There have been few political meltdowns such as the ones being seen in real time now, thanks to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s woes with the FBI.
There’s James Carville turning into an exploding pumpkin on CNN on Monday. There’s Harry Reid threatening the FBI director with a violation of the 1939 Hatch Act.
And there’s the new Red Scare — the suggestion that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is a Manchurian candidate, a tool of the Russian KGB. That silly charge is back and bigger than ever. In their frenzy to tar Trump as somehow tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin, media big shots are not even watching their own reports.
On Tuesday morning, CBS News morning host Gayle King asked why the FBI wasn’t looking at Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. Just minutes earlier, CBS News reporter Norah O’Donnell cited a New York Times article stating there were no Trump ties to Russia, per the FBI.
Slate also got burned by, of all outlets, The Times. The left-wing digital outlet reported, breathlessly, that Trump’s servers had been communicating with a Russian bank. Then The Times story came out debunking the claim as nonsense.
And there’s Geraldo Rivera, the old Clinton hatchet man from the 1990s. The commentator went ballistic on Monday and Tuesday when he suggested Clinton’s email scandal was dumb and harmless. He called the Clinton email issue a “GOP plot.”
Reid sent the first command to attack President Obama’s FBI director on Sunday. The Democratic Senate minority leader accused FBI Director James Comey of violating the 1939 Hatch Act, a law against government officials using their position or government resources for campaign purposes, for daring to mention a Democratic candidate within two weeks of an election.
Longtime Democratic guru James Carville then freaked out on Monday.
In an already infamous meltdown on CNN, Carville, a longtime operative for the Clinton family, melted down in an extended rant. He even blamed the CNN anchor for siding with the Republicans and the KGB.
“This is in effect an attempt to hijack an election,” Carville said. “It’s unprecedented … the House Republicans and the KGB are trying to influence our democracy.”
Carville repeatedly asserted House Republicans and Russian intelligence were manipulating a pliant FBI.
The meltdowns are a good sign that Trump is closing in on the target. Democrats know voters generally do not like to vote for candidates under current criminal investigation.
On Friday, Comey said he was looking anew at Clinton’s server, which she used from 2009 to 2013 while secretary of state. The FBI had declined to press charges on July 5, when Comey announced Clinton’s handling of classified material did not constitute “gross negligence.”
But when new emails were discovered in October on a laptop owned by Huma Abedin, longtime Clinton aide, the FBI changed its tune. Reportedly, there are 650,000 emails on a laptop owned by Abedin and her estranged husband, ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Weiner is under investigation for repeatedly engaging in online sex talk with a minor.
And in one fell swoop, the Clinton campaign was hobbled. Here was a scandal that had sex and misbehavior mixed in, giving it long-term legs in the media.
But unlike Trump’s trash talk caught on a hot mic, the FBI is involved in this one. It also resurrects the email issue, which the Clinton campaign has been dealing with since it was first broken by The New York Times on March 2, 2015.
Democrats have since been rushing to the media and sites such as fivethirtyeight.com, the equivalent of Valium for liberals, where they received assurances that Clinton is ahead in the polling averages and projections.
The New York Times chipped in to do its part. The newspaper resurrected the issue of Trump’s income taxes with a story that Trump may have used a “legally dubious” tax deduction in the 1990s. Lower in the story, The Times admits the deduction was “outlawed” after Trump and other businessmen used it — which means it wasn’t that dubious.
And, again, The Times admitted it didn’t have a copy of Trump’s income taxes. For any year. The anxiety is not just confined to media outlets and Democrats.
The “NeverTrump” faction of the GOP is also in full panic mode as the Republican nominee increasingly looks likely to win or lose in a tight contest — leaving them out in the wind.
The Weekly Standard, a chief proponent of NeverTrump elitism, is now in the third stage of grief: bargaining. It tweeted out a link to a story calling on Trump to pledge to serve one term.
And there is Ohio Gov. John Kasich who made a point of telling the media that he officially broke his pledge to support his party’s presidential nominee. He instead wrote in Arizona Sen. John McCain on his ballot. Top Kasich aide John Weaver was a staffer on McCain’s failed 2000 bid.
CNN then reported the Kasich story — and used three reporters to do so.
The election is in one week, so the panic is unlikely to subside. Expect the next stage to begin soon: the throwing of the kitchen sink.