I wonder: How many lawyers voted for Trump?

H.W.P.M.V. -- How would Perry Mason vote?

H.W.P.M.V. — How would Perry Mason vote?

This is just an idle-curiosity thing.

I was talking with a colleague today when I happened to mention that it was unlikely that many attorneys voted for Trump. She immediately rattled off the names of several that she’s pretty sure did vote that way.

She may be right, but they’ve got to be in the minority, right?

And I’m not basing this on stereotypes, like the old cliche about doctors being Republicans and lawyers being Democrats. I know quite a few Republican lawyers, but they sort of tend to be #NeverTrumpers, or just to stay quiet. I’m thinking some of them might have voted against Hillary Clinton assuming she’d win anyway, but were then shocked by what happened.

I’m thinking in particular of one very prominent Republican attorney who just shakes his head at the mention of Trump’s name, in private at least. I don’t know how he voted; I just know he’s unhappy with the outcome.

And I want to think that’s typical of GOP-leaning attorneys. It’s just hard for me to imagine an officer of the court not being disturbed at having a chief executive with roughly zero appreciation and respect for the rule of law.

But all that might just be a function of my respect for the profession and my lack of respect for the guy in the White House. Just a silly prejudice on my part.

My attempts to Google “how lawyers voted in 2016” turned up nothing. (Think about it — there are a lot of stories involving the vote in 2016 and lawyers that have nothing to do with how they voted).

So, I’m reaching out to y’all asking for two things:

  1. Have you seen any reliable data on how lawyers voted? If so, please share.
  2. Absent such data (or in light of it), do you think I’m right or wrong in my unsupported assumptions, and why?

By the way, my leaps of intuition are not completely unsupported. My colleague found and shared this with me: Lawyers mainly put their money behind Hillary. Of course, that’s not exactly the question…

I'm guessing THIS attorney, at least, is a Democrat. But I could be wrong...

I’m guessing THIS attorney, at least, is a Democrat. But I could be wrong…

80 thoughts on “I wonder: How many lawyers voted for Trump?

  1. Gregory Hardy

    “It’s just hard for me to imagine an officer of the court not being disturbed at having a chief executive with roughly zero appreciation and respect for the rule of law.” … yeah, I think that’s wishful thinking on your part. I’ll bet most Republican lawyers voted Trump, most Democrat lawyers voted Hillary.

    My anecdotal evidence: A buddy I attended University of Florida with has been a lawyer all this time outside Orlando. I run into him once or twice a year; he was, is and always will be Florida GOP. In the days leading up to the 2016 election, he posted on Facebook a declaration that he’s holding his nose and voting for Donald because Trump promised to limit the size of government. A vote for Hillary means a vote for bigger government, and my buddy doesn’t want to live in a hand-out, entitlement state. And my buddy just couldn’t live with bigger government. Trump was his man.

    So in my buddy’s estimation, not only did his bet on Trump pay off in an election victory — the way Trump has been dismantling regulations and not filling job vacancies, my buddy is getting exactly what he voted for: Someone who will scale back the size of government. Mission accomplished.

    Come to think of it, this was the same buddy who I had memorable talks with in the aftermath of 2000. When he found out I voted for Nader, he said I had “wasted my vote.” I countered, “So, by definition, if you vote for someone who loses, you wasted your vote?” I still stand by my 2000 vote, but my feeling on voting for 3rd-party candidates “has evolved.” I’m not saying your wasting your vote, but you’re kinda not deciding on a winner, either.

    Moral of the story: Everyone in the world can rationalize any decision they make. They don’t care if it doesn’t make sense to you, people believe what they want to believe.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        But seriously, folks…

        You’ve got a great GOP lawyer anecdote, and I’ve got a good one that would be better if I felt it was OK to name my protagonist.

        But still. Most of the lawyers I know are really smart people who would be embarrassed to have people think they voted for this guy. As I said, I can easily see them voting against Hillary as a protest. I’ve done it myself, when I was sure, dead certain, that the person I was protest-voting “for” would definitely lose. I’ve done it twice, and both times, I was right.

