People like Hillary Rodham Clinton break the law — serious laws, including national-security law — with impunity. They can do this because their lives are dedicated to the pursuit of power, which means being constantly lawyered up. There probably has been no point in the past 30 years during which Mrs. Clinton, her family, or a near ally was not under investigation. She can spend her days fighting this stuff and dragging it out for years and years like it’s her job — because it is.
A schmuck like James Meyers, though, lives a different sort of life. The court might have mailed him a notice to appear 14 years ago when his rental-issue was a matter of immediate public concern; often enough, such notices are sent to addresses that are three or four moves in the past. It takes time and money to fight bureaucrats who have nothing to do all day but shake you down for money: Fairfield County, Conn., where I lived for less than a year many years ago, still sends me annual tax bills. The state of New York has demanded of me tax on income that was earned neither in New York nor by a party living in New York. If you have the time and the money, you get a lawyer and you sue, countersue, or otherwise protect your rights.
But there are a great many people who do not have the resources to do that. An erroneous tax bill leads to a credit-ruining lien, which in turn can torpedo a home purchase or, in some cases, a better job. A parking violation you never knew anything about in a town where you spent two hours ten years ago leads to an arrest warrant or a suspended driver’s license — or both.
And if you’re a shmuck like James Meyers, it leads to having to explain to your terrified daughter why Daddy is being threatened with a trip to the hoosegow over a Freddy Got Fingered hijacking.