read on Harding’s mysterious death.


JRH 8/7/14

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