Will Obama give Biden the Democratic nomination?

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Hillary Clinton’ speech at the United Nations in March about her use of a private email server, was… well, perhaps Clintonian is what she was going for;

QUESTION: Were you ever — were you ever specifically briefed on the security implications of using — using your own email server and using your personal address to email with the president?

CLINTON: I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.

So I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.

We now know that at least half of that statement is untrue: there is classified material in her emails, and not merely classified material, but the most delicate and closely guarded of secrets;

The inspector general for the Intelligence Community notified senior members of Congress that two of four classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material deemed to be in one of the highest security classifications – more sensitive than previously known.

Remember that the four emails that are classified (two highly classified) were detected in a sample of forty (40) emails, this is not the total number of such records;

The four emails in question “were classified when they were sent and are classified now,” said Andrea Williams, a spokeswoman for the inspector general. The inspector general reviewed just a small sample totaling about 40 emails in Mrs. Clinton’s inbox—meaning that many more in the trove of more than 30,000 may contain potentially confidential, secret or top-secret information.

The inspector general’s office concluded that Mrs. Clinton should have used a secure network to transmit the emails in question—rather than her personal email account run off a home server.

“None of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings, but some included IC-derived classified information and should have been handled as classified, appropriately marked, and transmitted via a secure network,” wrote Inspector General I. Charles McCullough in the letter to Congress.

We cannot now know, but if the sample examined is representative Secretary Clinton’s emails might be 10% classified and 5% highly classified… in other words, 3,000+ and 1,500+, respectively. So why do I mention this in the context of Joe Biden? Let’s consider what former CIA operative and CNN national security analyst Bob Baer had to say about this matter;

“Seriously, if I had sent a document like this over the open Internet I’d get fired the same day, escorted to the door and gone for good — and probably charged with mishandling classified information,” Baer said.

What does this have to do with Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama? As other have observed, Hillary Clinton is in trouble, but she should be in very big trouble, of the criminal kind. But she’s not, not yet. And she certainly should be;

Even for those of us who hold a very low opinion of Mrs. Clinton’s character, integrity, and judgment, this is a graver offense than many had contemplated. Merely the storage of “Top Secret” e-mails – never mind their dissemination over open channels to some individuals likely not cleared to read them — is a federal felony. On top of that, it is unthinkable that Hillary could have sent such sensitive information and not known at the time that it was sensitive.

At the moment it’s very difficult to see Hillary Clinton’s (relative) lack of legal trouble as anything but the application of double standards so shamefully common in Washington. Obama’s Justice Department could be more aggressive, and indeed, was more aggressive when it came to similar allegations against former General David Petraeus, and far, far more aggressive in pursuing penalties against lower level individuals for mishandling classified information.

So on the one hand we have Hillary Clinton, a walking disaster area of security crimes (at least). On the other hand, we have Joe Biden: late to the field, but motivated by the urging of both sons, including his late and much mourned son Beau.

Hillary would seem to have an almost insurmountable lead in the polls, as well as a frightening amount of campaign cash. Joe Biden hasn’t even begun to run, how can he possible overcome Clinton’s advantages?

The simplest way is for his friend and colleague Barack Obama to… do his job. Or rather, let his attorney general do the job she is sworn to do. It’s actually a win-win for Obama. President Obama has earned a great deal of criticism for his uneven treatment of leakers and draconian treatment of whistleblowers. Dislike of Hillary Clinton is not confined to the precincts of the right wing: plenty of progressives seem eager for anyone but Hillary.

In such an atmosphere, all President Obama needs to do to hand the nomination to his friend Joe is to treat Clinton as the law would dictate she ought to be treated and stop playing along with the Clinton charade. Hillary knows that her only chance at election is to reassemble the Obama constituency, leaving her with little to no ability to strike back at Obama should the White House, State Department and Justice Department spokespeople decide to stop dancing around questions and start answering plainly.

For the second time it seems that Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions are controlled by Barack Obama.

Will Hillary pimp out the Left?

As new scandals emerge to bedevil Hillary Clinton’s march to power, a question occurs: what exactly is this quality of Hillary’s that actually makes people want to vote for her? Right now it seems that Secretary Clinton is doing her own rendition of Taxi Driver, with her in the role of Matthew and the Democratic Party in the role of Iris (WARNING! Strong Language);

As I pointed out in an earlier post, conservatives have gradually come to terms with the “transparent selfishness and corruption” of Republican politicians, a recognition that the best that government can aspire to is an evil, albeit a necessary evil.

