I got a call yesterday afternoon from a friend asking me if I'd seen the news about the Inspector General's independent report on Hillary Clinton. I hadn't, I'd been busy with other things here, but did see a headline about how it seemed the report was very critical of her actions. "Just read the stories," he said, outraged. "It's huge." And it presents real problems, he said.
I should note that he hates Hillary Clinton. To be clear, he's not a Republican and is aghast at Donald Trump. He calls himself a Libertarian, though more often than not votes Democratic. But this year I expect he'll vote for Gary Johnson. But to be fair, he's always liked Gary Johnson, so it doesn't have everything to do with what he thinks of Clinton and Trump. But he does hate Ms. Clinton.
(To be fair, he's said that if he lived in a state where there was a chance that Donald Trump could win, unlike California, he'd vote for Hillary Clinton. But since he's certain she'll win the state, his feels comfortable voting for his favorite Mr. Johnson.)
I did finally check the story. And it wasn't good. It also wasn't a Major Story. And it too wasn't what he said. It basically said what we largely knew, though was more pointed. But it also criticized other Secretaries of State, most notably Colin Powell very harshly. And what it didn't say was something equally important -- it didn't say that she had broken any laws or even had any breaches of security. It said that she broke some rules. Rules of an incredibly antiquated system that, among other things,requires printing out every email sent and received, and putting them in boxes, unfiled. (Ms. Clinton turned in 55,000 emails. Colin Powell has turned in none. Nor he he keep them.) But antiquated or not, rules are rules, and Hillary Clinton broke some
That's not good. But I don't find it remotely as horrific as my friend suggested. I think politicians push the boundaries all the time, and end up breaking rules. FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court. It was a bad thing to do, and he's been criticized for it heavily -- at the time and through history. It doesn't impact the view that FDR is one of America's great presidents.
And it's breaking some department rules. Not breaking laws or making a criminal act or causing a breach of security.
I don't say any of this to let Hillary Clinton off the hook. I don't like a lot of things about her positions, and think she's often her often worst enemy. And what she did with her mail server was wrong and stupid. But there's a great deal I do like about her.
Much more to the point is what I'd have said to my friend if I was interested in getting into a discussion with him about this and had read the news stories yet. It's this --
One of two people will be elected President of the United States. One of them is not Gary Johnson, who will get zero electoral votes. It will be either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Hilary Clinton has a lot of issues about her I don't care for her. But much of her "reputation" is based on 20 years of the Republican Party slamming her with irrational hatred in every way possible -- and coming up with nothing. If St. Francis of Assisi was attacked and pounded with such unrelenting vitriol for two decades, even he would likely be reviled. But even far more to the point, she is a bright, experienced, very qualified candidate who also had many positions I do like and could be a president. Donald Trump is an empty carnival barker who has zero experience about pretty much anything and everything the president does, and is a misogynist, bully, egomaniac with racism running through him, pandering to the least-common denominator and worst in people, and has nothing in him that says he could be a president. So, if one wants to vote for Gary Johnson and help get Donald Trump elected, or vote for Donald Trump directly, that's a person's choice. But make no mistake: whatever one thinks of Hillary Clinton, the alternative is only Donald Trump. But vote how you're going to vote, and don't yammer at me for the next six months about Hilary Clinton and Gary Johnson. Because the choice is that either Hillary Clinton will be president -- or Donald Trump will become leader of the free world and Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces...
And to me, Donald Trump as president isn't an option. And transcends ghastly, horrific, mind-numbing joke.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor