Clinton Email Scandal and Trump’s Suitability for the Presidency

Donald Trump would be a horrible president. That doesn't justify Hillary Clinton's bad acts.

trump-clinton-angry

In my previous post, I contrasted Colin Powell’s use of private email as Secretary of State with Hillary Clinton‘s.  Here, I want to address an argument that I’ve heard far less frequently but that’s ultimately more important.  Bestselling author and frequent OTB commenter Michael Reynolds:

The interesting thing about running in a post-reality world against a pathological liar is that all accusations acquire equal weight – or lack thereof. So email is no different than Hillary’s well-known lesbianism, murder, and I assume Brady ball-deflating etc…

If you can just make stuff up – Ted Cruz’s father killing JFK, say – then how much weight does the boring email thing really carry?

This story is mostly of use to spineless Republicans looking for any rationalization to explain away their despicable embrace of a racist, misogynist buffoon. I’m sure a handful of Republicans – who were already going to grovel in the end – will latch onto it. But beyond that? Maybe, but I doubt it.

I’ve denounced Trump multiple times since he announced his candidacy and have all but ruled out voting for him. He is indeed despicable and misogynistic. Whether he’s truly a racist, he’s certainly gone out of his way to appeal to racists. While he’s no doubt reasonably bright and has had notable successes in multiple ventures (along with some epic failures) he has indeed campaigned as a buffoon.

Were Joe Biden, John Kerry, or any number of other serious Democrats the presumptive nominee of the party, I would have already endorsed them.  I would probably vote for Bernie Sanders, with whom I disagree far more on public policy issues than I do with Clinton and whom I find to be something of a kook, over Trump. But the email scandal exemplifies why I simply can’t bring myself to support Clinton. While she’s decent and serious in many ways that Trump isn’t, she’s nonetheless also a very bad character.

I firmly believe either a President Donald Trump or a President Hillary Clinton would be bad for the country.  Neither of them have the character and temperament I want in that office. Because of his erratic nature and demonstrated unwillingness to moderate his speech or listen to experts, he’s likely more dangerous than she is.  But Trump’s being worse doesn’t erase her sins or make them irrelevant.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Presidency, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    “E Gazi!” is low energy to me..

  2. edmondo says:

    I firmly believe either a President Donald Trump or a President Hillary Clinton would be bad for the country.

    Bingo! We have a winner.

  3. An Interested Party says:

    While she’s decent and serious in many ways that Trump isn’t, she’s nonetheless also a very bad character.

    Would you have felt the same way without this email kerfuffle? I suppose many people can vote for neither candidate to salve their consciences, but one of these two will be our next president…which one would you prefer…

  4. Gustopher says:

    Do we know if Biden, John Kerry or any number of serious Democrats preserved their official email properly, and kept official email out of their personal accounts? We know, for example, that Jeb Bush did similar things, and you wouldn’t find it disqualifying for him:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-governor-jeb-bush-used-e-mail-to-discuss-security-troop-movements/2015/03/14/0d7fae16-ca49-11e4-b2a1-bed1aaea2816_story.html

    Maybe you just have an irrational hatred for Clinton.

  5. HarvardLaw92 says:

    One of them is going to be president whether you vote or not, so your choices are sit out the game in an essentially meaningless protest and accept the outcome without complaining about it – or – suck it up, realize that one is indeed worse than the other and accept that purity is a notion that lives in literary characters, not people.

  6. An Interested Party says:

    A perfect summary…

    Concerns about Donald Trump rarely if ever descend to the level of digging around in hopes of discovering patterns of “reckless” behavior or “willful disregard for the rules.” That’s because he’s reckless every day, and willfully disregards not only “the rules” but most other previously established standards of civility, honesty, and accountability. Yes, voters don’t entirely trust Clinton. But a bigger concern ought to be that Trump fans credit him for “telling it like it is” when the man is constantly repeating malicious gossip, lunatic conspiracy theories, ancient pseudo-scandals, and blatant falsehoods.

    Yet we are drifting into a general election where important media sources seem to have decided that Clinton violating State Department email protocols and Trump openly threatening press freedoms, proudly championing war crimes, and cheerfully channeling misogyny and ethnic and racial grievances are of about the same order of magnitude. And that’s not to mention the vast differences between the two candidates on all those public-policy issues that Amy Chozick thinks voters have subordinated to questions of “trust.”

    This is the kind of environment in which it becomes easy for a candidate like Trump to achieve “normalization” even as he continues to do and say abnormal things — you know, like attacking elected officials of his own party even as he is allegedly trying to “unify” it — with every other breath.

