For Once, To “Move On” Concerning Clinton Scandals Is The Right Thing To Do

No.

No.

Ethics Alarms didn’t want to make heads explode all over American by designating the President Elect an Ethics Hero, for that would go too far. Still, his statement to the New York Times that he won’t recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton, adding that she has already “suffered greatly,” is a welcome one as well as the ethical course to take.

The news, shocking to some of Trump’s more vindictive followers and also to those who, for some reason, believed that anything Trump has said, promised, pledged or mused about isn’t subject to reversal at any time, was revealed in tweets from New York Times reporters Mike Grynbaum and Maggie Haberman, who attended a meeting between the President-elect and reporters and editors at the paper. The reporters tweets were confirmed by Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.

One of the Clintons’ prime strategies when they are caught in misconduct is to deny, deny, deny while delaying and stalling, throwing up smoke, confusing the issues, boring most of the public stiff and making their accusers seem like Inspector Javert from “Les Miserables.” Then, before there is any resolution and the investigations seem as stale as last year’s Halloween candy, the Clinton Corrupted, on cue, begin saying that it’s time to “move on, ” which translates into, “Let the Clinton (one, the other, or both) get away with it.” The perpetually juvenile far-left activist group Move-On.Org was launched by that mantra during Bill Clinton’s impeachment travails.

It is an infuriating tactic since it has worked so often, but for once, the argument dovetails with ethics. The United States political process, much as hyper-partisans would enjoy it to be otherwise, must not descend into the ugly practices of lesser nations, where leaders and politicians who fall out of power face show trials, imprisonment and even execution. If there has ever been an incoming President who might be expected to push us in that undemocratic and divisive direction it is Trump, who appears to be historically ignorant and has only rudimentary ethical instincts at best. During the presidential campaign, Trump pledged to appoint a special prosecutor to re-open investigations of  Clinton’s possible security breaches and possible influence peddling while at State. He happily joined his throngs as they chanted “lock her up!,” and in one debate  muttered to Hillary that if he were President, “you’d be in jail.”

At the time it is likely that he didn’t expect to be in a position to follow through on those threats any more than anyone else thought so. Now, however, he will soon be able to make his trolling come true. That would set a destructive precedent. It would drag out and exacerbate the bitterness of the campaign and the election, and  cause Democrats to behave even more abysmally than they already are, if that’s possible. It would keep the Clintons in the public eye, when it is profoundly to be wished that their corrupting influence be excised forever. It would appear unnecessary, vengeful and cruel, because it would be unnecessary, vengeful and cruel.

President Gerald Ford was right to pardon Richard Nixon, and President Obama understood the dangers of prosecuting Bush officials, and perhaps even the former President himself, for alleged war crimes. Both of these proposed prosecutions posed more legal difficulties than investigating Clinton would, but the message would have been the same. It would not be the ethical message that no one is above the rule of law, though that message certainly needs to be both sent and believed, but that winners get to send the losers to the metaphorical guillotine in the United States. That message is louder, because it more threatening, and must be avoided at all costs.

Clinton was investigated, and on many fronts. She was not tried, jailed or fined for her e-mail machinations or her obstruction of justice in covering them up, but one can hardly say she got away with it all either. In a vacuum and from a pure Rule of Law perspective, it might seem reasonable to have Clinton’s conduct examined without having to deal with the fact that she was running for President and a that prosecution might give a ridiculous candidate  the White House by default. It isn’t a vacuum, though, even now. Once again, the Clintons have successfully created an ethics conflict to their benefit. The United States should not be a nation where losing an election means you might get locked up.

Trump, of course, is taking this stand for the wrong reasons, for he and ethical reasoning are not pals. “She’s suffered enough” is his reason, and that is a rationalization as well as contrary to the justice system’s approach to punishment. The intent isn’t to produce suffering, but to maintain the integrity of the Rule of Law: if a citizen breaks laws, there are consequences that every lawbreaker should and must expect to flow directly from that act. Well, explaining this to Trump would be like explaining it to a block of brie. Never mind.

Undoubtedly, Trump’s reasons for breaking this particular pledge, like the many other promises he is sure to break, as purely pragmatic as the promises themselves. Among them:

He has bigger fish to fry.

He doesn’t need the distraction.

He has enough hate and anger coming from the Left already.

It would probably do more to keep the Clintons relevant than leaving them alone.

