The Overton Window explains a range of government intervention, the ‘window‘, and the concept of moving this window to make what today might be ‘unthinkable’, to what tomorrow might be ‘policy’. Well, today is tomorrow. With the news that FBI Director James Comey believes that Hillary Clinton, although his statements proved she is guilty of crimes under federal documents and espionage legislation, does not deserve to be prosecuted [see here]. With his re-writing of federal law, one example being inserting ‘intent‘, when only gross negligence/extreme carelessness (which he proved) is necessary, Comey has brought America to a new legal and societal low.
As a society I suppose we must ask ourselves how a government can go from its current policy position of putting people in jail for such crimes to the unthinkable where they believe the law should actually be applied differently depending on who you are. It seems that core concepts such as ‘justice is blind,’ and ‘equality before the law‘ have suddenly become quaint and outdated. The same might be true now of Joseph P. Overton’s ‘window‘.
The most incredible (‘unthinkable‘?) quote came near the end of Comey’s proclamation [see here]:
To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now. [James Comey, FBI Director]
In other words, if you’re a federal employee, but you’re not Hillary Clinton, then the full force of the federal government will prosecute you to the fullest extent. In other, other words, don’t you dare set up your own email system like Clinton did to evade FOIA requests. If you do, your job is gone, your clearance is gone, and your freedom is gone! Hillary – well she’s still good to go to run for president.
What else can you say?