THE BLOG
10/31/2016 01:40 pm ET Updated Nov 01, 2017

The Bully Mentality--Part II

I wrote several years ago about the bully mentality that has pervaded so much of our society and is now part of our political system. I wrote then:

"The result has been more teenage suicides, horrendous school shootings by students who felt bullied or belittled, and now a whole political party that opposes anything that smacks of aiding the poorest, seniors, and less educated."

The latest example is FBI Director James Comey revealing to Republican heads of congressional committees that his investigators had discovered Huma Abedin's emails on husband Anthony Weiner's laptop in a separate investigation that may be relevant to his recently closed investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

This seems to be in direct violation of the Hatch Act that bans federal officials from attempting to influence an election (especially a presidential election just 11 days away), which former Bush Administration chief ethics lawyer Richard Painter has characterized as an abuse of power and grounds for Comey's termination of employment.

So why would Comey dare to do so, if you take at face value that he wasn't attempting to influence this election? The ethical (and professional) course of action would be to first ascertain if those emails were in fact relevant to the recently closed investigation.

He must have given in to the bullying tactics of congressional Republicans who have made no secret of their intention to convict the Clintons of a crime, any crime, for more than 30 years without success.

That is how bullies work, and that is what congressional Republicans have done in insisting that Comey send them all the notes of the Clinton email investigation, as well as notify them of any future developments. They disregard facts, as their presidential candidate Donald Trump has done all his life. He continually claims that 'crooked' Hillary should be convicted of a crime without any evidence she has committed one, when he has been indicted and is scheduled to go to trial in San Diego under RICO, or The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act for operating a criminal enterprise.

Another clue to the bullying tactics of Director Comey's Republican compatriots is his original announcement that she had not compromised security by receiving classified emails on her server. Though Hillary Clinton was not guilty of misuse of classified emails, he said she was "extremely careless" in her use of a private server.

No professional investigator should use words that editorialize the results of an investigation--i.e., give his or her own opinion of the results. It just isn't done, and therefore revealed that Director Comey had to have been bullied by the strategy of congressional Republicans that wanted Hillary convicted of something--anything to keep her from becoming the next (female) president.

Another example of bullying is Republicans opposition to expanding voters' rights, even social security and Medicare, because Repubs fear being outvoted by those very same immigrants, minorities and seniors that depend on those services to improve their circumstances. The Republicans' only answer is to restrict voting hours and pass draconian voter ID laws in the red states. It is restricting citizens' voting rights, even though sacrosanct and protected by the constitution.

A more recent example of Republican attempts to bully minority voters just came to light. The New York Times Editorial Board reported the Democratic National Committee asked a federal judge in New Jersey to hold the R.N.C. in contempt for once again violating the terms of that supervision -- known as a consent decree -- by coordinating with and supporting the Trump campaign's efforts to intimidate minority voters, who tend to vote Democratic, and keep them from the polls. If the R.N.C. is found liable, the decree, which is set to expire next year, will be extended for eight more years.

When will it stop? Only when we stand up to the bullying as Director Comey wasn't able to do. It is destroying his own reputation, as well as feeding the distrust of voters, and the voting process in general.

Harlan Green © 2016

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