  7. wr says:

    I keep hearing about what an icky person Hillary is, but not one of those complaining about her has ever suggested what might be bad about her presidency.

    I know why Trump would be dangerous as a president — he’s got no knowledge, absolute faith in his own brilliance, especially on subjects he knows nothing about., an insanely thin skin combined with a huge ego that sees him lashing out at anyone who doesn’t kiss his ring and sucking up to anyone who does, a desire to be “unpredictable,” and a stated denial of global warming as a problem.

    Hillary kept her emails secret. How does this translate to her being a bad president?

  8. SenyorDave says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_White_House_e-mail_controversy

    This was just another day at the office for the GWB administration, millions of e-mails “lost”. I guess it shows how effective the GOP is at pushing narratives. For good measure, how about a little review of how squeaky clean the Reagan administration was:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan_administration_scandals

    I actually was shocked how bad this was, I only remembered the Iran-Contra and HUD scandals. If Obama were Reagan, there would have been a 100% chance that he would have been impeached (and deservedly so in this case).

  9. michael reynolds says:

    In the end, barring divine intervention (and I’m prepared to believe in any God that’d give us someone better) it comes down to two people: Clinton and Trump.

    1) There is now untreatable bacteria loose in the US. Let’s say it spreads. Your choice of POTUS to deal with it:

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    2) North Korea fires a test nuke through Japanese air space. Your choices:

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    3) ISIS or AQ attack the power grid, knocking out power to 30% of the country..

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    4) Turkey’s Erdogan launches sustained cross-border attacks against our Kurdish allies.

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    5) A G7 summit with Britain on the verge of a Brexit vote, Italy in economic collapse, and Golden Dawn slated to win a majority in Greece.

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    6) Oklahoma begins arresting abortion doctors, defying the SCOTUS.

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    7) China says it will fire on the next US ship within range of its new islands.

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    8) St. Louis erupts in rioting after a police shooting, rioting spreads to other cities.

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    9) A major figure in Putin’s government wishes to defect to the US.

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    10) We have eyes on al-Baghdadi, but he’s at a crowded mosque for Friday services.

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    I believe this will be my 12th presidential vote. Exactly twice I’ve been able to vote for someone I actually liked: 2008 and 2012. Sadly, they never do quite let us choose between Saint #1 and Saint #2. The vote always comes down to a simple question: who will do the least damage in a crisis?

    You know about the football, James, the one that can launch 20,000 Hiroshimas in 30 minutes. Which of these two people, and only these two people, should be the one within reach of that briefcase:

    a) Hillary Clinton
    b) Donald Trump

    Not about your feelings toward either of these people, it’s about that. Who do you trust to hold that power for four years?

    You know the answer, I know the answer, every sane person in this country knows the answer.

  10. stonetools says:

    While she’s decent and serious in many ways that Trump isn’t, she’s nonetheless also a very bad character.

    Er, what does this mean, exactly? Does this mean Hillary eats kittens for breakfast or kicks crippled children in the street?
    More seriously, does Hillary advocate for torture as an acceptable means of interrogation? Because Bush and Cheney did , and I believe you supported them in 2004.
    Hillary advocates for things like universal pre-K, strengthening the ACA, strong regulation of Wall Street, and paid family leave. Every Republican opposes these things, including “moderate” Republicans like Paul Ryan. These things would help millions of people. Are supporting these policies the indicia of a “bad character?
    OK, I understand that being of a “very bad character” has something to do “trustworthiness”. Why is Hillary considered untrustworthy? Well, maybe 25 years of ceaseless right wing scandal-mongering has something to do with that? Just sayin’.

  11. al-Alameda says:

    @michael reynolds:
    I answered “a. Hillary Clinton” on each of those.

    I would have added
    “Who do you want to be making nominations to the Supreme Court?
    (Do you prefer a “Clarence Thomas” or “Elena Kagan” type of justice on the Court?”

    @James:

    The “email scandal” is evidently, a scandal concerning Hillary only, and not for those (Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell) who used private email wile posted at State also. Yes, I know, Rice and Powell are not running for president, etc, but does anyone believe that this is not a completely partisan investigation designed to take Hillary down? This “scandal” does keep base Republicans angry and motivated, not that those people need more raw meat.

    Trump says that he’ll start behaving more ‘presidentially’ soon, but really, nothing Trump has said in the past few months leads me to believe that he is a serious person. He’s Nixon-like in that he’s saying whatever it takes to get the nomination, and ultimately get elected. He differs from Nixon in that he sees the world as a theme park cartoon where he can sell the Trump brand. Nixon for all his character flaws was definitely a very serious person

    Hillary is far from perfect, she’s a lousy campaigner, but she’s tough – she’s had to be because she’s been the subject of multiple sham partisan investigations for nearly 25 years. She’s smart and she’s a serious person.

