When I see a firefighter or EMT in uniform out and about in town, I think little of it. Maybe she's on her way to or from work. Maybe he's doing a routine fire safety inspection for a local business. Whatever, no biggie. On the other hand, when I pull to the side of the road to let eight or ten emergency vehicles pass me with their sirens wailing, and hear other sirens in the distance converging on a specific point, I assume there's some kind of calamity in the offing.
The Washington Post reports that "[o]ne hundred forty-seven FBI agents have been deployed to run down leads" in the matter of Hillary Clinton's homebrew email server. The aide who maintained that server, Bryan Pagliano, receive immunity in return for his cooperation in the probe. According to the Los Angeles Times, the FBI plans to interview other Clinton aides -- and Clinton herself -- in the near future.
That's quite a few sirens and klaxons. It's getting harder and harder to make out Clinton's "this is nothing" and "this is just a routine security review" and "this is just a Republican fishing expedition" and "bad judgment but no crime" explanations over the din.
I hold no brief for the Democratic Party in general, or for Hillary Clinton in particular, or for the Republicans. I'm a partisan Libertarian and a pox on both their houses. But I tremble at the prospect of one party exercising absolute control over both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government -- especially with Donald Trump or Ted Cruz at its head.
Those are the stakes in this year's game of presidential poker. Do Democrats really want to go all in on Hillary Clinton's narcissistic sense of self-entitlement, especially when it's looking more and more likely that the next card the dealer turns up will be grand jury indictments?
Apparently they do, but I can't for the life of me figure out why. It's politically just completely nuts. Even if Clinton herself escapes prosecution, it's worth remembering that Richard Nixon was never indicted either, but was forced to resign after several of his closest aides were.
After such a gloomy forecast, I suppose the next step is following up with some brilliant advice. But I have none to offer. Absent an unexpected surge in the Libertarian vote, the forecast changes to four years of stormy and capricious weather.
Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org).