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How Your Anti-Clinton Sausage Gets Made



This WaPo headline is truly a masterpiece of bullshit:

Emails reveal how foundation donors got access to Clinton and her close aides at State Dept.

If you actually read the story, it shows is that Clinton Foundation donors would email Huma Abedin asking to meet with Hillary Clinton to ask for favors. They mostly didn’t get meetings and never got the favors — in other words, there’s not only not a scandal there’s not even a story. But since Hillary Clinton’s “close aide” did answer some emails and I suppose you could call that “access,” the headline is technically accurate. In conclusion, Donald Trump’s campaign is a massive grift operation and people email Hillary Clinton’s assistants so Both Sides Do It.

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  • rea

    Well, you have to connect the dots here. HRC’s close aid and lesbian lover is a charter member of the Muslin Brotherhood and married to a guy who likes to send women dick pictures!

    • wjts

      You’ll need to explain how Mena airport fits in before I can say if your hypothesis “raises serious concerns” or is merely “deeply troubling”.

      • Still, points for muslin brotherhood.

        • catclub

          something something … white sheets

          There you go.

          • DAS

            white sheets, which demonstrate that Democrats are the real racists.

            • Breadbaker

              Robert Byrd > David Duke

    • JMP

      I do like how she’s a member of the Muslim Brotherhood – which is apparently some worldwide scheme for global Islamic domination and not a political party in Egypt – while being married to a Jewish politician. It’s like how Obama is a secret Muslim while a member of a Christian Church whose pastor hates America, and sometimes also a secret atheist at the same time.

      • rea

        the Muslim Brotherhood – which is apparently some worldwide scheme for global Islamic domination and not a political party in Egypt

        A completely different group from the Muslin Brotherhood, as Aimai points out.

        • Snarki, child of Loki

          I hear she also worships SATIN!

        • Pseudonym

          Well, I assume the Muslin Brotherhood is the Egyptian cotton political party.

          • Anna in PDX

            The thread count is fundarrific

      • LosGatosCA

        It’s like how Obama is a secret Muslim while a member of a Christian Church whose pastor hates America, and sometimes also a secret atheist at the same time.

        Just proving how slippery the shape shifting, time traveling commie rat from Kenya is.

      • Derelict

        Bill Maher: “John McCain never attends church, which proves he’s a Christian. Barack Obama attended a radical Christian church, which proves he’s a Muslim.”

        • Manny Kant

          Bush II and Romney are pretty much the only publicly religious candidates that the Republican Party has had in the last century or so.

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            And Romney refused to talk about it publicly except in vague terms.

            • BiloSagdiyev

              But mostly because he was scared to death of many of his own party’s voters on that issue.

    • semiotix

      Yeah, this is critically important to the frame job. Not only is Huma Abedin a skerry mooslim terrist, she’s also married to Anthony Wiener, which means (by the Law of Female Responsibility) she’s to blame for every dick pic he ever texted.

      It’s not just any aide, it’s her ISIS-founding lesbian woman-abusing secret-burqa-wearing aide. The one force-feeding Frail Hillary her daily dose of meth and corruption pills.

      • jeer9

        In the documentary Weiner (which is very entertaining, by the way), Abedin comes across as a kind and thoughtful person with whom the audience sympathizes even as one questions whether the affinity she has for her husband’s political views merits the sort of despairing loyalty his perpetual douchebaggery requires.

        Marriages are strange things. While she and Clinton obviously agree on big picture issues (and it’s hard to believe she won’t be equally steadfast and perceptive in her advice to HRC), they also seem to have quite a bit in common as regards personal matters. Here’s hoping future Clinton “scandals” prove less embarrassing than the ones she’s already suffered through.

    • LeeEsq

      The Elders are not doing enough work. They are getting sloppy of the conspiracy could be explained in one sentence.

      • wjts

        This is a significant difference between our ancestral conspiracies: no Jesuit plot worthy of the name can be explained in just one sentence.

    • NorthernInvader

      And we all know that the Muslim Brotherhood is the true founder of al Qaeda AND Daesh so el fascista rubia was right Clinton is behind both

      • los

        chelsea clinton led the moorish invasion!

    • los

      grove norquist sends photos of cheneyand nixon to which women?

  • Denverite

    I just love this line:

    The emails show that, in these and similar cases, the donors did not always get what they wanted, particularly when they sought anything more than a meeting.

