As GOP conducts demolition derby nomination race, my mind turns to alterative scenarios
The Republican Party is known for its fratricidal nominating races, but this year’s contest can only be compared to a demolition derby, where the winner will emerge not only dented and barely running, but with a legacy of bitterness, even hatred, and potential boycott of the nominee by the losing faction. It is enough to make a grown conservative weep.
But then, this is the season of miracles. Jews just celebrated Purim, a festival commemorating the miraculous rescue of the Jews from the ancient Persian tyrant Haman, who planned to kill them all. And today, Christians celebrate the miraculous resurrection of Jesus.
So, before we conservatives curl up in the fetal position, clutching blankets and sucking our thumbs, it is time, as the cliché has it, to think outside the box. Now I will be the first to stipulate that what follows is fantasy. The chances of anything like this happening are tiny. Nonetheless, it does constitute a plausible series of events, based on what we know and can reasonably project about certain contingencies ahead of us.
Hillary, the FBI and the DOJ
It appears that there is a reasonable basis to expect a criminal referral from the FBI to the Department of Justice. Hillary Clinton is already known to have violated laws concerning the handling of classified information. What we don’t know is what the FBI has recovered from emails purportedly wiped from the bathroom closet server, and what, if any, corruption might be detailed. The crimes for which she might be referred range from gross negligence all the way up to bribery.
The reaction of the Department of Justice remains to be seen. We do know that the DoJ has been rebuked quite recently by high level judges for bad faith in handling the politicized IRS. For the sake of my scenario, I am going to assume that the FBI will make a criminal referral, and the Justice Department will decline to convene a grand jury.
For her part, I believe that Hillary Clinton would react to such a scenario by vowing to press on, and would receive the Democratic nomination in Philadelphia. Hillary has fought other battles when incriminating evidence is there for all to see, starting with cattle futures trading and Whitewater, all the way through the stained blue dress and the email revelations to date. She won’t give up and go home to play with her grandchildren and ailing spouse. For one thing, a less friendly administration might reverse the DoJ.
Should these events happen, it appears likely that James Comey, the head of the FBI, would be joined by other DoJ and FBI officials in offering resignations.
Comey would immediately become Mr. Integrity. A man who goes after dirt, no matter what the politicians say. He fought the Bush administration in the past, and now he would be seen as a nonpartisan fighter for truth, justice, and the American Way.
Which brings us to the fractious GOP convention in Cleveland this July. Plans are already afoot to deadlock the voting, preventing either of the seriously damaged main contenders, Trump or Cruz, from gaining the nomination. Both men lose to the corrupt and hideously unappealing Hillary Clinton by huge margins in multiple polls. Yes, Ronald Reagan was able to overcome a polling disadvantage, but he also got a huge leg up from the third party candidacy of John Anderson. And he had a sunny, optimistic persona, and was probably the best political communicator of the last century.
Now, both the Trump and Cruz factions are dead-set against a GOP establishment compromise, such as Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney, both of whose names have been floated as alternatives to the demolition derby survivors.
But what if a “Draft Comey” movement were to appear?
Comey is a non-politician, first and foremost. He has widespread respect for his integrity. And yet, he knows the ins and outs of Washington, DC.
Pat Caddell and others have been saying for over a year that roughly two thirds of the American public are disgusted by the corruption and self-dealing of the DC establishment of both parties. Certainly Trump, Cruz and Sanders supporters all agree on that. The time is ripe for an outsider of integrity to get to the bottom of the mess and implement a reform agenda.
Now, I have no idea what James Comey’s political beliefs are. I have never met the man. And maybe he is too sane to even want the presidency. But he might also be the kind of man to recognize the depth of the political crisis that America faces, and to see the need for someone trusted by both sides of the voting public (if not the politicians) to kick some butt and send more than a few people to prison.
In spirit of forgiveness of the day, I ask you to at least consider the possibility.