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Monday, October 31, 2016

Watergate? That Was Junior Varsity



The current situation for the United States is dire. Anyone who cares about America’s future must be alarmed. Surely those who wish the US well cannot now support Hillary Clinton, given what we now know. Were she to be elected, still the most likely outcome, the Congress would need almost immediately to move to impeach her, throwing the nation into the kind of constitutional crisis it faced over Watergate. Even worse if they did not impeach and convict her. Even if they did, by voting for her immediately in the face of such corruption, the general population would be announcing to each other that they do not care. As Confucius properly pointed out, if the top of a nation is visibly corrupt, the rest of the nation will quickly and inevitably follow suit. People will decide only suckers follow laws or work for the common good.

This is a fast and bumpy ride to Third World conditions.

Trump would be scary, but not that scary. We are protected from the worst by the fact that he has no personal following in the political elite. He is not part of any existing Washington cartel. The press is not covering up for him—just the reverse. The professional class, including the bureaucrats, are against him. Even a Republican congress is going to include many enemies.

At worst therefore, and even if he were as personally corrupt as Clinton—which he does not seem to be—the greatest danger would simply be that he was ineffectual. Fears of a Trump dictatorship are not credible—even if it were his desire.

Here is what I think is going on with the converging Clinton scandals.

Perhaps the fundamental question is, why did Clinton do her business as Secretary of State on a private server? There is no chance she was stupid enough, and everybody around her was stupid enough, to do it innocently, or not to see the blatant security risk and risk of scandal. She must have had a reason so pressing that the risk was worthwhile.

In other words, she must have been intending, from the start, misbehaviour so serious that such a terrible risk was, to her, worth it. And worth the further risk of stonewalling once the private server was discovered, and the further risk of destroying evidence under subpoena.

So it goes without saying that the truth must be a real bombshell.

We have already had ample evidence, from the Podesta emails, of what that might be: the selling of influence. Bribery, graft. That is bad enough. But as Secretary of State, she was selling influence not over pavement contracts, but over foreign affairs. This is, in other words, treason.

What might the yet-unseen worst be? Voluntarily sharing information with folks like Putin or Iran, in return for money?

After all, American foreign policy since Obama, and Clinton, took office could not have gone much worse, in terms of American interests. Putin and Iran have somehow been ridiculously successful, despite playing weak hands amid the collapse in oil prices. Not to mention China’s successful move into the South China Sea, and the Philippines switching sides in that dispute. It is hard to believe someone wasn’t screwing things up deliberately.

Of course, Putin is backing Trump, isn’t he? After all, we have Hillary Clinton’s and Harry Reid’s word on it. Why would he back Trump if he owns Clinton?

I assume Clinton and Reid are simply lying. That, after all, is their track record. Putin is not behind the Wikileaks dumps. That is the obvious misdirection to use, if Hillary is his real puppet. And how can she not be, if she did not care about the obvious risk of exposing her own diplomatic correspondence to Russian hacks? The real culprit in the Podesta-Wikileaks email leaks might as easily be an individual or a non-state group. How hard is it for anyone without state financial backing to hack into an email account protected by the password “p@ssw0rd”?

As to the discovery of a reportedly huge cache of relevant emails on the Huma Abedin—Anthony Weiner laptop: if someone is involved with people of very dubious ethics, like the Clintons clearly are, she would, if she were smart, want to keep a cache of evidence of their worst wrongdoing, for use whenever necessary to protect her own position. This would be doubly true for her husband, conscious of his own wrongdoing and so vulnerability. Surely she was cunning anough to keep copies of anything incriminating on her own laptop away from the office. By any other logic, having sensitive documents kept at home on a laptop shared with her husband would be terribly reckless. And we know she did this.

This would also explain why Jim Comey, until now leaning over backwards to protect Clinton, has announced the reopened investigation days before the election. Not something he would likely have done if he did not feel forced to do it; whatever the danger he faced by not going public now was greater than the danger of completely alienating Hillary Clinton just before she was likely to become president, and his boss, and able to fire him.

This no doubt was what kept him from convening a grand jury in July. If Clinton won, his job was toast. A fair assessment, it seems, based on the ferocity of the attack against him by Clinton and other leading Democrat spokesmen now. If Clinton now becomes president, she would indeed have to fire him, or declare herself a liar.

This almost has to mean, given his previous actions, that Comey believes he faces a greater risk of losing his job if he cooperated in the coverup. Either he believes that whatever he has found out would ensure that she loses the election, or it would so incriminate her that she would lack the political capital to fire him. That surely suggests something impeachable.


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