Air Date: 02/24/2022
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. Thanks for joining us today as we take on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. I’m Rick Green, America’s Constitution coach and a former Texas legislator; here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders.
And you can learn more about all three of us at our website, wallbuilderslive.com. That’s wallbuilderslive.com. And that’s also the place to go into the archives and listen to the programs you might have missed the last couple of weeks or months. And it’s also the place to make a contribution.
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It’s a Foundation of Freedom Thursday. That means we’re going to be diving into your questions. Be sure and send your questions to [email protected]. That’s [email protected]. Our first question of the day is going to come from Scott out in San Diego. He actually signs off saying “A freedom fighter from behind the lines in San Diego, California.” But here’s this question.
He said “We now have a Supreme Court seat soon to be vacant, possibly whether the current occupant intended to vacated just now or not. There are many names being bandied about as nominees. One name in particular could present a constitutional conundrum. Vice President Kamala Harris, if she were nominated, and there was a tie in confirming her, would she as the president of the Senate then be casting the deciding vote?
For that matter, does the President of the Senate have a place in the vote of a Supreme Court nominee confirmation? I have not heard this situation coming up for a Supreme Court seat. I start my days listening to your show.” He said “I love the family feeling and the appreciation for America, y’all. I have learned Texan while listening. Keep teaching. It starts my day right And again, Scott from San Diego.” He said “Freedom Fighter behind the line.”
So Scott, thank you for sending that in. Thank you for throwing in the, “y’all”. And thanks for listening from San Diego. Okay, guys, interesting question here. And this is a possibility. You know, the President of the administration hasn’t talked much about her as a potential nominee, but the media has and it is an interesting constitutional question.
Well, first, thank you, Scott for recognizing the international language of peace, Texan, all over the United States. So we appreciate that.
I didn’t know that’s a language of peace. It might be a language…
Well, that’s true. Yeah, we tend to be fighters too. So yeah…
Maybe my language of strength or dependence or patriotism, but I don’t know about peace.
Yeah, that’s right, the epitome of Americanism, that’s Texas. So thanks for that. Then the comment Scott made also about whether Breyer’s resignation might be intended for replacement? I think the answer is yes. If you’ll recall that one of the things that tilted the Supreme Court was Ginsburg died while Trump was president, and so we’re able to get Amy Coney Barrett as a result of that.
And back under Obama administration, they tried to get Ginsburg to resign so that he could appoint a Democrat at that point in time, she didn’t. And so as a result, it tilted the court. And I think Breyer has seen that and didn’t want to see it go in a different direction because I think he thinks Biden’s not going to be there all that long.
Well, that’s probably fair. I think it’s also interesting that Breyer was not the one who broke the news of his retirement. It’s interesting because it did lead to some speculation, were there people really trying to push Breyer into that retirement saying, hey, you better get this done quick, because if we have to wait until this upcoming midterm election, we might not be able to get it done in the Senate. So we need to get this done quick.
So it’s interesting there’s some speculation, there’s a lot of outside pressure on him that maybe he thought, and I’m saying this Breyer, maybe Breyer thought he would retire in Biden’s presidency, but maybe he would wait until the third or even fourth year and people said no, we can’t afford that because if you wait that something happened. So at this point, there’s a lot of conjecture and speculation.
But it is true, his retirement was announced before he actually announced the retirement. So there certainly is some pressure on him to try to ensure from Democrats that they don’t lose another seat on the US Supreme Court, or it probably would just grow for the continued calls for an expanded number on the Supreme Court, which of course is not popular in America.
So what happens with the possibility of replacing Breyer becomes really a tactical, speculative kind of battle. And so who could they get in there that would help the administration also keep the Democrats going? Well, this is where Kamala Harris gets raised because as low as Biden’s approval numbers are right now, hers are even lower.
And so she’s seen as part of an anchor on his administration that she didn’t do anything to help him and he needs some help. So why don’t we put her on the Supreme Court because she’s a fellow soft like the rest of the Democrats, she’ll carry our water for us? And so the question becomes how would that happen? So we’ve done some war gaming on this. And number one…
See, David, you’re a lot more nice than I am. I thought they would do it to get rid of her?
Well, that helps administration…
Because she pulls worse than Biden does, so you know, now they get somebody that has a chance of winning in 2024.
