Quick, grab the smelling salts and clear the fainting couches.
President Trump's pardon of conservative author Dinesh D'Souza last week violently triggered Beltway media elites. It's peanut butter, weed pollen, gluten, manspreading, Chick-fil-A, the national anthem, and Kryptonite all rolled into one giant political allergen. Allow me to administer the rhetorical, metaphorical antihistamine.
To the Washington Post editorial board, President Trump's use of the pardon is "another show of disrespect for the justice system." Outspoken D'Souza was the subject of a highly politicized prosecution by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (now an anti-Trump resistance leader) over campaign finance violations totaling $20,000. The WaPo punditocracy grudgingly admits that the president "has constitutional power to do this" and that it is "Mr. Trump's prerogative" to pardon individuals the newspaper considers "unsavory."
Yet, the editorialists fulminate that what "is offensive here is not the pardon power, but the use of it" for "arbitrary, political and unjustified" reasons.
G-U-Double F-Awww. The protesting Posties wouldn't be capable of acknowledging an acceptable exercise of the pardon power by Trump if it body-slammed them off the ropes on UFC Fight Night.
Former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier received a Trump pardon after serving a year in prison for taking photos on his submarine to show his family where he worked (in contrast to the hands-off treatment of the classified information-breaching Clinton brigade). Too political, the pundits cry.
The late boxer Jack Johnson, America's first black heavyweight champion, received a Trump pardon after being jailed under Jim Crow for traveling with a white woman (who later became his wife) across state lines. Publicity stunt, the bitchers bitched. Not enough, the moaners moaned. Trump's still a racist, the grievance-mongers mongered.
Indeed, The Washington Post opinion writers have depleted their Bank of Selective Outrage accounts while spewing about Trump's pardons. "Nothing but right-wing trolling," harumphed Paul Waldman. "Twisted brand of mercy," decried Ruth Marcus. "A warm-up for a constitutional crisis," squawked Jennifer Rubin.
Spare us all the hot air, media heavers. Democrats have long wielded pardon powers to reward deep-pocketed cronies, absolve unrepentant domestic terrorists and lionize national security leakers. The "democratic values" that WaPo-lemicists claim are now under siege thanks to Trump's pardons got crushed under the wheels of the corruptocrat bus a long, long time ago.