by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
That’s what Matthew Iglesias called Hillary Clinton in a recent Vox post. Why? Because she’s willing to bend–or even break–the law in order to get what she wants:
From her adventures in cattle trading to chairing a policymaking committee in her husband’s White House to running for Senate in a state she’d never lived in to her effort to use superdelegates to overturn 2008 primary results to her email servers, Clinton is clearly more comfortable than the average person with violating norms and operating in legal gray areas.
This is normally portrayed as a political weakness of hers, and in many ways it is….
But it’s also an enormous source of potential strength.
Committed Democrats and liberal-leaning interest groups are facing a reality in which any policy gains they achieve are going to come through the profligate use of executive authority, and Clinton is almost uniquely suited to deliver the goods. More than almost anyone else around, she knows where the levers of power lie, and she is comfortable pulling them, procedural niceties be damned….
She decides what she wants to do…and then she sets about finding a way to do it — exactly the mentality any Democrat would need to move the needle on policy in 2017….
She truly is the perfect leader for America’s moment of permanent constitutional crisis: a person who cares more about results than process, who cares more about winning the battle than being well-liked, and a person who believes in asking what she can get away with rather than what would look best. In other words, as nervous as the rumblings of scandal around her emails make many Democrats, the exact same qualities that led to the server drama are the ones that, if she wins, will make her capable of delivering on the party’s priorities in a way few others could.