Peter Cavanaugh

Of Mice and Men

By Peter Cavanaugh

“What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.” - Mark Twain (1893)

Most of my rowdy friends at local watering holes catering to the common man still call Hillary Clinton a liar. When pressed for specifics, they cry, “Benghazi.” After I amiably observe that I watched all of Hillary’s nearly 12 hours of testimony under oath before the Republican led House Select Committee last October and they never caught her in a lie, my drinking buddies jump to “emails” as evidence of Secretary Clinton’s proven untrustworthiness. That’s when I quote those fundamentally undeniable, FBI certified, painstakingly established official numbers.

Of the more than 30,000 emails reviewed during more than a full year of investigation, only 110 were finally judged as containing classified material, although not one was ever labeled as such. There were three with tiny “markings” which might indicate confidentiality to the sophisticated reader, but it turns out even these were incorrectly placed.

Then I cordially mention in my loud radio voice from the end of the bar it has been established by FBI Director James Comey that Hillary never lied to the Bureau when interviewed for nearly four hours and Director James Comey also specifically stated: “We did not find evidence sufficient to establish that she knew she was sending classified information.”

In conclusion I point out to my collective companions this means any charges Mrs. Clinton was not telling the truth when she said she wasn’t lying – are lies. By then they are sick and tired of hearing me talk.

I suggest a beer and a shot will shut me up. This works like a charm. I return the favor, then off we go, launching into more important matters such as following football, trimming trucks and gunning for gophers.

Hillary Clinton still has plenty of time left before the election for image improvement. An immediate challenge is dispelling those curious words “extremely careless” with which she was labeled by Director Comey just before he got around to finally saying in summary that she wouldn’t be charged with anything after all. This has provided Donald Nothing but the Truth” Trump and his new running mate, Mike “The Poodle” Pence with valuable campaign ammo.

Having poured over everything Director Comey said in his surprise initial announcement on July 5 and subsequently repeated at length for almost five hours of sworn testimony two days later in another hastily conveyed “Let’s Hang Hillary” hearing, I can find nothing in Comey’s words to understand such a judgment except Comey himself.

James Comey is the straightest man I’ve ever seen on national TV. He’s the ultimate Boy Scout, as tight as a mouse’s rear stretched over a barrel. He is extraordinarily conscientious, perhaps even perilously proper to extremes. When he scratches an itch, he thinks it’s sex.

Director Comey allows that the “extreme” carelessness he observed during his investigation was not limited to the State Department under Hillary Clinton, but endemic to the institution long before she arrived. This now seems all but forgotten by pundits in the press.

Knowing full well that his decision would be greeted with ridicule and derision by about-to-be-former Republican friends, I suspect the Director wistfully hoped placing a pejorative adjective such as “extremely” before the word “careless” might offer a slight measure of embarrassingly apologetic consolation for his inevitable determination. And it has.

Trumpublicans have jumped on “extremely careless” with pitbull tenacity, growling and scowling with typically feigned ferocity. They are ignoring in the process a majority observation by clear national consensus that their new leader is emotionally immature, demonstrably unstable, and clinically nuts.

This week’s events have born that out.

The Democratic Party convenes next Monday in Philadelphia.

Kindly compare.

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