    Note how the “always” implies that the donors usually did get what they wanted. This is supported by the all zero examples of that actually happening. (There is one example where Abedin said she’d ask about a visa request for a visa that was never issued, and a second example of a Bahrainian royal securing a formal meeting with Clinton through official channels.)

    What a crappy hit job.

    • so-in-so

      They do crummy hit jobs because they can. The people who will buy it won’t care or notice it’s crappy. They still get the clicks, the tweets, the mentions on Fox news. Being accurate gets what, now?

    • What a crappy hit job.

      It seems, alas, pretty effective.

      • Pat

        So who writes the headlines? And who suggests that they frame them the way that they do?

      • efgoldman

        It seems, alas, pretty effective.

        Yes, actually, it’s an excellent hit job, worthy of the Enquirer in its best (worst?) days.
        Didn’t there used to be a real newspaper that came out of that building?

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          You’d need to borrow Obama’s time machine to go back to when that was true.

    • semiotix

      It’s even more corrosive than that, because sometimes people (donors or otherwise) ask the government to do something, and it does it because it should. So to frame it like this makes normal and appropriate government action look sinister.

      You have to have a government that is AWFULLY corrupt before the corruption is more dangerous than the idea taking root that all government is corrupt.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      “The phone messages show that Trump supporters did not always get the HAWT GOAT SEX they asked Trump for, particularly when they asked for ‘kinky stuff'”

      • Pseudonym

        But I’ve been assured that Mickey Kaus is actually a liberal…

    • slothrop1

      For the Clintons, no money dirty enough to wallow around in

      • ColBatGuano

        Good to see your keeping your Derp to profound content ratio at infinity.

  • Morse Code for J

    I’m glad you guys have subscriptions to the Washington Post to remind me why I don’t.

    • cpinva

      dude, you don’t need a subscription (or prescription, haven’t been sure about that in some time), you can mostly read it online for free.


      • (((Hogan)))

        Opportunity cost (aka life’s too short).

      • Pseudonym

        They put up a paywall with a monthly limit of free articles, which serves as a nice incentive not to read it, but incognito/secret mode is useful for emergencies.

  • How nakedly cynical is this whole email deal? “Clinton organization follows state department precedent, has lackluster security, also talks to people” is about as bad as it gets. Given that “its always projection” does anyone doubt that what was on Cheney and the Bush administration’s millions of missing emails would be more than enough to send them and half the people they know to prison for a long time? Do these reporters really think they are doing anything other than carrying water for the GOP by continuing to publish this crap?

    • so-in-so

      Do these reporters really think they are doing anything other than carrying water for the GOP by continuing to publish this crap?

      I think they call it “making money”.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      Her security wasn’t even that lackluster. The State Dept systems got hacked, and the FBI didn’t find any evidence that her server was successfully hacked. Hacking attempts were made but interrupted.

      Though Comey made sure to speculate that it “could’ve been hacked” in order to keep that talking point alive.

      • catclub

        Comey made sure to speculate that it “could’ve been hacked”

        Now I want to find out that her server was running FreeBSD.

        • Snarki, child of Loki

          I want to know Hillary’s favorite Sendmail configuration options.

          • Michael Cain

            Oh, lord, one of the worst assignments I ever got stuck with was maintaining a hodge-podge of Sendmail config files. Only time that I spent more effort getting the responsibility shifted to someone else than I did on the task.

          • Pseudonym

            If her server was running Sendmail it’s not technically possible for it not to be hacked.

        • LNM_in_LA

          As a network security guy here pointed out to me the other day, the photos of Hillary during her term as SoS show her with a BlackBerry phone, which to his mind meant she had a privately maintained RIM email server (no jokes, please). The RIM security is freaking incredible, so the likelihood of a breach would be quite remote, barring some social engineering to obtain passwords, and even then there would be a trail on the server for bulk uploads of email.
          If I remember correctly, there was a big deal about the Saudis some years ago, who wanted to be able to intercept BB email traffic, and couldn’t, and raised a stink about it. Of course, those emails were going to RIM public servers, but they (supposedly) couldn’t crack ’em.

          So there’s that …

          • If BlackBerries are so secure, why were the feds freaked out over Obama and HRC having them?

            • LNM_in_LA

              Because the NSA couldn’t read them?

              No, simply put, I really don’t know enough about which Feds were freaking out to answer that. Too many variables behind ‘Feds’. And I only vaguely recall hearing about the ruckus. I do get busy with the day job, and stuff slips by. What doesn’t sometimes gets thrown out of the Memory Palace after a period of time (it’s kinda crowded in there right now).

              I do know that the guy here is pretty darn good at his job, though.

              • Philip

                fwiw (as someone who works in an infosec-adjacent field and spends a lot of time working with infosec people), I doubt there exists an internet-connected system that is unhackable. But I’d definitely have taken RIM over some shitty badly-managed Exchange server.

                (The RIM stuff was overblown encryption scaremongering from what I remember)

            • wjts

              If BlackBerries are so secure, why were the feds freaked out over Obama and HRC having them?

              Take this with a grain of salt because I know about as much about computer security as I do about pre-contact Athabaskan archaeology, but I suspect at least part of the freak-out stemmed from the fact that senior government officials would be carrying around a device full of sensitive information that could, for example, be left in a restroom in some New Hampshire diner.

      • cpinva

        “Though Comey made sure to speculate that it “could’ve been hacked” in order to keep that talking point alive.”

        that could be said about any computer on the planet, that’s hooked up to the internet.

        • Philip

          And if your threat model includes China, Russia, Israel, Britain, or the US, most that aren’t, too.

      • The Lorax

        That Comey presser was a hit job.

    • JMP

      Look, they need to be “balanced”, so after reporting on Trump’s five latest super-racist statements and actually encouraging Clinton’s assassination, they have to print some equally negative stories on her, it doesn’t matter that she hasn’t actually done anything wrong.

      • catclub

        They keep trying, and it is pretty clear that only people like LGM readers are noticing these anti-Hillary articles.
        They don’t have nearly the juicyness of Trump’s news.

        • Jay B

          God, I wish. I get the hysterical lefties, the Stein-curious, the Libertarian cynics all over my Facebook feed (I don’t know any Trumpians —or they won’t admit it— and I’ve unfriended almost all the Republicans) saying it’s this kind of shit that just PROVES how corrupt she is. It’s fucking infuriating. And it’s absolute bullshit.

          • cpinva

            but the amazing thing is, she’s so smart, she’s never, ever been caught. sounds kind of like the person I want as president. she could get Russia to attack China, and they’d never know why.

            • so-in-so

              Point taken, but nuclear winter doesn’t care who was on what side, or neutrality.

            • catclub

              but the amazing thing is, she’s so smart, she’s never, ever been caught. sounds kind of like the person I want as president.


              Why would you want to line up to oppose a person with that power and efficiency?
              You should actually fear for your life in that case. But they don’t actually fear any repercussions from her.

              It is like the real point of Col Jessup’s lie in A Few Good Men, if those so-called orders were perfectly obeyed, the guy should be perfectly safe.

  • Anybody can send an e-mail. You don’t actually have to be a donor. Just sayin’.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      They haven’t even gotten to the emails from destitute widows of Nigerian generals. There’s going to be some real scandal-material in those, you betcha.

      • Vance Maverick

        s/you betcha/Abacha

        • Dumbspear OSparrow

          You’re so vain, you probably think you’re Sani Abacha.

  • ForkyMcSpoon

    I’m getting awful sick and tired of hearing about her damn emails.

    Every “new” revelation turns out to be even more nothingburger.

    The only thing that was actually of any importance was that she had a private server, which was the worst thing they could find in their Benghazi fishing expedition. Which is a pretty minor scandal, in general, and even more so given the behavior that Colin Powell and others got away with, and ridiculously minor compared to the hysterical claims made about Benghazi. Everything else has been bullshit.

    • The whole email thing reminds me of my now, alas, senile great aunt who used to force us to spend hours debugging and fixing her computer. When asked about her files she would say, confusedly, “I don’t use files.” The email scandal is exactly like this. Literally zero people in the real world know what their own email is, how it works, what a server is, or anything at all about the needs of a major player in a large organization like the State Department. They don’t know enough, or need to know enough, to get involved in parsing the meaning of private/public/government servers or anything else. Its such incredible bullshit, from beginning to end, that Fox news and the right wing turn every toothless, chairbound, right wing potato head into imaginary junior grade detectives, empowered to “investigate” and possibly arrest and execute a former first lady and secretary of state for high crimes against electrons.

      • Caepan

        That’s why they insist upon IDs. To prevent electron fraud!

        • Snarki, child of Loki

          “That’s why they insist upon IDs. To prevent electron fraud!”

