Monday, October 31, 2016

"A Shocking Breach of a Vital, Decades-Old Law-Enforcement Norm"

"Perhaps Comey believed that a properly measured statement would have a political impact proportional to its scale. That belief was delusional. If there is any circumstance for which the precedent against late charges should apply, it is to the current race. Hillary Clinton is a morally imperfect figure, surrounded by shady figures and burdened with poor political instincts, but she is a normal public servant and no crook. The lack of proportionality applied to her real but minimal ethics failures is staggering. The email issue has completely dominated the news media's coverage of her campaign, blotting out any attention to policy issues. Low-information voters—that is, the most persuadable undecided ones in the middle—know her primarily as the subject of ethical and legal suspicion. It is why media coverage of her pneumonia and her campaign’s failure to disclose it coincided with her lead collapsing into a near-tie. A voter following the campaign through cable news and headline snippets would rationally conclude that Trump’s lunatic portrayal of his opponent as a criminal is not far from the truth."

Jonathan Chait at New York reacts to the contretemps over the F.B.I. and Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

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