If insanity means repeating your past behavior and expecting a different outcome, then Hillary is surely guilty.
Because Hillary Clinton never learns. She just keeps doing the same thing over and over and has the same predictable and disastrous outcome. Her core instincts — extreme paranoia, arrogance, and distrust of both the press and her list of “enemies” overwhelms her judgment. That’s why her instinct is always to hide, obfuscate, fight, attack, spin, deny and drag out every single one of her scandals unnecessarily. Then she ultimately takes a bigger hit in the press and tarnishes her reputation much more than if she had simply responding early and truthfully. It happens every time.
Now she’s created a mega-scandal that will follow her right into 2016 primaries.
Her latest fiasco — secretly and exclusively using a private email address attached to a server that was installed in her Chappaqua home on the day her Senate confirmation hearing began — is vintage Hillary. By circumventing government policies, she placed access to her emails under her sole control. The State Department and the Obama White House would have no access to her business. Only she would decide what was going to be made public, if anything. She didn’t need those pesky right wing groups trying to watch her every move and look through her emails. No way.
In her view, the rules just don’t really apply to Hillary Clinton — they’re meant for other less important people. She’s smarter and knows so much better.
So she literally took the emails home with her when she left the State Department. Although they were clearly government property, she decided that they were going to be her property. And, although the State Department clearly knew what she was doing, they responded to all Freedom of Information requests with a blanket statement that there were no relevant emails. And that’s exactly what she wanted.
Of course, they had no idea exactly what emails existed because they had no access to the Secretary’s official emails.
It’s always the same with her. She’s reminiscent of Nixon refusing to hand over the tapes. She just doesn’t get it.
During the Clinton Administration, I watched in dismay as, time after time, she would contrive to hide evidence and delay criticism for her conduct. The inevitable denouement that followed was always made more painful by her delay. Now she’s at it again.
Had she used the White House e mail system, instead of installing a secret one in her house, her emails would have been forwarded to the House Investigating Committee, yes, she would face some embarrassment, but that would be that. (We have to assume that neither she nor Obama would be dumb enough to write, in an email, anything really indicative of a conspiracy to lie over Benghazi).
Instead, Hillary outsmarted herself and refused to use the White House system. She now faces suspicion about her motives and about whether some emails were deleted. I doubt there is an innocent way to explain her decision. The White House has insisted there was a clear policy about preserving documents and about the use of personal email accounts. And Hillary’s own cables to State Department employees directed them to avoid using personal email accounts for official business. But that was for them, not for her.
Now she says that she wants the State Department to release her emails. She’s talking about the emails she selected to send back to the State Department. If history is any guide, Hillary has already scrubbed her server of anything she didn’t want made public.
What she doesn’t get is that it is not for her to decide what is relevant. It is for the State Department — the rightful owner of the emails to make that determination.
There’s only one way to do that: All of her emails must be reviewed. And it looks like that’s exactly what the Benghazi Committee plans to do. (If she hasn’t successfully destroyed them).
But now we will play months and months of the favorite Washington parlor game “Hide The Email.” What would have been a 2015 scandal that would go away by the election has now become a 2016 scandal that will bedevil her during the primaries. On her way to Super Tuesday primary night, she will be dodging Committee subpoenas.
During the Clinton Administration, every single scandal had its roots in her propensity for cover-up:
• A special prosecutor was appointed to investigate Whitewater — and he stuck around for Lewinsky — because Hillary wouldn’t agree to release her tax returns for 1979 and 1980. Why not? It turned out she was hiding her commodity market winnings until after the Statute of Limitations had passed.
• The Paula Jones lawsuit — which led to the revelation of the Monica affair and Bills’ perjury — was never settled even though Paula offered to do so for no money or admission of guilt. Why? Because Hillary wanted to cover-up that Bill had sent a state trooper to fetch her.
• And so it went with the Travel Office, FBI file, Whitewater, missing billing records, secret Health care meetings, and every White House other scandal. Hillary always was trying to cover-up one scandal by making another one worse.
But now she has taken an issue that she would characterize as a right wing scandal and made it into a New York Times scandal. A 2015 investigation into a 2016 one. A shared guilt with the president to one she must shoulder by herself.
It’s just Hillary being Hillary. When will she ever learn?
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