It's not unreasonable to assume much the same thing going on between Emperor Snowflake's dried-apricot ears. In disgraced Arizona "sheriff" Joe Arpaio, Snowflake has made a point of pardoning what he clearly sees as a kindred spirit, a fellow birther-conspiracy dirtbag. No surprise there; Snowflake pretty much telegraphed his intentions at his half-attended stemwinder in Phoenix last Tuesday.
The moral cretinism underpinning this move, coming as it did while everyone was focused on Hurricane Harvey getting ready to slam into Galveston, cannot be overstated. Since Arpaio may be one of the few people in American public life who is even more of a vicious asshole than Snowflake, it makes a warped sort of sense.
But strategically, it makes no sense at all. Yes, like everything else he's done, it's a big middle finger to libtards, sure to whip up the proverbial base. But that base is starting to wear out a bit, and is only going to continue to do so as this moron continues stomping his way through everything. Even these drooling meatbags have to start seeing that he's a one-trick pony, and it's really not much of a trick, especially when some of us are making a point of laughing at him -- and them -- rather than recoiling in horror.
Additionally, it draws a wedge between Snowflake and his own party, who are rapidly getting tired of dealing with his erratic, impulsive incompetence. If Fatboy wants to throw his cameltoe behind Chemtrail Kelli Ward in the GOP primary against Jeff Flake, let him. It will be an excellent test of exactly where his level of support really is. But the bottom line is, there is almost no way that pardoning Arpaio just to be a dick turns out to be anything but counterproductive for his own agenda. It's like he did it just because people advised him not to. Fuck you, you can't tell me what to do!
Let's not put too fine a point on it -- Arpaio is not just a racist, he's a sadist. He delights in inflicting pain and torture on his inmates, many of whom, let's recall, are still awaiting trial, and are hence technically not guilty of anything yet. He frequently referred to his tent-city sweat box as a "concentration camp," took perverse pride in cheap punitive stunts such as banning newspapers, eliminating salt and pepper.
Hundreds of people have died in his concentration camp, from heat exhaustion, beatings from guards (surveillance cameras caught an inmate tied to a restraining chair and beaten to death by fourteen guards, because the prison screw's spirit animal is the cowardly but vicious hyena), hanging. Hundreds of sex assault cases, including dozens of children, went uninvestigated because Arpaio waned his deputies focused on harassing beaners. He's cruel just for the sheer joy of inflicting cruelty on those he deems deserving.
He's a bastard through and through; the reason Arpaio's mother died giving birth to him is that she wanted to get away from what she knew from the start would be a shameful legacy. When he does finally kick off, he should be dragged into the desert and left for the vultures.
The good news hidden in this is that the acceptance of a pardon is by definition an admission of guilt for purposes of civil suits. That means that this 85-year-old shitbird may very well spend the rest of his rotten life having damages incurred against his personal assets. Maricopa County has paid out somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million over the years from his abuses and excesses, which provides a number of precedents for future civil suits on Arpaio personally. I hope they nail his greasy ass to the wall. It's a goddamned shame he won't do any time in his own jail. Let him sit in a 135-degree tent in pink underwear. It won't happen, but watching him die broke and harassed would be some consolation.
The more troublesome aspect of this, of course, is that the pardon is not just a middle finger to libtards, it's a middle finger to the rule of law. It's a clear, deliberate expression of the emperor's contempt for any law or rule or norm that runs counter to what this doddering psychopath wants at a given moment. These are classic moves out of the dictator's playbook -- threatening the media, encouraging fascists by equating them with their opponents (really, people who hate nazis are as bad as nazis?), doing absolutely nothing to reach out to the majority of the population who did not vote for him, consolidating and rallying his base support.
The reason he got this far is because no one in any position of power or responsibility took his insurgency seriously enough to smack it down before it could gather momentum. That has changed; people from the Capitol to the street are slowly but surely starting to mobilize. There are people who want their country back. We'll see if there are enough of them. In the meantime, maybe we all need to mass-mail as many congress-critters as possible that they need to step up and resist this asshole as well.