Thursday, May 02, 2024

Pro-Crime Senator



We know a few things from the interview by CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio, one of which is that Vance is still holding out hope that he is selected as Donald Trump's running mate.

From the video provided by CNN:

- (Kaitlan) Collins: O.K., so you agree that people who break in and vandalize a building should be prosecuted?

-(J.D.) Vance: Exactly.

Collings: O.K. I'm just checking because you did hep raise money for people who did so on January 6, which was impeding an official proceeding, breaking into a building they weren't allowed to be in and vandalizing the Capitol.

-Vance: Well, Kaitlan, I know this is the obsession of the national media to talk about what happened two years ago, three years ago, on January 6.

Collins: It's not an obsession. We're just seeing if it's a double standard.

Vance: No, let me answer the question, Kaitlan. Well, loo, here's been my basic argument about January the 6th. If you beat up a cop, of course you deserve to go to prison. If you violate the law, you should accept the consequences. But there are people who protested on January the 6th who have had the complete weight of the Justice Department thrown at them when at worst they're accused or misdemeanors. Now, again, there are people who are accused of worst offenses and that's a problem but you can't have black lives matter protestors who rioted and vandalized go free when you have people who are actually peacefully protesting on January the 6th who have the book thrown at them. That's the double standard that I'm most worried about.

It's a  little late for anyone of integrity to be concerned that black lives matter protestors (allegedly) rioted and vandalized and were allowed to "go free." If he had any problem with that which he believed was common, he could have said so three years ago.... but didn't. The interview continued

Collins: Yea, I don't think there's an obsession about January 6th but it is a legitimate question and given what you've just said there and as Trump is getting closer to- you know, he's the presumptive Republican nominee, he has said he would pardon- consider a blanket pardon for everyone on January 6th. Are you saying that shouldn't happen, that people who beat up cops should be excluded from that?

Vance: Well, I think what President Trump has said and of course he can speak for himself but I pay attention, pretty close attention, to what he says and- you know, what I think the President has said is that people who have this double standard applied to them should be pardoned. And you shouldn't have a Department of Justice letting violent offenders walk scot-free and then you have a misdemeanor trespassing case from January the 6th, that person has their life ruined because of the lawfare of the Biden Administration, I think that's a totally reasonable standard for the President to apply. Hopefully, he does get re-elected. I think, frankly, there are some innocent people who got caught up in the lawfare of the Biden Administration- Donald Trump included, if we're going to be honest.

Which, of course, J.D. Vance isn't, even minimally. Leave aside that Collins allowed Vance to refer to Trump- twice- in the present tense as "the President" without correcting him. The notion that Donald Trump was legitimately elected- hence is currently the President- has been the core of the Republican message for the past three-and-a-half years and was fundamental to the insurrection on January 6, 2021.

But allowing Donald Trump to be exalted as "the President" or "President" is routine on cable news, thereby granting the ex-President an honorific he failed to earn on November 5, 2020. And otherwise, Collins skillfully exposed the Ohio senator as a hypocrite, at best.

Asked whether "people who beat up cops should be excluded" from a blanket pardon, Vance could have said the obvious: no.  He even could have followed that with a "however.....," but he didn't.

Instead, the Senator stated "what I think the President has said is that people who have this double standard applied to them should be pardoned." But Collins wasn't asked about misdemeanors. Asked if there should be a blanket pardon for everyone from 1/8/21, Vance- who had claimed that violent black lives matters protesters were condoned- emphasized that Trump is against a "double standard." The implication is clear: Vance wants all protestors from the insurrection to be pardoned.

Moreover, he tried to mislead deeply the viewers, arguing that "violent offenders walk scot-free and then you have a misdemeanor trespassing case from January the 6th, that person has their life ruined because of the lawfare of the Biden Administration." He supports "people who protested on January the 6th who have had the complete weight of the Justice Department thrown at them when at worst they're accused or misdemeanors" and implied that the ex-President was speaking only of non-violent offenders. However, on April 30, Trump

said that, if elected, he'd "absolutely" consider pardoning every single one of the hundreds of criminals convicted in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

But Trump's campaign, in a statement to NBC News, said such pardons would be "on a case-by-case basis," not the sort of blanket pardon Trump referred to in a recent interview with Time magazine.

Trump told Time he was "absolutely" considering pardoning every single Capitol rioter, who he described as "J-6 patriots." That group would include Jan. 6 defendants caught on tape brandishing or using firearms, stun guns, flagpoles, fire extinguishers, bike racks, batons, a metal whip, office furniture, pepper spray, bear spray, a tomahawk ax, a hatchet, a hockey stick, knuckle gloves, a baseball bat, a massive "Trump" billboard, "Trump" flags, a pitchfork, pieces of lumber, crutches and even an explosive device during the brutal attack that injured about 140 police officers. "If somebody was evil and bad, I would look at that differently," Trump added in his interview with Time.

Credit the campaign for being wise enough to clean up the understanding of Trump's intent so that thee is at least a little ambiguity. No promise of reasonableness, though. If "somebody was evil and bad," he might not issue a pardon, although Trump's criterion of evil and bad differs from almost any decent human being alive. And even then, he "would look at that differently," which may mean that he would turn the document with the pardon request upside-down.

If Trump makes the unlikely mistake of nominating a man as running mate, it might be either of two blacks. Former Trump Chief of Staff Mick Mulvihill believes it might be Ben Carson or it could be Representative Byron Donalds, arguably as belligerent, nasty, and intolerant as the presidential nominee. It's not likely to be Vance, who would balance a presidential ticket only in that he wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth. 

The conventional wisdom is that the Ohio senator is pandering to the presumptive nominee because to do otherwise might jeopardize his political career. But there also is a significant possibility that he actually believes that if the assailant meets criteria acceptable to a conservative Republican, he should be given a pass. It may be that it took only a Donald Trump to bring out in many GOP politicians a deeply disturbing side which had merely laid dormant until a charismatic demagogue came along.




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