COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., September 6, 2016 — Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has become an exercise in finger-pointing. With daily releases of damning emails and pay-to-play evidence from Clinton’s four-year tenure at the State Department, blame is a fatherless child.
When she’s asked hard questions, Clinton refuses to own anything. Her most recent “press welcome” on board her plane had no hard questions; it was nothing but staged, “how was your Labor Day” questions.
Polls show Clinton and Donald Trump coming closer together, but vocal, public outrage over the email scandal has been scarce, manifest only in the candidate’s historic low public trust rating. The media have done their best to soft-pedal the scandal.
Breaking through the silence is William McGurn’s “Main Street” column in the Wall Street Journal, “Even Worse Than Clinton’s Emails.” McGurn looks at the circumstances surrounding Clinton’s missteps now coming to light through her leaked emails and the transcripts of the FBI’s interview with Clinton.
“The most disturbing aspect about the FBI dump may not be fresh evidence of another Clinton lie.” McGurn writes, “what’s even more troubling than Clinton’s cavalier handling of the nation’s most closely held secrets has been the institutional ‘looking away’ from such wrongs by government servants charged with guarding such actions.
“However unseemly the cashing in of the Clinton family, whatever trampling of the ethics record the Clinton Foundation had signed with the White House, even apart from the walking conflicts-of-interests that were Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills the much larger stink here is this: Mrs. Clinton was allowed to spend her four years as secretary of state off the grid.” (emphasis added)
McGurn cites the failure of the FBI to perform its proper watch dog duty. Rather than stay within his legal purview by quietly recommending indictment or no indictment to his attorney general, “FBI director Jim Comey … (publicly) announced he was recommending against indictment … (and) effectively pre-empted the Justice Department and any hope of accountability.”
McGurn also calls out the State Department for its lack of compliance with appropriate requests for its records. “Groups such as Judicial Watch have done yeoman’s work in forcing the emails into the sunlight—but they have also had to get court orders to pry them out of an obstructionist State Department.”
The State Department is not alone in its avoidance of public accountability, according to McGurn. The Internal Revenue Service, which went after conservative Tea Party members, has still not been brought under control despite the exposure of their behavior. According to McGurn,
Three years, many congressional hearings and disappearing hard drives later there is still no evidence the IRS has ended the practice … (and there was a) March ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which blasted the IRS for refusing to produce a list of those it had targeted.
The rise of populist, anti-establishment presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump proves one thing: The American public, like McGurn, has discerned that something’s wrong not only with certain individuals but with American governance itself.
If Clinton prevails in November, some will lament that she was not punished for her mistakes, but rewarded for them. Others, in growing numbers, will recognize that her perch and the future of law and order in this country are precarious at best.
Abraham Lincoln called out lawlessness and where it leads when he said, “the lawless in spirit are encouraged to become lawless in practice; and having been used to no restraint … they thus become absolutely unrestrained.”
He warned that when people’s opinions decide the law, they would destroy this nation and destroy the government that was set up to allow freedom for all.
More than 2,000 years before America’s summer of discontent, Roman politicians picked winners and losers, generally favoring the politically well-connected, a practice found in America today.
Lies, more lies, and damned lies will be repeated by those in public service having things to hide. But one may hear in the background, a growing chorus not of “The British are coming! The British are coming!” but of “The country is waking! The country is waking!”
Listen to McGurn:
Welcome to modern Washington, just two months away from a presidential election. It’s possible, of course, that the people who believe the system is rigged and that their government has taken sides against them are wrong. But the most disquieting possibility is that it isn’t crazy to think they might be right.