In light of the scathing internal audit that found Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton guilty of violating federal procedures during her time as the Secretary of State, several leading media organizations have chastised Clinton for her irresponsible acts, with some going so far as to suggest that she should drop out of the presidential race for the benefit of the Democratic Party.
The Washington Post editorial board, taking note of the revelations that Hillary Clinton had never sought permission to conduct official business on her private server, roundly criticized her for what it called an “inexcusable and willful disregard for the rules.”
“But there is no excuse for the way Ms. Clinton breezed through all the warnings and notifications. While not illegal behavior, it was disturbingly unmindful of the rules. In the middle of the presidential campaign, we urge the FBI to finish its own investigation soon, so all information about this troubling episode will be before the voters.”
The audit, which was sent to lawmakers Wednesday and leaked to the press on the same day, has mounted Clinton’s troubles in more ways than one. Not only has it amplified the general distrust that even Democratic voters have towards her, it has also proved that Hillary Clinton has misstated facts deliberately throughout the duration of her campaign. As Salon noted in a recent report, Clinton’s “convenience” excuse, which she has constantly fallen back upon in times of intense scrutiny, is now obsolete.
During an interview with CNN in 2015, one of the first instances when Clinton had experimented with the “convenience” excuse, she had said the following.
“I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”
But, as the internal audit showed, using her personal email account was never allowed in the first place. The IG’s office noted that they “found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server.”
When Clinton was confronted with the findings of the report on CNN‘s The Situation Room this week, she appeared keen to deflect the issue once more, underlining how Republicans before her in the office, including Colin Powell, had made similar “mistakes.”
However, the audit itself proved that this defense would turn ineffectual, as the State Department IG noted that the rules were “fluid” before Clinton was appointed but that they were set in stone in a “comprehensive” manner before she left office.
In essence, then, the audit has shattered Hillary’s “convenience” argument, while at the same time distancing herself further from Democratic voters. The distrust that voters have towards her will undoubtedly be compounded in light of the recent report, and it is one of the primary reasons that left-leaning columnists are asking Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the race.
Shaun King, a civil rights activist who identifies himself as a Democrat, wrote that Clinton should drop out of the presidential race for the benefit of the Democratic Party.
“Hillary Clinton should remove herself from contention from the Democratic nomination. Had the American public known a year ago what we know now, it’s possible that Clinton would have never made it this far. That she refused to be interviewed for the investigation and that she refuses to release the transcripts from her speeches to Goldman Sachs suggests that she is prepared to win by any means necessary. Even if it means denying the voters in her own party the information they truly need to make an informed decision.”
“When respected members of the press are utterly flabbergasted by the lies that were told, sometimes directly to their faces, this has crossed over into something else — something far more nefarious.”
H.A. Goodman, a Democrat who teaches law, concurred with King’s views and suggested that Clinton should withdraw from the race before the FBI indicts her. If the Democratic Party continues to rally behind her, not only would it send a wrong precedent that in America’s rigged political setup, an individual can be larger than the party, it would also completely disillusion Democratic voters, who, in an extreme step, might vote for Donald Trump in the general election rather than voting for someone whom they do not trust at all.
“This isn’t Whitewater. It’s a huge story, and a controversy that will lead to the FBI recommending indictments. If you disagree, then store your Social Security number, bank account information, and address on a friend’s private server. After you’ve stored your most precious data on another person’s server, then try to sleep easy at night.”
Speaking to The Hill, Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University, said that Hillary Clinton’s email woes will get worse in days to come, and the best recourse for the Democratic Party would be to ask her to drop out the race.
“All of that feeds into this overarching problem of public distrust of her. To put it in slang terms, she’s got a pretty deeply held street rep at this point. This fits the street rep.”
As Associated Press noted in its report, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly misstated facts to the point where she has started to herself believe the lies she has been perpetuating all this while. Such a disdain for rules, coupled with her almost obsessive desire to get over the line using any means necessary, is not only dangerous for her chances during this election season, but is dangerous for the future of the Democratic Party itself.
The Atlantic, reviewing the findings of the report, wrote the following.
“That’s the key question. What matters about the Clinton email scandal is not the nefarious conduct that she sought to hide by using her own server. There’s no evidence of any such nefarious conduct. What matters is that she made an extremely poor decision: poor because it violated State Department rules, poor because it could have endangered cyber-security, and poor because it now constitutes a serious self-inflicted political wound. Why did such a smart, seasoned public servant exercise such bad judgment? For the same reason she has in the past: Because she walls herself off from alternative points of view.”
The reasons that Democrats have put forward for not voting Donald Trump into office come November, could very well also be the reasons that Hillary Clinton might not be chosen into the office either. With Clinton being someone who is not open to alternative views, someone who continues to listen to only her closest aides and not care about the views of the nation in general, critics argue that she would make a terrible representative for the Democratic Party. And on the evidence that we now have before us, the criticism appears legitimate.
Do you still think Hillary Clinton should be chosen the Democratic nominee despite the email scandal highlighting her inadequacies?
[Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images]