Snakes on a Plane
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
“I fully expect to accept (the) recommendations (of the F.B.I. and) career agents and investigators.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the Aspen Ideas Festival, July 1, 2016
I would've entitled this byline "Strangers on a Plane" except President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch aren't strangers by a long shot.
By now, we're as used to hearing about the next Clinton scandal as we are about the latest storm during hurricane season. So imagine the embarrassment of Democrats when the news broke this morning of Attorney General Loretta Lynch sitting down to a nice chat with former President Bill Clinton aboard her official government plane on an airport tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona last Wednesday.
You don't need to be a Poli Sci major to know that as surely as possession is nine tenths of the law, optics account for well over half of politics. If it looks like a turd and smells like a turd... And as stated in this very byline mere weeks ago, the Democrats (especially those in the Tammany-Clinton wing) are getting as bad as the Republicans at recognizing and responding to bad optics. No one expects AG Lynch to be as politically savvy or adroit as Bill Clinton used to be before he got sloppy and snarly like a WWE good guy wrestler suddenly morphing into a bad guy.
But AG Lynch is the Attorney General of the United States, our top cop so to speak, and we the people rightly expect her to have some political sensibilities and sense of optics if not an outright moral and ethical code that reflects a reverence for the law she's sworn to enforce. We're getting none of that.
Of course, the Usual Suspects like Chuck Schumer ("D"-Wall Street) have sprung to Lynch's (but really the Clintons') aid with the usual, "Nothing to see here, folks" spiel. Yet, in reality, it reveals a lot and not a single speck of it is good. The meeting undermines confidence in the integrity of the DOJ's investigation into Hillary Clinton's State Dept. emails, reinforces the perception that, while the Big Blue Democratic Tent is hardly all-inclusive, the better-heeled ones are all part of a chummy clubhouse in which no outsiders are accepted or tolerated.
You Owe Us
The prevailing message we've been hearing from Camp Clinton over the last year plus is that this is Hillary's time and, Goddamnit, we owe her! It's time for our first female President and Hillary's the best-qualified woman in the land to succeed Mr. Obama! Former First Lady, former senator, former Secretary of State, how much more qualified can you get?! And, of course, if that isn't enough, there's always the "If you don't vote for Hillary, then you're voting for Trump!" fear tactic.
It doesn't matter to these people that Hillary Clinton has viciously clawed and ripped her way to the top of the heap in this Capture the Flag charade we call American politics when that heap is composed of many dead bodies created in Hillary's wake. Yet there's no evidence, as Donald Trump suggested on Twitter, that Hillary Clinton insisted to Bill that he go talk with AG Lynch.
In fact, just to play Devil's Advocate, I very seriously doubt that Clinton, herself a former attorney and just as politically adroit as her husband, would have even approved of such a stunt. This is something that's all very much in Slick Willie's character. We saw how deeply he'd inserted himself into his wife's last presidential campaign in 2008 where he'd actually said, "If you vote for me..."
But the ripple effect of this highly unethical meeting should not go unnoticed and it should extend all the way back to the White House. After all, Lynch was Obama's pick after Eric Holder resigned and Lynch's own career in the federal judicial system began when Bill Clinton himself appointed her US Attorney in New York's Eastern District.
If nothing else, the meeting draws a direct if dotted line connecting Bill Clinton, Loretta Lynch, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It's a line made more solid still by President Obama this month officially campaigning for Hillary. In other words, it looks as if Everyone That Matters is in the tank for Hillary and we're not talking a Michael Dukakis tank.
I Give Myself Permission to Board
And it's absolutely ridiculous to ask intelligent people to believe that Bill Clinton just happened to be in Phoenix last Wednesday at the same time as Loretta Lynch and just happened to pay her a social call on board her government jet just to talk about the kids, grandkids and golf during the same exact time her Justice Dept was investigating Clinton's wife. Just because Lynch denied having spoken to the ex president of the investigation doesn't mean he didn't ask about it.
Clinton's status as a former Commander in Chief did not give him the right to board that aircraft in which there was no staff, no aides, no phones or recording devices of any kind. This tarmac incident is much more serious than getting a haircut at LAX while jets were racked, packed and stacked overhead waiting to land.
And Loretta Lynch owed Clinton absolutely nothing for his 1999 appointment.
Perhaps as a preemptive reaction to the bad optics, Lynch told Jonathan Capeheart of the WaPo at the Aspen Ideas Festival that she was prepared to accept the FBI's recommendations, whatever they are (and no, Bernie fans, we haven't any solid evidence the FBI or James Comey had recommended an indictment).
So it's entirely possible that Bill may have shot Hillary in the foot. And, oddly enough, Donald Trump is not openly calling for her resignation or even recusal from the investigation, which fosters the growing if unverified perception that Trump is merely a Republican shill advanced as a candidate to ensure a Clinton victory.
At the very least, this latest meddling of Slick Willie into what's already a deeply suspicious and collusive campaign only fosters the perception that the Democratic power structure is a one massive, incestuous crime family, which it is, But this stunt merely removes some of the doubt and the bad optics are at the same giving us a clearer vision of just how truly corrupt and collusive this election cycle is.