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Other writers, on Hillary, censorship, and conservatism

Other Writers

Hillary: A colussus and a catastrophe

Ron Fournier in National Journal: For once, Hillary Rodham Clinton seemed to be a decent candidate. Taking aim at weak spots in the GOP lines, she attacked Jeb Bush on women’s health, Marco Rubio on abortion, Scott Walker on college costs, and Donald Trump on sexism.

Then the stone wall crumbled around the Queen of Paradox: Hillary Clinton, both a political colossus and a catastrophe. We learned Tuesday night:

■She will give the FBI a private, illicit server that housed her official email during her four years as secretary of State, including thousands that she covertly deleted.

■Her attorney will give agents a thumb drive containing copies of the self-selected emails she returned to the State Department after discovery of the rogue server.

■A top intelligence official reviewing just a handful of those emails told Congress that top-secret information had been contained in two emails that passed across the server.

Where do I start? How about with the Clinton campaign’s ridiculous suggestion that coughing up the server and email were voluntary acts. We know that’s bunk—because Clinton herself said she wouldn’t surrender the people’s records without a fight.

This is her fault, all of it.

Including her no-win situation.

If the FBI is able to recover deleted email from her server, it’s almost certain that more classified documents will be discovered (given what has already been found in the tiny sample size). That would raise more questions about her judgment.

If the deleted emails can’t be recovered, Clinton will never be able to clear her name.

Only the most blindly loyal and partisan voters will accept her word and ignore the serial deception. Even people like me who have known and respected Clinton for years will walk into the voting booth asking ourselves, “What is she hiding?”

Republicans are also willing censors

Catherine Rampell in The Washington Post: Quit accusing Democrats of runaway political correctness. Republicans are just as keen on censoring speech — but it’s a different kind of speech they choose to censor.

Supposedly the main appeal of an unfiltered candidate such as Donald Trump, who shoots first and asks no questions later, is that he feels free to speak the unvarnished, unfettered truth. “I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness,” he announced in the first presidential primary debate in Cleveland, when asked to address his many disparaging comments about women.

Sure, Democrats are more open to banning hate speech and more skittish about publishing drawings of Muhammad. But a recent Harris poll on censorship found that Republicans are more apt to want to scrub other forms of discourse. Republicans are almost twice as likely as Democrats to say that “there are any books that should be banned completely.”

A separate set of questions asked what kind of books should be barred from school libraries specifically. In almost every category, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to endorse book bans. That includes “books with explicit language” (bye-bye, “Catcher in the Rye”); “books which include witchcraft or sorcery” (to the slaughter, “Harry Potter”); “books which include vampires” (night night, “Twilight”); “books that discuss evolution” (into the bin, Darwin); and “books which question the existence of a divine being or beings” (quit your squawking, Stephen Hawking).

The only school library categories about which Republicans were more open-minded than Democrats were “books that discuss creationism” and, perhaps not surprisingly, the Bible.

End the conservative civil war, now

Roger Kaplan in The American Spectator: What ever happened to Ronald Reagan’s “Thou shall speak no ill of a fellow Republican”? And what about William F. Buckley’s admonition to always work for the Republican with the best chance to get in? He meant the most conservative candidate in a position to get in. I do not think he meant you should vote for the strongest conservative even when the strongest conservative was likely to get creamed by the weakest liberal. He meant you should vote for a weakly conservative or imperfectly conservative candidate if he is in a position to beat the left. No enemies on the right, is what Reagan and Buckley meant, in sum.

We could ask Republican candidates, who is your favorite Republican in history, and why? And your second favorite? And also, what makes you a Republican and what makes you a conservative? And which of Buckley’s books is your favorite? And which of President Reagan’s speeches? And if you were in a bar with Bret Baier or Miss Megyn Kelly, would you say the same things than if you were with Baier alone or Baier and Chris Wallace?

And you would say the same things to them, and to her, out of respect for their professional positions?

We should fight and fight again and I do not see why we have to be jerks and thugs while at it. This is still a civilized country, ladies and gentlemen.