The celebrity pardoner

Only one pardon doesn’t fit the pattern. Ziegler’s ultimate conclusion: “We are now living in a world where it is far more important to have a celebrity take up your cause than for your cause to be just, and Trump is perfectly fine with that.”

That should come as no surprise. One needn’t pay much attention to know that Trump is obsessed with ratings and fame and obsessively seeks out vehicles to insert himself in judgment of celebrities.

So perhaps what’s most striking is the lack of backlash from his base. Like the rest of us, they encounter the occasional story about the wrongly imprisoned American citizen languishing in obscurity. They are, on average, more antagonistic to political and media elites than is the average American citizen. They purport to be on the side of the little guy themselves.

And yet, as Ziegler puts it, “Trump views humanity through the prism that there are two basic groups of people: the rich and/or famous, and everyone else. The first group matters greatly to him, the second means almost nothing.”