Sunday, March 15, 2015

It's Happening Again...

The Pilot Newspaper: Opinion

I tell you, this stupid “Emailgate” scandal may finally be the thing that drives me into the Hillary Clinton camp. As I’ve written several times, I’m not a huge fan of Mrs. Clinton, because she’s always come across to me as Republican Lite: all the corporate harlotry and knee-jerk hawkishness, but without the deranged raving about “legitimate rape,” gay marriage leading to bestiality, and Ebola-carrying Mexican immigrants with “thighs like cantaloupes” from toting huge bags of drugs.
All that said, I’ve frequently found myself, almost in spite of myself, rising to defend Hillary Clinton because of the sheer ridiculousness of the attacks on her from the right-wing propaganda complex, aka the national political media.
Last time she ran for president, we had the usual Very Serious Right Wing Pundits ruminating on whether Hillary was showing too much cleavage and whether or not she left a tip at a Midwestern “loose-meat” diner (whether she did or not, the Very Serious Right Wing Pundits didn’t like it).
Then, when she was secretary of state, those same Very Serious Pundits asked very seriously if she might be faking a blood clot to avoid testimony about the Benghazi murders — testimony she gave when she recovered (and which the Very Serious Pundits then mangled and misrepresented in shameful and dishonest fashion).
Now we’re supposed to get all aghast over the fact that — hang on to your hats, folks — when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a personal email account! From a server in her own home! OMG (as the youths on the Interwebs say), she may very well have violated the Federal Records Act of 1950! Or regulations from the National Archives! Or something!
Never mind the fact that the change in the FRA to include “electronic communications” was signed in November 2014, after Clinton had already left, on Feb. 1, 2013. Never mind the fact that new regulations from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regarding personal email use by government officials didn’t go out until September of that year.
Never mind the fact that Colin Powell used a personal email account when he was secretary of state because, like most government email systems, the “official” one was years behind the times and frustrating to use (according to interviews with General Powell).
Never mind that two months ago (before this phony “scandal” even broke), Clinton aides turned over 55,000 pages of work-related emails to the State Department for archiving.
Never mind that, after the State Department reviews them to make sure there’s no classified material, the emails in their possession will be posted online.
No, this is all just more evidence that “proves” the prevailing narrative of how “secretive” and “non-transparent” the Clintons are, and how they feel they’re “above the rules.” Because nothing says “secretive” like turning over 55,000 pages of your email to be posted online, and nothing says “I feel like I’m above the rules” like violating a rule that wasn’t in place when you were in office.
But surely there’s something juicy in the “personal” stuff she didn’t turn over. There’s undoubtedly a smoking gun about Benghazi in the emails between Hillary and the caterer for her daughter’s wedding. (“We decided to go with the white roses for the centerpieces, and BTW, I totally knew about the attack days in advance and did nothing because I hate America and wanted the ambassador to die. BWAHAHAHAHA. Hugs, HRC.”)
Is it irresponsible to speculate? As right-wing pundit Peggy Noonan once said about a particularly ludicrous rumor involving President Bill Clinton, it would be irresponsible not to. That, after all, is the standard used by our so-called liberal media for all things Clinton.
Our national political reportage has become an outright disgrace. Those outlets that aren’t blatant mouthpieces for the far right have become like particularly stupid hound dogs, dutifully chasing whatever manufactured “scandal of the week” gets ginned up by Drudge and Faux News, until actual analysis causes it to fall apart and they’re left chasing their tails in confusion. At least until next time, when the same moronic canines go baying off into the same woods because some right-wing blogger who’s off his meds points and yells, “Rabbit!”
In 1992, I got off the fence, put aside my misgivings about Bill Clinton, and threw my support behind him in large part because of the meanness, general blockheadedness, and pettiness of the forces arrayed against him.
I may have had my doubts, but I’d seen the Republican National Convention, and I knew I wanted nothing to do with those people, because they were bat-spit crazy. In 2015, it seems that history is repeating itself across the national media stage.
So I guess what I’m saying is that, once again, I’ve finally joined Team Clinton. Good job.