There was no shortage of politicians on both sides of the aisle lining up to denounce President Donald Trump’s pardoning of the man known as “America’s toughest sheriff,” former Maricopa County, Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio.
One of them was Rep. Maxine Waters — and, as regular followers of the barmy California Democrat could likely guess, her response was a little bit … different from the others.
Waters wasn’t content with a boilerplate statement like John McCain’s claim that President Trump had “undermine(d) his claim for the respect of rule of law” by pardoning Arpaio, or Nancy Pelosi’s tweet that Trump’s pardon “makes (a) mockery of rule of law.” Oh, no. According to our favorite space cadet of the Capitol Rotunda, the pardon was more proof that the president is an actual, honest-to-God, in-the-flesh Klansman.
In a Saturday tweet, Waters played the race card further by claiming that Trump was “one of” the white nationalists, KKK and David Duke. Not quite sure how you become “one of” the latter entity unless someone’s cloning David Dukes, but don’t put that conspiracy theory outside of the bounds of Maxine Waters’ febrile imagination.
I'm not surprised Trump pardoned racial profiler Arpaio. White Nationalists, KKK, & Duke celebrated Trump's election b/c he is one of them!
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) August 26, 2017
“I’m not surprised Trump pardoned racial profiler Arpaio. White Nationalists, KKK, & Duke celebrated Trump’s election b/c he is one of them!” Waters wrote.
Look, I can understand that Joe Arpaio is a controversial person, because upholding immigration law in America in 2017 is apparently a controversial thing (at least if you’re a Democrat). Whether or not he went too far in his pursuit of that goal is a matter of debate, although he was found guilty of criminal contempt of court.
Nevertheless, CBS News reported before the pardon that White House attorneys believed the sentencing would be lenient and might not even involve any jail time for the 85-year-old lawman. Furthermore, no one has accused him of being a white nationalist, a Klansman, or even David Duke. Pardoning Arpaio likewise does not make a person a white nationalist, a Klansman, or David Duke.
It’s hard to get too upset, though. This is Maxine Waters, who once suggested Trump should be preemptively impeached before he took office in part because his campaign came up with the nickname “Crooked Hillary” (no, really). It’s the Maxine Waters who called Ben Carson a “white nationalist.” You may perhaps notice a problem with that last formulation.
It is incendiary and irresponsible, of course, to call the president a Klansman and a white nationalist unless they actually are, no matter who that president may be. Then again, this is Maxine Waters — a woman who isn’t so much not playing with a full deck as she is down to a pair of threes and the box the cards came in. As reprehensible as what she says may be, consider that it would likely be even more damaging if she approved ofthe pardon.