Professor Robert George of Princeton wants to get something straight in this maddeningly mad world of ours. Clearly something very serious has happened to our brains.
So let me get this straight. Threatening to prosecute Clinton, who plainly violated the law and should have been the subject of an FBI referral to the justice department recommending grand jury indictment, that’s bad. But prosecuting soldiers whose breaches of security requirements were far less egregious or potentially damaging, that’s good. And prosecuting flower arrangers or photographers who cannot in conscience contribute their artistic talents to celebrations of what their faith teaches are immoral relationships, that’s very good. And threatening to prosecute a film maker after falsely alleging that his film provoked a spontaneously formed mob to murder our ambassador and other fellow citizens in Libya, that’s very, very good. Have I got this right?
Everyone knows I regard Trump as loathsome and that I refuse to support him. (I have cursed the houses of both candidates so often that I trust no further cursing of houses is required for me to make my views of this election understood.) And even his supporters know that he says outrageous and often disgusting things (they’ve had to spend a lot of time trying to clean up after him). But let’s get some perspective here. He’s not threatening to prosecute Clinton for political crimes. That’s what happens in tin horn democracies as they slide back into dictatorships. People would rightly be outraged by that. He’s threatening to hold her to the same standards that everybody else is held to under the law–something the FBI and Obama Justice Department have refused to do. He’s threatening not to let her skate. Now prudentially, that might be a bad idea. The kind of prudence that caused President Ford to pardon Richard Nixon (at the price of Ford’s own political career) is perhaps called for here. Its an eminently debatable proposition. But let’s debate that, not feign outrage that Trump would threaten to prosecute Clinton for actual crimes (not political ones) that she actually committed.