There isn’t much Trump can do these days that really surprises anyone. A transgender military ban, a failure to condemn neo-Nazis, and calling the national media “bad guys” for reporting on the president’s own words is just par for the course in news from the White House these days.
On Friday night, however, Trump did do something that left people stunned, and members of his own party are disavowing his actions. During the largest natural disaster to hit Texas in years, while the country braced for death and devastation, President Donald Trump decided to grant a pardon to one of the most despicable men imaginable.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio had been convicted for criminal contempt of a court order.
‘In December 2011, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow issued a preliminary injunction ordering Arpaio and his deputies to stop targeting Latino drivers. Prosecutors allege that Arpaio’s deputies defied the injunction for at least 18 months. In May 2013, Snow ruled that Arpaio’s office had engaged in racial profiling.
‘Arpaio and his deputies have admitted to violating the judge’s order, but they claim their defiance wasn’t intentional.’
Arpaio has admitted – or perhaps the proper word is that he has bragged – about throwing the human beings he profiled simply for being brown into what he called “concentration camps.” Those targeted and detained by Arpaio were forced to live in a place called “Tent City” in temperatures rising above 100 degrees.
Despite his many egregious and inhumane acts, Trump gave Arpaio a pardon, giving his racism and cruelty a pass. One member of the Republican Party, and perhaps one of the most well-known, is Speaker Paul Ryan.
A spokesman for Ryan gave a statement to The Wall Street Journal reporters on Saturday, stressing that Ryan had broken with the leader of his party on Arpaio’s pardon.
‘The speaker does not agree with the decision. Law-enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon.’
Distancing oneself from Trump’s heinous actions have become yet another part of the new normal under the Trump regime. However, it remains to be seen what any of them plan to do about it besides talk.
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Featured image via Getty/Mark Wilson