Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The Donald Chronicles: Doubling Down on Double Standards

Hillary Clinton is running against Trump and the Republican party.  She's running against Russian spies and thieves, Wikileaks and the media that enable them.  Now it's pretty clear that she's also running against the FBI.

Maybe there are excuses, though no good reasons, for why James Comey sent his enigmatic letter that made no accusation or indictment, but was easily interpreted by lying brain-farting Republicans as practically a guilty verdict.  (Though of what they don't bother to say.)  That decision was greeted by a chorus of horror from past AGs and legal aides to various Presidents, from both parties.

And maybe there is some internal evidence that prevented Comey from joining with other security agencies in naming the Russians as state actors behind the theft of private emails and their publication by the now shamelessly partisan Wikileaks.

But the use of a long dormant Twitter account to post documents about a decades-dead case involving Bill Clinton is as about a blatant a use of state investigative power to influence an election as this country has ever seen.

There is nothing more chilling to the democratic process than a federal police agency taking sides in an election.  The FBI is defending itself as merely stupid.  But fooled three times is now three times too many.

WPost quotes: “Americans now look at the FBI and see a political entity, not a nonpartisan entity — and that has huge ramifications for the FBI and for all of us,” said Matt Miller, former chief spokesman for the Justice Department and a Clinton supporter. “It sows disbelief in our system of government and is hugely toxic.”

President Obama is placed in an impossible position.  He probably can't fire Comey before the election.  But on November 9, he should, if for no other reason than incompetence.

President Obama is on the campaign trail in battleground states.  Without mentioning the FBI he spoke of Clinton being the victim of a double standard.

“You know, we always wanna see the new shiny object, and if you get beat up enough in this political environment that’s so toxic, after a while people start believing stuff. Hillary Clinton is consistently treated differently than just about any other candidate I see out there,” Obama said. “And as I said, some of it is she’s just been around a long time and so people kinda, they just believe whatever’s said by the other side in their systematic attacks, and it wears on people’s attitudes and over time they go, ‘Well, maybe —’ no, no, no, do not believe that stuff.”

He became specific on one reason for that double standard:

“She is a fundamentally good and decent person, knows what she’s doing and will be an outstanding president, and, by the way, I just wanna say it. To the guys out there, I wanna be honest,” he began. “You know, there’s a reason why we haven’t had a woman president before.”

“I want every man out there who’s voting to kinda look inside yourself and ask yourself, well, if you’re having problems with this stuff, how much of it is, you know, that we’re just not used to it?” he added. “When a guy’s ambitious and out in the public arena and working hard, well, that’s OK. But when a woman suddenly does it, suddenly you’re all like, ‘Well, why is she doing that?’ I’m just being honest.”

There are already signs that the global economy is already jittery about the possibility of Trump winning. Meanwhile Trump is trumpeting that he will call a special session of Congress to repeal Obamacare.  As the stock market is set to crash the next day if he wins, throwing the economy into a total tailspin by this rash act--if he could make good on it-- will bring on chaos the likes of which this nation has not seen since the Civil War.  Not even the early days of the Great Depression will measure up.

The bad news is that Republican voter suppression techniques in key states may be working: the NYTimes reports that the proportion of black voters in early voting is down significantly, due in part to state voter suppression laws.

The reasons for the decline appear to be both political and logistical, with lower voter enthusiasm and newly enacted impediments to voting at play. In North Carolina, where a federal appeals court accused Republicans of an “almost surgical” assault on black turnout and Republican-run election boards curtailed early-voting sites, black turnout is down 16 percent. White turnout, however, is up 15 percent.

The good news is the Democrats are well financed (donations are coming in at an accelerated clip) and well prepared to identify and deliver voters to the polls.  "We don't agonize, we organize," says Nancy Pelosi.  The Times story above adds: The Clinton campaign believes it can close the gap, especially in North Carolina and Florida, by Election Day. And Democrats are seeing substantial gains in turnout for other key constituencies like Hispanics and college-educated women, which have the potential to more than make up for any drop-off in black voting.

Most analysts agree that Clinton is still well positioned to win.  But voters have to be determined to defy the GOPer liars, the Russian thieves and now the FBI.  And vote for the future--not only Hillary, but for Democrats in the Senate and House.  Things are extreme now because the GOP has simply become evil. There's no other word for it.  They must be kept from creating chaos.

The stakes could hardly be higher.

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