    We’re about to find out if Democrats are motivated enough to deny Trump the presidency, and in so doing deny Republicans complete control of the federal government, and deny Republicans a chance to lock in a conservative Supreme Court for another generation. The stakes are high (they always are).

  12. Mikey says:

    @stonetools:

    More seriously, does Hillary advocate for torture as an acceptable means of interrogation? Because Bush and Cheney did , and I believe you supported them in 2004.

    Lest you be accused of bringing up an irrelevancy, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has also advocated for torture, and additionally for the illegal killing of the family members of suspected terrorists.

  13. KM says:

    While she’s decent and serious in many ways that Trump isn’t, she’s nonetheless also a very bad character.

    In my entire working career, I have only had 2 direct supervisors I thought were decent people, absolutely none in upper/middle management and 1 in the C-suite. I have had several so bad there were parties and sanctioned drinking at work when they left / were fired. It is neither expected nor necessary to like the Boss; it’s not even the norm. While the President is theoretically the servant of the People, they are most definitely the Boss in a lot of meaningful ways.

    I expect competency, intelligence, reasonable history with success and the ability to not destroy everything they touch. I want someone to leave the country the way they found when done if they can’t make it better. For all other failings, I’m using to disliking and talking smack about supervisors behind their back. Why would this be any different?

  14. Pch101 says:

    But the email scandal exemplifies why I simply can’t bring myself to support Clinton.

    I would think that you would have devoted at least a sentence or two to explaining the supposed linkage between the email story and your sentiments.

    I can’t claim to know everything about your positions, but I have yet to see you articulate a cogent explanation for exactly why Clinton is allegedly so lacking in character. You seem to take this alleged deficiency as a given that requires no justification. As far as logical fallacies go, this is an example of “begging the question” — you argue as if the supposition that has to be proven is self-evident and requires no proof even though the veracity of your argument hinges on proving this point that you haven’t proven.

  15. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Not about your feelings toward either of these people, it’s about that. Who do you trust to hold that power for four years?

    You know the answer, I know the answer, every sane person in this country knows the answer.

    I don’t trust either of them, albeit for different reasons. Hillary is ultimately the lesser of evils here. But the fact that Trump might be more awful doesn’t make Hillary not awful.

    We’re still at the stage of the process where Democratic voters could rally to Bernie Sanders. Or where Democratic delegates could decide to nominate a dark horse candidate out of fear that Hillary is simply too tainted. It’s probably not going to happen at this late juncture but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

    If it’s Trump vs. Clinton, I’ll explore the alternatives. If Virginia is in play and and the outcome nationally in doubt, I’ll likely hold my nose and vote for the lesser of evils. Otherwise, I’ll likely make a protest vote, as I did when I voted Kasich in the Republican primary.

  16. John D'Geek says:

    @al-Alameda: If either of those were guilty of sending highly-classified information “in the clear”, then yes — they’d have to be punished too.

    I’m not all that worried about SBU (Sensitive, But Unclassified) — I just assume that’ll be read “no matter what” anyway. Diplomatically sensitive information and classified information … that’s a different story.

    It’s also the thing that both sides, with very few exceptions, seem to be completely ignoring.

  17. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’ll likely make a protest vote, as I did when I voted Kasich in the Republican primary.

    Your Kasich was a protest vote?
    I voted for Kasich because I felt he was the best candidate in the field.

  18. barbintheboonies says:

    I feel the American public is just so fed up with all the crap the ball babies pulled throughout this administration. The back and forth mud slinging and holding the country back with their childish ways. Who won Not Us. Now the American people are throwing their childish temper tantrum on them. They want Trump because they want it all to crumble, so it can be brought back to the people.

  19. SenyorDave says:

    In comparing Trump vs. Clinton, I realized that I cannot think of a single positive thing to say about Trump. Character – I do not personally know anyone whose character is as bad as Trump’s. He lies and cheats seamlessly, his stock and trade is insults and bullying, he’s a serial adulterer, and he never takes responsibility for his actions. Positions – he shows every day that he has no set positions, and is willing to change any and all of his positions if he believes it will benefit himself. Knowledge – he’s a Palin with a higher baseline intelligence and much better education. He shows no willingness to learn anything, and actually says that he knows better than anyone on any subject.
    He’s the worst major ticket candidate for presidency in my lifetime by a long shot. Until the last 10 – 15 years he wouldn’t be acceptable running for senate, but the GOP has normalized candidates that have no business being nominated (Christine O’Donnell, Alan Keyes, Allen West, many of the Tea Party folks).
    Trump is the logical extension of the modern Republican party. Maybe 40 years ago the Democrats were off the rails, but the guy that they nominated who was seen as a joke candidate by many was George McGovern. I would urge people to read his Wikipedia entry; he was a pretty amazing man, war hero, historian, senator, who also turned out to be right about the Vietnam War.

