Andrew C. McCarthy:
Why isn’t Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame?
So he gambled. So what? There’s no code of ethics for athletic prowess. There are plenty of baseball players who’ve done far worse — racists, druggies, sex abusers, fathers who abandon their children. And on the other side of the coin, many players who were stellar enough to make it to Cooperstown couldn’t hold a candle to Charlie Hustle.
Yet almost 30 years after the Hall’s doors were slammed shut on the all-time major-league leader in base hits, Rose is still banned from baseball because he bet on games. Why? After all, gambling is legal in many places and generally considered a harmless vice even where it is outlawed. In the greater scheme of things, it is not in the same league as much of the thuggery despite which pro athletes are routinely given second chances, third chances, and chances ad infinitum.
Rose, however, remains disqualified. And rightly so.
In the narrow world of baseball, his offense is unpardonable. The place of the game in our history, culture, and consciousness depends on its being perceived as on the up-and-up. Professional baseball was nearly destroyed in 1919 by a conspiracy to fix the World Series — the famed “Black Sox” scandal dramatized in Eight Men Out. The cautionary lesson for the Powers That Be was stark: The public’s willingness to buy tickets and hot dogs and jerseys and caps and bobblehead dolls (to say nothing of the beer and Viagra sales that drive networks to plunk down billions for broadcast rights) hinges on its confidence that the fix is not in. The integrity of the game is why people live and die with every pitch, why they accept the final score with joy or mourning — not with the eye-rolling that attaches to such scripted performance art as professional wrestling.
I couldn’t help but think of Rose’s ban-for-life when news broke about the totally “spontaneous” meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former president Bill Clinton.
The latter, it so happens, is not just married to Hillary Clinton, the subject of the former’s most significant criminal investigation; he is quite possibly a subject in his own right — and, at the very least, a key witness. Meantime, the attorney general is the ultimate maker of what will be the Justice Department’s epic decision whether to indict Mrs. Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the nation’s highest office — the Obama administration having turned a deaf ear to Republican calls for a so-called special prosecutor.
Baseball’s seemingly draconian ban on Rose sprang to mind when I read the pained but forgiving tweet by Democratic media-plant David Axelrod. He took the AG and former president “at their word” that there had been no discussion of the FBI’s Hillary probe during what we are to believe was an unplanned meeting — just one of those chance encounters between two of the most tightly guarded officials of the world’s only superpower, whose Praetorian phalanxes leave nothing to chance.
Maybe Axelrod is right. After all, who on earth could be more trustworthy than (a) a former president who has been impeached and disbarred for giving false testimony that obstructed judicial proceedings and (b) the steward of American history’s most politicized Justice Department, who swore to enforce the laws right after testifying (at her confirmation hearing) that the executive branch need not enforce the laws?
Still, though this duo runneth over with probity, Axelrod conceded with all due tongue-clucking that Clinton and Lynch had been “foolish to create such optics.”
I’ll say. Under the ethical standards that apply — if standards actually matter to anyone anymore — bad optics are not merely foolish; they are disqualifying. They require that Lynch recuse herself. Not that she merely agree to accept the determination of the FBI and career prosecutors, as she would have us believe she will do (just as we are to believe that President Obama, the real — and conflicted — decision-maker, has agreed to defer to Lynch). She should wall herself off from any further involvement in the case.
Optic is a fashionable Beltway synonym for the word Axelrod was at pains to avoid — appearance . . . as in “appearance of impropriety.”
Unlike great athletes, attorneys who practice in the American judicial system are bound by a code of ethics. The system’s most important rule is, quite deliberately, very simple and very easy to follow: Lawyers are supposed to avoid the “appearance of impropriety.” Not just impropriety, not just actual misconduct; they are to steer clear of — as opposed to, say, willfully orchestrating — the mere optic of corrupt behavior.
Lynch by any standards of ethics is a pig. To the normal attorney, her conduct would have a disbarment hearing pending. One of the AR-15’s in the Paris killings have been traced back to fast and furious operation of the fool and racist holter. So holter and the fool got away with another international murder and terrorist attack. Gary Byrne in his new books offers the following: “in training we always said, we don’t rise to our expectations; we all to on level of training. The same can be said of character.”
Likewise, the fool is responsible for the killing on an American Ambassador. So when does he stand trial for efforts supporting international terrorism ?
If it were not for the fact that neither Bill Clinton nor Loretta Lynch ever expected to be caught having this meeting on the plane, I might agree with J. Christian Adams.
He opines that it is not the worst thing for Hillary if Lynch steps aside.
And that this meeting was a baiting of Republicans so as to force them into insisting on just that.
He adds, however, that a career prosecutor would take her place should she step aside.
And, he adds, that career prosecutor would expect to be working UNDER Hillary should she be elected.
Therefore, the career prosecutor would let Hillary walk.
A weakened Lynch might have to be sterner toward Hillary than a career prosecutor.
BUT, there was no plan for the meeting to have ANY optics, good or bad.
The meeting was taking place in SECRET.
It was mere chance that a reporter happened to see Bill hanging around waiting for Loretta’s plane to come in instead of getting on his own plane and leaving.
Now, it could work out like Adams opined.
But I doubt it was planned.
This is the Clintons trying to make lemonade out of this lemon.
They have years of practice doing just that, so they might succeed this time, too.
