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Is Hillary Morally Fit to Be President?

Does Hillary Clinton possess the integrity and honesty to be president of the United States? Or are those quaint and irrelevant considerations in electing a head of state in 21st-century America?

These are the questions put on the table by the report from FBI Director James Comey on what his agents unearthed in their criminal investigation of the Clinton email scandal.

Clinton dodged an FBI recommendation that she be indicted for gross negligence in handling U.S. security secrets, a recommendation that would have aborted her campaign. But Director Comey dynamited the defense she has been offering the country.

Comey all but declared that Clinton lied when she said she had State Department approval for the email server in her home.

He all but declared that she lied when she said she had only one server, and that no classified or secret material was transmitted. He also implied that she lied when she said she had used only one device and had turned over all of her work-related emails to State. The FBI found “several thousand” more.

Clinton said her emails were stored in a secure area. This, too, was false. Hostile actors and hostile regimes, said Comey, had access to email systems of those with whom she communicated.

Comey said he found no criminal “intent” in what Clinton did.

Yet, he charged her with having been “extremely careless” with U.S. national security secrets, a phrase that seems synonymous with the gross negligence needed to indict and convict.

While recommending against prosecution, Comey added, “This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequence. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”

Translation: Were Clinton still the secretary of state and were such recklessness with secrets to be discovered, she could have been forced to resign and stripped of her security clearance forever.

Yet if Clinton is elected president, our commander in chief for the next four years, and her confidantes Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, will all be individuals the FBI has found to be reckless and unreliable in the handling of national security secrets.

We will have security risks running the armed forces of the USA.

Nor is this the first time Clinton’s truthfulness has been called into question. Twenty years ago, she fabricated a tale about crossing a tarmac in Bosnia “under sniper fire,” and running with “our heads down.” Photos showed a peaceful arrival featuring a smiling little girl.

Family members of the dead heroes of Benghazi’s “13 Hours” say Clinton told them she would see to it that the creator of the anti-Islamic video that incited the mob that killed their sons would be run down, all the while knowing it had been a planned terrorist attack.

In 1996, the New York Times‘ William Safire went over all of the statements Clinton had made in Whitewater and related scandals of Bill Clinton’s first term, compared them with subsequently revealed truth, and pronounced Hillary Clinton a “congenital liar.”

She has claimed she tried to join the Marines in 1975, and long contended she was named for famed mountaineer Edmund Hillary, who conquered Mount Everest. Only Sir Edmund climbed Everest when Hillary was 6 years old. The perfect running mate for this serial fabricator would be the Cherokee lass Elizabeth Warren.

Still, a question arises as to Comey’s motives in airing the findings of an FBI investigation. Normally, the bureau passes on the evidence it has found, along with its recommendation, to the Justice Department. And Justice decides whether to prosecute.

Instead, Comey called a press conference, documented the charge that Clinton was “extremely careless,” contradicted, point by point, the story she has told the public, then announced he was recommending against prosecution.

What was behind this extraordinary performance?

By urging no prosecution, but providing evidence for a verdict of criminal negligence in handing classified material, Comey was saying:

I am not recommending prosecution, because, to do that, would be to force Hillary Clinton out of the race, and virtually decide the election of 2016. And that is my not decision. That is your decision.

You, the American people, should decide, given all this evidence, if Clinton should be commander in chief. You decide if a public figure with a record of such recklessness and duplicity belongs in the Oval Office.

Comey was making the case against Clinton as the custodian of national security secrets with a credibility the GOP cannot match, while refusing to determine her fate by urging an indictment, and instead leaving her future in our hands.

And, ultimately, should not this decision rest with the people, and not the FBI?

If, knowing what we know of the congenital mendacity of Hillary Clinton, the nation chooses her as head of state and commander in chief, then that will tell us something about the America of 2016.

And it will tell us something about the supposed superiority of democracy over other forms of government.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority [1].

35 Comments (Open | Close)

35 Comments To "Is Hillary Morally Fit to Be President?"

#1 Comment By Junior On July 8, 2016 @ 12:37 am

“And, ultimately, should not this decision rest with the people, and not the FBI?”

Absolutely not. That’s what we have laws for. The only “people” that this decision should rest with is a Jury.

The Clinton’s have pulled back the curtain on just how much of a Banana Republic this country has become. No amount of BS spinning, about how this blatant corruption and collusion not being prosecuted is somehow a positive thing because she got a verbal reprimand, is going to change that fact. Corruption at the highest levels of government with no repercussions.

#2 Comment By hopeful On July 8, 2016 @ 6:55 am

The answer to your question has been “no” for a very long time.

As a generation the Boomers are a write-off, morally. Until another generation comes along with minimal personal moral standards of the sort that might drive Clinton-like filth out of the public square, “moral fitness” is not a criterion for office.

#3 Comment By SteveM On July 8, 2016 @ 9:18 am

Re: “If, knowing what we know of the congenital mendacity of Hillary Clinton, the nation chooses her as head of state and commander in chief, then that will tell us something about the America of 2016.”

Hillary is objectively a moral, ethical and performance based catastrophe. I.e., a corrupt, parasitic hack mediocrity.

That said, Hillary being where she is tells us two things about America in 2016.

The first is that the United States is run by a Deep State Crony Corruptocracy that allowed Hillary to be emplaced. And that pathological political-economic architecture cannot be unwound via the ballot box.

The second is that the American constitutional model (the 7 Articles delineating powers across the 3 branches of governance) is a fundamental failure. And because of its very nature, it cannot be repaired via constitutional means. I.e., the constitutional mechanisms for radically restructuring the 7 Articles are politically infeasible.

So there you have it.

P.S. Have I ever mentioned that you can stick a fork in America because it’s cooked?

P.P.S. Pat, this is not a rhetorical question. Do I have it wrong?

#4 Comment By JohnG On July 8, 2016 @ 9:51 am

I agree 100% but have to add that she doesn’t have the intellectual capacity for the job either. She is a superb manipulator and careerist, which explains her ability to maneuver her rear end into cushy chairs and positions, but is she a visionary or a stateswoman? I think the answer is obvious. I cringe at the thought of having her sit down and negotiate face to face with the likes of Putin or Xi.

The Clintons are small time hustlers who have assembled a network of well-placed mediocrities who depend on them for their careers. The deal seems to be “you give us what we need and we take care of you, with some risk that we might have to scapegoat you.” A pretty good deal for various Begalas, Albrights, and DWSs of this world.

#5 Comment By Neal On July 8, 2016 @ 12:08 pm

No president is morally fit. They kill people. They injure people. They do these things for selfish reasons. I did not support Clinton in 2008 not did I support her this year. Faced with a choice between trump and Clinton, I will vote for Clinton. Those who pretend that anyone running for president is morally fit have asked the wrong question… Morality is disqualifying.

#6 Comment By LouisM On July 8, 2016 @ 12:32 pm

New York State has indicted and convicted numerous Senate Leaders: Bruno, Silver, etc.

Should every politician who has committed a crime while in office let their crime be decided by the voters (voters blinded by ideology and party)? No I don’t accept that the FBI gets to relinquish its investigative responsibilities because of an election.

This shows the corruption of the FBI, CIA and judiciary by Obama and the leftist socialist Marxists…no matter what the voters decide…there will be people that will not stand for the corruption. This is sewing the seeds for revolution coming from the right even worse than the fabricated protests on the left.

#7 Comment By collin On July 8, 2016 @ 1:17 pm

Ever since Reagan and Bush Sr. were let off relatively free from Iran Contra, I have learned to accept to Presidents need a little edge of questionable morality to be effective.

#8 Comment By balconesfault On July 8, 2016 @ 3:40 pm

Would a President Hillary have the morality to support a military coup by a violent dictator like Pinochet, to maintain an enemies list, to carry out covert arms sales to America’s enemies and use the proceeds to provide cash to illegally fund terrorists, to carry out an illegal invasion and occupation of a foreign country based on falsified or exaggerated evidence, and to sanction torture?