        Here’s what I mean. I wouldn’t have voted for McGovern in 1972 (my first voting experience) if I thought he had a prayer. I had been appalled by his campaign. But by November of that year, I was bothered enough about Watergate that I felt I had to vote against Nixon, even though I thought McGovern would be a worse president. So I pulled the lever for McGovern as a protest, and it was fine — he wasn’t elected. It was not an easy decision. That was one of those times when I stayed in the booth so long, teetering, that the poll worker asked if I was OK.

        I still debate with myself whether it was acceptable to do that. But at least I was SURE McGovern would lose.

        And here’s the thing — McGovern wasn’t nearly as bad a candidate as Trump.

        I guess I just think too highly of my friends who are Republican attorneys. I feel like if they DID vote a protest vote against Hillary, on election night they were like Alec Guinness at the end of “The Bridge on the River Kwai:”

        1. Richard

          “Most of the lawyers I know are really smart people”

          For every smart lawyer, there are a dozen who are idiots. This ratio got worse in the 1990’s when everyone who had a worthless bachelor’s degree decided they had to go to law school to make a living. Today, unless you graduate in the top 10% of your class you’re likely working as a lawyer as a side job to your wage earning job stocking shelves at Walmart. There are more lawyers than jobs for lawyers.

          1. Bryan Caskey

            Sure, there are some very bad lawyers out there. I run across them as opposing counsel from time to time. However, for the most part, they are the exception. In every profession, trade, or industry, you’ll have some folks who aren’t great at it, unethical, or just plain lazy. The practice of law is no exception from human nature. However, most of the lawyers that I know, work with, and encounter are truly hard workers, ethical, and fairly smart.

            But y’all please go on…I’m enjoying this thread immensely.

  2. Bart

    I know a lawyer who voted for Trump. A very successful lawyer who under normal circumstances is a level headed individual, very high IQ, and all of the other positives I can think of. When I asked him why he supported Trump, he basically said the same thing Mr. Hardy said about his buddy and why he voted for him. The difference is that the lawyer I know didn’t hold his nose when he cast his vote for Trump.

    Intelligence doesn’t always imply good judgment or common sense when it comes to politics and decisions on who to vote for.

    As for voting third party, who I vote for is my concern and mine alone. I don’t tell anyone who voted that they wasted their vote. My conscience wouldn’t let me vote for Trump or Clinton and I learned a long time ago to listen to that internal compass on matters of conscience.

    1. Barry

      A longtime friend of mine is a retired lawyer. He voted for Trump. He doesn’t like Trump at all but he disliked Hillary more.

      He knows my opinion and why I couldn’t support Trump.

      I’ll also admit it has caused a bit of a rift between us. We barely talk anymore.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        “I’ll also admit it has caused a bit of a rift between us. We barely talk anymore.”

        That’s a shame. You shouldn’t let politics get between friendships. I have a bunch of liberal friends, and they all know that I’m slightly right of the Kaiser. We have fun with it because we aren’t trying to change each other, and we actually have really good debates over a few drinks every time we get together.

        If this guy is truly a good friend, you should both be able to see past political differences.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Should, but…

          This is the first time in my life I’m reluctant to ask certain friends and relatives how they voted. Before 2016, it was a safe topic. I’m all about talking politics with folks, and it’s more interesting when there’s a disagreement.

          But this time… I dread learning that someone I otherwise like, respect, even love could have voted for Trump (something that is highly likely, given the numbers).

          First, I would hate to be that disappointed.

          Second, I know that person is likely to have read things I’ve written, and to be hurt by it. And I’d feel bad about that — not so much about what I’d written, but that someone I cared about was hurt by it.

          I’ve never had this experience before, because nothing like this has ever happened in our political life. Especially in presidential politics. Before 2016, a rational case could have been made for voting for any major-party nominee for president. It was always possible to disagree with respect.

          Until Donaeld The Unready came along.

          Of course, I’m really not sure how well I’d handle the situation, since I haven’t experienced it yet. No one has offered in person, in my presence, the words, “I voted for Trump.” I’m thinking people don’t mention it unless they’re SURE everyone present will agree with them.

          It casts a pall upon political discussions that used to be much freer…

  3. Richard

    What keeps me up at night is wondering how many Walmart employees voted for Trump as compared to Target employees.

      1. Richard

        Well since there are more Walmart stores than Target stores I guess I’m comfortable with that assumption.

  4. Bryan Caskey

    Back to the substance of your post, you say this:

    “It’s just hard for me to imagine an officer of the court not being disturbed at having a chief executive with roughly zero appreciation and respect for the rule of law.”

    Could you give an explanation of how Trump threatens the rule of law any more than some of his predecessors did? You’re sort of assuming this fact into evidence. Show me your work on this.

    Here’s where I am on Trump: I’d prefer he wasn’t the president. I’m not a fan of most of his behavior. I am open to the possibility that he’s doing irreparable damage to presidential norms, but I’d also not prefer Hillary Clinton to be the president for the same reason. She’s not exactly a poster child for appreciating the “rule of law” if that’s the standard we’re using.

    With due respect, your tone often assumes that everyone agrees with you and therefore you do not attempt to persuade. Perhaps this is your intention, but perhaps not. I’m a persuadable Trump skeptic, but I’m not convinced that he’s any sort of serious threat to the “rule of law”.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      OK… I’m going to have to start collecting evidence. It hadn’t occurred to me that that was necessary. All the way from the “lock her up” chants during the campaign through the awkward attempts to get the FBI director to pledge his personal loyalty to getting FURIOUS that Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation to his unabashed admiration of thuggish tyrants abroad, it’s just a constant theme with this guy.

      He slaps us in the face with it constantly. But I guess I’ll have to start saving the Tweets or something.

      I mean, even the people who LOVE the guy can’t possibly see him as someone who understands the constitutional limitations placed upon him, or the respective duties and responsibilities of others in government. They LIKE that about him, that he’s not bound by rules the way “lesser” leaders are.

      It’s like you’re asking me to prove water is wet. I’m not sure where to start…

      1. Richard

        “OK… I’m going to have to start collecting evidence.”

        You say it, but you won’t.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Yeah. I will. And y’all won’t like it a bit.

          Every day, I read devastating stuff about Trump, but I don’t bother to state it, because too few of my readers are interested in reading it.

          Well, I’m going to start saving it, and sharing it.

          You’ve made it clear that you don’t realize this, but I’ve been going easy on the subject of Donald J. Trump, just because I get tired of y’all’s complaints every time he comes up.

          Well, Bryan’s built a fire under me. I’m going to start saving, and sharing, all that stuff…

          1. Mr. Smith

            Just a few examples of how respect for law has been undermined under this president:





            But probably none of this will matter to those folks who railed against Obama’s alleged “unconstitutional acts” but hardly raise a peep about all the things this trash fire administration has been up to.

        2. Barry

          I’ll toss out an easy one.

          Every career attorney on the AG’s legal staff advised him of the absolute need to recuse himself from the special council investigation. Sessions explained that he thought the specific regulation 28 CFR 45.2) requiring him to recuse himself was “reasonable.”

          Trump believes the AG should have refused to take the AG job if he was going to recuse himself. Why? Because Tara p wanted the attorney general of the United States to “protect him.”

          From The Washington Times…….
          “Mr. Trump angrily told White House officials that he needed Mr. Sessions to PROTECT HIM, according to a New York Times report from January. The same report said Mr. Trump ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to stop Mr. Sessions from recusing himself.
          Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said in an interview last week on ABC’s “This Week” that Mr. Trump is still furious about Mr. Sessions’ recusal decision, calling it an “original sin.”

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        And for me, the burden of proof was satisfied long, long ago. Just one of those examples I cited above was enough for me.

        You remember when the “Access Hollywood” tape broke? Everybody was saying that was the deal-breaker for Trump. Everybody thought that would seal his fate, that America (and especially not the Religious Right) couldn’t vote for that guy.

        Well, as gross as that was, that wasn’t THE moment for me.

        For me, THE moment was when he stated his intentions to, if elected, imprison his political opponent.

        That would have been enough to disqualify him completely, for me.

        For me, it happened a little after 9 p.m. on Oct. 9, 2016:

        That was it, without anything else.

        As I said at the time on this blog:

        Only that had been lacking to complete the portrait of Trump as the jefe of a banana republic: The use of the power of the state to persecute and imprison political opponents. All hail the caudillo!

        You see, folks, I lived in a banana republic when I was a kid. I was there when a president was ousted from power, and replaced by a military junta.

        I know what a wannabe caudillo sounds like. And on that October 9 — ironically, the day we celebrated Ecuadorean independence when I lived in Guayaquil — I heard one. And shortly thereafter, he was president of the United States…

        1. Bryan Caskey

          You’re talking about the second presidential debate right? Where he said that he would instruct the AG to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the situation of Clinton destroying documents under subpoena?

          Huh. If you’re wanting me to get worked up about investigating and prosecuting that, you’ve come to the wrong shop, brother. You know why I was so worked up about Hillary and her e-mails? It’s because I’m a lawyer.

          I send subpoenas out on a regular basis. I send subpoenas to people, companies, record custodians, and mostly it’s for production of documents. I’ve been in front of judges (on multiple occasions) where the other side has destroyed, deleted, or otherwise tampered with documents under my subpoena, and the rule of law there is (in layman’s terms) for the court to freakin’ hammer the person who does that. I have personal experience with the type of lying, sleazy people who get a subpoena and then destroy documents, and I love it when they do that because it’s basically an automatic win for my client’s case.

          So, I find it fundamentally irreconcilable to the “rule of law” to delete or destroy evidence that one party is seeking in a legal matter.

          But you’re response is basically: Hey, she was running for president and lost, so that’s all the punishment we really need to hand out. Remind me next time that I rob a bank to run for office and then lose. Maybe that’s what Dan Johnson is thinking with his theft of our money. Maybe he’s hoping people just say: Oh well, we voted him out of office…no need to actually punish him for the freakin’ crime of stealing our money.

          So don’t bring me “he said he was gonna investigate Hillary Clinton during a debate”. There are in fact circumstances when a political candidate does deserve to face the inside of a courtroom. True fidelity to the rule of law does not take into account one’s political standing. Facts matter, and they don’t care about your feelings.

          1. Barry

            After talking about an investigation, Trump said that if he was in charge, she WOULD be in jail. Not much of an investigation there and incredibly inappropriate to state as a candidate.

            Trump then said, in the same debate, there was “maybe no Russian hacking” attempts regarding trying to sway the election. Another factual lie.

            1. Bryan Caskey

              Wait, so a political candidate for office said something inflammatory during a campaign for office? Oh my stars and garters. Where is my fainting couch? Yeah, he’s a blowhard, lies, and is narcissistic, but that doesn’t really move the needle for me, since we could say that about a great many office holders.

              The Democrats lost an election and need to get over it. But they won’t (or can’t) so we’re in for four years of this sort of stuff about how the president is destroying the country. I think most people can agree that “Political norms are being tossed by the wayside.” Progressives will say that Trump’s responsible for most of this. They then use that as an excuse to themselves toss political norms by the wayside.

              First came the failed lawsuits after the election alleging voting-machine tampering. Then there was the doomed celebrity effort to convince some state electors not to follow their constitutional duty and to deny Trump the presidency — a gambit that, had it worked, would have wrecked the Constitution. Remember that? Then came the silly congressional boycott of the inauguration. Then there have been efforts to introduce articles of impeachment, and discussion of the 25th Amendment. All political norms cast aside. The resistance has started to normalize the idea of violence against the president; they just need to agree on the means of doing so: decapitation (Kathy Griffin), incineration (David Crosby), stabbing (the Shakespeare in the Park troupe), shooting (Snoop Dogg), explosives (Madonna), old-fashioned, Lincoln-style assassination (Johnny Depp), death by elevator (Kamala Harris), hanging (a CSU professor), or simple generic assassination (a Missouri state legislator).

              States nullifying federal law is no longer the sole province of John C. Calhoun. It’s now a tool of the liberal “resistance” to the president’s policies. Muller was supposed to have found evidence of collusion with Russia long ago. Somehow that moved to obstruction of justice, then that moved to rooting out the issue of what happened with Trump and a porn-star back in the day. Trump also doubles down on vitriol, in a cycle where everyone is racing to the bottom.

              The thing with Trump is that he’s a jerk, but he also turns his enemies into jerks, too.

              1. Guy

                Hohoho, the “resistance” is nomalizing “the idea of violence against this president”? Former President Obama has a Wikipedia page devoted to assassination/violent plots. They just were not hatched by 3rd and 4th rate “celebrities”. Surely, you can do better than this?

                1. Bryan Caskey

                  Like I said, it’s a race to the bottom. If you want to put them in the same category of other people who threatened violence against other presidents, that’s certainly appropriate, but it sort of sounds like my six-year old saying “He did it, too!” when I discipline him for not playing nicely.

              2. Brad Warthen Post author

                Seriously? Kathy Griffin? Trump’s political opposition equals Kathy Griffin? Kathy Griffin equals Trump’s political opposition?

                Trump is president of the United States. His words and his actions (most of which consist of pumping out words) are central to this discussion. That absurd woman’s outrageous bid for attention had nothing to do with anything. Society responded with the condemnation it deserved, and turned its face from her.

                And don’t talk to me about electors and the constitution. The College long ago ceased to be what the Framers intended.

                I am not a member of the “resistance.” The term is offensive to me. I do not seek to resist. I seek to restore, because much has been lost…

                1. Guy

                  I am not racing anywhere, not sure which “them” you are referring to, and I have done nothing “too”.

                  To borrow one of your favorites- what a stupid time to be alive…

                2. Bryan Caskey

                  “The College long ago ceased to be what the Framers intended.”

                  Sure. It’s different now, but the rules we currently have are long established. Again, you were talking about respect for the rule of law, and the gambit to get the electors to then change that “rule of the game” and vote against who they were required to vote was a monumental casting aside of the rule of law.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    And it didn’t catch on, and it didn’t happen.

                    Trump did catch on, and is now “the President of the United States, clothed with immense power,” as Lincoln put it. So, you know, it’s a thing of considerably greater substance.

                    People accuse ME of false equivalence sometimes, but come on…

                3. Claus2

                  ” I do not seek to resist. I seek to restore, because much has been lost…”

                  Face it Brad, you’re not going to be happy until Washington is run like it’s 1780. Things aren’t going to return to the past, either adapt or sit back and continue pouting. Face the fact that you were born 200 years too late to be happy.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    For once, you’re onto something, although 1780 is too early. You should start with a time after we had a Constitution.

                    And of course, there are different factors to consider.

                    The America we had in the 1790s was of course deeply flawed — we had slavery. But I would say in defense of Washington, Adams, et al., that we had the best America we were able to have at that time. Had the Framers not compromised on slavery, kicking that can down the road, there would have been no United States.

                    Of course, we can leap to 1865, but then we can find fault with that time, too.

                    One thing is certain: Any time before 2016 was a time when Donald Trump would have been laughed away as a presidential candidate. So pretty much any time before 2016 was better than now, for the purposes of this particular discussion…

                4. Bryan Caskey

                  I guess I could have brought up Joe Biden, who made remarks about beating Trump up or getting into a fight with him, or some fool something. Again, it’s an example of Trump taking everyone down to the lowest common denominator.

                5. Claus2

                  So what you’re telling me is that every date you or I pull up you’re going to find fault with how things were run at the time. So how is this different than today other than your dislike of Trump? I guess when Chelsea runs you’ll be happy that things are back to normal.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    One more time…

                    It’s not “dislike.” There are a lot of people in politics I “dislike.” My comments about Trump have to do with something I love — my country.

                    Once again, in this nation’s entire history, our government — the executive branch of our government — has never before been in the grip of such a delusional, unbalanced, ignorant, self-centered, vindictive, grossly unqualified and completely unfit person. This is a terrible moment for our nation. The United States is undergoing a deeply degrading experience now, one that — if we’re able to recover and become America again — will probably always frustrate historians who try to explain it. If we don’t recover, if we can’t recover, we’re just going to go careening off into the darkness, and historians will write about us the way they write about other historic failures, such as the Roman Republic…

              3. Brad Warthen Post author

                Oh, and I don’t give a damn about the Democrats and what they lost and what they need to get over. I don’t know why you bring them up. They don’t seek what I seek. Too many of them think this is just their usual stupid game, and Trump is just another Republican…

              4. Barry

                Let’s see Bryan

                1). brad points out Trump’ desire to lock up his opponent.

                2). Your reply is that, if an investigation discovered guilt, she should be locked up.

                3). I point out Trump said she would be locked up if he was president, simply because he was President (no investigation required)

                4). Your reply, giving Trump the benefit of the doubt you wouldn’t give anyone else, is that it’s just typical campaign rhetoric

                Your response was quite convenient and pathetic at the same time.

                1. Bryan Caskey

                  I’d point out that I don’t believe any actual investigation into Hillary’s email issue has been launched…so yeah…it was campaign rhetoric. Once he was President-Elect, Trump himself said he didn’t have any inclination to prosecute her. So he says that he’d put her in jail, and then doesn’t act on it. I’m having trouble mustering up a whole bunch of outrage.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Yeah, there’s been no prosecution. I assume that’s because EVERYONE in his administration has told him not to go there.

                    But we’re not talking about actions in this discussion. We’re talking about whether a certain individual has, to go back to my original statement, “appreciation and respect for the rule of law.”

                    No one who has those things would have said what he said….

                2. Barry

                  Not really Bryan. I think you have your facts confused.

                  Trump has reportedly repeatedly pressed the DOJ to investigate Clinton.

                  “A former Justice Department official said the president’s tweets present a challenge for the department, which wants to handle the matter in a way that’s consistent with DOJ protocol while avoiding allegations of doing Trump’s bidding.”

                  1. Bryan Caskey

                    You say that like it’s a bad thing. She clearly committed a crime and should be held to the same standard as everyone else.

                    Y’all really have the wrong issue to try and convince me Trump is doing horrible damage to our republic and the rule of law.

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      OK, you’re going to have to help me here: What’s the crime she clearly committed? What’s it called in the statutes? And how come Comey couldn’t get his hands around it, since she had so clearly committed it?

                      All I remember is that, out of a Nixonian urge to control and an equally Nixonian fear of her enemies in the “great right-wing conspiracy,” she stupidly set up a private server and used it for official business. I think. My brain kind of dumped all that when Comey said he wasn’t prosecuting. Also, there was a lot going on at the time…

                    2. Brad Warthen Post author

                      If you can forget all the times Trump has disrespected the rule of law, I can forget the special crime his opponent, who is now a historical footnote, committed.

                      If I ran things, though, out of respect for you, I would make her go sit on the Group W bench until I remembered what her special crime was. Of course, she’d probably frighten the father-rapers and mother-stabbers there… And they’d all move away from her there on the Group W bench…

                    3. Bryan Caskey

                      I’m not forgetting, and I’m not saying he’s got any respect for the law. All I’m saying is that he’s not some big threat to it.

                      Can you reconcile that nuance?

                    4. Brad Warthen Post author

                      I probably could, if he weren’t president of the United States, our chief magistrate as I believe the Framers called it.

                      If he’d been laughed off the public stage as soon as he came down that escalator in 2015, as would have happened in a rational universe, I’d be right there with you.

                      You must remember it’s not just him. Despite the fact that his unfitness was an open sore for all to see, millions of people VOTED for him. That is the respect that makes this crisis so immense…

                    5. Bryan Caskey

                      I detailed it extensively in comments at the time. I’m dining in the gunroom now, but I’ll detail it later for you.

                      Got to go, the bottle stands beside me…

                3. Barry

                  It is a bad thing. If Hillary broke laws, the DOJ can prosecute her.

                  They don’t need a world class lying idiot like Trump pressing them to lock her up.

                  Good grief. This is simple, except to you.

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            Exactly. Facts matter.

            And one fact is that this seems like a change of subject to me: “Hey, she was running for president and lost, so that’s all the punishment we really need to hand out.” Who said that? Who suggested that? Who even brought that up?

            1. Bryan Caskey

              You did. You brought up the “rule of law”, and you’ve also seemed to imply (more than once) that Hillary shouldn’t be punished for actual crimes because she’s no longer a relevant political player. I’m thinking of Michael saying to Carlo:

              “Don’t be afraid, Carlo. Come on, you think I’d make my sister a widow? I’m Godfather to your son, Carlo…You’re out of the Family business, that’s your punishment. You’re finished. I’m putting you on a plane to Vegas…I want you to stay there, understand?”

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                I have never suggested “that Hillary shouldn’t be punished for actual crimes.” What I’ve done is say it’s ridiculous to keep bringing up a historical character and say “what about Hillary” every time anyone brings of the latest outrage of the current, actual president of the United States. It’s pretty much always a nonsequitur. We are not currently engaged in an election for the office; the nation is not faced with a choice between the two. This is real life.

                But now that YOU bring up the subject, no, I wouldn’t advocate for prosecuting her now, just as I thought it was fine for Ford to pardon Nixon, and for Obama to decline to prosecute members of the Bush administration.

                You know why? Because such a prosecution would smack of political retribution, whatever the facts of the case. Rightly or wrongly, it would suggest to too many people the attitude that Trump embraced wholeheartedly, of jailing his opponent…

                1. Barry

                  Obama chose not to prosecute Bush administration members or pursue those investigations which made a lot of his supporters angry.

                2. Bryan Caskey

                  That mindset feeds into the perception that there is one standard of justice for the political class and one standard of justice for everyone else, and that is quite contrary to the rule of law.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    I agree, strictly speaking, but prosecutors have some discretion.

                    And let me ask you: Do you think it would have been a good thing for Nixon to have been prosecuted? I can see an argument either way, but I lean toward it being fine that Ford spared us that.

                    It would have been even worse had Obama prosecuted Bush administration officials. THAT would really have felt like political retribution, whatever the letter of the law might say…

                    And yeah, I’m talking feelings here, which is not normally a place where I like to go. But I’m concerned about the law having broad respect and the confidence of the people…

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Absolutely. Nixon had at least that much of a sense of honor.

                      Something Trump completely lacks. Of course, this is one respect in which he is NOT alone in our history. Bill Clinton lacked the character to do the right thing and resign, as well…

                    2. Brad Warthen Post author

                      There was a cartoon idea I remember mentioning to Robert a number of times, one I really liked, but I don’t think he ever did it.

                      It would have been Bill and Hillary being dragged from the White House, their fingers digging into the tarmac of the driveway, digging furrows as they desperately resisted being removed from office…

  5. Doug Ross

    From the data on FEC.GOV, here are the people who declared their profession as an attorney and donated to Trump’s campaign:


    1. Mark Stewart

      Kind of an incomplete list … as I presume Henry made at least a token financial contribution to Trump’s campaign. Or did he list his “profession” as “Governor”?

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Henry didn’t have to give money. What he gave was far more valuable, and he has been rewarded for it.

            I was looking at campaign contributions just yesterday, something I very seldom do — y’all know how little that stuff interests me. I did it in my never-ending quest to figure out who in South Carolina is supporting Phil Noble.

            He had more contributions than I expected — a lot from out-of-state, but quite a few in-state. And I thought for a moment that I’d found a person I wanted to talk to — Holley Ulbrich, who used to be at Clemson’s Strom Thurmond Institute.

            It’s the one recognizable name I found (I might have found others, but got bored perusing the list).

            So I was all geared up to try to reach Dr. Ulbrich and ask her why a serious policy wonk was supporting a candidate out of left field, and expected to learn a lot from the interview…

            But then something struck me… and I went and looked… and my guess was right: She had also given to James Smith.

            So I didn’t call her. She’s apparently just trying to promote democracy….

