Saturday, March 7, 2015

Desperately searching for a scandal

I have been watching with some bemusement the latest attempt by the Republicans to find a scandal that will stick to Hilary Clinton. Apparently she didn't have an official State Department email account. Instead of receiving emails at what would seem to be a logical email address for the Secretary of State she communicated through a private account. This does strike me as rather bizarre. I can't imagine a government agency that doesn't automatically assign an email address to a person when he or she starts a job -- in  my case I was NMannikko@nps.gov when I worked for the Park Service and some weird combination of letters and numbers, something odd that had nothing whatsoever to do with my actual name (e.g., gnh4@cdc.gov) when I was at the Centers for Disease Control -- but I suppose it's possible. Every cabinet department is a little different in how its email is set up. Both NPS and CDC had .gov tacked on to their email accounts but the USDA Forest Service is Person@fs.us. Who knows? Who really cares?

But, as usual, I'm ambling away from what was actually on my mind. Why do the GOP and Fox News even bother? Thanks to the relentless attacks on the Clintons while Bill was in the White House, Hilary comes close to being Teflon-coated. She went through 8 years of being attacked in a myriad of ways and was called a murderer when Vince Foster committed suicide. She still managed to get elected to the Senate from the state of New York. That, quite frankly, astonished me. She'd barely established a legal address there and she persuaded the people of New York to elect her to the United States Senate. She was a carpetbagger with dubious credentials, came complete with a husband who was a well-known womanizer and general sleaze, and the people of New York didn't care. And, yes, I will repeat, "dubious credentials." Her primary experience, other than being First Lady of Arkansas and then the United States, was as an attorney for a law firm no one had ever heard of before the Clintons entered the White House. Everyone talks about Bill's charisma. Well, Hilary must pack a pretty powerful campaigning punch, too.

And then, after one term in the Senate, she decided to run for President and came really, really close to capturing the Democratic nomination. My personal opinion is that the main reason she didn't was that Bill inserted himself into the campaign a little too much and served as a nice reminder of all the things the base of the Democratic party dislikes about the Clintons: they're corporate sellouts who never met a banker or a lobbyist they didn't love, not to mention the fact both of them will say or do almost anything to get elected. Granted, the latter is true of almost every politician on the planet, but there are limits to what a person is willing to stomach.

In any case, considering how many scandals the right-wing has dredged up or attempted to dredge up that appear to have minimal impact on Hilary's career trajectory, why are they bothering now? No one cares, especially when you start hearing about the sheer volume of the emails. She was Secretary of State for about 4 years. There were over 50,000 emails turned over to government archives. Fifty thousand! Think about it. If those are the ones that got saved for the government (Hilary has said it didn't include purely personal stuff, like planning for Chelsea's wedding), just how many emails was this woman dealing with daily? My calculations came up with an average minimum of 35. That's a lot of emails. Just when did this woman sleep? Or, to come at it from another angle, how many of those emails were ever actually viewed by Clinton and how many were routine memos sent out by staff? Who knows? And, once again, who cares? Unless someone can manage to come up with a specific email with something juicy in it -- Hilary trying to set up a 3-way with her, Bill, and Putin (and now I must reach for the Brain Bleach) -- no one will care. People hear "email" and their eyes glaze over. Trying to turn this into a scandal is another massive wasted effort on the part of any and all GOP strategists who are fantasizing that it'll derail Hilary's apparently inevitable candidacy. I can't decide if the Republican scandal machine persists because they desperately want her to be the candidate because they're delusional enough to believe one of their possible candidates (Jeb Bush? Ted Cruz?) could beat her, or if they're simply not familiar with the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Which brings me to another question: where the hell are the Democrats with enough spine to try to derail the Hilary train? Why is the party just kicking back and allowing this elderly woman to be the de facto standard bearer? I don't give a rat's patoot about what anyone says about how the fact she's in her 60s doesn't matter. It matters. Ask anyone who's the same age (or close to it) as Hilary. She's 67 now. That's geezer territory. It's the age where you start checking the obituaries each morning to make sure you're not listed. It's the age where you wake up with mysterious aches and pains you apparently acquire while engaged in the strenuous activity of sleeping. No one who is 67 now should be making any serious moves towards running for President, but Hilary apparently is. Wasn't she paying attention to what it did to Bill? Or aWol? Or Barack? When you look at photos of recent presidents, you'd swear that Presidential years are like dog years: for every year you're in the White House, you age at least 5. But the media has managed to bestow such an aura of inevitability on Hilary that we don't even hear any names bandied about as possible vice presidential nominees. Unbelievable.

2 comments:

  1. ole Jed Bush is one of the biggest bitcher and he did the exact same..oh the hypocrisy..

    ReplyDelete
  2. She is the same age as me. Geezer is right. Elizabeth Warren, all the way!!!

    ReplyDelete

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