Probably not all of these, no. But enough to potentially be another stain on America’s record.

If I had evidence that America really wanted a truly moral President it would be heartening. But our record in recent decades shows otherwise. Our most moral President since 1960, Carter, is also our most disparaged President over that time period.

#9 Comment By DickP On July 8, 2016 @ 3:49 pm

A genuine ‘cock and bull” story
Having had to opportunity of spending my adolescent years as a farm boy, I was privy a number of “cock and bull” stories. In fact, I may have, and probably did, create a number of such stories myself. In retrospect, some such stories could have been classified as “whoppers” even to the extent of possibly being called politically insensitive when addressing one group or another.
Now I wonder about a “whooper” of the current “cock and bull” story “We the people…” are asked to believe. This story is about Mrs. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton the first female presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2016 United States presidential election process which is well underway.
However, Mrs. Clinton has been plagued with what some people would call “shape practices” throughout her adult life from Pork bellies and White Water in Arkansas to the use of personal data processing servers, etcetera, and classified email correspondence as Secretary of State of the United States of America from her home in Chappaqua, NY as she traveled hither and yonder around the World.
An investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of servers, email correspondence, etc. by the FBI, with a healthy staff of agents, started over a year ago, and ended this week with the Director of the FBI, James Comey, declaring in fifteen minute televised oration found that although Mrs. Clinton was “extremely careless” there was inefficient evidence for any prosecutor to try Mrs. Clinton for anything, although Mr. Buchanan’s analysis of Mr. Comey’s presentation suggests otherwise.
Now, I ask, if you believe this “whooper” of a “cock and bull” story, you may also believe that Mrs. Clinton will be the next President of the United State of America. Please Trump this!

#10 Comment By channelclemente On July 8, 2016 @ 4:46 pm

What most citizens want is an effective President, not a moral one. When he ran, that was M. Buchanan’s short suit. No one believed, beyond a few demagogues, he could do anything but pontificate about someone else’s presumed shortcomings.

#11 Comment By Clint On July 8, 2016 @ 5:14 pm

Obama’s FBI Director Comey made a political decision and ignored his legal obligation. Comey should hand in his registration of be made to resign.
It would seem that many of his FBI personnel should be disgusted with his lack of courage and react in protest.

Comey’s former boss, Rudy Giuliani,
Now the interesting thing is the statute of limitations will not have run out on this.If Trump should win and appoint an attorney general who has the courage to do it, they could bring this indictment

#12 Comment By Mike W On July 8, 2016 @ 5:36 pm

Morally fit?

I guess I’m beyond expecting my leaders to be paragons of moral virtue. My big problem with her isn’t her morality, but her stupidity. The email mess and how she has handled it represents, of course, many things, but for me it represents an almost willful stupidity by her. Proper email procedures shouldn’t have been a difficult issue, but she seems to have ignored the kinds of basic security practices and procedures that your average folks seem to know are important.

Bottom line? She can’t handle email, flaunts standard practices for dealing with classified info, and people “still” think she’s competent to be the Commander and Chief? I’m speechless….

#13 Comment By Hans Nicolaisen On July 8, 2016 @ 5:49 pm

Pat,
I appreciate what you’ve written, as usual. In this case, as usual, the general (voting) public will pay little attention to Hillary’s record as it really is.

Unless Trump (or someone else) gets their act together we’re going to be faced with four years of Hillary – and Bill.

Best to you,
Hans

#14 Comment By Preakness On July 8, 2016 @ 5:55 pm

Would a President Hillary have the morality to support a military coup by a violent dictator like Pinochet

Honduras 2009. Look it up. Hardly anyone has.

to maintain an enemies list

She kept dossiers compiled by the FBI on her enemies in the White House basement during her husband’s presidency

to carry out covert arms sales to America’s enemies and use the proceeds to provide cash to illegally fund terrorists

ISIS and even Al Qaeda linked groups in Syria and Iraq ended up getting US arms and support under Obama/Clinton

to carry out an illegal invasion

“IT has now been over three months since the first NATO bombs fell on Libya, yet President Obama has failed to request Congressional approval for military action, as required by the War Powers Act of 1973. The legal machinations Mr. Obama has used to justify war without Congressional consent set a troubling precedent that could allow future administrations to wage war at their convenience — free of legislative checks and balances.” – New York Times.
Clinton’s fingerprints all over it.

