Now that the Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses are over, everyone who prognosticated on the outcome can finally measure their foresight against reality. No one was quite sure what would happen, of course, but given her status as the clear Democratic frontrunner for months going in, many speculated that Hillary Clinton would steal the show and dominate rival Bernie Sanders by a devastating margin.
Those people are disappointed. In Iowa, Clinton did technically win, but by a margin so narrow that the contest was essentially a tie. Her “clear frontrunner” status is also in serious jeopardy, with recent polls showing that Bernie Sanders has virtually erased the gap between them, which once stood at a gaping 30 points. Let’s not forget the 6 coin tosses that were in Hillary’s favor…And then there was the landslide win for Sanders in New Hampshire.
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Given the fact that Clinton may well have betrayed the nation’s secrets during her time as Secretary of State, this isn’t hard to understand. It now turns out that, by admission of the State Department, some 22 top secret e-mails have been discovered on the private server she used during her time heading that agency. Of course, that’s the opposite of what they said previously, and it exposes Clinton’s repeated assertions that no secret documents were ever present on her personal, non-state computer.
What it exposes about those assertions, specifically, is either malicious, illegal conduct, or stark ignorance that probably also would be illegal. That’s because if Clinton knew that what was on her computer – which she used for official State Department business – contained state secrets, and she lied about it, she was being malicious. The slightly more generous possibility is that she had such secrets on her computer without realizing what they were, but in light of the fact that her job description as Secretary of State included the ability to identify top secret information whether it was marked as such or not, this would constitute (rather than malice) a dangerous and probably treasonous level of incompetence from the nation’s top diplomat. If you’re that fundamentally incapable of doing your job, then you are causing harm just by being there. Imagine an airline pilot who doesn’t know how to land a plane (yet somehow still got the position – that’s worth wondering about in Hillary’s case, too), and as a result, he crashes into the runway and kills everyone on board. Sure, he didn’t mean any harm, but it was criminally negligent for him to sit in that cockpit without knowing what he was doing.
What this boils down to is the fact that whether Clinton meant to do evil or just didn’t recognize that what was on her computer shouldn’t have been there, she is guilty of a crime. And considering the nature and importance of her position at the time, it’s a pretty serious crime – the kind that disqualifies someone from being president.
Republicans have already pointed out the problems with having a criminal president. Quite aside from the moral implications and the impact on the nation’s dignity (which really are the most important issues to consider), we could well face a situation in which the president must divide her time “between the White House and the courthouse”, as one Republican said, or whose first action as president “would be to pardon herself”. The Republicans are right – whether you agree with her politics or not, it is no longer practical for Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States.
As more and more facts come to light about Clinton’s criminal activities, more or her supporters will abandon her. Bernie Sanders has already closed a lead once thought insurmountable; soon, he will overtake her. It’s looking very much like Sanders – not Clinton – will be the one to beat for Republicans in 2016.