A pretty good indicator that there’s something unusual about Trump’s sudden interest in legal procedure is how incongruent it is with his political strategy. Trump plays offense.
“Lock her up,” for example, practically became Trump’s second campaign slogan when he ran against Hillary Clinton in 2016. The justifications for jail time ranged from misuse of an email server to an array of conspiracy theories. Here’s a highlight reel of 11 times he threatened Hillary Clinton with prison. In another banner campaign moment, Trump wrongly accused a rally attendee who rushed the stage of having ties to the Islamic State. In office he hasn’t changed. He even said he should have left the UCLA basketball team in a Chinese jail after a parent attacked him on Twitter.
Trump believes he looks good when he’s putting others down, when he’s confidently condemning them. It’s a strategy that carried him to victory in the Republican Primary and delivered him to the Oval Office. For all the drama of his first year in office, his history of past conduct hasn’t threatened him.
But the departure of two staffers in one week over abuse allegations and Trump’s response Saturday suggest that the president is starting to feel the heat. The social movement against sexual abuse and harassment hasn’t slowed down.
And of course there are many more examples, most notably his preemptive argument that the Central Park Five should be executed, a position he hasn’t repudiated although they’ve been dispositively cleared by DNA evidence.
Meanwhile, Bari Weiss is still making unsubstantiated claims about unnamed feminists:
Sitting beside Maher, Weiss acknowledged that the #MeToo movement is “long overdue.” But, she added, “The hard left is basically saying it’s OK if a few innocent men go down with the ship if that’s what it takes to bring down the patriarchy. They hate zero tolerance on the right when it comes to drug policy but they love zero tolerance when it comes to sexual misconduct.”
I think I’ll just outscource my response:
Would love for Weiss to name one innocent man who has “gone down with the ship.” I mean, most of the GUILTY men are still on fucking sundeck https://t.co/lpbvCp0Em2
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) February 10, 2018