When will they ever learn?

“It is almost always the cover-up rather than the event that causes trouble.” Sen. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) in the aftermath of Watergate.

The disquieting image of two private jets on the tarmac in Phoenix: plush capsules that transport the powerful who seem ever more insulated from the rest of us 30,000 feet below; the 30-minute visit to discuss grandchildren and golf that was handled with more attention to secrecy than some state department documents; the silence until questions were raised by the press.

Thank God for the press.

So it goes with the Clintons, who first came to Washington on behalf of ordinary people “who work hard and play by the rules,” and who long since began behaving as if the rules don’t apply to them.

And so it is with the emails. It’s not the numbers: 110 of 30,000 (0.4%) were classified; 12 (0.04%) were top secret. It’s the gall – the evasions, the untruths, the stonewalling, the decision to move headquarters from Foggy Bottom to Chappaqua in the first place.

And the silence. Yesterday Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced a college-tuition plan, and while I’m all for getting back to the issues, ignoring the Comey report is not taking her campaign to a higher level.

She is already too much above the fray, too disengaged from the people she seeks to serve. She needs not just to “take responsibility” but to take ownership of this tawdry mess.

Because this is the kind of political behavior that gives license to demagogues.

In case you hadn’t noticed.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.