Reciprocity

Pinky Swear(photo credit)

By Jeff Rutherford

Are you a cheap conquest?  An easy catch?  Will you consent to anyone that promises to be immediately pleasing?  Do you avoid inquiring (or even wondering) about motives, preferring a superficial simplicity?

Or do you make your consent hard to get?  Saved for someone who is committed to respecting you in the long run?  Do you expect your chosen one to reciprocate by showing you solid fidelity and integrity in everything they do – even when nobody is watching them?

Let’s name it the General Law of Human Reciprocity:

In human social selections, your consensual standards set the height of the bar your ‘chosen one’ will try to leap.

Low bar = low results.  High bar = high results.

This rule of thumb about human nature is widely useful, I dare say.  In this article I will apply it to political behavior – of the governed and the governors.  Especially the act of voting for political candidates.

A Case Study in Social Selection Standards:  The 2016 Presidential Race

Hillary logoWe needn’t look any further than the current presidential campaign, which for the first time in U.S. history has a declared candidate – Hillary Clinton – under FBI criminal investigation.  We have the perfect chance to analyze political reciprocity here.  What standards are voters demanding?  What standards is Ms. Clinton exhibiting?  And what do these behaviors reveal about Ms. Clinton and about American voters?

For those of you unfamiliar with the details of this controversial litigation and investigation, Jonah Goldberg recently itemized the long list of smoking guns in the ClintonEmail.com investigation in a National Review Online article.

Also, I list here the most applicable U.S. laws and State Dept. regulations for the custodianship and retention of federal records (paper and electronic), for your study:

Judge Emmet SullivanU.S. District of Columbia Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan (ironically appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994) announced on Aug 20th that Ms. Clinton’s unique email arrangement violated government policies – even those in place during Ms. Clinton’s service as U.S. Secretary of State.  Judge Sullivan pressed the Justice Department and State Department to redouble their efforts to logically justify Ms. Clinton’s actions, and to expedite the investigation of the email server that was finally turned over to the FBI on Aug 12th  after being wiped clean.

In response to a Sept 4th filing of a proposed “Preservation Order” by legal group Judicial Watch that all remaining available email records be immediately located and secured until all aspects of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation can be resolved, the Justice Department lawyers representing their “clients” (the State Department and Ms. Clinton) filed a response to the Court last Wednesday, Sept 9th.  This is not a Justice Department ruling, as has been portrayed in partisan media and blogs.  It is merely a defense lawyer’s statement filed in support of his client.

This filing expresses the Executive Branch’s legal view that Ms. Clinton had every right to self-supervise the purging of what she and her personal lawyer privately determined to be ‘personal’ emails (31,380) before turning over what she deemed to be ‘official’ emails (55,000 printed pages) to the State Department — 21 stubborn months after leaving the State Department.  They assert that the FOIA does not apply to, and the Court has no jurisdiction over, Ms. Clinton’s personal records.

Incidentally, this is just one of the 30 unresolved FOIA suits relating to Ms. Clinton’s service at the U.S. State Dept.  All of these emails had been co-mingled on her home-brew server for years.  It is the Executive Branch’s legal position that private citizen Clinton and her private lawyer were qualified “officials” to identify and remove emails they determined weren’t “federal records,” even in the midst of dozens of unresolved FOIA requests stemming from Benghazi issues of false government statements made to the press.

Hillarys wiped serverIn the Justice Department’s statement to the Court, there is absolutely no acknowledgement that Ms. Clinton could not possibly be viewed by any rational person as an impartial actor in these records management and FOIA compliance decisions.  Essentially the Justice Department lawyers assert that since there is no proof of incorrect or inadvertent deletion of federal records when she deleted personal emails, there is no reason for her to turn over any remaining copies of her 31,380 emails deemed by her and her private lawyer as “personal.”  The lawyers assert that there is no evidence that she deleted evidence, and therefore there is no reason and no jurisdiction for the Court to force her to produce the purged emails – which paradoxically would contain the evidence of any incorrect determinations of federal vs. personal records.  All while dozens of unresolved FOIA suits hang over the State Dept. and Ms. Clinton.  Not to mention the FBI criminal investigation of the classified data found among the 55,000 pages of federal records she turned over.

Do you see the Catch-22 that Ms. Clinton is hiding behind?  Under the cloud of open FOIA suits and FBI criminal investigation, she asserts in essence: ‘There is no evidence that I deleted evidence.  Examine my [wiped] server all you want.  I won’t disclose my personal emails that used to be on it, because they’re none of your business.  Have a nice day, and vote for me.

