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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

 
"She deserves the death penalty"

by digby


















Last night Chris Christie led a show trial for a slavering mob that apparently thinks it's normal to put their political opponents in jail. He got them screaming "guilty!" on cue and shrieking "lock her up! lock her up!" like a mantra. It was barely checked mass hysteria and the only time in the whole evening the crowd seemed to come alive. Which is just creepy.

Mother Jones picks up the story this morning:

The next morning, it seemed, the ante was raised, when news broke that Al Baldasaro, a prominent Trump supporter who advises the campaign on veterans' issues, had said on a radio show that Clinton deserves to "be put in the firing line and shot for treason." Baldasaro spoke at numerous Trump rallies during the primary campaign, and Trump once praised him as "my favorite vet." (Trump's onetime butler recently called for killing President Barack Obama.) 
I wanted to find out how deep the sentiment to jail Hillary—or do worse—ran among die-hard Trump supporters gathering at events outside the convention hall. So I took to the streets to produce the video above. 
For some, execution was on the table. "She's extremely corrupt, she's extremely dangerous," said Rhonda Welsch, a 55-year-old food and beverage worker at a Hawaii resort. "I think that's what she deserves: the death penalty."



Now it must be said that average partisans on all sides often say dumb things like that. But you don't often see mainstream politicians inciting it directly at the national convention.

The thuggish Christie was so wound up that afterwards when "the prosecutor" was asked if he was passed over for VP because of his own legal exposure with Bridgegate, he seemed to further threaten Hillary Clinton if her campaign tries to defend her.



Just for he record, no petraeus did something much worse than Clinton. He hid clssified information at his home and gave it to a journalist who happened to be his mistress for a book she was was writing. And, by the way, he didn't go to jail.

Clinton committed no crime and even the accusations of "carelessness" are overblown and stupid. But even if it were all true, it's not a capital crime and the fact that GOP leaders are both tacitly and explicitly encouraging their followers to see it that way is a very dangerous precedent. Their beef with Clinton is political not legal and they know it. They are irresponsibly conflating the two in an overheated environment and they are just asking for trouble.

This piece by Dylan Matthews delves into the Christie speech and the broader problem of criminalizing politics in this ugly way.  it's worth reading. What Christie "prosecuted" Clinton for was policy, not crimes, many of which weren't even true or things she was responsible for. And people want to jail or kill her for them. It's primal witch hunt hysteria --- one of the women in that video even explicitly calls Clinton a witch.

This isn't normal, folks. Or at least it hasn't been normal in America for a good long while.

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