Sean Hannity is “very relieved” that Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, a guy who refused to respect his citizens’ constitutional rights. Hannity was so delighted, he took time out of covering the catastrophic Hurricane Harvey to celebrate this victory for bigotry over the Constitution in an interview with Arpaio.
The New York Times has some background on Arpaio and his conviction (written pre-pardon) that Hannity hid from his viewers:
The sheriff was convicted of violating constitutional rights, in defiance of a court order involving racial profiling. Should the president indicate that he does not think Mr. Arpaio should be punished for that, he would signal that governmental agents who violate judicial injunctions are likely to be pardoned, even though their behavior violated constitutional rights, when their illegal actions are consistent with presidential policies.
Noah Feldman, a Harvard constitutional law professor and former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, wrote (also pre-pardon) that such an act would be an impeachable offense.
Such a pardon would reflect outright contempt for the judiciary, which convicted Arpaio for his resistance to its authority. Trump has questioned judges’ motives and decisions, but this would be a further, more radical step in his attack on the independent constitutional authority of Article III judges.
An Arpaio pardon would express presidential contempt for the Constitution. Arpaio didn’t just violate a law passed by Congress. His actions defied the Constitution itself, the bedrock of the entire system of government. For Trump to say that this violation is excusable would threaten the very structure on which is right to pardon is based.
Hannity conducted his softball interview with Arpaio Friday night, shortly after the pardon. Hannity has a long history of advocating for white bigots so it was no surprise that he shunted aside Hurricane Harvey to give some love to this particular paragon.
Right at the outset, Hannity conveyed his own contempt for the Constitution, saying, “Remember, [Arpaio] was convicted last month of only criminal contempt.”
As far as Hannity is concerned, racist, Constitution-disregarding Arpaio is a heroic public servant.
HANNITY: First of all, Sheriff, I’m very relieved for you. You’re 85 years old. You have dedicated your entire life to public service. You came under fire for obeying what are the laws of the land. I applaud the president for what he did tonight. It was the right thing to do. … How did it feel?
ARPAIO: Well, it’s great. I love that president. He supports law enforcement.
Arpaio promised a news conference next week “to get to the bottom of this” and “show the abuse of the judicial system in politics.” He said, “I’m not going down without trying to defend myself to all those people that don’t like what I’ve done.”
But as far as I can tell, Arpaio is not "going down" but just got off.
Hannity, of course, was on board with making Arpaio a victim anyway.
HANNITY: Sheriff, it’s got to be daunting. After all those years of public service, that here you are, you know, facing a potential year and jail and I’ve known you for many, many years, Sir, and I remember when you stood up and you said, “Wait a minute, these are the laws of the land. I’m a law enforcement officer. I’m sworn to uphold the laws of the land. Others that were also sworn to uphold the laws of the land are not doing it. But I’m gonna do it."
But wait, there was more slobbering:
HANNITY: Thank you for all your years of service. I’m relieved for you, for your wife, for your family and I’m glad that the president – he did the right thing, there’s no question about it and I’m sure he’ll take heat but he’s a man of conviction as we all learned and he is not gonna be compliant to what people want him to be. And I think that’s why people admire him so much.
Sure, guys like Hannity and Arpaio admire Trump. The majority of America? Not so much.
Watch Hannity’s contempt for the Constitution below, from the August 24, 2017 Hannity show.
Keep in mind that there was always a contingent of Sanders voters who were not Dems. Remember that he was an Independent for decades. He only took the banner of the Dems when he wanted to run for President (and there were many Dems I spoke to last year who would not support him for that reason alone). I’m not surprised that a small percentage of Sanders voters were people who just liked his populist message and hated Clinton and the Dems. Like the rest of you, I’ve encountered this group online a few times during and since the election, and their anger at everyone is both palpable and infantile.
But I don’t think it was the Sanders crowd that turned this election, no matter how many extrapolations the researchers try to make. I don’t doubt that this crowd was part of the problem, but the problem numbers were much higher. Put it another way: It’s true that thousands of Bernie voters in the swing states didn’t show up when they could have helped stop Trump. But it’s also true that hundreds of thousands of Clinton and Dem voters in those states didn’t show up either, and they’re the ones who made the bigger difference. And it’s true that Trump was able to con a fair amount of disgruntled Dems in the Rust Belt into voting for him, just by showing up there and telling them the basest version of what they wanted to hear. Clinton lost those votes by taking those voters for granted. Trump used those voters to fill in the blank space left by a fair amount of GOP voters who refused to vote for him in those areas – which is why his overall totals are about the same as Romney’s in 2012. (I’d be interested to see a study showing how many moderate GOP voters in those same areas opted to support Clinton over Trump…)
The uncomfortable truth here is that it wasn’t Bernie Sanders voters by themselves who turned this election, even if they want people to believe that. This was not a Ralph Nader situation by any means. Sanders himself exhorted his voters to support Clinton, and all of the studies indicate that the massively overwhelming majority of them did so. It was the 2-3 million Dem voters around the country that just didn’t show up. For some, it was because they bought the Right Wing smears that have circulated about the Clintons for 25 years. For many, it was because they assumed Clinton would win and it was inconceivable that something like Trump could prevail. We could even factor in how the Right Wing always tries to make it harder for non-Whites to vote in rural states, but even that wasn’t the deciding factor.