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              And that is indeed the case. Dr. Ulbrich saw this and reached out to me, as follows:

              A friend of mine told me about your blog on campaign contributions and your comment on my two contributions (thank you for the extra research on that!). Yes, I like democracy a lot. I like competitive elections because they force politicians to pay attention to voters, however fleetingly, and give citizens a sense of ownership, also however fleetingly. I have my eyes on one Republican candidate for governor to whom I may contribute to as well, but fear to mention his/her name lest it appear in your blog. Phil is an old friend. James was highly recommended to me by a former Republican state legislator. I didn’t give much, but I know that the number of contributors help them to get visibility and recognition, and maybe increases voter interest and turnout.

  6. Doug Ross

    As long as Hillary or her surrogates come out claiming to have been robbed in the election (which seems to be on a weekly basis), she is fair game to be held accountable for her awful, lazy, rigged campaign. She just doesn’t get it.. She BLEW it.

    1. Barry

      Who, except Fox News, is covering Hillary Clinton and her surrogates?

      Who are the pathetic people that are listening or reading these comments?

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Wait! I did see something about Hillary the other day… a reporter with the NYT who covered the Clinton campaign has a new book about it, and I saw both a review in the WashPost (that sort of panned it) and an oped piece in the NYT by the author herself. Which I don’t think I finished. I just started reading it because something in the WP piece had made me curious. The thing that interested me was about the reporter herself, not about Hillary… I even thought about writing a post about it, but lost interest…

        It had to do with ambition, and the way it warps people’s priorities… Actually, maybe I will post it…

  7. Mr. Smith

    “She clearly committed a crime and should be held to the same standard as everyone else.”
    – Bryan

    Hillary derangement syndrome. That’s the only thing clearly evident here.

    In a nutshell, Politfact concludes:
    ”The FBI found no evidence that the [Clinton] emails were deleted deliberately to avoid the subpoena or other requests. Clinton’s team requested for the emails to be deleted months before the subpoena came. They also argued that all the emails that would be relevant to the subpoena had already been turned over to the State Department.”

    Bottom line, failure to follow administrative procedures does not constitute a crime. Comey looked at the WHOLE BODY of evidence in an objective and non-partisan manner and concluded that no crime had been committed.

  8. Doug Ross

    The DNC just filled a lawsuit about Trump and Russia. Last week the news was about Hillary’s comments that “they” were never going to LET her be President. Then there are the neverending books about the campaign including one by a New York Times author this week entitled: “Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling” on Tuesday. Glass celling? Please…

    As for the rule of law, at the least she and her campaign are guilty of obstructing Justice when it comes to the email server.. all the convenient excuses about deleted emails, destroyed servers, etc. She lied repeatedly about it because that is her m.o.

      1. Doug Ross

        Trust me.. if you would expand your sources of information, you’d see ongoing Hillary related sour grapes all the time.

        The Comey book wouldn’t exist without Hillary. Since Hillary’s book “What Happened” (subtitle “I was a lazy candidate who didn’t connect with people”) in September, Amazon lists:

        “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign”by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes coming out next week.

        Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling by Amy Chozick which came out this week

        Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump
        by Michael Isikoff which came out in early April.

        Game of Thorns: The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton’s Failed Campaign and Donald Trump’s by Doug Wead (NY Times reporter) which came out in February

        “The Destruction of Hillary Clinton: Untangling the Political Forces, Media Culture, and Assault on Fact That Decided the 2016 Election” from January.

        The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics
        by Maureen Dowd

        There’s an entire cottage industry for liberal reporters to make excuses for Hillary’s failure.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Well, since I don’t read books like those, I wouldn’t know. I’d heard of the book she wrote herself, and the one I mentioned by the NYT reporter. Neither of which I intend to read.

          I get enough of that stuff while it’s happening. More than enough… Except as a I said, you’ve reminded me of a post I might do on the NYT reporter. On her, more than her subject…

          1. Barry

            I saw the writers of Russian Roulette interviewed on two networks. Hillary was never mentioned.

            A couple of commenters on here are infatuated with Hillary just like Fox Trump News.

            1. Doug Ross

              All she has to do is walk away. She can’t do it. The only time she’s on my radar is when she comes out with a different set of excuses for why she lost. That happens on a regular basis – and her continued presence will do nothing to help Democrats in 2018 and 2020. She’s a boat anchor for the party.

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