The ‘Rigged System’ and the F.B.I. Primary

May 7 on The Greg Gutfeld Show, Greg asked Democrat strategist Jessica Tarlov, “What do you think about Hillary?” “I think she’s perfect,” Tarlov purred. One might hazard from this that Miss Jessica is a “true believer,” but she was probably just attempting a little humor. (The May 7th show, by the way, is one of Greg’s funniest. Brad Thor was also a guest. Watch the whole show at the YouTube link above or Greg’s opening monologue at

If you are depressed about what is lining up to be your choices for president this November, then know this: you’re responsible. It is the People that have given us these presumptive nominees. But, the People would not have been able to choose these nominees were it not for “the system”: the primary system.

This year, the People and “the system” have given America the two nominees with highest negatives of any major party candidates in modern history. We can’t very well swap out the People, but maybe we could find a better system.

One of the big reasons for resisting change in the system we use for selecting presidential nominees is that the primaries are a business. There are huge sums of money involved for pollsters, political strategists, advertisers, the media, makers of campaign buttons and hats. Jeb Bush’s four delegates reportedly put his supporters back some $100 million. All that Bush money went somewhere, and the people who received it don’t want their gravy train stopped. If America’s political parties didn’t conduct primaries, all those enterprises feeding off of the primaries would be out of business; a lot of “rice bowls” would be broken. And just think: we’d miss out on all the fun and games, as cable TV’s Showtime has attempted to capture in their series “The Circus.”

By the time of the conventions next month, the primary campaigns will have gone on for more than a year, while the general election campaign will be less than four months. If we scrapped the primary system, Democrats who bemoan the decision in Citizens United v. FEC would have a lot less money they’d need to raise. More importantly, the American people wouldn’t have to endure perpetual politics. In 2014 at the Wall Street Journal, William A. Galston of the Brookings Institution addressed the “permanent campaign.” The blurb for his article ended with “junk the primary system”:

Our current presidential nominating system tends to reward candidates who are talented campaigners. Only if we get lucky do effective campaigners turn out to have a capacity for governing. Can anyone seriously contend that the ability to win the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary is a good leading indicator of the capacity to serve as chief executive? The worst system of all is an unrepresentative plebiscite, but that is what the past four decades have yielded.

The very candidates who squawk that the system is “rigged” against them are the candidates who have benefited from that system. Democrats wouldn’t have given Bernie Sanders the time of day if it weren’t for the primary system. After all, he’s always been an Independent. Without the “rigged” system of primaries and caucuses, Sanders would have had to run in a minor party, maybe the Green Party or the Socialist Party, or under no party. So outsiders, like Sanders, wouldn’t want to scrap the “rigged” system that gave them a shot at a major-party nomination.

The primary systems of the two major parties are rather different, and it is the Democrat system, with its super-delegates of party “insiders,” that is the more rigged and the less democratic. Perhaps Sanders thinks that he can woo Hillary’s super-delegates over to him. More likely he’s waiting on “the FBI primary”; waiting to see if the FBI will make a criminal referral on Clinton’s emails, private server, and Clinton Foundation issues. But even if Hillary is indicted, Democrat delegates are unlikely to nominate an “outsider” like Bernie.

Democrat delegates should think long and hard about what it would mean for the republic to nominate someone under FBI investigation. Even if the Obama Justice Department declines to pursue a criminal referral, Democrat delegates should conduct their own “trial” to decide on Hillary’s guilt and fitness, and vote accordingly.

Every delegate to a nominating convention should be required to read Andrew McCarthy’s “The Torricelli Solution to the Coming Clinton Implosion,” which ran May 31 at National Review. The article deals with Mrs. Clinton finally having to face the music for her (alleged) criminality:

Of course, relief at Clinton’s departure would have to be discounted by the hit Democrats took when Obama issued the pardon Hillary would demand as the price of stepping aside. I deeply doubt that the Clintons would accept an Obama promise of a post-election pardon. They’d demand up front any pardons necessary to cover the e-mail scandal, the destruction of government files, and any corruption, fraud, or other offenses arising out of the Clinton Foundation. With Hillary’s nomination, the Clintons will have leverage, and they would surely use it to (a) pressure Obama to spin any pardons as an exoneration (“I see no criminal activity here, but for the good of the country . . . ”); (b) spare themselves the humiliation (and potentially worse) of criminal prosecution; and (c) protect the fortune they’ve amassed by monetizing their “public service.”

If such a “deal” between Obama and Hillary were actually struck, it would be an outrageous use of the pardon. But it shouldn’t surprise; Bill Clinton himself pardoned terrorists, and it seems likely that he “sold” the Marc Rich pardon. Perhaps if Obama pardons Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of 9/11 now at Gitmo, folks will get exercised about these abuses of power.

McCarthy also delves into the logistics of a last-minute substitute nominee’s campaign, and he ends his article with a sobering irony. His article leads one to conclude that Mrs. Clinton has no mens rea defense for her various shenanigans … she knew that what she was doing was illegal. (And if she didn’t know, then she’s not smart enough to be president.)

The Clintons have always seemed like money-grubbing grifters. If Mrs. Clinton does get to go through the judicial system and is found guilty of the felonies she appears to have committed, there is no penalty adequate to compensate for the damage she has done to our political system. If prison is ruled out by a presidential pardon, at least she should be fined enough to make her truly “dead broke,” as she claimed to have been when she left the White House. It matters not that “she’s perfect.”

Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City.

If you experience technical problems, please write to