Nobody Knows: The State of the Primaries and the Nation

Largely because of the unconventional nature of the Trump campaign and the increasingly hard to ignore accounts of Hillary’s email and Clinton Foundation pay-to-play wrongdoing, it is increasingly difficult to predict the outcome of this year’s primaries. It seems to be an anything can happen year.

As the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto observes:

"The cultural authority of journalism rests not only on its practitioners’ fealty to the facts but also their willingness and ability to recognize and respect the actually existing diversity of opinion in the population. In that regard (and for a variety of reasons), that authority has been eroding for decades. Donald Trump is the first national politician to challenge that authority directly and persistently. Little wonder that, for all his flaws, he has found a receptive public."

Days before the last FNC debate the comely Megyn Kelly tweeted “This race will be totally different, I promise, on Friday than it does today.” It didn’t turn out that way. Trump was apparently ahead before the last debate and still appears to remain in the lead.

Trump’s appeal in large part is twofold -- he opposed open borders and the politically-correct culture which had tamped down criticism of it and he was unafraid to bash the media which for so long has dominated and defined the cultural and political life of the country.

The ambush attempt by FNC -- with the aid of two YouTube commenters -- one an illegal alien and the other a Sanders-loving, Trump-hating Moslem émigré from Bangladesh -- had to be recycled when Trump bailed and FNC was forced to use that segment and a video of a flip-flopping Rubio on the issue of immigration (along with an attempt to do the same to Cruz). In essence, any plan to dent frontrunner Trump’s popularity probably hurt his opponents more than it did him. It was an especially big downer for Cruz, who most agree came off as personally unappealing.

Next week the Iowa caucuses take place and with a snowstorm expected beginning Monday night and the unpredictability of caucuses generally it’s anybody’s guess how they’ll turn out, but with no visible Trump ground game, folks on the ground are still calling the Republican race for him. 

As CNN reports:

Ted Cruz started the month riding high in Iowa. Now, he just wants to get out of the state alive.

The self-styled rock-ribbed conservative is under siege, battling attacks from his right and left flanks who say the Texas senator with tea party and evangelical credentials isn't who he claims to be.         

And as Cruz appears to be falling farther behind front-runner Donald Trump, his campaign is now looking in the rear-view mirror, concerned that Marco Rubio and the rest of the GOP field are closing in.

Cruz's problems were in sharp relief at the Fox News debate in Des Moines Thursday night, where he was everyone's favorite punching bag. The consistent charge: Cruz is a fake.

For Hillary, the news is grimmer. Investigators have so far found 22 classified documents on Hillary’s unsecured email account. Fox’s Catherine Herridge reported:

The intelligence community has now deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails “too damaging” to national security to release under any circumstances, according to a U.S. government official close to the ongoing review. A second source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, backed up the finding.

The decision to withhold the documents in full, and not provide even a partial release with redactions, further undercuts claims by the State Department and the Clinton campaign that none of the intelligence in the emails was classified when it hit Clinton’s personal server.

Lives of those who bring to us critical intelligence were put at risk.

Here, from NRO, are just 7 of the emails which were less highly classified than those 22 and released:

Just a few things on ‪@HillaryClinton's unprotected server: ‪

  • Travel and security details for U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens in 2011. Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists murdered him and three other Americans on September 11, 2012.
  • Military intelligence from U.S. Africa Command in 2011, based on satellite observations of Libyan troops.
  • Clinton’s illegal instructions to advisor Jake Sullivan to transmit classified talking points via an unprotected fax in June 2011: “Turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”
  • Investigative details about a suspected Benghazi terrorist sought by the FBI. This 2012 message cited a security officer in the region.

If this was unclassified, imagine what the cannot-be-released emails were like.

I haven’t yet seen anything from David Corn on this. He was, you recall, the guy who spun Richard Armitage’s disclosure of Plame’s CIA employment to Novak into a deliberate outing of Plame’s identity by Vice President Cheney and his staff, a phony baloney claim the press lapped up and that resulted in the conviction of an innocent man. In fact, in a tribute to the power of the press to muddle the facts into a made-up narrative and the ahistorical nature of Dem voters, Plame is going to campaign for Hillary.

That brings me to the hyped-up suggestions that Hillary will be led off to a grand jury and thereafter made to account for her outrageous negligence on national security. (Despite her usual spinner's weak defenses that she didn’t know the stuff was classified, what does it matter and such blather, it appears her critics have her dead to rights on the law). If it were your son or daughter or husband or wife, whose life was in jeopardy because of her conduct, would you want her to walk? If you think David Petraeus was an outstanding general and had been punished too harshly for his errors -- should she get special treatment for far worse security breaches?

And apart from the email scandal, reminding us of her long history of corruption, Judicial Watch this week released the independent counsel’s memo which laid out the criminal case against her in the Whitewater Castle Grande land scandal, charges never pursued.

Truly, as Carly Fiorina said “Hillary Clinton has escaped prosecution more times than El Chapo.”

Hillary may well escape criminal prosecution again. Even if FBI head James Comey recommends prosecution, I cannot imagine Attorney General Lynch convening a grand jury to indict. As Tom Maguire reminds us

James Comey is a bit of a left-wing darling since he stood up to Team Bush/Cheney during the hospital room drama involving re-authorization of an NSA surveillance program, not to mention his part in siccing Special Counsel Fitzgerald on Cheney et al in the Plame "investigation".

Bygones. Depicting Comey as an eternal partisan hack will of course be Job One for the White House and the legacy media, and 2004 was a long time ago. Since Comey has been on the wrong side of the "Ferguson effect" question and the screening of Syrian refugees, a good progressive thrashing is overdue.

And after the Hillary non-indictment and the mass FBI resignations? Well, timing is everything -- can AG Lynch really delay a decision not to indict past the election? With the leaks we have been seeing it does seem as if the kettle is about ready to whistle. If Comey recommends an indictment in February, can Lynch sit on that for nine months with no leaks? Please. 

At a rare Democrat debate Hillary contended

“There should be no bank too big to fail, and no individual too powerful to jail.”

My thoughts exactly. Still, the voters have a chance to register their vote on this, and by all indications they’re turning thumbs down on her.

That leaves the aged commie Bernie Sanders, whose only gainful employment has been in government, for the Democrats. If the Republicans cannot stop batting all their candidates around and coalesce (even under a “no one is perfect” banner) he may win. And what a horrible choice this would be as we head into an almost certain recession and global turmoil. With bigger armies of bureaucrats, we could be like Europe, where residents are being forced to facilitate and finance their own destruction by armies of invading jihadis, having their lives made into a horror of even heavier taxation and preposterous regulations choking daily existence, unable to mount a credible defense to our enemies, or like Venezuelan and Soviet and Cuban residents before them, left scrambling in lines for hours waiting for scraps of food.   

Such an outcome would be particularly galling because the millennials flocking to his cause in anger over their present state were impoverished by the nincompoop policies of the present leader of his party and his army of ideological and corrupt appointees.