Hillary Clinton’s effort to avoid blame for her breach of protocols due to the “ridiculousness” of the rules she broke violates her core statist principles which dictate that the state should regulate human activity because it does more good than harm when it does so. Those principles motivate her policy positions…at least as long as they don’t inconvenience her or get her into trouble.
Last week, Hillary Clinton seized on a Politico article authored by Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department official, in defense of her e-mail account misconduct. Miller wrote that “the sheer volume of information now considered classified, as well as the extreme, and often absurd, interpretations by intelligence officials about what is and is not classified, make it nearly impossible for officials charged with operating in both the classified and unclassified worlds to do so without ever mixing the two.” Clinton jumped at the chance to justify her conduct linking to the article and tweeting “‘Our ridiculous classification rules’ are the real problem”. In doing so, she acted contrary to her core beliefs as a statist in order to provide a defense for her misconduct.
Hillary Clinton is a modern liberal statist and advocates government regulation of human activity. She thinks the government should regulate citizens in farming, industry, employment, health care, food safety, drug safety, and virtually anything potentially affecting the environment (which of course means just about everything). She thinks the government can and should undertake such an aggressive and all-encompassing regulatory effort because society benefits if it does so.
She is aware of the monetary costs, inefficiencies and lost opportunities these regulations impose on citizens. She knows that the rules and regulations which touch upon every aspect of life must prove unfair or unreasonable on a daily basis in their application to specific individuals whose unique circumstances could not have been considered in the adoption of rules to be universally applied. She obviously does not think that a plea of “ridiculousness” is a defense sufficient to overcome the application of a rule or regulation applicable to society at large.
The three legitimate functions of government are, (1) ensuring individual liberty, (2) securing the nation from foreign aggression and (3) administering civil and criminal justice. Though modern liberal statists like Clinton go far beyond, advocating the routine violation of the first function by virtue of myriad regulatory and redistributive schemes mandated by force of law for the supposed benefit of society at large, modern liberals still formally acknowledge those three core functions of government. Obviously, the classification of information for national security purposes falls within one of those core functions, namely, securing the nation from foreign aggression. Accordingly, virtually everyone agrees that the protocols for classifying that information play a key role in fulfilling one of the government’s core functions.
Without hesitation, Clinton seized upon the argument that the rule proscribing her conduct is unfair, unreasonable, or “ridiculous”. She made this point despite the fact that the rule she complains of is integral to one of the primary functions of any government. Implicit in her tweeted statement, is an acknowledgment that the government cannot always get it right, even when performing its most essential functions. Also implicit in her statement, is an assertion that the statist political class isn’t, or shouldn’t be, subject to the same stringent inflexibility with respect to the rule of law as the great unwashed masses. Of course, hypocrisy in the application of laws to the political class is nothing new. Recall Congress’s ObamaCare exemption.
The bottom line is this – top down, invasive, abusive regulations are just fine when imposed on you for any reason the government thinks is a good idea. If regulations aren’t reasonable and you suffer expense or inconvenience, that’s ok because it’s all for the greater good. You aren’t sufficiently important and don’t have enough “pull” to achieve an exception for yourself. But expect the Secretary of State to comply with protocols deemed crucial to national security which she thinks are unreasonable, cumbersome or inefficient?
Don’t be ridiculous.