Hillary Clinton has disqualified herself from the presidency.
No matter what your tribal politics may be, after FBI Director James Comey’s withering testimony before Congress on Thursday over her email scandal, there really is no way around it, is there?
She disqualified herself by her own hand.
Mrs. Clinton, former secretary of state, has already proved she can’t be trusted with national secrets. She put those secrets at risk by using a private email server kept in her basement, against security protocol.
That server was likely hacked by foreign intelligence. She failed, miserably, in protecting the secrets of her nation.
So for all this she should be rewarded and promoted and handed the near absolute power of an imperial presidency?
And, she lied to the American people. That much is clear. She lied about what she did and how and why. There are tapes of it floating all about on the internet, lies to reporters, lies in those rare public appearances where she actually takes questions.
Comey also confirmed that she allowed her lawyers — who didn’t have security clearance — to view and assess her vast store of incriminating emails.
Clinton did all this not in the national interest, but in the Hillary interest.
It was all done to keep her presidential candidacy viable. History will tell our children what we already know, that it was always all about Hillary.
And so, it follows, logically, that Mrs. Clinton cannot be president.
The Republicans didn’t do this to her. The mad barbarian Donald Trump, ranting and shouting and mugging like some vulgar late-night TV pitchman, didn’t do it. Thoughtful Democrats who put their country above their ambitions didn’t do it.
Years from now, she may wander the corridors of whatever palace she finds herself in, wringing her hands and muttering nonsense, her hair disheveled in the night, and it won’t change things.
She’s disqualified herself. If she continues to campaign, she may win the election, but she’ll only have power to leverage support, and that isn’t good.
The worst thing in all of this is that any defense of her actions only reinforces a dangerous belief that keeps growing in America, that there are two standards of justice:
One for the citizen suckers like us. And another for the lords and the elites, like the Clintons.
That is extremely risky, especially now, with the country in a volatile, anti-establishment mood, after years in which a sizable portion of the electorate has remained unemployed or underemployed, and marginalized and ridiculed by the servants of the ruling elites.
A nation that values a commonly held belief in the obligations of leadership couldn’t ever elect someone like this. Advocating for someone like this would be seen as shameful.
Only a corrupt nation could do so, a nation that values a Chicago-style political payoff more than it values a belief that leaders should be held to ethical standards.
Once a nation acknowledges publicly that it is corrupt (as in national elections), that its people care only for what they can put in their pocket or stuff into their mouths, something terrible can happen.
There is a weakening. A listlessness, a nihilism, where personal appetites and longings for celebrity outweigh what was once understood as common virtue. And what comes next, inevitably, is a fall, and the frightened citizens rally around a strong and brutal personality who offers them muscular leadership. And what they once had is gone.
If you read histories about great empires and how they lost their way — slowly, inexorably, the illness growing along the dull spine of what they once had been — then you already know what happens.
And if you don’t read history, it really doesn’t matter. Just watch some more TV or tweet something, have a drink and enjoy yourselves.
I’m certain that many will clench their fists and denounce me as a Clinton-Hater. But hate by definition is irrational, and so I reject the hater diagnosis.
Instead, I’m probably something of a Clinton-Loather. Hate is about the loss of control, like the barking of a dog or someone who shrieks into the wind or at a crowd. Loathing takes time and consideration. And I’ve had years of watching the Clintons lie and dissemble and tell partial truths and get away with it, and take advantage of the principles of honorable men such as James Comey.
Whether you’re a Clinton loather or hater or some simple Clinton meat puppet or Clinton lover and Hillaryista, consider:
If Mrs. Clinton were a junior foreign service officer, or a young special agent of the FBI, she’d have been fired. She’d have immediately lost any security clearance she had. She’d have been prohibited from ever securing government employment again.
Yet after failing miserably to keep our secrets, some want her elected president, where the protection of secrets is vital.
How can she possibly lead when those under her command know what she did?
If Hillary Clinton were anyone but a candidate for president, she would have been drummed out of government service for her reckless and unethical behavior. You don’t promote such people. You send them away.
You don’t elect them president.
John Kass is a columnist for The Chicago Tribune.
Source: The Chicago Tribune