I can’t believe we are falling for this Republican gambit again. The GOP knows how to create a scandal and how to keep it center stage for as long as it proves to be to their political advantage (which is about as long as the half-life of U-235).
I can understand the argument made by a constituent at the Iowa State Fair who felt that Hillary’s poor judgment in choosing to use a private server seems to argue against those who tout her as being politically savvy. And yet we learn from the media that a number of Cabinet members have used private servers including Colin Powell. The problem is, however, one of degree. Republicans have us thinking that she is practically a traitor. They say that what she did is worse than what General Petraeus did – really – Petraeus actually shared national secrets with his paramour. Hillary did not share secrets with anyone as far as we know. Joe Scarborough is once again engaging in waves of bombastic hyperbole on the subject any morning you choose to turn in to Morning Joe, a habit I may have to give up because I don’t like to get worked up quite so early in the morning.
It sounds like so far the FBI has retroactively classified 305 (2, 60, 301, expect the number to keep changing and expect the media to be aghast as each new number is announced) out of 50,000+ emails as at least qualifying for the label Confidential, although Hillary tells us that she did not receive, on her private server, any emails that were marked as Classified when she received them. Joe Scarborough, foaming at the mouth, may buy that Hillary planned for future cover-ups when she decided to opt for her personal server, but that would suggest that Hillary is a scheming woman who lies all the time because she thinks lies will serve her better than the truth. This merely points out how women are painted with a different brush than men because this is obviously a skill we already contribute to almost every man who is a politician, but we don’t call it scheming, we call it strategizing.
This is what Republicans do. They create scandals and they kick back and watch as the media, which knows the people love a good scandal, broadcasts the details over and over. If the meme starts to die out then the scandal mysteriously escalates a bit. If the party doles out the rumors and innuendoes carefully the story lives through can entire election cycle and perhaps beyond (much like the way the press merely has to say a code word like ‘Whitewater’ to cast unproven aspersions on someone).
It is entirely possible that there is nothing sinister at all in Hillary’s use of a private server as there was no rule against it at the time and others at her level of government did the same. Considering the number of hostile hacks against our government computers (IRS, etc.) in recent years and the exposure of secure data, it could look like it was actually a prescient move to use a private server. But Trey Gowdy, the media, and, apparently, the FBI will make sure that no one else in America believes that because that Benghazi drumbeat is still kept alive and damning in the back of our minds.
[When have we ever had a perfect person in public office, a person we could trust 100%. Given the flawed nature of all humans we would be deluded to put all our trust in any President. It is why a democracy is supposed to be strong, because the people keep an eye on our leaders and call them to account if necessary. If we have never had a male President who is perfect (sorry Republicans, even Ronald Reagan) then how can it be that we expect to find a female President with no flaws? This is why it is important to concentrate on policies rather than appearance or personalities and make policy considerations at least as important as more superficial attributes.]
This does not have to be a huge story on the news every day. The data is in the hands of the FBI. The investigation is launched. We must wait for the results. Get a grip!
By Nancy Brisson