Thursday, July 07, 2016

Defending The Indefensible: The Connecticut Seven And Hillary Clinton

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post is not among the ardent defenders of prospective Democratic Party Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The good news, Mr. Cillizza writes in “The Fix,” is that Mrs. Clinton will not be wearing an orange jumpsuit anytime soon: “The FBI has recommended that no charges be brought following its investigation of the former Secretary of State's private email server.”

“Here’s the bad news,” Mr. Cillizza added, “Just about everything else. It’s hard to read Comey’s statement as anything other than a wholesale rebuke of the story Clinton and her campaign team have been telling ever since the existence of her private email server came to light in spring 2015. She did send and receive classified emails. The setup did leave her — and the classified information on the server — subject to a possible foreign hack. She and her team did delete emails as personal that contained professional information.”

In their own attempt to defend the indefensible, the six members of Connecticut’s all Democratic U.S. Congressional Delegation are not overly concerned with Mr. Cillizza’s “everything else.”

The nation’s lawyers have now sunk their teeth into Mr. Comey’s decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for criminal activity. Some say Mr. Comey’s decision was rooted in “intent’ when, in fact, the relevant statute does not require both “intent” and “gross negligence” for prosecution.  The statute presents an either-or proposition; offenders may be prosecuted for either one or the other. And “either or,” as students of Soren Kierkegaard know, is not “both and.”

Author and conservative commentator on Fox News Charles Krauthammer presents the most illuminating hypothetical question:  Supposing “intent” was necessary for prosecution – it isn’t -- the question arises: intent to do what? Did Mrs. Clinton intend to set up an illegal server, thus by-passing security protocols that otherwise would have applied, in Mr. Comey’s formulation, to the 110 emails he found “were classified at the time they were sent?” The truthful answer is – Yes, she did. Democrats this election season are going to have a problem with common sense, obvious truths.

Difficulties have surfaced already. Six of the seven members of Connecticut’s all-Democratic U.S. Congressional Delegation are up for re-election this coming November, Chis Murphy, the filibusterer, being the lone exception. Mr. Murphy recently told CNN that Donald Trump, not Mrs. Clinton, should be denied access to classified information.  Mr. Murphy does not fear that Mrs. Clinton will in the future expose top secret information to the world’s prying eyes, but he fears Mr. Trump might blurt out the nation’s secrets in one of his free ranging media opportunities.

"I've frankly raised questions,” Mr. Murphy told Wolf Blitzer of CNN , “as to whether he can hold onto this classified information or whether he's going to stand up in front of one of these rallies and blurt out something that could put this country at risk."

Such as who, one wonders? It is difficult not to admire Mr. Murphy’s chutzpa. Not having read Comey’s report or newspaper reaction to his disclosures, Mr. Murphy feels the Comey report “absolves Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing,” according to a Hartford Courant posting.

On the day following Mr. Comey’s decision, the Associated Press (AP) news service, hardly a fire-breathing conservative or Trumpian operation, ran a Hillary Clinton “Fact Check” under the title: “AP FACT CHECK: Clinton email claims collapse under FBI probe,” to alert wide-eyed reporters that there were several discrepancies between Mrs. Clinton’s assertions and Mr. Comey’s rather more truthful recitation of the facts of the case.

The AP listed only a half dozen of Mrs. Clinton’s often repeated misleading statements. Had she “intended” to mislead the gullible media on so many occasions, journalists from sea to shining sea in the United States would be clamoring for a media lynching of the kind that greeted “Tricky Dick” Nixon at the end of his presidency. But, of course, Mrs. Clinton’s intentions are for some unknown reason generally wrapped in ambiguity, and she has many times told stretchers in public while the media averted its attention, not to mention its brains.

As Attorney General in Connecticut for more than two decades, Dick Blumenthal spent a good part of his time either suing or threatening to sue various private businesses, a populist tic that has followed him into the US Senate, where he now presides over a clique of Congressmen who hope to enhance the possibility of their re-election to office by concentrating on soft and populist consumer protection issues.

Mr. Blumenthal and the Clintons were Yalies together during the silly seventies, and their friendship is personal and warm. If she were a business in Connecticut during any year of Mr. Blumenthal’s two decades as Attorney General, Mrs. Clinton would have been run out of town by Mr. Blumenthal on a rail – after he had thrown several pails of pitch on her in one or more of his memorable media releases. If she were a Republican, both Mr. Murphy and Mr. Blumenthal would now be baying at her from the rooftops.

Fortunately for both Connecticut U.S. Senators and Mrs. Clinton, the likely Democratic Presidential nominee, Connecticut is a deep blue state in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by a ratio of two to one and, despite Mrs. Clinton’s many lies,  the state’s left of center media remains incurious yellow. Neither Mr. Blumenthal nor Mr. Murphy need die to go to Heaven, so long as they, unlike many of their constituents who have fled Connecticut for greener pastures elsewhere, remain in Connecticut, untroubled lords of all they survey.

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