Jay Fleitman: Mental gymnastics needed to back Clinton

  • Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves to the crowd during a campaign rally at Kent State University on Monday in Kent, Ohio.  AP PHOTO

Published: 10/31/2016 8:30:39 PM

The reopening of the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails by FBI director James Comey is strongly reminiscent of a plot twist from a Grade B horror movie.

The monster seems to be dead at the hands of the heroine, only to roar back to life and once again threaten the tired and beleaguered protagonist. The monster is often unleashed by a bumbling comedic second-tier character, which in our real-life plot is the preposterous Anthony Weiner.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign apparatus has attacked the FBI director for insinuating himself so late in the election. Mr. Comey has previously demonstrated a lack of taste for involving himself in the political process by his decision not to impanel a grand jury much earlier in the email investigation.

My guess would be that this action of reopening the investigation at this time, which he had to know was a political grenade, only occurred because the New York FBI investigators had found something quite significant in the 10,000 emails discovered on Anthony Weiner’s and Huma Abedin’s shared computer. With that discovery, the FBI director would find himself in a no-win situation: he reveals the finding before the election and is accused of interfering so late in the process, or he waits until after the election and is then accused of covering up information voters should have before casting their ballots.

Up until recently I was sick of this election and could not wait for it to be over. Not anymore, as the election has become far more interesting.

Recent WikiLeaks revelations have clarified the Clinton Foundation’s fundamental corruption as a Hillary/William Clinton profit center and influence-selling money machine producing tens of millions for the Clintons’ personal bank account. There is some vindication for those who have speculated all along that the true goal of Hillary Clinton’s use of the private email server was to hide just this kind of activity.

The past week has also witnessed the progressing failure of Obamacare as the federal government announced that the cost of premiums is skyrocketing across the country. This by no means should be taken as a celebration that health care is becoming unaffordable to our fellow Americans. It is a piece of the argument that the accumulation of power and intrusion into the lives of Americans by a centralized government through a piece of legislation that was resisted by over half of the population would be doomed to failure. This is the legacy of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the great domestic accomplishment of President Obama’s administration. Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate has promised to build on this success.

And to top off this week for the Hillary Clinton campaign, 10,000 new emails have turned the attention of the FBI back in her direction.

It is somewhat amusing that supporters of Hillary Clinton need to qualify their effusive praise by employing the phrase that she may be a “flawed candidate.” Being flawed usually implies that the fundamental and overwhelming excellence to an object is marred by some relatively minor imperfection.

Hillary Clinton is not flawed; she has shown a continued vein of lying and corruption and the abuse of her positions of influence throughout her entire public career. She has been dogged by Whitewater, Travelgate, the disappearance of the Rose Law firm records, her lying to the families of those who died at the Benghazi attacks, the setup of the private email system that put at risk State Department secrets, her lies about the existence of the email system, and her use of the Clinton Foundation piggy bank.

Democrats who nominated such a candidate in the first place in the middle of a criminal investigation should not be surprised that that these chickens have now come back to roost through this new FBI announcement.

Ongoing supporters of Hillary Clinton will look past her “flaws” because of her dedication to values embraced by the Democratic Party. How does anyone really know what values this candidate for president shares?

The leaked WikiLeaks documents make it quite clear that her own campaign directors could not identify what positions she wanted to take, and that candidate Clinton asked her campaign directors to figure out what positions would be best to sell to voters. Her campaign utilized months of focus groups to tease out winning positions.

Though she would stake out some far-left positions to placate Bernie Sanders’ voters, the leaked emails make it clear that she actually disparaged those ideas. In her own words to a meeting of bankers, she openly admitted that she would take public positions for voters while maintaining distinctly different personal beliefs. Though her campaign professes that we are “Stronger Together,” she and her campaign leaders have identified Republicans as her enemies and as “baskets of deplorables,” Christians as Neanderthals, Hispanics as needy, and leftists are lunatics.

For Democrats to ignore the glaring weaknesses of Hillary Clinton for president is to put their heads in the sand, or to engage in willful ignorance, or to whistle past the graveyard – take your pick.

Any way you look at it, other than just sticking with the home team, supporting Hillary Clinton requires remarkable mental gymnastics.

Jay Fleitman, M.D., lives in Northampton. His column is published the first Tuesday of the month. He can be reached at opinion@gazettenet.com.


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