Different Rules

July 3rd, 2016

Reading this CNN story about Hillary at the FBI today brought two points to mind:

1. “The timing … couldn’t be worse.” Gee, it’s almost as if someone engineered an investigation of her so that it would culminate at just the right time.

2. In the story, Bill Clinton’s meeting with Loretta Lynch and Hillary’s use of a private email server “fuel the narrative that the Clintons operate under different rules than the rest of the political world.”

They are correct: a string of Bush administration officials did the same thing as Clinton, and they never got investigated for it. Their Attorneys General just gave them a bye, as did their congressional ethics and other committees. Different rules indeed.

Remember when it was discovered that George W. Bush had a drunk driving conviction? He got away with that history and the fact that he hid it, just by crying foul at the timing of the release. All he did was to say, “The Democrats are playing dirty tricks!” and it all went away: the “liberal” media decided that a presidential candidate arrested for drunk driving and then lying about it was not worth reporting on. Different rules indeed.

Remember how, when Democrats took control of both houses of Congress in 2006, they launched massive congressional investigations into the Bush administration for every imagined misdeed?

Of course you don’t, because they never did—even though (a) Republicans warned that they would, and (b) they had a large number of very real, serious crimes to investigate: massive illegal warrantless wiretapping, torture, lying to get us into a war that killed thousands of troops, the mishandling of Katrina leading to many civilian deaths, various lapses in security, the outing of a CIA agent as political payback, the US Attorney scandal—and, oh yeah, private email servers. They held back, and did not use their power as a cudgel. What investigations there were were limited, and did not punish anyone.

Not so the Republicans—they immediately went hog-wild when they got control back, and as soon as they were able, began using that power to attack not just Obama, but in particular Hillary, the presumptive nominee after Obama. And not just once, but multiple times (at least eight different Benghazi probes, for example, new ones sprouting even after previous ones cleared Clinton of wrongdoing).

Can you imagine what Republicans or the media would have said if Democrats in Congress had investigated John McCain in 2006 for his own past scandals? Or better, in 2008, when McCain rather clearly violated election laws, then Bush fired the only FEC member who objected? Did Democrats hold hearings on that? Of course not—both Republicans and the media would have screamed “Dirty Tricks!” Instead, Democrats in Congress and the “liberal media” both gave both McCain and Bush a free pass on it.

Different rules indeed.

Stories like these very often bring me to ask that question again and again: “What if it had been the Democrats who had done that, how would Republicans have reacted?” The response is obvious: if Republicans do something, it’s no big deal; if Democrats do the exact same thing, it’s a scandal so big that investigations never cease. IOKIYAR.

Yes, the timing couldn’t be worse, and yes, they live under different rules. Just not how the CNN author meant, though.

  1. Troy
    July 4th, 2016 at 04:55 | #1

    what’s sad to me is not that the GOP is full of shitbags, it’s that ~half the country is fine with that.

    comes down mainly to religious brainwashing in the end — Obama’s weakest support demographic is white protestants, at 30%, and Clinton’s of course inheriting that antipathy.

    Todays’ right-wing Christian element just want to skip over the ‘turn the other cheek’ teaching of their bible, along with all that help-thy-neighbor crap.

    There’s no fixing this, best we can do is hold these idiots at bay, in the minority.

    Dems winning the Pres and Senate this year are pretty big must-haves for me staying in the US after I retire next decade.

    This latest BS with the Senate refusing to consider Obama’s last SCOTUS pick means the filibuster has to go.

  2. Troy
    July 4th, 2016 at 06:52 | #2

    More ‘different rules’ — from your sidebar:

    “There are some who feel like the conditions [in Iraq] are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring them on”

    Bush, 13 years ago.

    the idiots of this country sure put a great Idiot In Chief in power in 2000.

    the damage that crew did 2001-2006 is really incalculable.

    our puny minds actively attempt to route away from understanding these unpleasant realities of how bad things got.

    and the GOP/conservative brigade has the temerity to blame Obama for not fully fixing their fuckups, both in the mideast and our collective macro-economic picture.

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