          Well, you know, those electrons all look the same…

          • so-in-so


          • tomscud

            I tried to get a close look at one, but I couldn’t get it to stand still.

          • cpinva

            “Well, you know, those electrons all look the same…”

            which kind of negates the whole point of ID’s.

          • efgoldman

            Well, you know, those electrons all look the same…

            Why do you have to be so negative?

            • Breadbaker

              These charges are outrageous!

          • Philip

            And they’re awfully concerned about erection fraud too, aren’t they?

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      I wasn’t fully politically conscious during the 2000 election, but is this what it was like to hear the idiotic Gore “invented the internet” bullshit all the time?

      • efgoldman

        is this what it was like to hear the idiotic Gore “invented the internet” bullshit all the time?

        No, because the intartoobz in its infancy, and there were essentially no social media yet.
        Whatever else the twitfaces have done, they are the biggest megaphone/amplifier that ever existed. A very few really determined assholes with time on their hands can appear to be a horde of millions. It’s like the allies building fields full of phony canvas and plywood tanks to fool the German air reconnaissance.

  • D.N. Nation

    The Intercept: HERE’S A BALLER HILLARY SCOOP!!!!!
    Me: That’s…wow, that’s basically nothing. You could find much more about Trump.
    Me: No, I’m just saying that your talents could be better suited going after an actual sto-
    Me: Are you guys actually rooting for Trump or someth-

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    • Scott Lemieux

      You’re just not a real, brave critic of neoliberalism like Julian Assange.

      • keta

        Jesus. That’s one huge shit sandwich Assange et al. are asking us all to chew on:

        Assange insisted WikiLeaks had a system to keep ordinary people’s information safe.
        “We have a harm minimization policy,” the Australian told an audience in Oxford, England in July of 2010. “There are legitimate secrets. Your records with your doctor, that’s a legitimate secret.”
        Assange initially leaned on cooperating journalists, who flagged sensitive material to WikiLeaks which then held them back for closer scrutiny. But Assange was impatient with the process, describing it as time-consuming and expensive.
        “We can’t sit on material like this for three years with one person to go through the whole lot, line-by-line, to redact,” he told London’s Frontline Club the month after his talk in Oxford. “We have to take the best road that we can.”
        Assange’s attitude has hardened since. A brief experiment with automatic redactions was aborted. The journalist-led redactions were abandoned too after Assange’s relationship with the London press corps turned toxic. By 2013 WikiLeaks had written off the redaction efforts as a wrong move.
        Withholding any data at all “legitimizes the false propaganda of ‘information is dangerous,'” the group argued on Twitter.

        (my bold)

        So Wikileaks starts with free screening services done by journos, claims the process is too time-consuming (in reality not enough free vetting available), then tries automated screening which fails miserably, and now says, “ah, screw it, pushing everything into the sunlight, no matter who gets harmed, is a laudable philosophy anyhow.”

        That’s some seriously fucked up rationalizing.

        • Spiny

          Some insiders came forward years ago to talk about how during the vetting process for releasing the State Department cables, Assange didn’t care at all about the lives of Afghani civilians who had talked to or worked with the US officials. Essentially, he said they were basically collaborators who deserved to be revealed.

          This guy has always been like this, and it was known that he was like this, even back when Wikileaks was being touted as the future of government accountability. The day I see the Intercept and those associated with it deal honestly with these dilemmas is the day I start to give a shit about what they have to say on global affairs.

          • humanoid.panda

            It’s almost as though private, unaccountable power is a bigger threat to freedom that the government. Who could have thought!

            [Seriously, anarchists are even more useless than libertarians: the latter at least acknowledge that their preferred policy benefits the few, and are ok with that.]

            • People who advocate for private, unaccountable power are not anarchists. They are ancaps, who, despite their self-labelling, are not actually anarchists. The whole point of anarchism is to minimise the amount of power people have over each other. The word anarchism literally means without leaders. Assange is not and has never been an anarchist.

              • Philip

                Most ancoms sound indistinguishable from ancaps if you change a buzzword here or there, so…

                • Only if you ignore literally everything even tangentially connected to the economy, which winds up being almost everything. Ancaps, for example, support privatised police forces and judicial systems. This is complete anathema to actual anarchists, who correctly recognise that this would simply lead to privatised tyranny and probably gang warfare to boot. The whole point of anarchism is to minimise power disparities in society and preferably reduce them to zero. You’re not going to do that by transferring power from the government to private corporations; all you’re doing is replacing one form of hierarchical authority with another.