  20. ENdAVESenyorDave says:

    In comparing Trump vs. Clinton, I realized that I cannot think of a single positive thing to say about Trump. Character – I do not personally know anyone whose character is as bad as Trump’s. He lies and cheats seamlessly, his stock and trade is insults and bullying, he’s a serial adulterer, and he never takes responsibility for his actions. Positions – he shows every day that he has no set positions, and is willing to change any and all of his positions if he believes it will benefit himself. Knowledge – he’s a Palin with a higher baseline intelligence and much better education. He shows no willingness to learn anything, and actually says that he knows better than anyone on any subject. Worst of all, he parades his ignorance as if it is a virtue.
    He’s the worst major ticket candidate for presidency in my lifetime by a long shot. Until the last 10 – 15 years he wouldn’t be acceptable running for senate, but the GOP has normalized candidates that have no business being nominated (Christine O’Donnell, Alan Keyes, Allen West, many of the Tea Party folks).
    Trump is the logical extension of the modern Republican party. Maybe 40 years ago the Democrats were off the rails, but the guy that they nominated who was seen as a joke candidate by many was George McGovern. I would urge people to read his Wikipedia entry; he was a pretty amazing man, war hero, historian, senator, who also turned out to be right about the Vietnam War.

  21. DrDaveT says:

    I’ve denounced Trump multiple times since he announced his candidacy and have all but ruled out voting for him.

    “All but”!? James, if there are any conceivable circumstances under which you could vote for Trump, you need to return your degrees and seek professional help. No, really.

    While he’s no doubt reasonably bright

    Evidence?

    …and has had notable successes in multiple ventures

    Um, name two?

    Seriously — you say these things as if they were obvious, but they aren’t. In fact, they probably aren’t even true. Ignore the narratives and look at the facts.

    But the email scandal exemplifies why I simply can’t bring myself to support Clinton. While she’s decent and serious in many ways that Trump isn’t, she’s nonetheless also a very bad character.

    And yet again, you fall back on vague impressions rather than citing anything concrete to base your impressions on.

    Here’s the challenge:

    1. List all of Hillary Clinton’s worst failings as a potential President. (Yes, there are many.)

    2. For each item on that list, score Donald Trump on the same scale.

    3. Now, go back and list Trump’s worst failings.

    I think you’ll find that Hillary is not as bad as Trump even in the areas that are her worst features, and that Trump’s worst features are at an entirely different order of magnitude. “They’re both icky” grossly mischaracterizes the choice America will be facing.

    At which point…

  22. Joe says:

    @Gustopher:

    Do we know if Biden, John Kerry or any number of serious Democrats preserved their official email properly, and kept official email out of their personal accounts? We know, for example, that Jeb Bush did similar things, and you wouldn’t find it disqualifying for him:

    The biggest difference with Hillary as a candidate is that she has been vetted (substitute hounded if you like) for 25 years by submitting herself by reason of her ambitions to vast media exposure (substitute right-wing conspiracy if you like). For people who don’t like her there’s a mountain of information. (Bernie, not so much.) The people who don’t like her have been talking non-stop for 25 years about why they don’t and their positions have made the trust issue about her normative. I really doubt you could know that much about any person who has managed huge organizations and made sweeping policy choices over the course of 25 years and not find a lot to dislike or cast aspersions on.

    By comparison, the media barely needs to scratch the surface of Trump to find the sort of information that confirms the darkest fears of many and yet so many don’t care. Any attempt to look at the last 25 years of his life in detail is quickly rebuffed by Trump and seen as evidence of media bias by his fans.

    Hillary is simply judged in an entirely different way than anyone else, most of all than Trump. I agree with the criticism that someone of James’ sophistication can’t just say I don’t trust her and not examine the political/cultural basis for that statement.

  23. James Joyner says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Your Kasich was a protest vote?
    I voted for Kasich because I felt he was the best candidate in the field.

    As did I. It was a “protest vote” in the sense that Kasich had zero chance of winning in Virginia and my alternative was a strategic vote for Rubio.

