by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Wikileaks material might not stop Hillary Clinton from returning to the White House — this time as the senior partner. But Jonah Goldberg argues at National Review Online that recent revelations still are likely to have lasting implications.
During the Cold War, the Russians mastered the use of slow-acting poisons to kill victims long after they were stabbed with an umbrella tip. Fittingly, the WikiLeaks e-mails may act like ricin or anthrax, wreaking havoc on Clinton’s presidency long after they’re released. In a normal election year with a normal GOP nominee, the WikiLeaks revelations might prove fatal to Clinton’s candidacy. Instead, it seems almost a sure thing that they will poison Clinton’s presidency for years to come. The allegations of pay-for-play between her foundation and the State Department, her speeches to Wall Street, the animosity of some of her closest advisers for Catholics: All of these things will have a long half-life. As will her manifest lies about the use of her private server. The populist Sanders-Warren wing of the Democratic party has been given ample evidence to support their suspicions of Clinton as a conniving and cynical politician.
The populist Trump wing of the Republican party — and large swaths of the rest of it — is already locked into the belief that Clinton is a singularly nefarious force in our politics. If elected, she will have fulfilled the only mandate that unites large numbers of voters: She’s not Trump. (Nearly a third of her voters say that is the No. 1 reason they are voting for her.)
Right now, and for the foreseeable future, America is being torn asunder by populist passions on the left and right that lead people to distrust nearly every major institution in this country.
Fortunately, Hillary Clinton has the Lincolnesque qualities of political subtlety, magnanimity, and foresight to quell any such misgivings, right?