America faces political as well as meteorological storm

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Hurricane Harvey?has made its destructive landfall in Texas. We await to understand just how much damage it has done.

But there was a second storm in America overnight, one with significant political implications.

That second hurricane was centered on Camp David, the rural President retreat in Maryland where Donald Trump is spending the weekend.

For even as Harvey barrelled towards coastal communities in Texas, Trump appeared to be using it as cover for a series of extraordinary and highly controversial edicts that he was issuing.

In his most incendiary move, the President issued a pardon for a former sheriff in Arizona, Joe Arpaio, who has been accused of discriminating against Hispanics.

Joe Arpaio with Donald Trump
Joe Arpaio with Donald Trump during the US presidential campaign.?Credit: AP

The idea that at this sensitive time Trump would be so provocative has shocked many people, even some former allies. Just look at what his own former ethics chief wrote on Twitter: