Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet
Given the findings of the FBI and the State Department's Inspector General, there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton willfully disregarded State protocols by using a private email server and lied about it in numerous ways. Their reports also show her to be arrogant and self-dealing. Regardless, there is no evidence that she violated the letter of the law or that her server was successfully hacked, thus putting American personnel and interests at risk.
Clinton has earned her place in the sweep of history after more than 40 years in public life, and her role as the first woman to be a major party’s presidential nominee is certainly her resume’s high point. There is no doubting her intelligence and ambition, and though her tenure as Secretary of State didn’t deliver the Holy Grail of securing peace in the Middle East, she did broker a 2012 cease-fire in Gaza that stopped Hamas from hurling rockets into Israel. She also worked tirelessly to construct and enforce sanctions against Iran that forced it to the table to negotiate the 2015 nuclear agreement. This is nothing to scoff at, since we went from Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu warning Congress that Iran was months away from developing the bomb, to our ensuring that this can’t happen for 15 years or more. Hillary has also bettered the lives of women around the globe by making gender equality a focus of U.S. foreign policy— no small matter for 50% of the world’s population.
As a senator, Clinton helped pass legislation that protected the health of 9/11 first responders. She also authored the Pediatric Research Equity Act that changed drug labeling to protect the lives of millions of children. And as first lady, she championed the bipartisan State Children’s Health Insurance Program that expanded health coverage to millions of lower income children.
Clinton’s accomplishments in the domestic and foreign policy arena become more impressive when we realize that her opponent has none, as in “0,” nada. Trump has never governed or served in the public sector— something he trumpets as a plus, but it merely showcases his inexperience, naiveté, and unworthiness to become the country’s top politico and the free world’s leader. I don’t know what he’s promised Speaker Ryan to get his endorsement but, if elected, Trump will need every ounce and fiber of Ryan’s and Majority Leader McConnell’s help to maneuver in Washington and on the world stage. With Ryan now distancing himself from Trump’s more intemperate rants, this will be no easy task.
I must admit to being no big fan of Clinton, and for a variety of reasons. The first is that she comes as a package with her husband Bill. He was a good president, but his considerable peccadillos are well known. A tomcat doesn’t change his spots, and I cringe at the thought of the media being awash with stories for the next four or eight years about the randy adventures of the first husband.
The Clintons also have more baggage than Samsonite, though the vast majority of their so-called scandals have been witch hunts, from White Water to Benghazi. When the smoke clears, there’s usually no “there” there, despite the howling of right-wing media. The millions of tax dollars the Republicans have squandered on bogus investigations are a scandal in their own right, and it is they who should be investigated. I do wish the couple had relaxed a bit on their cash grubbing speeches-for-hire gambit. Making money is not illegal, but you have to know when to push yourself away from the table. And the permeable wall between Clinton's State Department and the Clinton Foundation is nothing short of scandalous, though no "pay-to-play" schemes have been uncovered so far.
Then there’s Hillary’s screeching that could peel paint off the walls. Someone has to tell her that there’s a difference between screaming and talking loudly. Regardless, when you put the Donald and Clinton on the scales, there is no question about who is more qualified and has the better character and temperament, and who gets trumped.
Frank Batavick is a graduate of Gloucester Catholic (‘63) and La Salle University ('67) with over 40 years of experience as a television writer/producer/director for public TV and media companies in IN and NJ. He has also served as adjunct faculty and visiting professor in Communications at colleges and universities in NY and MD. Frank now lives in MD with his wife Dori (GCHS, ‘63), where he is the vice chair of the Historical Society of Carroll County’s board of trustees, editor of the Carroll History Journal, and a weekly columnist and occasional feature writer for the Carroll County Times.