[…] based on falsified or exaggerated evidence

According to US intelligence insiders, there was never any evidence Ghadafi was about to commit genocide, the reason given for the “intervention”

and to sanction torture?

“In the event we were ever confronted with having to interrogate a detainee with knowledge of an imminent threat to millions of Americans, then the decision to depart from standard international practices must be made by the president, and the president must be held accountable,” she said.

She later backed off from this … it was embarrassing other Democrats who were criticizing the GOP for the G W Bush torture policy in the run-up to the 2008 campaign.

You might also have mentioned Obama’s fiat assassination regime, committed illegally in multiple sovereign countries, his expansion of NSA mass surveillance, etc etc, all supported by Clinton.

In discussing Clinton, terms like “moral fitness” seem almost jarringly irrelevant, hopelessly quaint notions from another, better world.

#15 Comment By Mary On July 8, 2016 @ 6:18 pm

It seems that James Comey is a never Trump man. That seems to be the “moral” of the story. Comey had to save Hillary to save America from Trump. Who will save us from the wicked rulers in Washington, District of Criminals?

#16 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On July 8, 2016 @ 6:26 pm

Hillary lacks integrity, as her engagements with Wall Street indicate. There’s something Trump can do to force this issue (and may I say, incidentally, that I hope to high heaven he doesn’t pick Newt Gingrich as his running mate). What he can do is, to paraphrase Stan Evans, number one, reinstate Glass-Steagall; number two, reinstate Glass-Steagall; number three, reinstate Glass-Steagall.

(In the Stan Evans original, during a CPAC speech, it was “Fire Jim Baker”; it was meant to be the top three things Ronald Reagan needed to do to.)

The Wall Street-beholden Hillary Clinton lacks the integrity to reinstate Glass-Steagall–the separation of commercial banking and investment banking. And of course, it was Robert Rubin–excuse me, Bill Clinton–who was the architect of its repeal.

BTW, liberals don’t worry about “morality,” but they do worry about integrity–so hit them on that and Trump will score big.

And to repeat: Gingrich would be a mistake, maybe a huge one, though it is hard to be sure.

#17 Comment By Stephen Johnson On July 8, 2016 @ 8:08 pm

If Bush, Cheney, and Obama aren’t headed for the dock, why should Clinton be? I agree she’s everything all of you say she is, and more, but she’s hardly unique as a high-level official. Hell, Petraeus is a free man, out making millions on the rubber chicken circuit, and may yet be a future presidential contender. Singling out Clinton looks like partisan sour grapes, which of course it is.

#18 Comment By Viriato On July 8, 2016 @ 8:12 pm

@SteveM:

I could be wrong, but my impression is that Pat Buchanan does not read or approve these comments. So, don’t expect a response to your question. I don’t believe Pat is involved with TAC anymore. TAC is simply one of many websites that runs Pat’s biweekly column. That’s my impression, anyway. If I’m wrong, somebody please correct me.

#19 Comment By Viriato On July 8, 2016 @ 8:13 pm

“If, knowing what we know of the congenital mendacity of Hillary Clinton, the nation chooses her as head of state and commander in chief, then that will tell us something about the America of 2016.

And it will tell us something about the supposed superiority of democracy over other forms of government.”

Truths like fists. Go, Pat, go!

#20 Comment By Jay L On July 8, 2016 @ 9:36 pm

OK Pat, we know where you stand on Hillary but do you even need to think if asked Is Trump morally fit to be President? Even a cursory look at his past business practices or his campaign so far would convince any thinking person no. Some states don’t think he is moral enough to run a casino – that’s a rather low bar.

