The highlight of last night’s debate, other than a previously unknown man named Ken Bone (when I first heard the name I thought for sure that Anthony Weiner had been caught sexting again) asking a blindingly off topic question about energy policy in the midst of an epic foodfight, was probably Donald Trump telling Hillary Clinton that if he were president she would be in jail:
He’s right. In an America where we are ruled by law and all are equal under the law, Hillary Clinton would be indicted and facing trial and, inevitably, a very, very long prison sentence. From lying to investigators, to coordinating a cover-up, to betraying our nation’s secrets to Heaven knows who, to betraying the identities of men and women who work in US intelligence and foreign citizens who have made the mistake of making common cause with us, to the pay-to-play activities of the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton has been a living, breathing RICO violation for decades. What has happened is that the United States has entered a pre-Magna Carta era where our barons are exempt from the law. In a just nation, the fact that Hillary Clinton was running for president should have played no more a factor in FBI Director James Comey’s investigation than he would have paid attention to the work schedule of an auto mechanic he was investigating. And yet it was Clinton’s high profile that got her kid gloves treatment at the hands of investigators.
Predictably, since Clinton had her cellulite-cratered, gravy-infused ass handed to her last night, the left is incensed at Trump’s quip. The online daycare center that is Vox.com predicts the end of the Republic. Before proceeding consider that the writer, Zack Beauchamp, once described a bridge connecting the West Bank and Gaza and Israel’s arbitrary blocking of that bridge when such a bridge does not exist.
In democracies, we respect people’s rights to disagree with each other. When one candidate wins a presidential election, the loser returns to private life or another government position. In some cases, former rivals become close friends. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who defeated Bush in the 1992 election, travel together and have spent decades jointly raising money to aid the victims of natural disasters.
They don’t get sent to jail, because we believe that political disagreement should be legal.
Donald Trump doesn’t seem to care about all that.
In his last line — “you’d be in jail” — he is outright saying that he would imprison Hillary Clinton in office (if he could). This comes despite the fact that there is no evidence Clinton committed a crime in her handling of the email servers, despite lengthy investigations that found evidence of carelessness and dishonesty. That would be a politically motivated prosecution — retribution for daring to run against Trump and attack him during the campaign.
Other than grotesquely misstating the nature of the investigation of Clinton to the extent that it rivals the Gaza bridge debacle, Beauchamp has a point. The reason that you don’t find peaceful changes of administration in the Third World is because once you leave office, you and your family and friends are going to be prosecuted and, if lucky, jailed. If you aren’t lucky you’ll end up like Pakistan’s Bhutto, dangling from the end of a rope.
What Beauchamp misses is that boat has already sailed. Ask Tom DeLay, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Scooter Libby, Ted Stevens (well, not Stevens), if the left uses the power of tame and politically malleable prosecutors to even political scores. For that matter ask photographers and bakers who refuse to lend their hands to supporting a perversion of what is actually marriage if they are allowed to disagree. What Beauchamp objects to is Republicans joining the game.
The left has weaponized the law to allow them to win elections and policy disagreements they have already lost in the political arena. Unless we start doing the same and impress upon them that Mutually Assured Destruction works just as well in dealing with Progressives as it did in limiting the ambitions of their spiritual model, the USSR, our pluralistic republic cannot survive. Hillary Clinton going to prison would actually be the only positive thing she has accomplished in life.