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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Hillary Clinton Becomes the UNSAFE Hand
In the last few days, she’s traded places with Donald Trump as the high-risk candidate.
HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR.
It’s hard to generalize about Hillary Clinton’s email situation except that she tried to afford herself an extraordinary privilege as a high-ranking official, and then caused for herself exactly the problems (and worse) that she presumably was trying to avoid.
It’s the White House Travel Office, the Rose Law Firm billing records, the Seth Wardoption (don’t ask), the health-care task force, etc., all over again.
Mrs. Clinton is a screw-up. And when a trait takes such trouble to announce itself, note must be taken.
Complicating the legal question, of course, is the fact that she didn’t exactly hide her behavior. The State Department knew she was conducting business on a private server. Her boss, the president, exchanged emails with her via what was self-evidently a private email account.
All this being so, many Americans probably would have been happy to see the difficulties bypassed by Mrs. Clinton simply returning all her emails and devices intact to the State Department. This she did not do. In response to reasonable and unavoidable questions about whether her arrangement and subsequent actions violated the law, the Obama administration had no choice but to launch a criminal investigation.
Now a simple home truth is that Mr. Obama and his attorney general, Loretta Lynch, from day one, were hardly indifferent, objective observers of the process. They did not want Mrs. Clinton charged.
In our imperfect world, most will understand the dilemma before FBI Director James Comey: Would it be more damaging for the country, FBI and personal reputation to actively intervene in the election by indicting Mrs. Clinton or to passively intervene in the election by giving her a pass?
A non-act is somehow easier to pass off than an act. Yet events of the last few days point to the absurdity of him clearing Mrs. Clinton when he still hadn’t seen 33,000 pieces of evidence. By definition, unless the FBI is full of remarkably unsuspicious cops, the emails that Mrs. Clinton and her aides deleted would seem the ones most likely to contain evidence of improper activity.
Mr. Comey perhaps failed also to foresee how the server issue would become entangled with the WikiLeaks theft of Clinton Foundation emails, contributing to a rather more multidimensional view of the back-scratching and buck-raking world the Clinton entourage inhabited.
He failed to foresee how the boodle of now-invigorated investigations would probably kill off the happy scenario in which a strong Mrs. Clinton can cut deals with Republicans to move the country ahead despite the ankle-biting of the Elizabeth Warren left.
What a mess. It pays to recall that the federal machinery trying so hard to give her a pass is the same federal machinery that writes millions of rules for the rest of us. It doesn’t give us a pass. The IRS can’t make sense of its own regulations yet expects us to abide by them under pain of criminal prosecution.
Mrs. Clinton’s every plan involves only complicating America’s life with more rules, more legal pitfalls for citizens, more mandates for business. The tax code is not complicated enough for her. ObamaCare is just a down payment on fixing health care with more regulation and government mandates.
Donald Trump (or any candidate) may not be a solution in himself, but an outsider at least can be an instrument to dislodge an elite and replace it, for a while, with an elite less habituated to using public power to favor and enrich itself. With Mrs. Clinton, as with Mr. Obama, a voter naturally struggles to understand what the overarching vision is. There isn’t one. They exist to deliver the wish-list of Democratic lobby groups for more power over the people of the United States. Period.
A few weeks ago Mrs. Clinton was the “safe hands” candidate. If she wins, it now appears hers will be an embattled and investigated presidency from day one. Moderates will flee. Republicans will find it hard to cooperate with her.
She will be forced back on the hard left of her party. The same who already are drawing up “blacklists” of potential appointees suspected of sympathy for the private sector. The same who hesitate least about using government power to attack enemies (see Exxon). The same who are most comfortable relying on administrative diktat to impose policies the public doesn’t support and never voted for.
Her party’s most ferocious warriors will run the Clinton administration because they’re the ones willing to be most unhinged in savaging her enemies. It might seem far-fetched now that President Obama, after Election Day, would try to clear President Clinton’s path by issuing a pardon for offenses committed while secretary of state, but crazier miscalculations have been made by the players in this drama.