This is the ethical posture she has adopted while seeking the Democrat nomination for U.S. President.  This is the height of the bar she is willing to leap.  Her standard of reciprocity.  Unable to achieve and respect the higher standard of ethical integrity, she instead skates out to, and obliterates, the razor-thin line of legality.

Team Clinton skating the thin line of government legality

What Consensual Standards Should You Apply?

Elected government representatives bear the ethical burden of a higher standard of openness in their lawful behavior than private citizens, as the reciprocal payback for receiving our trust in their ethical use of Constitutionally-limited delegated powers.  From America’s elected government officeholders, we should all expect transparency, integrity, humility, realization that they are public servants and not a privileged ruling class, and recognition that the laws of the United States apply to everyone equally.

The burden of proof is on THEM to show auditable, ethical, accountable behavior in their every public act. That ethical burden exists ALL the time, not just when questions or scandals arise. This is the critical political reciprocity between the governed and the governors that is necessary in a Constitutional Republic where ALL citizens are equal under the law.

A Final Message

For any Democrats who find themselves willing, maybe even eager, to overlook all this and vote for Ms. Clinton anyway, I leave you with this:

Government officials and employees must face up to the fact that even the “appearance of impropriety” is unacceptable from a standpoint of the ethics of public service. You give the benefit of the doubt (quite blindly and naively, it seems to me) to public servants, while I do not.  If you’ve never thought about or accepted this distinction between public servants and private citizens, please stop and do so now.

When you let Hillary Clinton indulge her imperial conceit and elevate herself to a ruling-class level significantly higher than yourself, you meekly let her trample upon your individual self-esteem.  Why do you not exercise the God-given liberty that America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution guaranteed for you?

In America, we don’t live under the arbitrary whim of the corruptible humans we elect to govern us. They govern by the aggregate consent from all of us.  That’s why I make an effort to get people to deeply consider just exactly to what, and to whom, they are consenting.

We should not let our consent be taken for granted by a ruling class of elitists. If we do, shame on us.Elitist Hillary Clinton

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About Necessary and Proper

Jeff believes in the Individual's ability to excel when liberty and freedom of choice are protected. Also believes in the Community's ability to take care of the vast majority of its own issues and needs when the federal government leaves the Community's resources and sphere of control alone. State and local choice produce better results than centralized federal control. https://necessaryandpropergovt.wordpress.com/
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16 Responses to Reciprocity

  1. Pingback: 9/19/2015: Reciprocity — reblogged | Citizen Tom

  2. Tricia says:

    Excellent post Jeff. You’ve touched a nerve here with your emphasis on standards, something our society seems to be letting go of in all areas. Politically it really shows on the Democrat side how low the bar is that even now Hillary is their lead candidate. That’s slipping but who will take her place? A Socialist? Our current Vice President who has been wrong on nearly every issue throughout his entire political career and on whose picture shows up in the dictionary next to the word “gaffe”?

    They’ve coasted for years being the party of grievance issues, handouts and lies surrounding a phony war on women. In today’s media, that just doesn’t play well and those chickens are coming home to roost. Not that Republicans don’t have their own set of issues but that’s for a different post, eh? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome, Tricia. Thanks for following my blog, and for commenting here.

      If Biden enters the race, I believe he will become the nominee. Hillary will keep her hard core sycophants, as will Bernie. But I think enough Democrat primary voters will realize that their strategic prospects are slim with an ethically-challenged, unlikable, old-school matriarch, and with an openly self-proclaimed Socialist.

      Also if Biden enters the race, he will automatically inherit Obama’s hearty endorsement. Obama/Biden have eagerly allowed the prospect of his candidacy to become abuzz, in order to see if the pollsters can detect a warm reception from the Democrat base. Here’s a snapshot of today’s RCP polling for the Democrat presidential nomination:

      If this trend continues to favor Biden, I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama uses his pen and his phone to authorize his Justice Department to proceed with an indictment of Hillary over her email transgressions. Then within a few days, Joe will officially announce. If he does, then by next spring I would look for Hillary to fall to about 25%, Bernie to fall to about 10%, and Joe to climb to about 65%

      With or without a Hillary indictment, look for Joe to jump in pretty soon so he can participate in the first Democrat Presidential debate on Tues Oct 13th. He’s probably already got his gaffe writers working overtime to prepare.

      – Jeff

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tricia says:

        Good observations Jeff and yes, I totally agree that once Biden enters then the gloves come off and Obama makes a phone call for indictment. Never much love lost between those two any way…should be interesting!

        Like

        • I expect that Obama will privately pressure her to drop out, but will not actually allow an indictment. While she unquestionably deserves one, so does he — and Hillary Clinton knows too much about Barack Obama’s doings to go down without a fight.

          She has put away a tremendous amount of cash, and a deal with Obama that allows Clinton speaking engagements and foundation fundraising to continue will be a palatable deal for her (and for Bill, of course).

