Friday, July 8, 2016

Overplaying Your Hand

On Tuesday the GOP was handed a hammering attack on Hillary's competence by the FBI. Director James Comey, a person who is as far beyond reproach as you can get, said all the right things to make a devastating attack ad.

The only thing he didn't do--which is what most of the expert observers expected--was recommend criminal charges against Clinton. This, of course, enraged the GOP and now we have five hours of him, reasonably eloquently, defending his position.

This is not to say that the GOP didn't have their points.

It is hard to argue that Clinton was doing anything but being evasive with her use of a private server and certainly her assertions that there no classified or secret messages on it didn't hold up (although the number of them was minuscule compared to the regular traffic).

In keeping with the stereotype, the GOP Congress has called for additional investigations. Presumably at some point they're going to get her on something.

Some Real Talk

Ever since Hillary was deemed the most likely candidate for the Democrats--and this was a long way back--the GOP has faced a problem they dare not speak aloud: she'd be tough to beat. This is because (a) she is broadly acceptable to Democrats (#BernieOrBusters not withstanding) and (b) she is an experienced candidate who is capable of running a disciplined campaign.

In other words, she has the two primary advantages that the GOP really lacks--and certainly lacks in one candidate (Trump lacks badly in both areas).

They made up for this by saying that she was ineligible due to [ scandals ] and hoping for a Sanders insurgent or an actual breakthrough in #Benghazi or whatever. None of this materialized. At this point, though, getting Hillary indicted is their A-Game. Their B-Game is to overturn Trump at the convention and then, by magic, cobble together enough of a constituency to win a general. The C-Game is Salvage The Senate. Somewhere after D is "Win With Trump."

Putting A Gift Horse Under Oath

If the GOP is insincere about Hillary's culpability in any of their chosen arenas, they are matched or exceeded by the lugubriousness of Democrats praising Comey for his integrity ('integrity') and professionalism. To be sure, he has both--but he would have had both had he recommended charges against Clinton and the Dems would hardly have been so fawning.

The fact is that by attacking Comey, no matter how much of a good sport he was in front of the cameras, they are taking someone who would be almost perfectly aligned with their objectives--a powerful tool (if not "ally") and flushing him out the torpedo tubes for the sake of their enraged constituents. This is the kind of thing they can't help. They're captured by their base.

The Party That Cried Wolf

The one thing that 20 years of scandalmongering has done is convince even passive observers that the Clintons are reckless and slippery. Probably the only way to damage that perception is with endless, fruitless prosecution. While it plays to their base, at some point people are going to decide it's a fully partisan move by a cornered party without any good ideas (okay, that's maybe not fair--but which good ideas does Trump embody? Oh, right, the great ice wall to keep the wildings out. Airtight.)

Will the Democrats start demanding congressional inquiries into the rape charges against Trump? The Omnivore doesn't know--but at this point why wouldn't they?

1 comment:

  1. The wall is there to keep out the armies of the darkness. And it's magical.