We all must look into the mirror and ask how did we get to this totally absurd point. Really are we getting the leaders we deserve or is the whole system so totally screwed up by money and one issue horses and feed to everyone by the media as only a race to be polled every ten minutes to the finish and not something that has real issues and consequences.
If you went back in time 20 years and wrote about all this would the reviewers accept your story as reasonable fiction or a dark farce?

#21 Comment By Paul On July 8, 2016 @ 10:36 pm

The laws should be applied equally to all individuals, including individuals who happen to be running for president. Comey had a responsibility to make a recommendation based on the evidence. He failed to do that, and thus failed in his duty. Political considerations should not have entered into his decision-making process.

#22 Comment By LouisM On July 9, 2016 @ 12:10 am

There are many people saying that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic version of Richard Nixon (except that Nixon was really robbed of an election by Kennedy, except that Nixon was competent, except that Nixon was trying to fight communism a real threat and Nixon did understand the people and powers destroying our nation by spying then by subversion of culture).

Hillary was never competent and her genius was purely in being able to cover up her illegal activities. Hillary hates people and loves power. Hillary wont fight to save America but she will sell America to the highest bidder and get rich off whatever donor foreign nation tells her what to do.

The real metal of republicans is whether they can and will go after Hillary the way the democrats went after Nixon. So far the answer is NO but that may change if she is President. Do the Republicans have the stuff to impeach a woman president or a black president? So far no but be forewarned that they might not have a choice. Our nation is entering civil war with the Obama/Hillary (Evita Peron) social Marxists on one side and Trumpeters sounding the Paul Revere ride “the Marxists are coming, the Marxists are coming.”
There is a confrontation brewing between left and right and both sides are going to demand blood and strife. You can see it on the left if Trump wins and you can see it on the right if Hillary wins.

#23 Comment By oldlib On July 9, 2016 @ 10:42 am

It’s ironic that guy asking this question still vehemently defends his old boss, Richard Nixon.
That said, Hillary Clinton’s life, private and public, has been dug into, sifted, investigated, since at least 1992 and the email thing is the worst anyone could come up with? If she truly is the most Corrupt Candidate Ever, surely there has to be something far worse.
Anyway, it’s not her morals that concern me. It’s her poor foreign policy judgement.

#24 Comment By NorEastern On July 10, 2016 @ 12:21 am

“Clinton dodged an FBI recommendation that she be indicted for gross negligence”

That is a patently false statement. It actually is a bald faced lie. Who is this author?

#25 Comment By Ian On July 10, 2016 @ 12:30 am

I’m no Hillary fan, but we elect politicians, not saints. If being a successful President is the same thing as being a moral man, Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush would be on Mount Rushmore.

One could argue that you don’t want a babe in the woods in the Oval Office when dealing with some of the rough customers that we have to deal with, especially abroad.

#26 Comment By Ian On July 10, 2016 @ 12:37 am

@

Would a President Hillary have the morality to support a military coup by a violent dictator like Pinochet..

Probably. She did pretty much the same thing in Honduras in 2012 during that coup in embracing the Honduran hard-right. Of course, for the bien-pensants, as always it’s different when Democrats do it, so don’t expect endless shrieks for her to be denounced as a war criminal any time soon.

[2]

And why not? Critics of Nixon’s foreign policy seem to forget that the job of the President is to look after American interests, not the interests of Chilean leftists. Same deal here.

#27 Comment By Ian On July 10, 2016 @ 1:01 am

@balconesfault

Forgot to add: just like we see endless coverage of Harry Truman’s bankrolling of mafiosi in postwar Italy, JFK’s botched attempt at regime change in Saigon which probably was the Rubicon moment for mass boots on the ground in South Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson’s support for the Indonesian coup in the mid-1960s that resulted to a bloodbath that resulted in over half a million casualties (dwarfing anything Pinochet did) as well as Operation Brother Sam in Brazil, and Bill Clinton’s signing of the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, making the overthrow of Saddam an official goal of the United States government, regardless of whether it was in the interest of the United States to do so.