          Obama will publicly sound sad at her dropping out of the race, praising her service et cetera … and then endorse former pro-Soviet senator and current VP of Gaffes and Plagiarism Joe Biden, who will pick socialist poseur Warren as his running mate/caretaker.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Liked by 2 people

    • @Tricia,

      Isn’t it interesting when the party that styles itself “the representatives of minorities and the youth” can only put forward very old white people as candidates? Quite flawed ones, at that. Independent of Biden’s gaffes, he actively campaigned on the floor of the Senate for the Iraq war, against other Democrats and in support of George W. Bush, though he lied about this later in the VP debate.

      And, sadly, you are quite correct about the “issues” in current Republican leadership. As my father said, about a century ago, “I’d swap ’em all for a dog and shoot the dog.”

      But I am not certain that the Democrats no longer play well in current media. There’s a little confusion, as the leftist media is uncertain whether they are supposed to go after Hillary or promote her, and they are getting mixed signals. But in general, their reflexive instinct is to defend, protect, deflect and diffuse challenges to their side, so Hillary’s problems are still consistently portrayed (when they even get a mention) as “old news.”

      And even Fox has taken to defensive positions of Republican establishment figures, they same ones that are finding some degree of approval on the left. So, Fox pushes Rove (and therefore Jeb and Kasich), and mostly ignores conservatives or even attacks them. There are exceptions among Fox hosts, but the trend is progressive.

      This is leaving an opening, and a few are starting to go after it. But so far, “the media” en masse is not favorable to limited-government, Constitutional conservatives, and “plays well” with others instead.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tricia says:

        Good comments Keith. Not sure I agree with you on Fox promoting only establishment candidates but we can for sure say the left side of the MSM is thoroughly confused at this point on how to handle HRC who they’ve been planning an inauguration for since she entered the race.

        Like

  3. Even if she never is charged with any of the smaller violations you outline, should she be considered as a person with good judgement on the big problems she will face in office if elected?

    I doubt it based on her voting record in the Senate..

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rudy. Thanks for the comment. I happen to agree with you about her Senate voting record indicating lack of good judgement. However, let’s you and I admit that the definition of “good” is flavored by our conservative ideology. To us, “good” judgement means making choices leading to relatively more limits on government and relatively less limits on individual liberty. Any person on the left could view your comment and automatically disagree. That’s politics.

      So I tried to get more basic than just ideology. I tried to bring this back to ethics. Regardless of her voting record showing her judgement as good or bad, someone who practices deception and disregard for both the spirit and the letter of the law should not even be considered eligible to run for office. In fact, disqualification to hold public office is written directly into one of the laws I believe she broke.

      And I’m even taking it further. I’m asserting that voters who would ignore the ethical vacuum in the soul of a candidate and vote for her/him anyway, are themselves deficient in ethics. This is a non-partisan statement. It’s a statement of human ethics, period.

      – Jeff

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This issue has not gone away, months later. It now appears that she had the most sensitive categories of information on her unsecured server, and placed that server in the hands of unacountable and unexamined civilian workers. In addition, this information was exposed to penetration by foreign powers that is considered almost certain by people familiar with the issues.

    Uncertain at this moment is the extent to which she participated in the distribution of this extremely sensitive national security info. And it now is evident that she put human lives — crucial intelligence assets — at risk. All of this is far worse than General Petraeus allowing his ladyfriend (who was also possessed of a security clearance) to have a peek at some emails.

    The sheer magnitude of the Clinton email fiasco is staggering. But that could be said of the IRS Tea Party attacks, and the clearly (and self-described) guilty were let off with pensions and without charges.

    She still knows too much, and is still too threatening as a result. And I am reminded that years ago, California appellate judges (possessed of clear evidence that she had perjured herself in a sworn affidavit) arranged to destroy the evidence instead. She was far less influential and dangerous then, they simply defended her from progressive knee-jerk instinct.

    Can she be taken down now? It seems very unlikely, despite the new evidence we’ve been allowed to see. But nothing would surprise me overmuch at this juncture.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith, as you know, she signed the same required SCI NDA form that all Americans must sign when they’re given access to U.S. classified material. When you read the language in that NDA, and when you read all the laws I cited in my article, it’s WAY beyond crystal clear that she’s chargeable with many felonies. I mean, it’s clearer than a Hubble telescope photograph in an IMAX theater.

      Since I posted this article in September, I have been continuing to follow every development. I posted a couple more updates on my FB page in November, but since we’re no longer in any region of nuanced shades of grey, it seems almost pointless to keep posting about it. HotAir.com keeps up with the new revelations diligently. Here is their latest installment from less than 3 hours ago.

      Marco Rubio was asked recently if he trusted the FBI to do an objective investigation of Hillary’s email handling. He said yes (and I agree). But he also said he does not trust the Justice Department and the AG to pursue an indictment (and I agree).

      I’m sure Obama would love to shoot Hillary down in flames, but only if there is a viable Democrat candidate to succeed him. When Joe Biden declined to run, I think it left Obama no choice but to use his pen and his phone to quietly direct Loretta Lynch to just shut her mouth and sit on her hands.

      Keith, I request that you give some thought and some space on your blog to an analysis of what to do about the now-obvious structural problem with our federal government, whereby the Justice Department is reduced to a partisan strong arm of the sitting president and his ideology. In theory, how could the Constitutional structure of the U.S. federal government be adjusted to restore a working system of ethical checks and balances in this modern era of brazen presidential chutzpah?

      I don’t know if it’s true in all states, but in Colorado the State AG is not appointed by the Governor. Colorado’s AG is independently elected in a statewide ballot. So our AG is politically independent from the Governor. And in fact, we have a Republican AG and a Democrat Governor. At the federal level, do we need the U.S. Attorney General to be elected separately from the President? Do we need the Justice Department to be a fourth branch of the government? Unfortunately I don’t think that would guarantee an independent, ethical, objective Justice Department, because in the minds of the Progressives in government ideological loyalty already trumps tripartite separation duties. Adding a fourth branch of government would just be another Constitutional safeguard that the Progressives would brazenly ignore.

      Sigh…….

      Best wishes,
      – Jeff

      Like

  5. Kelli says:

    This is well written and documents the real situation with Hillary Clinton. It reminds us of the responsibility we have as U.S. Citizens to stay educated on our rights and expectations we should have about our government leaders. I am most concerned about the younger generations who seem to be confused about our constitution and the importance of our liberties. I can only conclude our education system is failing in this most important area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Kel. Welcome.

      I agree with you. The existence of so many folks who are unconcerned about this situation really perplexes me. Just today I found a clip of a round-table discussion on The Five from a couple weeks ago. That was about when it became known that Hillary’s home-brew server contained emails from Special Access Programs (SAP). In this clip, I cannot understand how Juan Williams is blind to the obvious criminal violation, despite the blunt counterarguments from the others. He’s exhibiting a common misconception held (stubbornly and willfully, I think) by the left that since there’s no proof that any of the recklessly-handled emails fell into any foreign hands, then she did nothing legally wrong. He will not acknowledge that “negligence” means lack of preventive diligence in protecting classified information. The others in the clip point out how likely it is that Chinese or Russian hackers quite probably got their hands on that data. Williams keeps talking about how the rest of them are throwing spaghetti at the walls to see what sticks…..I guess he’s referring to their perfectly-reasonable assumption that if data was available to hackers on an unencrypted server, then obviously it probably was hacked.

      Today I put my finger on a good analogy that I would love to discuss personally with Juan Williams: If a mother lets her toddler play on a busy 4-lane highway, she’s criminally guilty of negligent child endangerment — WHETHER THE TODDLER ACTUALLY GOT INJURED OR NOT! The outcome does not matter. The failure to follow reasonable protective caution is enough, by itself, to convict Hillary of negligent handling of classified information.

      Here is the SCI NDA she signed. Paragraph 1 says, “Intending to be legally bound, I hereby accept the obligations contained in this Agreement in consideration of my being granted access to classified information. As used in this Agreement, classified information is marked or unmarked classified information, including oral communications….” Paragraph 3 says, “I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of classified information by me could cause damage or irreparable injury to the U.S. or could be used to advantage by a foreign nation.” Yet she simply ignores these clear requirements when she double-talks her answers to questions like this recent one from George Stephanopoulos by first agreeing that she was required to treat both marked and unmarked classified information as classified, and then just two sentences later she’s right back to claiming that it wasn’t MARKED classified so she did nothing wrong. And of course her buddy George doesn’t stop her and pin her down by exposing her contradiction. He’s smart enough to know she just double-talked, but since he’s a donor to the Clinton Foundation he’s an advocate disguised as a journalist.

      This case of criminal liability is so clear and conclusive here, even a caveman could prosecute it. But to be prosecuted, it has to reach a court. To reach a court, she has to be charged by the Department of Justice. The silence from that executive agency, under the authority of the President, is deafening.

      I leave you with one last analogy. Classified emails are just like red sprinkles, as I’m sure you’ll agree after watching this:

      – Jeff

      Like

  6. Pingback: 8/14/2016: HOW DO WE KNOW IF SHE IS GUILTY? => TARGET HILLARY CLINTON – Citizen Tom

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