In Pardoning Arpaio Trump Bets It All on Racism.

by Pitt Griffin on August 26, 2017 · 0 comments

in Racism, Trump presidency


Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio – on a Friday night, in August, during a hurricane. In the (political) old days, this would have been a ‘news dump’. A story designed to sink into the weekend, buried beneath a bigger event. But with the desperate need to fill time, cable-news networks have hours to devote to every political story – no matter how picayune. So even during a deluge, we are swamped by Arpaio analysis.

It is also possible that Trump was pissed he was being upstaged by a hurricane. Or maybe he timed the announcement as a counter-balance to the Sebastian Gorka firing – splitting the difference with the rabid right if you will. They’ll lose one, but get one pardoned.

But what of the pardon? Some people mutter that Trump should be impeached. But a President doing bad things is not, by itself, grounds for impeachment – if it were, few would escape the fate. What’s needed is an impeachable offense. So here’s one:

A convicted criminal shills for a fraud.

Joe Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court after he ignored a court order to stop racial profiling. Thus, in pardoning Arpaio, Trump used executive power to breach the separation of powers – which is abuse of power. And abuse of power is an impeachable offense. QED.

Leaving aside the politics, let’s ask the question: Why did he do it? First, we can dispose of the ‘it’s the right thing to do’ rationale. Extensive investigations have never uncovered altruism behind a Trump action. Which means that Trump believes it benefits him. How? Let’s call it the Fox effect.

Trump believes only that media which flatters him – and thinks the rest is FAKE NEWS. He gives credibility to polls that are in his favor (few as they are) while dismissing the rest. He thinks his crowds are a cross-section of America. And believes that the few minorities overtly on his side are just the tip of an iceberg of minority support.

In Trump’s mind, these are the people who he won with before – so why not go back to that well?

Mainly because that well is not as full as it was before. Trump hasn’t picked up any new support. And as the loser of the popular vote, he cannot afford to lose any of his base. But the signs are not good. His numbers are sagging.

But Trump is not good at math. He guages support by the size of his crowds – and if the size falls short in reality, he will inflate it in his imagination. Let his fantastical estimate of the number of his inauguration audience bear witness to that delusion.

In all likelihood, he truly believes that his pardoning of the criminal Arpaio has solidified his support – is another brick in his white supremacy wall. A wall which extends as far as his vaunted southern barrier.




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