                  I mean, yes, if you ignore literally the defining reason that ancaps aren’t anarchists then I guess they might sound the same, though.

    • DAS

      OLDMAN CAT runs The Intercept?

    • Philip

      The Intercept’s handling of…everything, really, is so infuriating.

  • LosGatosCA

    I have received reliable reports that Hillary’s account received a large quantity of emails for Male enlargement supplements.

    Which proves one of the following:

    1. She’s actually a man,
    2. She’s a conduit for Bill’s ED solutions, or,
    3. Her email account was a spam magnet for almost any nefarious email marketing spammer and we all know what that means.

    • Fit Michelle Obama in as a Trans person and I think we have something we can run with.

    • brewmn

      Her email account was a spam magnet for almost any nefarious email marketing spammer and we all know what that means.

      She’s still using Hotmail?

    • daves09

      but, but, but, what about Sidney-huh, huh, huh, yeah, you betcha.

  • N__B

    I spent all of the 90s hearing about Clinton sausage.

  • Boots Day

    The more stories that come out about this, the more impressed I am with Hillary and the Clinton Foundation. “Rich and powerful people do favors for their rich and powerful friends” is pretty much how the world has worked since time immemorial, and I wouldn’t blame the Cinton Machine for doing the same. The real story here is “The Clintons resisted doing favors for rich and powerful people.”

    • NonyNony

      I know, right?

      I’ve been a skeptic of both of the Clintons since the 90s and the relentless inability of the GOP to actually get anything to stick on her has actually improved my image of Hillary Clinton quite a bit. After rooting around in her garbage for over 20 years what they’ve come up with is that her assistant routinely told people seeking favors to either use official channels or to pound sand (in a polite manner). That’s… not incriminating. At all. That’s far better than I would actually expect for any politician – and has raised my estimation of Clinton’s honesty up another notch.

  • Yossarian

    It’s a real mystery why Hillary is loathe to hold press conferences these days. I mean, with the guaranteed string of nearly-identical questions sure to reference “stories” like these, e-mail servers, and possibly Benghazi, surely information critical to this upcoming election and indeed the future of American democracy will be revealed if she has one.

  • Thom

    Headline in the WSJ online right now: “Trump Courts Black Vote but Avoids African-American Communities

  • MPAVictoria

    Probably not a secret to anyone here that I am not a huge Secretary Clinton fan and even I am getting tired of this kind of bullshit. Basically they feel like they have to say something negative about the democratic candidate to “provide balance” to their criticisms of Trump.

    /In fact this makes me extra angry as spending time on this fake issue takes away from opportunities to offer substantive criticism.

    • Pat

      Substantive criticism might make people think, MPA, and gawd knows we can’t have that.

      • humanoid.panda

        The worst thing about the “balance” thing is how it makes brainless morons of the Fournier variety feel superior. Basically, they are getting conspiracy theories and murder threats from Trump fans, and then some well reasoned angry responses from liberals who point out that they are peddling BS. Which proves both sides are terrible and partisans are poopiheads.

  • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

    I am shocked, shocked, that a secretary of state fielded requests for favors from rich and powerful international actors and declined to fulfill them. Tso much ACCXESS

    ETA: I can’t wait for Abedin to become WH Chief of Staff and shit all over these people

  • Why do I suspect the pitch for this story went like this: “Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin. Say no more, say no more” [eyebrow waggle]?

    • [puts two fingers in ‘v’ in front of face, waggles eyebrows even more] “Huh? Huh?”

  • DAS

    Since when is rich and powerful people getting access to politicians/officials a crime or even wrong? At least according to Justice Kennedy, it isn’t. Allow me to quote from Citizens United:

    The fact that speakers may have
    influence over or access to elected officials does not mean
    that these officials are corrupt:

    “Favoritism and influence are not . . . avoidable in
    representative politics. It is in the nature of an
    elected representative to favor certain policies, and, by
    necessary corollary, to favor the voters and contributors
    who support those policies. It is well understood
    that a substantial and legitimate reason, if not the
    only reason, to cast a vote for, or to make a contribution
    to, one candidate over another is that the candidate
    will respond by producing those political outcomes
    the supporter favors. Democracy is premised
    on responsiveness.” McConnell, 540 U. S., at 297
    (opinion of KENNEDY, J.).

