On Monday, President Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he would be “doing a pardon tomorrow on someone who is very, very important.” He didn’t tease out any additional details, only noting that the pardons would not be granted to former National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden or Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor.
So, who the hell did Trump plan on pardoning? Another one of his pals? Joe Exotic, the Tiger King? Another Alice Johnson so he could pretend to give a shit about black people? Can he pre-emptively pardon himself?
Well, it’s Tuesday, and the cat’s out of the bag: The Associated Press reports that President Trump will pardon... Susan B. Anthony, a woman he probably found out about within the last 24 hours.
Anthony, arguably the best-known figure of the women’s suffrage movement, was arrested in Rochester, New York in 1872 for voting, a violation of laws that prohibited women from casting their ballots. Conveniently, Tuesday is the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment of the United States Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. Of course, many black women were still subjected to the same archaic, racist voter disenfranchisement tactics regardless as they were before of such strides. (Not that Susan B. “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman” Anthony would have cared).
On top of the obvious shallowness of this gesture—a clear effort to get the vague “suburban housewives” bloc he keeps talking about to like him—it’s ironic that Trump is posthumously honoring a voting rights advocate while he and his administration actively aim to suppress the vote and skirt any and all chances of having a viable general election in November.