Yeah, that’s right. And I don’t think she has a chance of being the nominee in 2024. But that’s assuming that Biden doesn’t re up and I’m not convinced that he won’t re up. You know, I was one of those who didn’t think that it’d be months and he’ll be gone because he’s so crazy. I just don’t think that. I think he’s there.
He’s Still There
He may be slower. But he still presents some cognizance to what he’s saying and doing that I think he’s going to stay for a while. Now I don’t know that they can chase them out from running again in three more years.
Well, I think that’s something that’s very possible. I think that’s even something that maybe a Joe Biden thing. I mean, recently, the press conference where she was seeing taking his hand and leading him out, where it definitely does tend to lead you back to kind of the Woodrow Wilson, even more people accuse Ronald Reagan and his last year of Nancy Reagan being the one there leading, I mean, they definitely seems like it’s going that direction. And we’re talking about we’ve barely gotten through one years, he’s got three years left. So I don’t think…
Then I have to eat crow. I was wrong, guys. I said he wouldn’t last six months and here we are a year later and now we’re talking about he may last four years and even run again. I was dead wrong on this one.
Well, and Rick, I was with you. I could not imagine that.
But see, I didn’t do that because I kept saying all the media clips that they’re putting out there about him being so senile and old. But I also saw a bunch of clips that our side didn’t put out there that told me he’s doing pretty good on questions and answers.
Well, but there’s no doubt he’s had significant cognitive decline over this year. It definitely there’s a lot of people speculating early onset dementia. And right, I mean, this isn’t really the point of the question other than, if Biden is going to try to run again, which I’m not totally convinced he will, I think it could be interesting to what happens in this midterm election, because if there’s a landslide for Republicans, then you can’t afford to run with Biden again because he was the guy that led to the landslide.
And I guess maybe historically, you could say, well, Bill Clinton, on some level was as well, except Bill Clinton saw the handwriting on the wall, so to speak, and he shifted some of his extremism, and then started taking credit for a lot of what Republicans were doing as a brilliant politician that on some level he was.
I don’t see Biden doing that. And so yes, to that point, very interesting if Kamala Harris does get nominated, and there are some people who are very adamant thinking she will be the one to get nominated. It’s interesting though, if she does get nominated, does she have to recuse herself from being able to stand in the Senate and vote.
And we saw, for example, the US senator from New Mexico who had a stroke and who knows, if you’re talking about a 50/50 split, and you then are nominating, President nominates a presumably very strong left leaning Democrat kind of person to this position, if you have a situation like this New Mexico senator that had his stroke and had to be gone to go have a surgery and different things, and if it’s 50/49 at that point, and Kamala Harris is the one who’s nominated and like, presumably, maybe she doesn’t recuse herself, but interesting question, but even if she doesn’t recuse herself, if it’s 50/49, then she’s only there to be the tiebreaker. So she doesn’t get to make it 50/50, is a very interesting dilemma Democrats are going to find themselves in going forward, whether it’s Kamala Harris or not.
Yeah, I think part of what will happen like you mentioned the senator from New Mexico, this happened to a senator, oh, it’s got to be 15-20 years ago, I think it was Johnson was out North Dakota, suffered a stroke, and couldn’t communicate, couldn’t talk, was vegetative in many ways, but he kept voting in the Senate, or essentially, his staff did for him. And so this is the way he would have wanted to vote. And so they still had his vote, even though he was not really all there at all.
And I imagine it’ll be the same way for the Senate of New Mexico. This is the way he would vote. This is what he believes. And so they will register his vote for him and get that button push somehow. So I don’t think it’ll change that. But I think that’s a possibility. Now, if that goes into, he’s hospitalized and doesn’t come back physically, that’s going to be a different situation for them for sure.
Well, and this is why it’s interesting because in the Senate, there’s no proxy voting like there is in the House. So in the house, they don’t have to have all the members present to have all the members vote where maybe one member is going to vote for 10 other members from their own party, so it’s proxy voting, right. They’re able to vote on his behalf.
Which is new, right? I mean, that’s Nancy Pelosi creation. We never allowed for that…
That’s purely Nancy Pelosi. Yeah. And that’s a lack of balance security in the House what we see all over the nation and in the Democrats is we don’t care who votes for you, but somebody will.