But the Left believes the opposite: that government can be a force for good, that rule by experts can usher in a new age of Aquarius, blah blah blah, etc. As Jonah Goldberg put it, “Liberalism, as an ideology, insists that government can do good and great things for the people and the world, if the people running the government are smart liberals.”

The left must claim that good government comes from good governors. The election of Barack Obama may be excused by his particular brand of practiced obscurity: he was a blank slate coming into office, onto which a majority of voters could project their allotments of “I hope”. Secretary Clinton allows for no such illusions as her history making it explicitly clear that she has a mafioso’s contempt for the strictures of government.

Apparently she was playing Tetris. Damn that L-block!

It is one thing for the Republicans to hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils: at the heart of the skeptical outlook of conservatives and libertarians is the idea that government may be necessary, but it remains a necessary evil. This is both a problem and a strength for conservatives: the expectation that the best and brightest are doing something, indeed anything but going into politics puts them at a certain disadvantage, but at the same time… well, it makes possible the “vote for me because my opponent will ruin this country” avenue of attack.

The left cannot so easily accommodate this reality. One of the greatest gifts the Obama presidency has presented to his opponents is, paradoxically, transparency. Not on his part (of course) but on the part of everyone else. Obama has so abused his office, so systematically embraced the machine of government, so taken to the things claimed to abhor that his defenders… well, they have been shown to be not so much principled as partisan.

You thought Obama’s election promised to advance the Anti-War movement he made so many appeals to? Well… that didn’t turn out so well.

You thought the left objected to a president killing people in far off lands with a stroke of the pen? Oops, turns out he’s rather fond of the practice.

With that in mind, let’s ask what offenses against good government Hillary has already committed?

-As MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell observes, the transparency requirements Hillary has evaded with her emails are policies liberals have desired for decades.

James Taranto of the WSJ points out that Secretary Clinton’s decision to provide her emails entirely in paper print-outs has some selling points, although entirely from the view of thwarting public access. Providing her emails in the form of boxes and boxes of paper slows Freedom of Information Act requests to a crawl and makes FYI, if you hear someone reference Hillary turning over 55k emails, correct them: it’s 55k pages of emails. Not at all the same thing.

-Liberals concerned with the power of money in politics will be (no doubt) overjoyed to learn that the Clinton Foundation “has received as much as $81m from wealthy international donors who were clients of HSBC’s controversial Swiss bank.

-Concerned with the plight of women in repressive Middle Eastern nations? Don’t worry, though Bill Clinton’s “friends” in the United Arab Emirates may have thrown some money into the Clinton Foundation coffers, Bill doesn’t “agree with everything they do“.

-Maybe that’s alright, so long as the Foundation abided by the rules set up by the State Department. Except they didn’t. Algeria managed to slip $500,000 into the Clinton Foundation coffers. No doubt it was a coincidence that they gave money to the Secretary of State’s family charity at the same time Algeria “was spending heavily to lobby the State Department on human rights issues.

-Further the Clinton Foundation makes sure to keep company with a, uh, rarefied group of donors. As the New York Times reports (emphasis mine);

The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Brunei—all of which the State Department has faulted over their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues.

-As Mollie Z. Hemingway points out, when American companies do the things that foreign governments did with the Clinton Foundation, it falls under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. As she observes, “it would be weird if we held U.S. companies to far stricter standards regarding bribery than we did our own secretary of state.

Now, don’t mistake any of this: I don’t like Hillary. I haven’t liked Hillary for decades, and for reasons entirely to do with the standards and philosophy she professes to believe. But in a strange way,  all of this makes me a little less worried about Hillary. After all, as a conservative I have no illusions about the integrity of politicians, and there is something refreshing about a politician so blatantly mercenary. But for the left, if you think that the Republicans are the party of big business, why would you want to put in power a politician that has spent decades in Washington establishing that her loyalty is exclusive… to the highest bidder?

As Joe Scarborough of MSNBC asks, no doubt speaking for liberals everywhere, “How stupid do they think we are?”