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Of Emails and Clintons

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The thing is, this Hillary Clinton indictment thing -- which isn't going to end in indictment after all -- isn't going away.

A -- um -- lady who appears to lack any other interest besides becoming the first woman president will go on embarrassing herself and her country even if she wins in November (which possibility I wouldn't rule out).

She can't be trusted; that's the long and the short of it. With what she tells you, you can't go to the bank without the feeling hanging over you that the check is likely to bounce. How are we to know when she's doing the right thing or just the expedient thing? How are we to know when she's telling the truth or just fudging and fabling to get out of one corner or another?

She's a Clinton, when you get down to it. And in our morally reduced times, to be a Clinton is to enjoy and exercise privileges lesser beings could not imagine -- especially of a pecuniary sort.

The Clintons figure the world revolves around them. Maybe it does and we just haven't caught on to the fact. They emerged from Arkansas with the aim of revitalizing our lives, and have kept at it ever since, as though specially anointed by heaven.

The Clintons -- who are best spoken of in tandem, as opposed to individually -- seem to have dodged yet another bullet, what with FBI Director James Comey's preemptive dismissal Tuesday of criminal charges against Hillary Clinton in the celebrated email case. The Obama Justice Department certainly won't overrule the recommendation of a respected law enforcement official.

There's no chance, even so, that Comey's declarations about her conduct will not pass into campaign folklore: Secretary of State Clinton and her aides "were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information"; "any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position ... should have known that an unclassified system was no place" for top-secret, special-access emails; she used "unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security."

Water under the bridge? Clinton would like us to think so. The honesty issue, nevertheless, won't go away. What she's been telling us about the situation doesn't square with what the FBI investigation turned up. She did -- though she said she didn't -- email classified information. She didn't -- though she said in a sworn statement she did -- turn over to the State Department all her work-related emails. If she herself, as she said last year, didn't "wipe" her server, her lawyers did, "in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery."

So, what does Clinton say now: "They've got it wrong"? (In that case, how much truth should we ascribe to that assertion?) Or is it: "OK, OK, I did it, but I'm cleaning up my act and nothing like this will ever happen again." (Based on what evidence of past integrity?)

Donald Trump -- nobody's idea of Cicero or George Washington, Esq. -- will not fail for a single day during the campaign to remind voters of the dangers inherent in trusting an opponent excused from indictment due only to a lack of evidence of "intentional and willful mishandling of classified information" or of "efforts to obstruct justice."

We wait to see, in November, what the voters make of it all. Is "Crooked Hillary" the vile and value-free creature that Trump would depict for our delight? I think that's going farther than the facts allow us to venture.

I don't think it can be shown that Hillary Rodham Clinton is bent on turning America over to its worst enemies or impulses. I think she exemplifies, in great splendor, her political generation's worst weaknesses: egotism; vanity; the habit of equating public service with personal gain; the tendency to cut moral corners in pursuit of The Higher Good no one else can see; not least, impatience with constitutional constraints.

The Clintons, both of them, would have gotten the bum's rush at the convention that wrote the Constitution. But here they are now. It remains to decide what to do about them, and their cold-eyed, smooth-tongued like.

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