Feehery: The great schism

It’s weird to think that we still have two popes alive in the Catholic Church. I wonder if soon we will find ourselves with two presidents.

Pope Benedict XVI retired under mysterious circumstances in February 2013. Pope Francis took over the reins shortly after and immediately became a social media star.

Benedict was and presumably still is conservative. Francis is not very conservative. Not by a long shot.

The last time the Catholic Church had two popes was during the Great Schism of the late 14th century. The last antipope to live in Avignon was also named Benedict, which is a strange twist of history.

Great schisms are never pleasant. We might be headed toward one here in the United States.

Usually, when an incumbent president loses, he loses for a good reason.

Jimmy Carter got trounced good and hard because he mismanaged the economy and botched the Iran crisis. George H.W. Bush garnered fully 37.4 percent of the vote in 1992, so there was no question that he had lost the faith of the voters. Same with William Howard Taft, who got stabbed in the back by Teddy Roosevelt and was trounced by Woodrow Wilson.

Herbert Hoover presided over the Great Depression, so there was little chance that he had a shot at reelection.

You can make the argument that Donald Trump lost for good reason, but if you make that case, you probably hated Trump from the very beginning.

And the fact that he garnered 10 million more votes in this campaign than he did in the last raises questions by plenty of smart people, wondering if he lost at all.

I don’t know if there is enough provable fraud in this last election to swing the election back to Trump. But to say that this election was purer than the driven snow is not defensible either.

Joe Biden’s campaign for the White House was like an episode of “Seinfeld.” It was a campaign about nothing. He offered little when it came to solid proposals. He did almost no actual campaigning. He did worse among African American voters, Hispanic voters and white women than Hillary Clinton and yet he gained more votes than any candidate in our nation’s history. Go figure.

Maybe Biden did win but if he did, his stealth campaign will be studied by historians just like the magic bullet that was fired by Lee Harvey Oswald.

The polls tell us that about 70 million Americans don’t think the incoming president won fairly or squarely.

And if that is the case, the pressure will be on Republicans to keep the pressure on Biden.

The shenanigans that Republicans will deploy to challenge the veracity of the election results might seem unseemly to the political establishment but will be viewed as hardly sufficient to die-hard Trump supporters.

And they will only be the tip of the iceberg for the next four years.

The progressive left invented the term “resist” as a way to show their contempt for the Trump presidency. I imagine that Trump Republicans will be happy to follow in their footsteps and offer their own more rambunctious brand of “resistance.”

You think Donald Trump is going to just go away? You know, he can tweet from the golf course, as long as Twitter allows him to stay on its platform. If it doesn’t? I wouldn’t recommend that course of action.

Donald Trump’s last few days in the White House don’t square with the departures of lovable losers of the past. He isn’t being classy, conciliatory, consistent or all that kind to his Republican allies. He is putting them and the rest of the country through the ringer.

But I guess that isn’t all that surprising. He came to Washington with a promise to blow the place up. And now he is setting himself up as the other president, just like Clement VII set himself up as the other Pope in Avignon in 1378.

I am not calling for another Great Schism. I would like the country to move on so we can get to the next election. But this ain’t about me. It’s about where the people are right now. And to say that they are in the mood to hold hands and sing Kumbaya is just not reality, no matter how lustily Joe Biden hoarsely calls for unity.

Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).

Tags 2020 campaign Dennis Hastert Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Jimmy Carter Joe Biden Pope Francis presidential election

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