The dirty Demacrats do anything say anything to remain in power This is no longer JFK’s demacratic party
There’s gonna be Supreme Court seats to fill by the next President…
Here is how the news of Hillary Clinton’s weekend meeting with the FBI was reported on Fox News:
“Clinton “is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist the Department of Justice in bringing this review to a conclusion” campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement. He also said Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, would have no further comment about the interview.” Quoted from Fox News.
And here is what it would sound like if Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker) would say it:
Richard Ramirez “is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist the Los Angeles Police Department in bringing this review to a conclusion”
Also it was said Ramirez, the presumptive killer and rapist of more than 12 women, would have no further comment about the interview.
Note that news reports say that Hillary Clinton appeared voluntarily. Fat chance. She saved herself from being subpoenaed and hauled into the FBI offices on her ass.
At CANN.com, the report started like this:
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for three and a half hours on Saturday as part of the probe into her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, her campaign said.”
It should have been:
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s criminal division questioning of lying Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lasted three and a half hours on Saturday as part of the probe into her illegal and fraudulent use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, her campaign said.”
Note that there is no doubt at all that Old Lady Clinton illegally and fraudulently had an email server set up for herself at her home. No doubt. And this is what is illegal and criminal.
Note that she deleted emails from her server to hide pertinent information regarding her illegal activities while serving as Secretary of State. Many of those emails have since been recovered and are highly incriminating. Confidential and secret information was exposed to cyber attack due to the lack of Clinton’s following the law. She says it was a mistake. Fine. However, IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE. Trial and incarceration at a Federal prison is what’s next for Hillary Clinton.
The meeting between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton is the most obvious perversion of justice ever displayed. Being that Lynch was no doubt taking orders from Obama, the most heinous scuzzy sewer rat that ever walked, she now must recuse herself or taint her judicial professional career with doubt and suspicion.
In resume, Hillary Rodham should be indicted for the crimes she has committed. No excuses. She is an attorney, she knows the law and knows that what she was doing and what she did was illegal and criminal.
So The Attorney General “Just happens” to meet with Bill Clinton at a time that “Just happens” to be 2 days before Hillary is deposed by The FBI on a day that OLD MAN Bill claims he played 18 holes of golf in 106 degree temps….TO TALK ABOUT THEIR GRANDCHILDREN (That Lynch does not have) AFTER ordering “No pictures, cell phones or audio recording ” just before the meeting?
What would explain all that? Simple:
Lynch gave Clinton a Thumb Drive containing every question The FBI asked Crooked Hillary.
THINK ABOUT IT.
It allowed Lynch to promptly proclaim that she would go along with any FBI recommendation.
OF COURSE! Because Lynch knows Hillary will “Ace” the deposition.
Right out of the classic Clinton Playbook.
Both the former President and the Attorney General KNEW DARN WELL that the meeting was improper, but to get that info to Bill and thus Hillary makes the risk worth taking… and no other explanation really makes any sense. Not one.
@Nanny G: Agreed. But for one local reporter this meeting would never have been known. The local ABC reporter got it up on the local news before the suits at ABC in New York knew it happened, or it would have never made it.
Lynch had things to tell Clinton she could not trust to a third party, nor a cell phone or email. Probably had to do with the direction of Hillary’s questions in her upcoming meeting with the FBI. They had to get their answers down before hand and needed to know what would be asked.
The corruption and rot are very deep now…we are a banana republic.
Odd that everybody here is so upset about the “Optics” of the Bill Clinton/Loretta lynch meeting, while not a word has been said about the “Optics” of the Trump/Putin love affair. Bill Clinton ISN’T running for president, Trump IS.
Talk about pissing into the wind!
@Spurwing Plover, #3:
Republicans presently control both houses of Congress.
Democrats have had majority control of Congress during only 4 of the last 22 years. Republicans have had majority control during 12.
Obviously the problem isn’t that democrats have been in control. It’s that republicans elect people so abysmally stupid that they can’t accomplish a damn thing even when they have the majority needed to to do so. Maybe you should stop whining about democrats and elect some functional republicans.
@George Wells: Well, one is a blatant abuse while the other shows that Putin respects Trump more than he does Obama or Hillary.
The “optics” indicate what impropriety and disregard for the law look like. This is the facade of the Obama administration and would no doubt be far worse under a Hillary regime.
Gee, Bill. I don’t remember you making such a fuss about Colin Powell’s use of HIS private email server when HE was Secretary of State. Double standard much?
@George Wells: Double standard NONE. First, I have clearly stated before that if he, Condi Rice or anyone else can be shown to have used their unsecured email to send, receive or store classified information, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law; just as Gen. Petraeus was. However, there does not appear to be any evidences of this and, while Gen. Petreaus was made an example of, Hillary’s supporters seem to feel she should not be held to ANY standard whatsoever.
That “classified” issue is a dead one and you know it. Most of the “classified” stuff wasn’t classified when she sent it. AND there are plenty of instances when government folks divulge “classified” information to the press or in court proceedings or to congress, all in the course of THEIR service to the country, and THEY don’t get crucified for it. Why her? Has there EVER been a case made that she did ANY of this stuff FOR A REASON other than simple expediency? Did she email secrets to the Russians? You make it sound like she did…
@George Wells: I guess that’s all moot now, isn’t it? Apparently, a price has now been placed on justice and national security.
I’m not so sure. Evidently, you’re omnipotent, you know everything without the benefit of having all the facts that the FBI has, and you’ve already passed judgment. In that respect, I guess you’re right that for you, the question IS moot.