The President has pardoned Joe Arpaio. Arpaio has been found guilty of criminal contempt of court, and faced up to six months in prison, for willfully violating a court order instructing him not to detain immigrants who were not suspected of any crime. He wasn’t sorry.
The message to racist public officials could not be more clear: it’s open season. If you’re on the wrong side of a racist vigilante sheriff, having the law on your side is no protection at all; you have been warned.
Perhaps there’s another audience for this message as well. Now we know—if we had any doubts—that Trump will use his pardon power to reward personal loyalty to Trump. If you’re being questioned in the Russia investigation, don’t worry about being charged with obstruction of justice or perjury. The rule of law is suspended until further notice.
Update:Joe Arpaio’s history of official abuse is not short. False arrests of reporters, inmate deaths, rapes unprosecuted, a federal judge investigated. This is what Trump considers worthy of a pardon.
It doesn’t matter that several Republican elected officials are now saying mean things about Trump. It doesn’t matter that Bannon is out. It doesn’t matter whether a resolution of censure passes Congress. It doesn’t even matter whether Republicans in the House vote with Democrats to impeach this President and Republicans in the Senate vote to convict. There’s nothing the Republican Party can do to escape the moral stain of having been the party of fascism.
When the rewriting of the history of this era gets underway in earnest, remember: even if Trump is eventually discarded by the Republican Party, it was the Republican Party who created him, backed him, elected him, enabled him. There are plenty of Republicans waiting in the wings who are just as racist as Trump, just as misogynist as Trump, just as eager to cut taxes on the rich as Trump, just as willing to make Christianity the state religion, just as willing to start another war, just as willing to protect corporations and unleash brutal cops and intimidate the press and promote lynching. Fixing Trump is not fixing the fact that one of the major political parties in the U.S. is now fascist, and permanently discredited.
Trump gave a half-hearted denunciation of racist, swastika-wearing, Nazi-saluting white supremacists on Monday, days after one of them murdered an anti-racist protester in Charlottesville. And if you think “half-hearted” is unfair, look at what he said today.
In a long, combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower, the president repeatedly rejected a torrent of bipartisan criticism for waiting several days before naming the right-wing groups and placing blame on “many sides” for the violence that ended with the death of a young woman after a car crashed into a crowd.
Mr. Trump repeated that assertion on Tuesday, criticizing “alt-left” groups that he claimed were “very, very violent” when they sought to confront the nationalist and Nazi groups that had gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park. He said there is “blame on both sides.”
Sounding very much like a right-wing Twitter feed, the president added, “Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
Trump went on to defend the tiki-torch-wielding racists who gathered on Friday night, before saying, in reference to the racist activists, “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.” …
He actually argued that there were “very fine people on both sides” and that he believes “there’s blame on both sides.”
If that sounds like a message white supremacists will be thrilled to hear, we don’t need to speculate: David Duke has already thanked Trump for this afternoon’s comments.
Donald Trump has canceled all press events today. Yesterday, he ran from reporters who asked him to call terrorism “terrorism.” Donald Trump, the “alpha” whose campaign dared Democrats to condemn “radical Islamic terrorism,” who finds it easy to condemn department stores and TV networks and Hollywood actresses in intemperate language, that man cannot find it in himself to risk the ire of his base by calling white supremacist terror “white supremacist terror.”
Donald Trump’s cowardice has made the Republican Party into the murderers’ party, the lynchers’ party, the party that stands idly by while their supporters murder anti-racists. The party that is, just maybe, a little happy to see it happen.
The President of the United States has condemned…both sides. He is not in the habit of condemning violence, of course, inciting it is more his style. Now that the logical consequences are here, he suddenly doesn’t want the credit.
Today the President of the United States posted a video on Twitter, a modified version of an old pro wrestling show, in which Trump pretends to knock someone down and punch him repeatedly. The video has the CNN logo in place of the guy’s face. Watch the video here.
It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters. Clearly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the President had never done so. Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.
When some reporter gets killed doing her job, is Donald Trump going to take responsibility? Will Republicans be calling for civility then, or just say she had it coming?
Removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans prompted an elected state legislator from Mississippi to write, and I am not making this up,
The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific. If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, “leadership” of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED! Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our State.
You read that right. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has been praised on multiple occasions by U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump specifically likes Duterte’s anti-drug program, which consists of summarily murdering drug suspects, 9,000 people so far. He called Duterte on the phone to say so.
“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” said Trump. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.” …
White House officials initially characterized the April call as “a very friendly conversation,” during which Trump had invited Duterte to visit Washington. That development reportedly surprised White House staffers and drew widespread condemnation from human rights groups, which have accused Duterte of condoning a lawless drug war that has terrorized the nation with a campaign of extrajudicial killings carried out by vigilantes and police officers. Duterte has seemingly embraced this barbaric depiction, comparing himself with Adolf Hitler on a mission to kill millions of drug addicts.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), for example, was quoted by the Associated Press saying, “It’s not appropriate behavior. Unless the reporter deserved it.” Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) denounced violence, but said “the left” has “precipitated this tense, confrontational approach” nationwide. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) went further, but even his concerns came with a caveat.
“I do not think this is acceptable behavior, but the choice will be made by the people of Montana,” Ryan said during a press conference in Washington.
That’s right, the people of Montana will decide if a violent criminal is allowed in the Republican caucus, because as far as Congressional Republicans are concerned, being a violent criminal is not disqualifying. As long as you’re violent toward a reporter, that is.
A guy who’ll slap a reporter around deserves office most of all.
This guy is a hero. He gave this reporter what he deserved. What they all deserve. They are the enemy of the American People. Evil incarnate. They must be destroyed root and branch.
Anyone who smacks a scum-sucking reporter can’t be all bad. Hope he wins the election.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Republican, even thinks this is a good time to joke about shooting reporters. Apparently it’s not something that makes you lose Republican votes. Gianforte won the election.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham enthusiastically praised President Donald Trump on Wednesday for his foreign policy, a continued departure from his sharp criticism of Trump during the 2016 race and even after the election.
“I am like the happiest dude in America right now,” a beaming Graham said on “Fox & Friends.” “We have got a president and a national security team that I’ve been dreaming of for eight years.”
Give it to Lindsey Graham, when the man abandons his principles they are abandoned for good. Remember when Graham thought Trump was simply un-American?
The South Carolina senator and former presidential candidate blasted Trump following the nominee’s attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, saying fellow Republicans should withdraw their endorsements. “This is the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy,” he said. “If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it. There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”
Apparently that time will never come for the Republican Party.