Friday, February 23 , 2018, 6:17 am | Fair 45º


Tom Purcell: As Repugnant as 2016 Presidential Race Has Been, the Worst Is Yet to Come


I had hoped it was going to end this week.

I thought the vitriol of the long, nutty presidential campaign would be behind us. I figured that, regardless of the winner, Nov. 9 would be a good day for all of us to put our differences behind us and focus on the challenges we face.

But now, many argue, the vitriol after the election is likely to get worse?

Just a few short weeks ago, folks were calling for Donald Trump to step aside when his lewd Access Hollywood tape was released and played over and over again. How could a fellow as boorish as he ever bring respectability to the Oval Office, many argued.

Now, as new details have emerged about Hillary Clinton’s reckless use of a personal server, Trump, by comparison, looks like an altar boy.

If Clinton wins — and it’s anyone’s guess who will win as I write this column a few days before the election — she will be instantly dogged by ongoing investigations.

For starters, the Clinton Foundation is under FBI investigation, reports Bret Baier at Fox News, and the investigation is far more expansive than anyone had reported.

According to RealClearPolitics, “Sources within the FBI have told him that an indictment is ‘likely’ in the case of pay-for-play at the Clinton Foundation, ‘barring some obstruction in some way’ from the Justice Department.”

Indictment? Do we really want the country to go through this mess again?

Then there is the email thing — and I am not sure where to start with that one.

You see, Clinton’s chief aide, Huma Abedin, had been married to disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., whose last name is a slang term for an appendage he allegedly photographed and texted to lots of females — and, as the newer allegations go, maybe even sent inappropriate texts to an underage girl.

As the FBI investigated Weiner’s most recent alleged misdeeds, agents seized his laptop and discovered that it was shared by his now-estranged wife, Abedin, and that it had copies of lots of lost Clinton emails that had originated on Clinton’s secret personal server that “could potentially be classified in nature,” RealClearPolitics says of Baier’s reporting.

But on Sunday FBI Director James Comey, under no small amount of pressure from his Democrat bosses in the President Barack Obama’s administration, exonerated Clinton on her email yet again — leaving lots of people scratching their heads.

Things still aren’t looking good for Clinton: “FBI sources say with 99 percent accuracy that Hillary Clinton’s server has been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, and that information had been taken from it,” RealClearPolitics says, based on Baier’s reporting.

Which means Clinton’s secretive behavior — her decision to conceal her communications on a private server — put our country at considerable risk by allowing sensitive information to be hacked by our enemies.

As a result of these new findings, Democrat political strategist Doug Schoen says he worries about a constitutional crisis if Clinton wins — which is why he can no longer support her.

He writes for Forbes that “the prospect of a successful Clinton presidency has been thrown into chaos.”

According to Schoen, “we are staring down the barrel of a criminal investigation of President-elect Clinton.”

He says that not only will Abedin be facing investigations, but “there’s a very real chance that there will be investigations into the actions of the Justice Department and the FBI director himself.”

Oh, goody.

Trump’s rudeness and boorishness have been troubling enough. But now Weiner and his you-know-what are back in the news?

And now Clinton’s questionable decisions as secretary of state could, if she wins, put the country into a constitutional crisis?

I’d hoped the worst of this presidential election would soon be behind us. The country will be raucous if Trump wins, but plenty worse if Clinton does.

So much for my hopes that the vitriol would end after the election this week.

Tom Purcell, author of Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood and Wicked Is the Whiskey: A Sean McClanahan Mystery, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist; syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter: @PurcellTom. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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