  24. barbintheboonies says:

    I am a Democrat but I am fed up I want Trump because I want to see the Republicans see what they created. All the right wing media and radio has brought the devil out in the open We were a nation united with a few problems Now we are a nation divided with many problems.

  25. MarkedMan says:

    James, I’ve got to call bullsh*t here. You’ve been bringing up this email thing for months as somehow the worst possible thing in the world. But you continue to totally gloss over the fact that the Bush administration did far worse with respect to emails, Jeb Bush, who you initially supported, actually violated Florida law (not just adminstrative rules) over his emails, and Colin Powell and Condaleeza Rice, while not using their own server certainly used their own email addresses. None of these turned over any emails until they were asked. And none of them were asked until Hillary’s oh-so-terrible breach came up. And from the sound of it, a close examination of all government accounts whether State Department, Military or anything else shows that, yes, people are sending emails from their phones, from their home computers, from their personal notebooks while at a coffee shop. This rule seems to be in the “They are breaking the law by driving 5 miles over the speed limit” category rather than the “They are endangering national security”.

    Are you really basing the “but that is nothing compared to what Hillary did” hand waving entirely on the fact that she set up her own server rather than use a gmail account? Because, at least to me, that seems to be better than using gmail or yahoo. (Or, given Hillary’s computer literacy, Hotmail.)

  26. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @edmondo: Alas, “none of the above” is not a choice on the ballots in my state. What’s your Plan B?

    @ Dr. Joyner: While I agree with your point in principle, the reality belies the assertion as a moot point. Ya gotta pick one or stay home. (Note: voting 3rd party is staying home.)

  27. Moosebreath says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    “I want Trump because I want to see the Republicans see what they created.”

    Sorry, but that’s too dangerous a game to play. The damage caused by a horrible president, even if he only serves one term, could take decades to undo, if at all.

  28. CB says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Yeah but after the obvious catastrophe of the Trump administration, the nation will recognize its mistakes and correct itself, ushering in a new Golden Era of progressivism.

    Just like 2004.

  29. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I am a Democrat but I am fed up I want Trump because I want to see the Republicans see what they created.

    Given a choice between remodeling the bathroom, you’d prefer to burn down the house…..just to teach the neighbors. Amazing logic, just what Trump is counting on.

  30. steve s says:

    But the email scandal exemplifies why I simply can’t bring myself to support Clinton. While she’s decent and serious in many ways that Trump isn’t, she’s nonetheless also a very bad character.

    You’re an idiot.

  31. wr says:

    @barbintheboonies: “They want Trump because they want it all to crumble, so it can be brought back to the people.”

    Because whenever an authoritarian takes over and wipes out civil rule, power always reverts to the people…

  32. michael reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:

    James, you cannot as a former military officer, as an academic, as a father of two daughters, answer b) Trump, to any of the 11 questions I posed above.

    If you’re trying to talk yourself into rejoining the GOP herd, don’t expect anyone here to buy your rationale.

  33. al-Alameda says:

    @John D’Geek:

    Diplomatically sensitive information and classified information … that’s a different story.
    It’s also the thing that both sides, with very few exceptions, seem to be completely ignoring.

    (1) Were not many of the documents now referred to as high risk (highly sensitive), further classified up to that level after-the-fact?

    (2) Also, it seems to me that if our security was compromised by Hillary Clinton’s handling of these email we would have heard it by now, by Committee leak or in the Report. We’ve heard nothing of the kind.

  34. Ben Wolf says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Again with the delusion you determine what does and does not have meaning, O Tsar of Judgement.

  35. Ben Wolf says:

    @al-Alameda: Check Newsweek.

  36. DrDaveT says:

    @DrDaveT: Any of you downvoters care to actually take that challenge?

  37. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    No, I just simply stated a fact. One of them will be president, whether you like it or not. I think I’m way past caring what your legions of the disaffected might be offended by. Purity doesn’t exist, so suck it up and deal with reality.

    Or don’t participate, and cede any expectation to complain about the outcome. You don’t get to sit it out, literally or figuratively, and then expect people to listen to your inevitable b*tching about how things aren’t to your liking.

    Elections are decided by those who show up, so show the f’k up – or STFU. Your call

  38. Jenos Idanian says:

    @HarvardLaw92: So, you’re absolutely dismissing the possibility that Hillary won’t be on the ballot come November? She won’t get indicted? She won’t be pressured to step aside “for the good of the party?” She won’t have some kind of health crisis? The Democrats won’t try to pull a Torricelli?

