Donald Trump Just Joshing About Jailing Opponent! Tip Your Waitstaff! Is This Mic On?
First they came for the presidential candidates...
Now there's something you don't see every day, Edgar: One presidential candidate vowing to put the other in prison if he's elected. That's new, all right, but it happened, for real! We thought that was the sort of thing you only see in third-world countries, but according to Donald Trump, we're all living in a postapocalyptic hellscape anyway, so most of the ordinary rules are off.
"I didn’t think I’d say this but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it, but if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it and we’re going to have a special prosecutor," Trump said during the presidential debate, referring to her emails.
Clinton didn't exactly hit back with a vigorous defense, instead just telling viewers to go to her website to see all the fact-checking, which struck us as less than compelling. But then she made a point we couldn't disagree with:
"[It’s] just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” she said.
“Because you would be in jail,” Trump said to Clinton.
YOOOGE cheers from the Trumpers in the audience of "undecided" voters, and a warning from the CNN moderators that there should be no outbursts. So there's a new watermark for what's allowed in presidential politics: Promising to jail your opponent. Yay!
Now, with the trajectory the election appears to be on, it's pretty unlikely we'll get to see Donald Trump try it, but for what it's worth, most people who know how governing works took a pretty cool view of the idea. Even George W. Bush's press secretary Ari Fleischer:
Former Attorney General Eric Holder was driven to post a brief Twitter Treatise on the matter:
That was some massacre, that Saturday Night Massacre.
No need to worry, though! On Monday, Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, waved her Magic Reframing Wand and explained on MSNBC's "Morning Joe":
"That was a quip," Kellyanne Conway said [...] And on Trump's threat to appoint a special prosecutor, Conway said only that the candidate was "channeling the frustration" of voters.
Conway somehow suppressed the urge to add, "Look, it's not like he's going to have the chance, anyway, you guys."
Trump surrogate Jeff Sessions seemed not to have gotten the memo that Trump was just riffing, however, explaining that Trump wouldn't be giving any orders to his A.G., no, not at all:
“He’s tired of this. So he feels strongly about it,” Sessions said after the debate. “But he did say a special prosecutor, which would be one appointed through an independent process — not by a president. And they would do an investigation, that’s what a special prosecutor does. And if they find sufficient evidence, then they bring a charge.”
Why Hillary Clinton Will Not Rot In Jail For Aggravated Emailing: Your Ultimate #Emails Wonksplainer
Read this so you can explain How Things Work to your dumb right-wing uncle.
Just for the sake of comparison, both Buzzfeed and CNN put together lists of countries where political opponents have been jailed. If we elect Trump, we could Make America As Great As places like Russia, Venezuela, Chile, Egypt (both under Hosni Mubarak and its current president, Trump's buddy Abdel Fatah el-Sisi), Myanmar, North Korea, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and of course Iran. It's great to have aspirations, isn't it?
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.