Will One Distract From The Other?

Not only did the Hobbit Troll refuse to back down from his royal Twitter decree that trans folks will no longer be allowed to serve in the military, this afternoon he formalized the discrimination by signing a directive barring them from joining the armed forces forthwith. However,

[It] gives Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wide discretion in determining whether those already in the armed forces can continue to serve.

The criteria Mattis will use to determine a trans individual’s worth is unclear. What is clear: however one may feel about militarism, the exclusionary policy is a shocking blow to LGBTIQ rights in America. It’s a situation that requires a focused and immediate response from The Resistance.

Which is why almost immediately after the news broke, Trump pardoned that lifelike facsimile of a human being, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

President Trump on Friday pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff whose aggressive efforts to hunt down and detain undocumented immigrants made him a national symbol of the divisive politics of immigration and earned him a criminal contempt conviction.

In a two-paragraph statement, the White House said that with Mr. Arpaio’s years of “admirable service to our nation, he is worthy candidate for a presidential pardon.”

The effect of the pardon is twofold. Opponents of Trump are forced to figure out where to pool their resources. Do they direct their outrage to the directive, the pardon or both? Will railing against one steal oxygen from the other? Will stridently objecting to the directive and the pardon mute their impact on both issues?

And of course, both actions are gift-wrapped presents for the president’s “deplorable” base. Since they’re the only ones who seem to want to keep that awful boor around, when they’re happy, he’s happy.

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