Of all people, Trump is the one most likely to eventually find himself grateful that there isn’t an American  tradition of prosecuting leaders after they leave power.

Finally, it makes him look statesmanlike, magnanimous and reasonable while Democrats, progressives and bitter pundits are looking anything but. In this case, leaving Hillary alone is the smart thing for Trump to do. Not that he cares, but it is also ethical.

 

19 Comments

Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, U.S. Society

19 responses to “For Once, To “Move On” Concerning Clinton Scandals Is The Right Thing To Do

  1. Wayne B

    Maybe Congress will follow up on this sordid episode. One can hope!

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      I hope Congress’ follow-up is to blow off the Cntons, too. Let that crime family work for its press coverage without the help of Congress.

  2. Inquiring Mind

    For the e-mails, she is likely to get away with it. But there is still an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, and that could get very… interesting.

    • A.M. Golden

      No doubt very interesting.

      However, I would expect that to go the way of the emails, too. Any donors who expected some kind of favor from President Hillary Clinton are out of luck now. I suspect the Clinton Foundation will dry up soon.

  3. I agree.

    Unfortunately we get to listen to the Hillary-bots scream “see, she didn’t do anything wrong because dropping the investigation is a admission that she’s innocent!”

    But I suppose even that screeching is music to our ears compared to the cacophony we’d have to deal with if that historically corrupt individual had actually been elected…even more distressful than the katzenjammer produced by their defeat.

  4. Other Bill

    My only hope is that Bill and Hill will just exit stage right and disappear from public life. I think they’re old enough that might actually happen. I also hope Jack’s right in believing the Clinton Foundation will wither and die now that it has nothing to sell. But who knows, HRC may turn into this century’s Harold Stassen. She may run on the Green Party or some such.

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      If we have learned anything about those in the Democrat Party who formerly held office, or even who formerly were just candidates for office, it is that they NEVER go away. Just wait and see what Barack does soon.

      • Other Bill

        LE, you may be right. Chelsea is in the paddock and ready to run. But I really think Hill and Bill are done other than that training their three year old filly. So we’ve got that going for us. I think President Obama will be more inclined to goof off and indulge his golf addiction. He’ll probably lobby for a membership at Augusta National. At heart, he’s just a yuppie guy.

  5. Chris Marschner

    Perhaps what he can do is pardon others recently convicted of mishandling classified info – specifically, the sailor who took a cellphone pic of his submarine, General Cartwright, and Gen. Petraeus. None of these intended to harm the US.

    It may br ethical to move on but we should not leave any soldiers behind.

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      Pardoning those you named would indeed be a big plus for Trump, and a nice, bonus “Nyah-Nyah” to the Cntons and Obamas.

  6. Aletheia K

    I’ve been saying since before the election that Trump should offer the Clintons a deal: if they agree to fade quietly into the background, he’ll let them keep all their laurels to rest on.

    • Other Bill

      Good idea, AK, but the deal probably wouldn’t be enforceable. And it’s not as if HRC could be made to forfeit her politician’s license since none is required.

  7. Cynthia Rayne

    Trump will have his own pay for play scandal to dodge in the near future. He’s already been mixing business interests with his president-elect duties. Once he’s sworn in, I can only imagine the two will enmesh more in unconstitutional ways.

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      You mean impeachable ways. I am counting on that fate for Trump.

      • Other Bill

        I don’t think that kind of stuff is fair. Career politicians (but I repeat myself) want to keep business people out of politics and they use these conflict of interest things as weapons. Trump’s in business. Big deal. Give him a little room to maneuver to try to deal with appearances of impropriety. It’s not as if he owns a bunch of stocks and bonds he can just liquidate or have somebody else manage. It’s a unique, first time situation and it will be difficult and need some time rather than all the salaried media and political people to call foul on incessantly.

  8. “[L]eaving Hillary alone is the smart thing for Trump to do. Not that he cares, but it is also ethical.” I agree.

    But, I strongly recommend that no one, ever, count out the Cntons (Bl and Hlary). Because, as the updated and correct spelling of their names infers, there is no “li” in them, no matter from what perspective you look at them. That is the truth we must accept – or else… The Cntons are the most transparent liars in American history. All the “li”es are out there, for everyone to see. That is, for everyone who is not so blind that they will not see.

    But those old dogs (the Cntons), along with their acolytes, will forever be learning new tricks – and playing them, on and on. THAT is “moving on.”

