Suppose an alien from Mars landed and asked you to describe the rules in our presidential American election process. What would you tell him/her/it? How could you explain it?
First, there is the constitutional process. There are a bunch of regulations and election laws. There are regulations regarding the basic process of “running for president.”
Then there are the default rules of the road, which can change. The latest iteration contains the double standard rules, like ‘what applies to thee does not apply to me’ and so on.
Those rules are distinguished by who you are and what Party you are in. Not everyone lives under the same rules. Some people can ignore the rules while others are harassed by every rule, even as they are made up to suite present circumstances.
A republican candidate or successful president has the strictest rules. You cannot look into an opponent’s record or past experience in government. That is a no-no. Candidates cannot call for investigating an opponent, ex-opponent, or the person who held the job before. Even if there is the off chance a person may be running against you, it is forbidden.
Democrats have a saying: “in this country, we do not investigate our political opponents.” Actually, the accurate translation is we don’t investigate Democrat opponents.
The Democrat candidates are exempt from being scrutinized for their past experiences or record in office. Democrats shall not be investigated. They are exempt from accountability, particularly for their time in office. The past is considered irrelevant to a present race.
Democrats time in office is public service and Republicans’ time is mobster activity.
However, any Democrats running can demand the investigations of Republicans. But it is frowned on to call for investigating other Democrats. In fact, it is taboo for a Democrat to criticize fellow Democrats. But inter-party criticism is encouraged for Republicans.
Republicans shall have no privileges of any kind. But Democrats shall enjoy limitless special privileges Those will be made up as fast as needed. Republicans must adhere to very strict guidelines on everything, including what you can say. If you are a Democrat, you can say or do almost anything and not be held accountable. If you are a Republican you must be held accountable for every possible thing, even for what someone else did.
If you are a Democrat, you are accountable for nothing, zero, But you can claim to be accountable and responsible for everything — if you choose. It really means nothing.
Now along with these rules and particulars, there is a reality of precedent to consider. A Republican is always under the burden of inquisition, for anything at any time. For instance what you did in high school and, for that matter, anything you or your family ever did. (remember those arguments, family disputes or sealed court papers…) Another rule is all records are relevant for Republicans, records can be expunged or sealed for Democrats.
So in real practice, Democrats can open an investigation on a Republican candidate before primaries and keep it going through his term in office. It is called an “insurance policy.” That investigation can use the entire apparatus of federal government and intelligence agencies. It can enlist help from foreign governments, agents of foreign governments, be run through the DNC and coordinate with the Democrat’s campaign. It can use the Department of Justice to conceal and orchestrate the entire inquisition. Such investigation can then be rolled into a Special Counsel investigation to further investigate. A Special Counsel can be enacted by a call from a bureaucrat or official in the government. Congress itself can also take up similar investigations on a Republican.
Naturally, the scenario above would be against all rules and ethics to apply it to Democrat candidates. (that rule was enacted after the pretend Hillary probe of nothingness) Republicans trying to resist these rules or complaining about them is severely frowned on. Basically, a Democrat is exempt from those extraneous rules. Democrats are entitled to any protections or privileges from such investigation(s).
As I explained to my Martian friend, it is nice to know what the rules are anyway.
(This column may be revised later – as rules evolve further.)
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