The presidential race has changed because The Awful Truth about the Clintons is sinking in
I admit that my jaw dropped yesterday as I watched Doug Schoen announce that he is no longer able to support Hillary Clinton for president, as described on these pages by Jeannie DeAngelis. Anyone who has watched national politics closely over the last quarter-century knows that Schoen is smart and principled and has deep connections with the Clintons. That he would withdraw his support is a signal moment, in the literal sense, telling other principled Dems that the stink is just too much. I suspect that he has a lot of comfort with his unease, but it remains to be seen if he will start a cascade of people distancing themselves publicly. My guess is that few Democrat media complex players on the national level have his guts and integrity. For now.
But it takes no guts at all to stay home, or fail to vote for Hillary, if you are a Democrat taken aback by the cumulative effect of the revelations last week. Here is the logical chain of four shocks that I think a big enough (10%?) share of Democrats have pondered.
Shock Number One
The Clintons actively enriched themselves through the Clinton Foundation empire. Doug Band admitting that the same marks were targeted for donations, for speaking fees for Bill, and for consulting work for Teneo (which funneled money back to others in the machine, like Huma). AT readers may have few illusions about the way the Clintons made their fortune, but loyal Democrats always assumed that it was incidental reward for their good work championing the oppressed. Clinton’s body man-turned-bag man Band shattered those illusions. It was deliberate, and it was shady.
Shock Number Two
James Comey’s letter to Congress re-opening the email inquiry suddenly negated what Dems took as an "all clear" signal from him last July. They went ahead and nominated Hillary in the knowledge that there was no criminal probe (of the emails – they did not know of the Clinton Foundation probe already underway) – thanks to Comey’s July 5 presentation on the evidence and the decision not to recommend prosecution.
The rug has been pulled out from under them.
Shock Number Three
The rifts within the FBI over investigating the Clintons are coming to light and driving suspicions that a cover-up may have been attempted. Loretta Lynch’s notorious tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton in private already planted seeds of doubt. To some degree, insiders and some Dem faithful have understood that the Clintons leave no stone unturned when it comes to protecting themselves from accusers. But what is frightening and threatening is the possibility of a grassroots revolt within the FBI, and the possibility of really serious leaks if the ball is dropped.
Shock Number Four
In combination, the three previous shocks mean we are headed for a constitutional crisis if Hillary is elected and then indicted. Serious people who love the Republic – and that group includes even some Dem insiders – understand that this is a potential nightmare and a national security threat in an era of terror and unstable great power relations.
Schoen has shown how it is done. Now it is up to other Democrats to take their stand. NeverHillary's moment may have arrived.