I put aside more interesting topics to write about the Trump indictment. This is the greatest proof of audience capture I can imagine. I’m sick of this guy and his shenanigans, but it’s What the Readers Want.
I’ll give you a couple of excerpts. First, from the lengthy and self-contained 6,000-word section that is free to all:
Yes, admittedly, Hillary should have been prosecuted under the statute as written. But under a higher standard allegedly representing DOJ practice over the decades, it was a close call whether she met any of the elements. Reasonable people can disagree over whether that higher “Comey standard” was met in Hillary’s case.
But no reasonable person doubts that Trump meets the Comey standard.
If you think Trump should not be prosecuted, despite the overwhelming evidence of his knowing mishandling of critically important national defense documents—and his efforts to hide those documents, lie about the fact that he possessed them, and obstruct the feds in every possible way—you must be saying that because of the example of Hillary Clinton, no person can ever be prosecuted for mishandling classified documents ever again, regardless of the evidence.
Surely nobody actually believes in such an unreasonable position. Right?
The 2,200 word paid section discusses pardons, equal justice, and the story of one of my supervisors’ media cases. It’s all part of my rant about the conventional wisdom, recently articulated by Tom Nichols, that pardoning criminal presidents is necessary for the nation to “heal”:
If a president is prosecuted, the citizens of this country have to . . . what, exactly? Read about it in the news, I guess? If they choose to? Or maybe hear about it on the radio or see it on their social media feeds?
OH THE HUMANITY! OH THE SUFFERING! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP! The only humane way to end such terrible suffering is for a National Hero like Gerald Ford to come forward and make the Courageous Decision that no, the guy who nominated me to be Vice President shall suffer no criminal consequences for his crimes.
Not all heroes wear capes. Just think of all the National Agony avoided by this Bold Decision.
As I told Nichols, I think the accolades for Ford are entirely misplaced. Ford’s pardon helped cement the precedent that presidents and ex-presidents are above the law. I am unimpressed by concerns that upholding the Rule of Law is divisive or makes the country sad.
Before you respond to my excerpts, you might check to see if I responded to your argument somewhere in the piece. I tried to be fair and imagine what the arguments in response might be. I’m pretty proud of my identification and naming of a common fallacy I call the “You Bumped Me, So I Can I Shoot You” Fallacy. Once you understand it, you see it everywhere. It explains so much about partisan Republican arguments these days.