E-mail Chauvinism

HRC is toast.

The recent State Department OIG report was written and issued by Democratic appointees within the Obama Administration, and yet is highly damning. We now know that Hillary Clinton has repeatedly lied about her actions and intentions concerning her emails; that her conduct and that of previous Secretaries such as Colin Powell is not equivalent as the rules were not clearly in place in e.g. Powell’s term; and that she continued to break the rules on the handling of classified and top-secret information despite being apprised of those rules, her top aides even going so far as to insist to underlings that it never be discussed again. It also appears that about half of her 60,000 emails were not handed over even belatedly, but instead deleted–though they have since been reconstructed.

One begins to wonder what more it will take to bring about the amazing epiphany that Clinton is a dangerously weak and flawed candidate. As though Clinton’s recent disastrous polling collapse against the supposed-pushover Trump–redolent of similar collapses against the supposed-crackpot Sanders in many of the primary contests–wasn’t enough to throw the Democrats into a typhoon of self-doubt, this story, now catching fire in the media and among political classes, surely must do the trick.

Right?

Certainly, the once-unspeakable is now resting on more and more lips: that this woman cannot be the Democrats’ nominee if they want to have a serious chance in November, even (especially?) against someone as unpredictable as Trump. So, surely, unless the party is moribund to the point of having a death wish, there will be a change to a different “presumptive nominee”, quite possibly before the convention.

Right?

Nope. So far, Democratic Party luminaries continue to show a remarkable resourcefulness in dismissing, spinning, and downplaying the now-very-real shadow of indictment. We have Senator Feinstein flatly saying it’s already time to “move past” the matter and Governor Jerry Brown ploughing right ahead and endorsing her today. Still others stick to their own personal versions of the now-disproven notions that Clinton either did not know the rules, or that a bunch of other Secretaries of State did exactly the same thing.

If there is a more categorical example of how the political elites of this country have essentially become closed, self-perpetuating guilds so narrowly dedicated to the wielding of professional political influence by an anointed few that they cannot react to obvious external facts, then it’s sure not coming to me. (It may happen sometimes that fooling oneself thoroughly enough is the best way to survive, but this does not look like one of those times–even for a Clinton.)

My hunch would be that the timing of the OIG report’s release may have been strategic–the first snowball in an avalanche. For example, it gives excellent political cover and preparation for the FBI to recommend indictments, as well as for the Justice Department to hand them down (with teary regret, naturally). Not much is certain, but as of now, all of these things are exponentially likelier to happen than establishment wisdom was willing to concede even a week ago. The election of 2016, it seems, is about to pioneer even more dubious frontiers.

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