    Reliance on a “generic favoritism or influence theory . . . is
    at odds with standard First Amendment analyses because
    it is unbounded and susceptible to no limiting principle.”
    Id., at 296.

    The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will
    not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy. By
    definition, an independent expenditure is political speech
    presented to the electorate that is not coordinated with a
    candidate. See Buckley, supra, at 46. The fact that a
    corporation, or any other speaker, is willing to spend
    money to try to persuade voters presupposes that the
    people have the ultimate influence over elected officials.
    This is inconsistent with any suggestion that the electorate
    will refuse “‘to take part in democratic governance’”
    because of additional political speech made by a corporation
    or any other speaker. McConnell, supra, at 144 (quoting
    Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC, 528 U. S.
    377, 390 (2000)).

    I know HRC was not an elected official or running for office at the time, but the “logic” still holds, doesn’t it? According to the “logic” of Citizens United, unless there is a quid pro quo, whatever Clinton did is just democracy in action. So why are the GOoPs so upset about it? And if they are so upset, shouldn’t they be even more upset at the so-called conservative Justices on SCOTUS who deemed much worse things, than Hillary Clinton is even accused of doing here, to be part and parcel of how democracy works?

    • Karen24


  • humanoid.panda

    I’ll say one thing about this electoral season: I’ve started this election being meh on Clinton, and leaning towards Sanders. I am now a huge fan- because anyone who can live with that amount of bullshit and keep plowing ahead is going to be an excellent president.

    • Pat

      I’m glad. I’ve been a huge fan for years, for pretty much the same reason.

      • humanoid.panda

        I’d even argue that in retrospect, the wrong person probably won the 08 primaries. Hillary had the better policy and politics arguments, and her passing to torch to a younger OBama would work better than him passing it to an older HRC.

        • I don’t agree with everything you said there, but one thing I think would have been different with Hillary in the oval office, I don’t think she would have wasted a nanosecond waiting for bipartisan cooperation. The lag from Republican obstructionism to Democratic steamroller would have been too short an interval to measure with current scientific instruments.

          • (((Hogan)))

            Even with Clinton in the Oval Office, Ben Nelson would still have been chairing the Senate Finance Committee.

            • humanoid.panda

              True, and I don’t think Clinton vs. Obama would have made much difference on the large things, but I think she would have put much more pressure on the Senate to nominate judges already.. Also, I suspect the debt ceiling debacle of 2011 might have gone differently.

        • Her campaign in ’08 was pretty bad, though. Her ’16 campaign is staffed with Obama veterans. Clinton might have been a personally more effective president, but I think Obama has had a salutary effect on the Democratic Party as a whole.

          Remember, she was still talking to Mark Penn back then.

          • ColBatGuano

            Remember, she was still talking to Mark Penn back then.

            To me, this is her second greatest blunder, after the Iraq war vote.

    • Rob in CT

      Right? I’m there with you.

    • veleda_k

      The same thing happened to me.

    • Anna in PDX

      Me too. I really thought I disliked her at the beginning of the season. I am in awe of her now because of all this crap that she has to take and her level of grace. I think I started moving that direction well before the end of primary season (though I still voted for S in the primary) but by the end of the DNC I was 100% team Hillary.

  • Murc

    As someone who was a self-described Sandernista during the primary and who finds himself nodding more than scowling when Corey Robin goes after Clinton, please allow me to say this:

    Hillary Clinton is one of the more transparently honest politicians in the modern era. What you see with her is, basically, what you get. She’s bad at lying and even if she weren’t she’s smart enough to know that the intense level of scrutiny surrounding her makes it a bad idea because she’ll be found out. She has largely governed as her policy statements during her campaigns and her political voting history indicates she will, and these policy decisions have also very clearly been driven by a combination of what she wants and what she thinks she can achieve, rather than by who is gonna cut her the biggest check.

    She has rarely if ever dramatically reversed herself and by and large seeks to keep her promises, if for no other reason than that she knows her broader base of support is tenuous and that many people don’t need a reason to dismiss her, they just need an excuse.

    There are many good reasons to dislike and distrust her. While her words and her actions hew closely to each other, to the extent they diverge her actions usually diverge to the right. Her voting record is not ideal on a number of important issues. She fucked up what is likely to have been the most important issue of her political career and there are few indications she’s learned sufficiently from that. I could go on.

