Law & Order & Trump
The criminal justice system is often unfair. But no defendant in America will ever get as fair a trial as the former president.
Come join me TONIGHT for a post-arraignment livestream. I’ll be joined by Amanda Carpenter, Sarah Longwell, and Bill Kristol—at 9pm in the East. Get the details and leave your questions here. We’ll post the audio and video on the site right after we conclude.
Will be wild.
1. The System
Donald Trump has made a politically smart pivot by framing his criminal liabilities as attacks on his everyman MAGA supporters. His line is, If they can do this to me, they can do this to you.
I suspect that it will play very well with Republican voters. And it also puts Republican challengers in a box—because they have to agree with it. Yet by agreeing with it they stipulate that Trump is the avatar for primary voters. Not them.
And yet, this pivot is so obviously, categorically wrong that it makes me wonder about Republican voters. Because it gets the point of Trump’s arraignment exactly backwards. What today demonstrates is a very different proposition: They—and here we mean “the government”—often prosecute normal people for breaking the law. But they can also prosecute the powerful.
When Trump says, “If they can do this to me, they can do this to you” he is literally articulating a statement about equality under the law.
And his supporters don’t seem to realize it.