A Very Biased Thing
Well, it’s a very biased thing, because it’s actually close in the House. Now the Senate, right, you have 50 caucus with Democrats, 50 caucus with Republicans, so that’s a 50/50 split. In the House, Democrats have about eight seats up on the Republicans, however, maybe it’s nine seats, whatever it is.
However, with that being said, it’s interesting that if there wasn’t proxy voting, you do have probably more Democrats who are buying this propaganda of COVID, hook, line and sinker, whatever the case is.
Because generally, if you’re seeing people in Congress, who aren’t wanting to mask, who aren’t buying into some of this fear mongering of these COVID policies, it’s generally Republican side, so arguably, if you’re going to have full Congress meet, you would probably have more Republican showing up than you would Democrat showing up.
I think Nancy Pelosi knew that, which is why she went to kind of this representative voting, so to speak. But they’re not doing that in the Senate. And this is the important part, because the Senate are the one who would confirm the nominee. So it really could be something that could dismantle any plans the Democrats have going forward of this Supreme Court replacement, if something…
And now we’re not speaking ill on anybody. We don’t want somebody to be sick and have strokes and be incapacitated. We’re not speaking that over anybody. But this is the reality that could be possible. If somebody is not able to be present, there’s not proxy voting, and therefore, if there’s not proxy voting, their vote would not be represented. So when it’s a 50/50 tie, if that vote goes away, all of a sudden, it’s 50/49, and if it’s a Democrat vote that goes away, they’re not getting anything done in the Senate when it comes to replacing Breyer on the court.
Yeah. Now, let’s make the assumption that he’s going to be back from the stroke and he’s going to vote. So just for grants, I think the scenario that would go forward is what they would do is they would announce Kamala Harris for Supreme Court. She would resign, they would appoint a new Vice President and get by anything related to does she have to recuse herself. So they get rid of her in that way, they get a new VP, and that VP would be the one who would cast the deciding vote if it is 50/50, if indeed the senator from Mexico comes back in.
So I think that’s probably likely the way it would go and that gets them the objective of she’s a drain on the ticket so let’s her move around. If we put it on the Supreme Court and bury there, that’s great, because she’ll vote party line all the way there. I’m not sure she knows what the Constitution is at all. But nonetheless, she’ll vote the way the Democrats wanted to. And then you would have a separate new Vice President that would be the deciding factor for that.
And the war games that we’ve been part of and talked about, I think that’s the way it might go. But as Tim pointed out, the absence right now, the senator from New Mexico could totally change the way that these things go going forward.
Now, while we’re having fun with these hypotheticals, so imagine that if she did resign with the appointment, and then they change the vote so that she would get rejected, then they really get rid of her; she’s not in the Supreme Court; she’s not Vice President anymore. And I was trying to find, just my trivial mind was trying to figure out okay, has a VP ever voted in or even a senator voted for themselves for the Supreme Court in a situation like this? And the only thing I could find, I couldn’t find any Supreme Court nominee situation or even a federal judge nominee situation.
But apparently, when Andrew Johnson was impeached, he didn’t have a Vice President. He was Vice President; Lincoln, assassinated, he becomes President, he had not appointed a Vice President, and they had impeached him. And so when the vote came up in the Senate, I’d never heard the story before I was just reading it, the Senate Pro Tem, it would have been a self-interest vote because Benjamin Wade was a Senate Pro Tem, he would have become President if Johnson had been impeached. And he did go ahead and vote and he actually voted for impeachment, it still failed by one vote.
But that’s the closest we’ve ever come to a senator or the VP in this case still voting even though it’s obviously a self-interest kind of situation. I thought one other trivial thing out there, we also do have examples where the Vice President in counting electoral votes, has made decisions, even back to Thomas Jefferson, where he rejected some objections to some electors, and that definitely would have affected him potentially winning the presidential race against John Adams in that case, and then Nixon also counting the votes in 1960.
Anyway, all that to say we don’t have an exact case on point, just some close ones, but she could still stay Vice President and cast the deciding vote for herself. Constitutionally, she could do that. Now I saw one article where a guy said, I think it was a former historian in the Senate said so to the effect of what keeps her from doing that is that the reputation would be ruined. It would tint her reputation in terms of bad taste, right and no discretion. And…
Yeah, I think even CNN would come out at that point and say you shouldn’t have done that.