Mind, I’m not saying that these were *all* the wrong things to do. Communism and Soviet influence was a real problem in Italy in the late 1940s, and I mean the real Stalinist thing, not Allende’s half-baked champagne Marxism. Indonesia was on the verge of collapse in the mid-60s-Suharto taking over might have saved it from an even worse fate. But the idea that morally dubious foreign policy decisions are the sole domain of Republican Presidents, as a fair amount of academics and talking heads would have it, is a complete fiction.

(Iran-Contra… say what you will about Nixon and Watergate, it didn’t involve selling arms to terrorists. The fact that Reagan managed to get out of that one is the ultimate proof that all the talk about integrity in DC, especially by the GOP, is a joke.)

#28 Comment By Dr. Diprospan On July 10, 2016 @ 1:31 am

Mr. Buchanan, I think your question is fair. But I can not say that the human deceit, especially female mendacity seriously bothers me. Other worries me more.
A couple of weeks ago, a funny incident was shown on television as an elderly American lady drove a car into the beauty salon, has done a fair amount of commotion there.
She’s just confused the gas pedal and brakes. There is nothing surprising here.
There are 75 trillion cells in the human body in its best years, and the brain has 86 billion neurons. Since the age of 42 years for women and 45 years for men every day 1 million neurons die in the brain. At the doctor’s reception every third woman after 45 years complains of recurrent headaches and dizziness, poor memory, fatigue, irritability and increased sensibility.
Of course, modern pharmacology creates miracles, but I feel uneasy if the US president will suddenly be offended by rude Russia and also forget that Russia has the second largest nuclear potential in the world. I heard that in the US there is a practice to publish a report on the health of the president. To what extent can we trust this report? Is there such a report on the health status of the presidential candidates?
Finally, can people have a moral right to sit behind the wheel of a car if they have a chronic vascular disease, nervous system disease?
In the United States, once almost completely paralyzed man showed me how he controls the minivan without assistance. I certainly admired the courage, independence, will, but yet …

#29 Comment By jk On July 10, 2016 @ 6:05 am

Can’t wait to see every government employee that leaks classified information use the “Hillary Precedent” for their defense.

#30 Comment By Nora On July 10, 2016 @ 8:32 am

Please tell me the last president who you consider to have been morally fit.
And, who among us has a slate clean enough to cast the first stone?
Regrettably, this election is once again a choice between the lesser of evils.
I guess you’re going for the greedy, serial cheater who’s on his third wife, who doesn’t need to ask God’s forgiveness because he’s never needed to, but can still convince the evangelicals that he’s been saved.

#31 Comment By Gregory On July 10, 2016 @ 12:09 pm

Clinton is absolutely a dishonest and corrupt politician. But what’s your alternative at this point, Mr. Buchanan? The only other major party candidate is a man whose sole relationship with the truth might have been a one night stand in the 1990s. This is shaping up as the worst pair of “choices” for president in my memory.

#32 Comment By seven days in july On July 11, 2016 @ 12:33 pm

A member of the elite in good standing (Comey) stepped in to save a senior member of the elite (Clinton) from the intolerable inconvenience of justice. Big surprise.

#33 Comment By Clint On July 11, 2016 @ 7:34 pm

Apparently, everyone here recognizes that Hillary Clinton is Morally Unfit. What’s that say about Bubba?

#34 Comment By probative On July 11, 2016 @ 11:50 pm

“Can’t wait to see every government employee that leaks classified information use the “Hillary Precedent” for their defense.”

Maybe not. Most Americans seem to think Hillary should have been charged:

[3]

Which is not in the least surprising.

In the very special world of the global media and elites, however, it is just fine and to be expected that Hillary escaped the consequences ordinary people would face. These are the people who never have to pay for anything. They wreck entire countries and economies and get off scot-free. Email? Pfffft. You must be kidding …

#35 Comment By Confused On July 13, 2016 @ 9:04 am

So that’s two congenital liars facing off for the Presidency. It’s going to be an interesting race…