To me, the biggest factor was that the Right Wing succeeded in their double down on their 2012 strategy. As we’ll recall, in 2012, the Right went super-negative throughout Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. The idea was to make the process so unpleasant, so viscerally awful that many Dem voters would choose to stay home rather than deal with it. If the plan worked, it would reduce turnout to closer to midterm levels and they could get whichever GOP candidate they had across the finish line. Because GOP voters always turn out and Dems are known for being flakier. In 2012, this backfired badly – Obama’s voters showed up again in sufficient numbers to clearly reject the hatred and the Right Wing was humiliated. (Particularly those who smugly predicted their ploy would work and Romney would somehow win a “landslide”.) In 2016, rather than reach out to the rest of the country, the Right Wing went even more negative than they had in 2012 – figuring that Clinton did not have the personal popularity of Barack Obama and that the ploy could work this time. They fed this by constantly repeating a narrative of how Clinton was a terrible and corrupt politician on the one hand, and also an incompetent, weak person who couldn’t even get past Sanders without “cheating” on the other. Between the nonstop barrage of negative press about both candidates, and the constant flinging of mud, the atmosphere last year became toxic. I knew people who had bumper stickers that read “Everybody Sucks 2016”. Sure enough, the actual turnout on the day in the key swing states was lower than it had been for either of Barack Obama’s campaigns. President Obama saw this coming and practically begged those voters to show up, saying that it would destroy his legacy if they allowed this to happen. But that group didn’t respond – and Clinton’s ignorance of the problem doomed her there. Result – more Trump voters than Clinton voters turned out in the key areas by a slim margin.
I’ll continue to say that I hope these voters learned from this situation. If they haven’t, it will be repeated.
More to the point, the spoiled loser ‘Bernie or Bust’ a—holes. I easily argued with 100 of these a—hats on Twitter. They were so angry at Clinton and the DNC because they were convinced he was totally torpedoed by them they were going to show them by voting Trump or not voting at all.
Now we have the study showing Bernie diehards voting for Trump were huge and they are something like 3x the margin Trump’s victory in the critical swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. IOW, they put Trump over the hump and crowned him president.
Nationwide, something like 11% of the Bernie voters wet their pants so bad over this they voted Trump.
Boy, they taught Hillary a lesson. Yessiree! F—k ’em all! F—k ’em hard!
This is of a piece with the Right Wing’s angry reaction to the convictions of Ramos & Compean ten years ago. (And if Trump had been in the White House at that time, those guys would have been sprung immediately after Trump heard about it.) It’s also of a piece with Trump saying that police should rough up arrestees and that vicious White Nationalists are right to attack counter protestors.
There’s a real purpose behind this behavior – to intimidate and terrorize anyone trying to come to this country from Mexico, even if they are doing so legally. Trump is smiling at vicious behavior and giving it a nod. Which is yet another reminder that we are in the midst of the Year of the Bully.
And I again remind readers that this situation is a direct consequence of the 2-3 million Dem voters who chose not to show up last November. Elections have consequences and this is another one to swallow.
“The more this sort of stuff comes out of the WH, the more I share Richard Santalone’s pessimistic forecast regarding the draft.”
AMEN 1000 TIMES!
Just FYI Bemused, my 40 year grammar school reunion is coming up in mid-October. Sad to say, a HUGE MAJORITY of my grammar school classmates voted for Adolf Twitler last November — and almost all of them have children who are now military age (some of these children are also college graduates). Mark my words: I am LOADING UP my truth arsenal with a huge supply of the following statement to pepper my classmates with if I go to this reunion (naturally I have to find a babysitter for my twin sons first):
“If (heaven forbid!) we go to war with either North Korea or Iran, DON’T YOU DARE COME CRYING TO ME when your loved ones get drafted and sent overseas to fight Adolf Twitler’s totally senseless wars, because I will have EVERY RIGHT IN THE WORLD to say, ‘SEE, I TOLD YOU SO!’ ad infinitum!”
The more this sort of stuff comes out of the WH, the more I share Richard Santalone’s pessimistic forecast regarding the draft. For a time, the draft was replaced by mobilising the National Guard and there’s no denying that this has had negative effects on the economy and the society of the USA. With employment at near-full-employment levels and with far more women already in work than during the ‘40s, who’s going to replace the draftees in the work place? Prisoners of war? Migrants? Hey! Let’s round up the migrants and send them to the front lines. Just in case somebody out there may mistake my intent: that last sentence is pure snark (although I wouldn’t put it past its adoption by the current administration).
Good heavens, Teja. Your name signals a non-white origin that should awaken a bit of preoccupation about your own future in the USA.