    Those are reasons of substance. “She’s involved in corruption to her eyeballs when she isn’t trying to destroy ‘Murica” is not.

    I don’t care for Hillary Clinton. I think her policies are insufficient to our needs as a country and that she has many substantive beliefs that are harmful.

    But what I don’t think is that she murdered Vince Foster at the Mena Airport to cover up her ring of lesbian cocaine dealers. Or that she “stole” her primary victory over Bernie Sanders. Or that she’s gearing up to give our economy away to Goldman Sachs and has a secret plan to ramp up the incarceration of black people in order to satisfy her prison donors. (This is a real thing I’ve seen making the rounds about her the last few days.)

    She’s not a criminal mastermind. She doesn’t wear an eyepatch. Or own a white cat. Or have a secret island base built into a volcano.

    She is actually very ordinary in many ways, and in the ways she is not, they tend to be in the realm of virtues rather than vices.

    • Karen24

      Well, for some of us the volcano and white cat would be good things.

      Seriously, I am a fan of Secretary Clinton and have been for a long time, but I acknowledge that she holds a number of positions that are far from ideal. I want to discuss and analyze those things instead of injuring my facial muscles from rolling my eyes so hard at obvious nonsense.

    • Gwen

      At worst, she’s a typical politician who has been hounded by the VRWC for decades. They aren’t victims, and yet I totally empathize with them.

      Their haters just have no perspective or self-awareness. It’s sad.

    • XTPD

      This, though it would be totally badass if Clinton owned a volcano island base.

      • Breadbaker

        Or a Starbucks in the Space Needle.

    • D.N. Nation

      As someone who was a self-described Sandernista during the primary and who finds himself nodding more than scowling when Corey Robin goes after Clinton gazes in awe at a picture of himself after pwn1ng strawmen on Twitter

    • so-in-so

      I’d be really happy if the whole liberal “I’m holding my nose and voting for HRC” thing died a miserable death. I’m a self-described liberal, and I’ll be very happy voting FOR Clinton as well AGAINST Trump.

      • MPAVictoria

        Yeah but I think Murc identifies more as a leftist than a liberal. And speaking as a leftist, the difference is important.

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          I once had a strange conversation with an anti-Hillary, vote-your-conscience (meaning Greens or something I guess) person who was telling me that voting for Clinton is endorsing bombing brown babies or whatever.

          But voting for Clinton was “the death of liberalism” and shows I’m not a “liberal”.

          I had to express some incredulity that someone making that type of critique was trying to insult me by telling me I wasn’t a liberal.

          As a random aside, in order to count as a leftist do I need to be more conflicted about why I’m voting for Democrats or something? I have leftist/social democratic policy preferences generally, but I don’t feel bad about voting for Democrats.

          Like, I can think Evan Bayh is a tool, but if I lived in Indiana, I would still vote for him without reservation. Because he would at least be a useful tool, instead of a useless tool, like the Republican.

          • MPAVictoria

            “As a random aside, in order to count as a leftist do I need to be more conflicted about why I’m voting for Democrats or something?”

            I would try to never tell someone how they should personally identify politically (I sometimes fail at this). If you want to identify as a leftists go ahead. If you don’t, don’t. The way “liberal”, “progressive” and “leftist” are all used in North America does create some confusion around the various labels for sure.

            I would say that given the:
            – Unending and bloody drone war;
            – Continued support for oppressive regimes overseas;
            – The relative weakness of the poverty reduction measures in the Democratic Platform when compared to global best practices;
            – The absolute refusal to even mildly condemn Israeli actions towards Palestine; and
            – The support of a big chunk of the Party for awful trade deals like the TPP.
            A Leftist should have mixed feelings about the Democratic Party even if they are by FAR the better of the two choices at hand.

            “I have leftist/social democratic policy preferences generally, but I don’t feel bad about voting for Democrats.”

            I wouldn’t presume to tell you how to feel. I am certainly glad to have at least a somewhat social democratic option to vote for in my country. If I was an American I would vote for Hillary without hesitation while still feeling conflicted about supporting a person who does not share my values.

        • Murc

          Yeah but I think Murc identifies more as a leftist than a liberal.

          I identify as both these days. I think leftism without liberalism is a recipe for rank authoritarianism (and I think the history of state socialism in the 20th century bears that out) and that liberalism without leftism is just a cuddlier form of conservatism.

          • MPAVictoria

            Thank you for the correction and sorry for speaking for you.