    By the way, the election for POTUS is NOT over. It’ll be over after the Electoral College does its thing. Then, we’ll see who the real Apprentice is. See above. DO NOT count out the Cntons. They’re not not-POTUS yet.

    It is fine with me, if the Apprentice (Trump) refuses to waste further time and federal resources (and his apprenticeship) on establishing the Cntons’ criminality officially. There is no need to take the was-country farther down the road of Banana Republicanism. Let the Democrat Party do that, next time one of theirs is in the White House. Let that party sell the public on the idea that we all gotta get on the right side of history – gotta do eventually what most other countries have been doing for a long time; gotta, just GOTTA, wipe out that phony American exceptionalism. And so, we GOTTA: prosecute and imprison political enemies and rivals; jail dissidents, and purge resisters of Democrat Party newthink. All just part of the typical and normal business of a new ruling regime. What the Left wants, the Left gets. Count on it.

    Meanwhile, I look forward to more former Cnton insiders’ tell-all books, plus future Cnton scams, plus betrayals by staff, plus sources like Wikileaks, to produce enough evidence for lower courts to be kept busy for the rest of the Cntons’ natural lives (and beyond, for as long as Chelsea lives), prosecuting case after case after case of brand new charges of Cnton lawlessness.

    So it’s best if all the investigating and charging and arraignment and other court action, and arresting and detaining and conviction and sentencing and fining and injunctioning and incarceration, concerning the incorrigible, irrepressible, irredeemable and immortally notorious Cntons, be done with as much distance as possible maintained between the Cntons’ “persecutors” and the Trump presidency.
    But, I strongly recommend that no one, ever, count out the Cntons (Bl and Hlary). Because, as the updated and correct spelling of their names infer, there is no “li” in them, no matter from what perspective you look at them. That is the truth we must accept – or else… The Cntons are the most transparent liars in American history. All the “li”es are out there, for everyone to see. That is, for everyone who is not so blind that they will not see.

    But those old dogs (the Cntons), along with their acolytes, will forever be learning new tricks – and playing them, on and on. THAT is “moving on.”

    By the way, the election for POTUS is NOT over. It’ll be over after the Electoral College does its thing. Then, we’ll see who the Apprentice is. See above. DO NOT count out the Cntons.

    It is fine with me, if the Apprentice (Trump) refuses to waste further time and federal resources (and his apprenticeship) on establishing the Cntons’ criminality officially. There is no need to take the was-country farther down the road of Banana Republicanism. Let the Democrat Party do that, next time one of theirs is in the White House. Let that party sell the public on the idea that we all gotta get on the right side of history – gotta do eventually what most other countries have been doing for a long time; gotta, just GOTTA, wipe out that phony American exceptionalism. And so, we GOTTA: prosecute and imprison political enemies and rivals; jail dissidents, and purge resisters of Democrat Party newthink. All just part of the typical and normal business of a new ruling regime. What the Left wants, the Left gets. Count on it.

    Meanwhile, I look forward to more former Cnton insiders’ tell-all books, plus future Cnton scams, plus betrayals by staff, plus sources like Wikileaks, to produce enough evidence for lower courts to be kept busy for the rest of the Cntons’ natural lives (and beyond, for as long as Chelsea lives), prosecuting case after case after case of brand new charges of Cnton lawlessness.

    So it’s best if all the investigating and charging and arraignment and other court action, and arresting and detaining and conviction and sentencing and fining and injunctioning and incarceration, concerning the incorrigible, irrepressible, irredeemable and immortally notorious Cntons, be done with as much distance as possible maintained between the Cntons’ “persecutors” and the Trump presidency.

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      Some kind of copy-and-paste glitch repeated my words in my long comment above. I am trying to be more and more like a Democrat Party member every day. So, I blame WordPress for its incompetence of design, for jumbling blog-commenters’ inputs and edits.

      • Other Bill

        And the Russians! And Macedonians! Don’t forget them.

        • Our fellow commenter joed68 suggested the Bilderbergs to me in another thread. I’ll admit, it gets harder and harder to know who the Democrat Party’s (wrong-headed members’) best friends are, these days. In any case, I am still going to push for a fully transparent, “full-disclosure-focused” Election Campaign Funds Repository (not a bank, but more like a billboard), coupled with draconian campaign finance reforms.

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