Senator Jeff Flake (R, AZ) thinks the Republican Party should have put the kibosh on then-citizen Donald Trump’s birtherism regarding then-candidate and later then-President Barack Obama, and he’s right about that. The birtherism bit was just a bit of trolling and head gamesmanship, but it spread and became a distraction for Republicans.
But on the matter of Hillary Clinton and Trump-supported and occasionally -led chants of “lock her up,” Flake misunderstands.
We shouldn’t be the party for jailing your political opponents[.]
It’s true that the Republican Party shouldn’t be that party. However, the Republican Party should be the party of law enforcement and of putting criminals in jail or otherwise holding them to account and sanctioning them for their criminal behavior. The political status of a criminal should not make that criminal immune to jail or other sanction for her criminal behavior.
That’s a fine line to draw, but it is drawable, and it should be drawn. Juries are fully capable of drawing that line, and politicians should be, too.