    You’re pretty confident about that…

  39. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I’m 100% certain of it. The odds of her being arrested are zero. Some people who worked for her? Possibly, but there’s zero chance she’s arrested, much less indicted, for anything. She hasn’t violated FRA, and the fantastical allegations of violations of the Espionage Act require the establishment of knowing intent. In other words, even if you did establish, somehow, that classified materials were released, you have to also establish that 1) she knew they were classified and 2) intended for them to be released. Inadvertent doesn’t cut it, so no US Attorney is going to go anywhere near launching that process against the person likely to be their next ultimate boss – not if they like their jobs anyway.

    If you are banking on arrest & indictment, take it from a former AUSA – find another strategy to latch onto.

  40. Jenos Idanian says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You keep waving your oh-so-awesome credentials, but you keep making incredibly stupid errors of logic.

    You assert that Hillary will be on the ballot in November as a 100% certainty. When I challenge that, I am not saying that I am 100% certain that she will NOT be on the ballot, but you argue as if I did. When I point out several scenarios that would remove her from the ballot, I am not asserting that one of them will happen.

    I think the odds of Hillary being on the ballot in November are somewhere between zero and 100. And I think you’re an idiot — not only for saying that it is 100% likely, but for trying to misrepresent my skepticism as an absolute belief that is 180 degrees opposed to yours.

    For the sake of argument, I’ll assume that you’re both a member of Harvard Law’s Class of 1992 AND a former Assistant United States Attorney (which, it occurs to me, would be enough personally identifying information to discover your non-pseudonymous identity, but I am simultaneously too lazy, too disinterested, and not enough of a hypocrite to attempt to do so). To me, that means that one can hold such prestigious credentials AND be a total idiot in certain areas.

  41. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I was responding to a specific question – “will she be indicted?”

    I stand behind the answer to that question. There is zero chance she’ll be indicted.

    As for the rest? The party leadership is actually pretty enthusiastic about her. At this point they hate Sanders with the heat of a nova (even while they’re trying to kiss his ass to capture some of his acolytes). The chance they’ll ask her to step aside so he can be the candidate, which is what would happen may not be zero, but it’s so close to zero that its indistinguishable. For better or worse, she’ll be the candidate in November.

    And I suspect this tantrum you’re throwing is rooted on some level on you having realized that. The personal insults are a waste of your time, as always.

  42. Anjin-san says:

    @ James

    I’m pretty sure OTB has been hacked – again.

  43. Jenos Idanian says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I asked a specific question, then posited a few scenarios under which that question might be resolved, in the form of questions. It would have been nice if you’d indicated that you were only addressing one of those sub-questions, and not the main one.

  44. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Sorry, I figured that the entire post being addressed to a single point would have been a dead giveaway. I guess I will have to be hyperspecific for some kids in the class who need extra help.

  45. Ben Wolf says:

    @HarvardLaw92: And the Determinator hands down another ruling, one stemming from her superpower of faksunlojic which grants unique access to the mystical realm of realworld.

    There’s a diagnosis for people who think their opinions are facts that determine meaning for other people. Can you guess what that is?

  46. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Don’t fret. The crushing realization that your “revolution” isn’t going to happen will pass, and this sour grapes thing you have going on at present will pass with it.

    Not for nothing, but a quick examination just now of the downstairs region verified what I was already pretty sure about – I’m a guy …

  47. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    They won’t. It’s their passive/aggressive way of dealing with things and people they dislike, but can’t refute. You’re probably going to see an unusual quantity of it as Sanders fans vent their anger. It’s a coping mechanism / all that they have left at this point of the game.

    For reasons passing understanding, some people actually think they’re meaningful, one in particular. I ran an experiment the other day just to see if this person would take the bait and upvote his own comments. As expected, he did. It’s sad, really, when you think about it.

  48. Jenos Idanian says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Your honor, I move to strike the witness…

  49. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    You should be moving to that beachfront lot I’m selling outside of Phoenix. It’s a beauty.

  50. Lounsbury says:

    Dear bloody God…

    Because of his erratic nature and demonstrated unwillingness to moderate his speech or listen to experts, he’s likely more dangerous than she is.

    Likely?

    Listen mate, I dislike Hillary. Can understand not wanting to vote for her if one could.

    To have the pretence that she is in any way somehow comparable in risk to Trump is to display a reality in the idea Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

    Really.

  51. Jenos Idanian says:

    @HarvardLaw92: OK, now I get it. You aren’t stupid, you just tried a trick that would work on stupid people, and it was so stupid I didn’t even see it as an attempted trick.

    1) You made an absolute statement.

