Every few days, Donald Trump pauses his rage-tweeting to post: “Law and Order!”
That, of course, is a racist dog whistle aimed at the ears of the people he hopes are going to vote for him Nov. 3.
Then, on the other hand, Trump commutes the prison sentence of his friend Roger Stone. Stone, you’ll remember, was convicted of seven felonies stemming from his involvement in Russian efforts to secure the presidency for Trump in 2016.
Stone, a conservative dirty trickster, was convicted of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress.
So of course Trump spares him prison time.
Law and order. Right. The hypocrisy is staggering and disgusting, even in the Trump era, when there’s a new daily outrage to consider. The whole mess is exhausting.
Pardons and commutations for Trump’s friends or for people he thinks it will be politically expedient to show clemency. Law and order for the rest of us, or for most of us, anyway, especially if we’re White.
The list of Trump’s pardons and commutations is quite the cast of characters. Here it is, from the Washington Post, which deserves daily credit for chronicling Trump’s misdeeds:
- Lying about contacts involving a man, Julian Assange, who served as a conduit for Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election and who is currently under indictment (Stone)
- Three war crimes, including two murders (Clint Lorance)
- Murder (Michael Behenna)
- Alleged murder (Mathew Golsteyn)
- Arson that burned 139 acres of federal land (Steven and Dwight Hammond)
- Corruptly trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat for personal gain (Blagojevich)
- Using his high profile after the 9/11 attacks to commit tax fraud (Kerik)
- Refusing a judge’s order to stop detaining people suspected of being undocumented immigrants (Arpaio)
There isn’t a lot to say, really. Except that this commutation of Stone’s sentence doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where Roger Stone did at least a few months in prison for his various misdeeds, and George Floyd wasn’t sentenced to suffocate on the street in Minneapolis with his neck under a cop’s knee? Looks to me like there’s an awful lot of work to do.