But If, it’s a power play move, right at this point, if she’s the one who gets herself at the Supreme Court, what does she care after that? Reputation ruined. Arguably, right, what we’re seeing in today’s era is a lifetime appointment. She’s not going anywhere. And we know politically speaking that most Americans have a short term memory. And if they were already going to lose the midterm elections, it was already going to happen. But they have to now preserve this spot on the US Supreme Court if they didn’t get her through. I could see them not worrying about her reputation as much because…
They care more about power.
Exactly right. They have a power play they have to get and their reputation is already in the gutter. They’re hanging out with CNN down to the bottom and that’s just where they are. They care way more about power. And as long as they get someone there, even as ridiculous as Kamala Harris is, as long as they get someone there that will uphold their party position, that’s what they ultimately care about.
Yeah. Yeah. I got to say to Scott in San Diego, thank you, because this is the most fun we’ve had going through [inaudible 16:02] in a long time and it took up a big chunk of the show today. We are going to take a quick break, we’ll come back and get to another question. Send your questions into radi[email protected]. We’ll be right back WallBuilders Live.
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We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday today and your questions are being addressed. The next one comes from Michael Lane. He says “Of George Washington, what do you know about a vision of America’s history that Washington had while at Valley Forge? I have a small paper from Oster Hus publishing house, I want to know if it was accurate?”
Okay, guys, so I don’t know a lot about this. I’ve heard a little bit about this. What do you know about this supposed vision? I do know in the TV show turn, they played out this vision where he’s literally like worshiping one of his mentors from his younger days, which was really goofy to me. I’ve got the painting of Washington praying at Valley Forge, is definitely different from what apparently people are talking about. I don’t know if that’s the vision Michael’s talking about. But what do you all know about this?
Well, in 1859, a little short piece came out with George Washington’s vision. And it is an account, they call it an account of George Washington at Valley Forge talking to one of his officers and he was doing so. There was a soldier there named Anthony Sherman who heard what Washington told this other officer, and who recorded it and wrote it down and said, this is the vision that Washington told this other guy.
He said I had this vision last night, here’s what happened. And it goes through. And it’s really an account of what happens in three wars. The account of what happens in the revolution, how it’s going to end. Then he predicts a civil war, and how it’s going to end. And then there’s a war at the end of the age kind of thing and how it’s going to end. And so this is Washington’s vision.
Now we’ve been asked about this for a number of years and so I’ll just tell you, we’ve gone back and there several things. Before I give you all the evidence, I’m going to give you the intuitive side. The intuitive side is this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, in the sense that Washington has more than 100 volumes of writings and has 40,000 letters. He has a journal.
He has all these diary things. If this was an impact on him, I think he would have written it somewhere because he was a writer and he recorded everything, including his accounts where he spent his money, where this nickel went, whatever else. So the fact that this is a big deal, and is a prophecy for three centuries essentially, it doesn’t make sense it’s not there.
No. And this is where it might be interesting. You could explain this on some level, but you got to reach really far. Because you could talk about maybe the fact that he wrote this to Martha and we know when George died, that Martha burned their correspondence because she said that their letters between them were their personal letters, not for the world to see. And so maybe he did write it down one time and sent it to Martha, or maybe it’s one of these letters that has been lost to history.
You could make an argument on some level that maybe he did write it down at some point. The problem is you have no historical basis for that argument. It’s just speculation and conjecture. It’s not something you can say, well, based on X, Y, or Z, we think it was this. It’s something that we’ve actually seen many moments from American history where someone after the fact like Betsy Ross’s, was it granddaughter or grandson who said that well, she’s the one that made the first American flag, and you’re like, well, we just don’t see…
But 100 years late.
Yeah, we don’t see a lot of historical evidence for that at the time. Now, we do see that she did make a flag on some level, but not that it was the flag or etc, etc, the kind of the expansion the claims it’s become today. So when the only evidence you have for that claim is something that happened generations after or in some cases 60, 80, 100 years after that moment occurred, it leaves a lot of room for doubt. And for us, since we say we want to make sure we can identify the original source to confirm that, if there is no original source to confirm that, we’re going to have a pause on confirming what that thought is.
