The saving grace of the 2016 Presidential election for conservatives is Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and subsequent nomination for the Democrats. By contrast, Donald Trump is so adept at distracting attention from his blatantly superior policy positions with (let’s call them) his personality warts that conservatives are often at each others’ throats defending and attacking him. With Hillary, at least, everyone can pile on with joy when her corruption is exposed (excepting, of course, those conservatives who have actually endorsed Clinton).
So I am hoping at least that the entire Ricochet cosmos is enjoying those zany but adorable couples, Hillary and James and Huma and Tony starring in the latest hit comedy remake of The Honeymooners (“to the moon, Hillary!”). (Perhaps there is a more current metaphor).
Let me make a few observations.
First, Comey’s letter to Congress that went public last Friday is at least potentially lethal and everyone on the Left knows it. At least ten percent of the voters in the middle who think Karl Marx is a crank and who have never heard of Friedrich Hayek are thinking: “she’s going to be under continuing FBI investigation through the first year of her Presidency? That’s not good.”
If Comey had just left things open back in July – without holding a gala press conference to announce that Hillary was cleared of all criminal charges (which is what most people heard him say) – that would not have been so bad as first saying she’s cleared and now on the eve of the election saying that New Evidence Has Been Found!
It’s as though Comey let Hillary pull herself off the ropes and stagger to the middle of the ring before he unloaded on her with a roundhouse right. There’s that delicious moment when the crowd gasps as her eyes glaze over and the knees just buckle. So far the count is only at two. And Hillary has shown a remarkable capacity for pulling herself off the canvas. But she hasn’t moved yet.
Now, the Clinton campaign and their media surrogates (i.e. everyone) are frantically trying to assemble a strategy. Their first instinct was to demand that the FBI immediately release everything that they have. I’m not sure how that would work out for them. Surely this would only be a sane strategy if you assume that the FBI could not possibly release everything that quickly, because if they could it would be like the mother of all Wikileaks.
But that little “show us whatcha got” ploy aside, the main message of the campaign and the left as a whole quickly fell into place over the last two days…and that is, of course, that we need a hastily arranged crucifixion of James Comey. Either through his maniacal, secret right wing sympathies or through being duped by career, right wing FBI agents who hate Hillary, Comey has sinned grievously by bringing this whole mess up again right now.
So we have HuffPo stories such as: Dozens Of Former Federal Prosecutors Sign Open Letter Criticizing James Comey, and Talking Points Memo articles (did anyone know that Josh Marshal was still around?) excoriating Comey as follows:
At best, Comey combined extremely poor judgment with a decision to place a near absolute priority on protecting himself from criticism over carrying out his professional and ethnical obligations.
This is the basic Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, kill the messenger tactic.
I am not sure this is going to work either.
That is not to say that I know what I would do if I were in Hillary’s shoes right now. But screaming at Comey now seems to be no better than screaming at Julian Assange and the Ruskies for providing all the Wikileaks material. The average middle of the road voter may not be well-informed but he or she is at least curious. They’re going to think: “What’s all this Wikileaks stuff that Hillary is blabbing about?” It’s the same issue with Comey.
This pitfall in the strategy seems to have occurred to the ogres at Media Matters. And here the story gets particularly sweet because it is so satisfying to watch the Left eat their own. Media Matters said:
Over the past two days, The New York Times has devoted five of its six above-the-fold articles to FBI director James Comey’s letter to congressional leaders indicating that the Bureau is reviewing additional “emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server as secretary of state. By providing such prominent coverage, the Times has indicated that the letter is news of the highest possible significance — in spite of the Times’ own reporting that FBI agents have yet to read the emails and determine if they are significant and the letter “did not reopen” the investigation.
Or to put is more simply: “Pinch! For God’s sake Shut.Up! Shut up will you! SHHHHH!!!”
It is not clear that – especially in light of the market mini-crash following the release of the letter by Republican staffers – the media could possibly have arranged a giant silent treatment for the whole affair. But now that they have set off the sirens themselves they are in a heap a’ trouble.
I can’t understand why so many people are talking about how they can’t wait for the election to be over. As far as I am concerned this has been a roller coaster ride for the ages!
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Programming note for this week’s Harvard Lunch Club Political podcast. Our guest will be writer and businessman Conrad Black, Trump defender and founder of the National Post among his many other accomplishments. The show will be released on Tuesday evening November 1, rather than our usual Monday evening. (We will be out Trick or Treating the night before). Please check it out.