Former DNC chair Howard Dean just reinforced his prominent position among the ten most loathsome figures in modern politics with this tweet regarding James Comey’s revelation that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of her official communications via e-mail was being re-opened:
Dean’s meaning: since Russian hacks of various e-mail accounts have provided ugly and often sinister evidence of the corrupt attitudes and practices of Hillary Clinton and her campaign, Comey’s required notification of Congress—required, mind you, by basic ethical principles and the rules of the legal profession—makes him a wrongdoer on par with those fueling Wikileaks. After all, without them, Hillary and her minions—including the outrageously complicit news media—would have succeeded in fooling all of the people all of the time. Yes, Comey, damn him, is now “on the same side” as Putin, because he is stripping away Clinton’s facade of trustworthiness.
Even before yesterday’s surprise announcement, the Democratic defense was in place that because Russia was attempting to influence the US election by revealing the filthy underside of Clinton, Inc., including, among other things…
….the inappropriate melding of Sate Department business, pay-to-play incentives, Clinton foundation fundraising and family enrichment
….discussions among aides on how to cover-up Hillary’s e-mail misadventures
….private speeches to Wall Street contradicting her public, anti-Wall street rhetoric, and most disturbing of all,
….collusion by journalists to assist the campaign
….such enlightening evidence should be ignored. This, those well-versed in the Ethics Alarms Rationalizations list will recognize, is Rationalization #55, The Scooby Doo Deflection, or “I should have gotten away with it!,” in practice.
Everyone knows that Scooby Doo cartoons invariably end with the captured miscreant being unmasked and stating ruefully, “I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!” This is neither a defense nor a mitigation. The theory is that since Conduct X , in this case, Hillary Clinton’s devious character, questionable motives and dishonest conduct, is exposed by Conduct Y that may (or may not), exhibit unethical qualities of its own, the misconduct exposed should be considered less wrong, should be punished more leniently, or should be ignored entirely.
As explained in the description on the list, the rationalization
“…may arise from a misunderstanding of the exclusionary rule in criminal procedure, which holds that evidence or confessions of guilt obtained by law enforcement officials by illegal or unconstitutional means cannot be used in the case against the defendant, and the so-called “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” doctrine, which holds that all evidence found as a result of illegally obtained information anywhere in the investigative process must be excluded from trial. Neither principle, however, means that the incriminating evidence is less true because of how it was uncovered, or the conduct behind it less wrong. The purpose of the exclusionary rule and the “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” doctrine is to protect rights by discouraging police misconduct, not to give excuses to rotters….A typical use of the Scooby Doo Deflection includes “Mom! How dare you look in my private diary and find out about my heroin ring?” It really is one of the most pathetic rationalizations. How strange that it’s so popular.”
A bit of tongue in cheek, there. It is popular because it gives politicians like Hillary Clinton and her allies a way to attack the messengers rather than acknowledge the legitimate implications of their message: this woman can’t be trusted.
Yes, it is wrong for Russia and Julian Assange to be trying to interfere with U.S. elections. Yes, it is unfortunate for an FBI investigation of a Presidential candidate to fire up again so close to the election. Russia, Assange and perhaps even Comey can be legitimately criticized, but none of that makes Clinton’s conduct, or vulnerability to valid suspicions, any less Clinton’s responsibility. Putin and Comey aren’t the reason why Clinton is still neck-and-neck with the most horrifically unfit Presidential candidate in U.S. history. Clinton is, along with her minions doing her bidding, 100% to blame, because it’s her conduct that placed her in this position.
There would be no damaging revelations if she did not regard truth and transparency as inconveniences, and lies as standard operating procedure. There would be no disturbing tales about slimy influence-peddling using the Clinton Foundation if the Clinton Foundation operated like a respectable non-profit. There would be no FBI investigation of Clinton’s e-mails if she had followed policy and cared less about covering her tracks and more about her duty to the nation. It would not have lingered this long, either, if she hadn’t chosen to stonewall and lie when her use of a private server was first revealed.
Every time one of Clinton’s hired liars tries to pivot to attacks on the sources of the information that spark our dislike and distrust, just picture the Hanna Barbara cartoon villains, under custody and unmasked, protesting how unfair it is that their plot was exposed. “I would have gotten away with it!” the cartoon villains all cry, as if they should have gotten away with it. That’s how the Clintons really think, it appears. They are special. They shouldn’t have to be accountable. They should have gotten away with it.
I’m with Scooby.