So the intuitive side, let me give some evidence side. Anthony Sherman, he is the guy who recorded all this, and he’s the one who did account. The problem is there was no Anthony Sherman at Valley Forge. So we have records of where all the soldiers were. Now there was a guy named Anthony’s Sherman, who served at Saratoga, but never got to Valley Forge. And this happened at Valley Forge. So first off, we can’t find the soldier by that name.
Second off, when did this come out? It came out in 1859. Who penned it? A guy named Charles Wesley Alexander. Now he was a Philadelphia journalist, he published what was called the soldiers casket, which is a periodical for union veterans. So he’s writing this on the union side. And he wrote under the name Wesley Bradshaw. And so he wrote a whole bunch of what were considered fictional dreams or visions about all sorts of American historical figures.
So he has this one from George Washington, but he also did one from Abraham Lincoln. He also did one for Ulysses S. Grant. He also has one called general McClellan’s dream. I mean, the guy has a pattern of coming up with these kind of inspirational things to inspire the Union soldiers and give them confidence and kind of prop them up. And it’s all literary stuff. And I mean, none of the others were accurate. And so he’s the guy who pens this and comes up with it out of the clear blue.
And so when you look at the context, and who wrote it, and what else he wrote about, and the style of writing he had of taking visions and dreams of all these other people that are not historically based, he just use them as inspirational things for soldiers, you got to say no, not there, there’s no historical evidence.
So we don’t use that. We don’t point to it. We don’t think it’s credible. And now, is it possible to happen? Yeah, it’s possible. Nobody wrote about it. And Washington did something that’s totally out of character for him. And this guy happened to get a true story with all the other false stories, this Alexander Wesley guys, as he’s writing, he got a true story among all the false story…
But that doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t hold up at all. So when you look at it, you got to say, no, this one’s got to be just thrown over there with any other fable this out there. There’s just no historical evidence for this one.
And by the ways we’re closing out for the day, I have an article here I want you guys to hear that. Tell me your reaction to this. This is out of the University of New Hampshire. And you have a professor at University of New Hampshire who is drawing some criticism on social media, because he’s requiring students in his class to confront someone who’s not a Christian, and witness to them about Christ and help convert them to Christianity.
And this is part of the getting a grade in this class at the State University. He has these kids recorded, they have to call in and describe it and record and tell how they confronted someone who is not a Christian and converted them to Christianity, and that’s 10% of their course grade. What do you think?
I think if this is a Bible college, it’s a great idea.
You don’t think a state university should do this?
You know, I actually love the idea of the 1630s Harvard doing this. It’s interesting today, I can’t say that fundamentally, philosophically, morally, I’m against it, but it does seem to be a violation of the modern interpretation of the Constitution.
So interestingly, I set you up on this because he didn’t do that. I want to read you what he actually did, and say, why is it okay for this and not for Christianity. Well, because they’re both beliefs, they’re both values. Here’s what it is. The University of New Hampshire course is drawing criticism on social media for requiring students to confront someone for their ablest racist or homophobic use of language.
You get 10%, you have to call in and record an encounter with someone who uses racist, homophobic or ableist language for 10% of your grade. So you have to go, evangelize some someone who believes in traditional genders, traditional sexual activities, and that’s part of your grade. Why is that okay for a state university to do and not okay to do it on Christianity?
Kamala As A SCOTUS Justice, Washington’s Vision, And More
Well, and I would also point out, it’s interesting because it included racism in there. I mean, there’s some things that are morally true, but it depends on how you define that. If you’re saying that someone who believes in capitalism is racist, well, no, that’s utterly ridiculous. So there could be some positive elements, not to completely throw this professor under the bus.
Although given the current state of wokeism I’m sure this professor needs to be completely thrown under the bus based on that assignment. But you’re right. It’s something that is definitely a double standard that would not work if it came to a more biblical, traditional American historical position. Only in modern wokeism can you require students to promote modern wokeism.
Well, the only way we’re going to get rid of this modern wokeism is for all of us to be good citizens, to do our duty, to start studying to learn these things, and then teach them to others as well. So that’s why we encourage everybody not only to listen to WallBuilders Live, but then share it with your friends and family, make sure they’re getting this education as well.
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