In a moment of stunning lunacy, Vice President Mike Pence hailed former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio as a “tireless champion” of the “run of law” while speaking at a tax event in Arizona on Tuesday night.
Arpaio was convicted for contempt of court for refusing to stop racial profiling after ordered to do so by a judge. He also ran a jail in which inmates were subjected to inhumane conditions and several even died. Trump, for his part, issued his first presidential pardon to Arpaio.
Dan Rather, the former news anchor for the CBS Evening News, voiced his disbelief with the perfect analogy.
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So VP Pence called disgraced (and Trump pardoned) AZ sheriff Arpaio a "champion" of the "rule of law"?!!? That's sort of like calling Kanye West a "scholar" of "antebellum history."
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 2, 2018
The shot is not only a swipe at Pence and Arpaio, but also Kanye West, whose misguided ideas about slavery have landed the outspoken rapper in a PR crisis.
Yesterday, during an interview with TMZ, Kanye suggested that because slavery lasted for 400 years, it must have been “a choice.” He was duly routed by a TMZ journalist, Van Lathan, whose response instantly went viral.
“Do you feel like I’m thinking free and feeling free?” West asked.
“I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything. I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought,” Lathan responded, adding that there are “real-world, real-life consequence behind everything that you just said.”
“And while you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives,” Lathan said. “We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said, for our people, was a choice. Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled and, brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that’s not real,” Lathan said.
Not exactly the best – or most accurate – choice of words by Kanye. As Dan Rather points out, though, this administration has a way of promulgating those whose words are rife with hypocrisy and error.