The word of the weekend was "protocol."
In deciding to tell
"Puzzled" was the runner-up word of the weekend; Kaine used it repeatedly, as did Clinton's campaign manager
Well, let's try to solve this riddle. Comey's regrettable decision is much easier to understand once you realize it is one small piece of the larger puzzle. He made a bad choice -- though probably the least bad choice of those available to him -- precisely because all of the relevant actors in this sordid mess have been breaking protocol for years.
Clinton broke all kinds of protocol by setting up her stealth server and then lying about it not only in public but also, I would argue, to
Bill Clinton broke protocol when he met with Attorney General
President Obama broke protocol when he told "60 Minutes" that Clinton -- with whom he had corresponded over an unsecure email channel -- did nothing to endanger national security long before the investigation was even concluded.
And, of course, the
"There is a very good argument -- I would say, an irrefutable argument -- that Comey should never have pronounced that the Clinton emails investigation was closed (in fact, it would have been appropriate if he had made no public statement about the investigation at all),"
And that gets to the heart of it. Comey by his own hand, as well as with the encouragement of the Obama administration, the media and the
That is what Clintons do. They do not care about the breach of protocol, only the reach of protocol. Everyone should be sticklers for the rules, except the Clintons and their henchmen. That was the story of the Bill Clinton administration, from the firing of the
They force their allies to sell off bits and pieces of their credibility defending the indefensible, while insisting their critics are the only ones with bad motives. Already, the word has gone forth that Comey's reputation must be destroyed to protect what's left of Clinton's, even though she is the author of her own travails.
We knew it was coming when Clinton said Friday night that Comey sent his letter to the "Republican members of the House." That was a distortion. He sent it to the relevant chairs, plus the relevant ranking Democrats. But that is standard protocol in Clinton world: Destroy the messenger.