    2) I challenged your absolute statement, and offered examples of how it might fail.

    3) You focused entirely on one of those examples, to the exclusion of the other examples and the overall point.

    Do such simplistic attempts at goal-shifting ever work?

  52. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Lol, you’re persistent, I’ll give you that. I focused on the part of the question that I cared about. I ignored the rest because, and this is important, I don’t care about it. It’s a straw man you’re dreaming up, evidently because the thought of Clinton as president bothers you. Knock yourself out, but keep this in mind, the goal you’re speaking of is YOURS, not mine. I mostly humor you, but you throwing a tantrum because I’m not interested in playing with you doesn’t interest me.

  53. Dazedandconfused says:

    I don’t like Hillary either. Her policy of installing all but neocons in our FP establishment I don’t agree with at all. She had Mrs. Kagan trying to foment a color revolution in the Ukraine for God knows why. I must hope for two things here. I hope her and her Right To Protect minions have learned a thing or three and been humbled by their failed experiments on the world stage, and I have to hope that Trump “B-Teams” the crazy neocons who will certainly attempt to surround him, which is what Reagan and HW did with theirs. Either way…nobody in this represents my views.

    However, I think you’ve begged the question of motivation on her E-mail policy. Was it to hide stuff? How does mixing one’s personal and business e-mails accomplish that? It doesn’t, it in fact makes it likely one’s personal e-mails will be subject to a partisan subpoena! Occum says it was about convenience. Sloppy and dumb doesn’t qualify as evil. Arrogance is a sin one has to dub Don Trump as less arrogant if this is the deciding principle. Lotsa luck with that.

  54. Jenos Idanian says:

    @HarvardLaw92: One of them will be president, whether you like it or not.

    Your exact words, and you were talking about Hillary and Trump.

    That’s an absolute. You’ve totally backed yourself into a corner there.

    I offered you a chance to walk it back a little, to acknowledge that there were possibilities that might lead to either President Mrs. Clinton or President Trump, and you gave me the back of your hand.

    So be it.

    Had I the time, energy, and more than a bit of interest, I’d research your comments and see if you made any such absolute pronouncements about how Trump would never get the nomination. I don’t right now — I’ve worked 50 hours in 6 days, and got another 3 days before I get a day off — but I reserve the right to do so in the future.

  55. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Yet again, for the learning impaired:

    Clinton will not be arrested. She will not be indicted. The likelihood of the party asking her to step aside is akin to the likelihood that my house will be flattened by a meteor – aka so close to zero that it’s indistinguishable from zero. Libertarians, Greenies and such have no chance in hell at winning the White House.

    You’re busily trolling this desperate fantasy you’ve built up in your head that she goes down in flames before the election, and here in the real world, it’s just not going to happen. The nominees in November will be Clinton and Trump, and one of those two candidates will be the next president. I’ll stand behind that assertion all day long.

    Because it’s accurate.

  56. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Dazedandconfused: However, I think you’ve begged the question of motivation on her E-mail policy. Was it to hide stuff? How does mixing one’s personal and business e-mails accomplish that? It doesn’t, it in fact makes it likely one’s personal e-mails will be subject to a partisan subpoena! Occum says it was about convenience. Sloppy and dumb doesn’t qualify as evil. Arrogance is a sin one has to dub Don Trump as less arrogant if this is the deciding principle. Lotsa luck with that.

    “Sloppy and dumb” don’t fit here. Not only are they very out of character for Hillary, there was too much energy exerted in setting up the server and keeping it secret. Further, Hillary has put forth three explanations that have all been proven lies.

    Let me recap one theory that does meet the known facts far better than Hillary’s story: she set up the server because she wanted to conduct her business without having to deal with oversight — oversight by the Obama administration, oversight by Congress, oversight by people using FOIA requests and Public Records laws. And in those emails, she was doing things that she would have wanted to keep unknown to the parties I cited.

    The “mixing of personal and business” matters is also somehwat bogus. She was intermingling her “personal” matters and her official duties as Secretary of State constantly. Her relationship with Sid Blumenthal is an ideal exemplar.

    Blumenthal had been blackballed from working for her by the Obama administration. So she put him in the Clinton Foundation, where he was constantly in contact with her. He was also employed by people who had business interests in post-Khadaffi Libya. He was lobbying her through email, supplying her with intelligence from within Libya that was of questionable accuracy and bias, which she passed on to her subordinates at State with instructions to take it seriously. And one of Hillary’s biggest roles as Secretary of State was supporting the disastrous Libyan civil war.

