The former president is now dangling the prospect of pardons for MAGAs imprisoned for their participation in the January 6th insurrection. Not only are such pardons undeserved—although I never thought the minions should go to prison while the instigators, including Trump himself, went scot-free—but the real message was aimed at Trump’s MAGA supporters who are still out on the street, people who can serve as his private army until he returns to power in 2024. Hey, it’s okay to commit violence against our enemies, his bullhorn screamed, because I’ll pardon you as soon as I’m reelected. Don’t worry about the rule of law or the democratic process (and remember, threatening and intimidating election workers satisfies both criteria), because someday I’ll “make America great again,” I promise. Yeah, sure—me thinks they’d be well advised to consider the long line of suckers Trump has thrown under the bus before taking him up on the offer.
The continuing saga of Donald Trump seems like an awful game of Whac-A-Mole, the country suffering déjà vu all over again for the umpteenth time. I don’t know about you, but this humble spirit feels like any time I give the man the slightest benefit of the doubt (as rare as that may be) I end up with egg on my face. Everything we’ve learned about the January 6th insurrection has only confirmed our worst suspicions. And is there any doubt that what we learn about the hundreds of documents Trump took with him to Mar-a-Lago—and his purpose in taking them— will be just as bad if not worse? (48 empty folders marked classified!)
Despite all the intelligence-insulting nonsense that Trump and his legal team have thrown against the wall, all their screams of “witch hunt” and “executive privilege,” have they ever offered an explanation for WHY Trump took the documents to Mar-a-Lago? Of course not, because the nefarious truth is no doubt horrendous. In fact, the more we learn about the government’s fight to retrieve the documents, and how disastrous it might be if those documents got into the wrong hands, the more we wonder why they waited so long to “raid” Mar-a-Lago. Perhaps if they had conducted their raid last year the 48 files folders wouldn’t be empty and son-in-law Jared would have had to give the Saudis their $2 billion back.
Trump demanding to be reinstated as president? What?! Either he’s lost it completely or he thinks he’s building an insanity defense for when he’s finally indicted.
It was high time President Biden stopped pretending that the Washington he knew in the 1980s and 90s still exists and confronted reality head on: “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundation of our republic.” For all the uproar, I’d call that a diplomatic understatement. (And I fear there aren’t nearly as many non-MAGA Republicans as the president seems to think.) The fact is, America is under attack by an internal enemy intent on changing the country for the worse. Indeed, as the president said, “We do ourselves no favor to pretend otherwise.”
No matter how hard I try to get back on my optimistic horse and convince myself that most of Trump’s MAGA supporters are essentially good people who have been horribly misled by a despicable demagogue, I always return to the sad and frightening conclusion that he embodies their hatred, their anger, and their overwhelming desire for vengeance. It was already there waiting to be harnessed and unfortunately it’s likely to be there long after Trump is gone.