Last week The Curmudgeon wrote about politicians who don’t get it. Writing in the wake of Philadelphia congressman Chaka Fattah’s conviction on 23 counts of different types of public corruption, The Curmudgeon wrote about how poorly some other elected officials reacted to the conviction. They treated it like something that just sort of happened, as opposed to something the convicted congressman set out to do, and something to which they shouldn’t respond by expressing dismay and calling on the congressman to resign his seat immediately.
The Curmudgeon also expressed his belief that in many cases elected officials, especially those who have held elected office for a long time, come to think that the rules that apply to regular people don’t apply to them. As an example he pointed to Hillary Clinton and the business about her emails, noting that what she did probably wasn’t illegal but was certainly wrong and she knew that and that both she and her husband, the ex-president, have a troubling history of activities that suggest that they do not believe that the rules that apply to the little people apply to them.
Just a week later Bill Clinton and then Hillary Clinton reinforced this belief.
Last Saturday Hillary Clinton spent three-and-a-half hours at FBI headquarters answering questions about the email business: what she did, why she did, and why she felt her actions were within the bounds of the law and State Department policy. It seems unlikely that Mrs. Clinton will be charged with a crime, but that doesn’t mean, as The Curmudgeon has suggested in this space, that what she did wasn’t wrong.
And that business about doing things that you know aren’t illegal but are just plain wrong? Let’s look at the latest Clinton shenanigans, starting with a Philadelphia Inquirer article reporting that
Clinton sat down with the FBI just days after her husband, former President Bill Clinton, walked across a hot airport tarmac in Phoenix for an impromptu meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Lynch’s husband. The couple had just landed.
Lynch, of course, is going to make the final decision on whether to prosecute Hillary Clinton. Even though Lynch had already publicly stated that she was going to do whatever the FBI recommended, Bill Clinton’s direct contact with her in this situation, while not even remotely flirting with illegality, was just plain wrong – dumb, inappropriate, sleazy, manipulative, and any of a number of other adjectives you might prefer.
Lynch knew it, too, as the Inquirer reported:
The nation’s top law enforcement official later expressed regret that she had met with the former president, whose plane was about to depart Phoenix, even though she said it was social in nature and they did not discuss the email review.
Oh, and one more bit of information, as if this wasn’t already disgusting enough.
Bill Clinton nominated Lynch as Attorney General for the Eastern District of New York in 1999.
But what was Lynch to do? Refuse to open the door? Shoo the former president away? She couldn’t, of course, but she knew it was wrong.
And so did Bill Clinton. Not illegal but just plain wrong.
And it gets worse: last night, as The Curmudgeon was getting ready to post this piece for viewing today, he was checking one last fact he wasn’t sure about and ran across a New York Times article that reports that “Democrats close to Mrs. Clinton” report that Mrs. Clinton is considering retaining Loretta Lynch as attorney general if Mrs. Clinton is elected president.
It’s the New York Times, so you can be pretty confident this isn’t a fabrication (The Curmudgeon rejected even mentioning this latest development because he didn’t like the first source he encountered that reported this possibility). You also can be pretty sure that the Times didn’t stumble upon this, that the story was given to it by close associates of Hillary Clinton – the very same day Mrs. Clinton was interviewed by the FBI.
But no pressure on Loretta Lynch, right? First Bill Clinton comes knocking on her door on an airport tarmac because he just happened to be in the neighborhood and now Hillary Clinton finds a way to suggest that she would consider keeping Ms. Lynch as attorney general.
And now Ms. Lynch needs to decide whether to prosecute or not prosecute?
Couldn’t you just vomit?
Is it humanly possible for the Clintons to be more ethically challenged?
In most situations you don’t need to be a lawyer to know the difference between legal and illegal and in most situations people know perfectly well the difference between right and wrong. It seems, though, as if a lot of people who’ve held elected office for a long time no longer think the rules and norms of conduct apply to them, no longer feel bound by what we all generally know to be right and wrong.
Now-former congressman Chaka Fattah felt that way and in the not-too-distant future he’s going to be fitted for an orange jump suit. That’s not going to happen to the Clintons, but they’re two such officials who no longer think the rules that apply to the rest of us apply to them as well. When we know such people are on our election ballot, we really need to stop and consider whether we want them, and their flawed judgment, in leadership positions. In this particular case Hillary Clinton is very lucky: her opponent for the presidency is so thoroughly repugnant, so horribly defective, that she is still clearly the preferable of the two candidates – the lesser, it is sadly but increasingly becoming clear, of two evils.