    So here we have her being aided/influenced by someone whom the Obama administration had banned from any official role, working at the Clinton Foundation, lobbying Hillary secretly on behalf of shady business interests. That relationship hits all the points I’ve cited — official State Department-related matters that Hillary had very strong reasons for concealing from the Obama administration (she was using someone they had banned from helping her), Congress (she was being lobbied by a representative of some shady interests), and the general public (the Clinton Foundation was meddling in the Libyan civil war).

    On the other hand, there are Hillary’s 3 excuses so far:

    1) She only wanted to use one device. (She had at least 3.)

    2) She only wanted to use one e-mail address. (She used at least 2.)

    3) She was told it was OK. (She never asked, and would have been told no if she had.)

    Toss in how State Department officials who expressed concerns were told to shut up and never ask about the server again, and it’s clear that “sloppy and lazy” don’t even come close to covering it.

  57. Jenos Idanian says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You arrogant prat, you don’t get to write both sides of the argument. You’re free to write your own side, and you’ve done that admirably well:

    Clinton will not be arrested. She will not be indicted. The likelihood of the party asking her to step aside is akin to the likelihood that my house will be flattened by a meteor – aka so close to zero that it’s indistinguishable from zero.

    You want to cast me as saying that the chances Hillary will be on the ballot as zero. I’ve never said that, never will say that. I’m saying that it’s a low probability, but not as statistically impossible.

    And to be pedantic right back at you, your house is more likely to be damaged or burned down by a meteor than flattened. That would require a meteor larger than your house, and meteors being large enough to reach the surface of the Earth and still be that large are extremely rare. Here’s a rough estimate of what it might take to “flatten” your house.

  58. Lit3Bolt says:

    Wait, no Benghazi reference? I’m disappointed.

    Funny how these “scandals” are cherry picked…

  59. John D'Geek says:

    @al-Alameda:

    (1) Were not many of the documents now referred to as high risk (highly sensitive), further classified up to that level after-the-fact?

    That’s not how it works. Information is supposed to be marked to its classification level, but not being marked does not change it’s level. It was classified whether they liked it or not. The fact is several pieces of very highly classified information made its way onto her server.

    This is stuff that is “clear as day” to those that work in the industry, btw. Methods and Sources always have the highest classification level — unless deliberately declassified. One example of deliberate downgrading is when they make an Unclassified version available for, say, presentations. That has to be properly cleared and vetted before it even leaves the room (it wasn’t), though, and it is still Appropriately marked.

    Some of this stuff was deliberately removed from systems where it was already classified at that level. State has no choice on that — original classification sources set the level. This is called “Spillage” and they were supposed to report it immediately.

    And didn’t.

    (2) Also, it seems to me that if our security was compromised by Hillary Clinton’s handling of these email we would have heard it by now, by Committee leak or in the Report. We’ve heard nothing of the kind.

    The FBI is still investigating, but the low rumbles are finally being heard. Most of this you can hear from the ex-spook sources like 20 Committee, who are far more worried about the serious lack of counterintelligence in our current system than politics.

    Or, to put it another way: how did this sort of info get out there without anyone noticing it in the first place? What else escaped “into the wild” without anyone noticing? By whom? One of her sources was a non-cleared lawyer who used his own sources to grab highly-classified information.

    How did he get it?

    That’s serious

    The only two questions at this point:
    1) Who gets What charges level against them?
    2) What is the government going to do about it?

    In the “for what it’s worth” category, as much as I can’t stand Bernie Sanders I would still vote for him over Trump; that’s how strongly I feel about what Hillary did. But these security breeches (there was more than one) as Secretary of State are far worse than most people care to understand.

  60. John D'Geek says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    In other words, even if you did establish, somehow, that classified materials were released, you have to also establish that 1) she knew they were classified and 2) intended for them to be released. Inadvertent doesn’t cut it,

    That’s not how it works — do your research. People go to jail all the time for inadvertent release of classified information. C.F. Hillary Has an NSA Problem.

  61. Grewgills says:

    @John D’Geek:

    Some of this stuff was deliberately removed from systems where it was already classified at that level.

    My understanding at this point is that all of the ‘sensitive’ information that has been found on her server and discussed was not “deliberately removed from systems where it was already classified”, rather it was lifted from news articles. Do you have information that she received information that was not already in the wild?

  62. DrDaveT says:

    @John D’Geek:

    Information is supposed to be marked to its classification level, but not being marked does not change it’s level.

    It does if you happen to be an Original Classification Authority. Such as, say, the Secretary of State. If you’re an OCA, the classification level of unmarked material is whatever you say it is. Literally.

    Do try to keep up.