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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

 
The GOP argument in a nutshell

by digby

The best-selling button at the RNC
























This observation by Josh Marshall is important:
Numerous speakers from the dais, including some of the top speakers of the evening, called for Hillary Clinton to be imprisoned. At least two - and I think more - actually led the crowd in chants of "lock her up!" There has never been any evidence of criminal activity on Clinton's part. An investigation with a lot of pressure to find something amiss concluded that no charges should be recommended against her and that no prosecutor would bring charges against Clinton for anything connected to her private email server.

It goes without saying that it is a highly dangerous development when one presidential nominee and his supporters make into a rallying cry that their opposing candidate should be imprisoned. This is not Russia. This is not some rickety Latin American Republic from half a century ago. This is America. For all our failings and foibles this is not a path we've ever gone down.

This is not a disagreement about a matter of law: it is a demand for vengeance and punishment, one rooted in the pathologies of the current Trumpite right and inevitably to some extent about the fact that Clinton is a woman. If you have a chance rewatch the speeches by Rudy Giuliani or even more ret. Gen Michael Flynn. These are not normal convention speeches. It is only a small skip and a jump to the state legislator in West Virginia who demanded Clinton by executed by hanging on the National Mall. In such a climate, don't fool yourself: worse can happen.
This is the way authoritarians think to be sure. And the Trump Party is authoritarian through and through. But this sloganeering about how Clinton belongs in jail is sadly not confined to the right. There is an element of the left which consistently says the same thing, at least if my social media feeds are any example, with certain members of my own tribe calling for Clinton to be dragged off in chains for ... well, the crimes don't really matter.

I've never seen anything quite like it. I remember calls in the past for Karl Rove to be "frog-marched" to jail for his role in the Plame scandal. But the calls to jail Clinton are of an other variety, going back to a famous column by William Safire back in the 1990s in which he claimed that she was about to be indicted. Of course,she never was despite tens of millions of dollars and a totally unaccountable hostile independent prosecutor on the trail. In fact,  she never lied about all the things everyone said she lied about. But the idea of locking this woman up for something persists and it is one that really seems to appeal to a certain segment of the American population.

There is an entire cottage industry devoted to this meme.  Indeed, there were reports that there were pre-printed signs like these in the crowd at the RNC last night:


This is a disturbing one: gun lube:



This is some sick stuff and it would be really nice if people who hate Clinton but aren't completely batshit crazy would at least find a different way to express their loathing.

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