            • Murc

              Oh, no, not at all. I speak for others all the time. Hell, I made something of a game of doing it for Scott back during the Green Lantern Wars.

      • Murc

        I’d be really happy if the whole liberal “I’m holding my nose and voting for HRC” thing died a miserable death.

        If you’re going to hew to the lesser-evilism line pushed by this blog (which you may or may not endorse, so-in-so) I think you have to accept a certain amount of that. It’s one thing to tell people “you need to do the responsible thing because the alternative is Donald Trump.” It is another thing to tell them “you need to do the responsible thing because the alternative is Donald Trump, and also either shut your pie hole or pretend how happy you are to be doing so.” The latter is a bit much to ask.

        • (((Hogan)))

          I don’t think that’s what so-in-so was suggesting, so much as a clear-eyed assessment of exactly how evil the really existing Hillary Clinton is.

          • MPAVictoria

            Who can say what is in Clinton’s heart? She has supported policies that have led to what I consider evil outcomes and she will likely continue a drone program that I consider to be evil.

            • (((Hogan)))

              McClellan supported slavery and wanted a negotiated settlement with the Confederacy. I’m still glad the Army of the Potomac won.

              And reorienting American foreign policy away from a disposition to military intervention is going to require a lot more than one presidential election. If that’s your standard, you may as well stay home all the time. (Well, I know *you’re* staying home, but I mean if you were a USian.)

              • MPAVictoria

                Sure! Me too! But that wasn’t what you asked.

            • so-in-so

              I seriously doubt anyone able to be elected to the position will abandon the drone program. Maybe scale it back a bit.

              Well, several on the GOP side might replace it with area bombing, but that isn’t an improvement.

              • MPAVictoria

                You are most certainly right. And isn’t that a tragedy?

                • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

                  We live in a country where the majority wants to be “safe from”/impose its will on its perceived enemies, and simultaneously freaks out when a US soldier dies. (See today’s coverage of the ‘shocking’ news that a US soldier died in fighting in Afghanistan.)

                  Drones are about the only politically acceptable weapon now.

        • MPAVictoria

          “you need to do the responsible thing because the alternative is Donald Trump, and also either shut your pie hole or pretend how happy you are to be doing so.” The latter is a bit much to ask.”


        • so-in-so

          Sure, but I get the feeling that a lot of people (not all) adopt the pose “I’m going to hold my nose” when really they have no substantive complaint about Clinton, or their complaint is because they have internalized the GOPers talking points about her being “corrupt”. It’s signalling that “I’m really too good a leftist to vote for HRC”. It really isn’t a good look for our side.

          Others have noted, there is no such thing as a perfect candidate, and pretending that HRC is somehow so undesirable that only the threat of a Trump Presidency would make you vote for her is (I think) a risible position. If Cruz were the GOP candidate you’d say “screw it” and vote for … Stein? Write in Eugene Debs? Would JEB? have been acceptable as President? Walker? Rubio? Anyone on the GOP side might have left the dog whistles as dog whistles, but the majority of their actual policies would be as bad as Trump (without, maybe, the erratic aspect).

          • MPAVictoria

            “Others have noted, there is no such thing as a perfect candidate, and pretending that HRC is somehow so undesirable that only the threat of a Trump Presidency would make you vote for her is (I think) a risible position.”

            I would say the Republican party is so bad, and has been since Nixon, that the Democratic party is ALWAYS the better choice. That said I have many very big policy differences with the Party and am not going to pretend that I wish there was a better plausible candidate.

            • so-in-so

              I guess if someone has announced in every election that they hold their nose while voting, fine. If they picked this one to start, expect reproachful looks from me.

            • ForkyMcSpoon

              I wish a significantly more left-wing president AND Congress (b/c you need both) were viable… But you can at the same time be happy that the Democrats have been moving left and Hillary Clinton’s platform is the most left-wing ever for a Democrat, or at least in decades, and we have an opportunity to take the senate and maybe even the House.

              I guess I just have lower expectations.

            • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

              “a better plausible candidate” would unfortunately require a better set of voters than currently exist here.

          • NonyNony

            It really isn’t a good look for our side.

            Our side sucks when it comes to “looking good” in this sense. We always have and we likely always will.

            In fact, if we ever started to show a level of unity that made us “look good” I’d start to get very worried. Because that isn’t how Democrats act. Ever. If the Democrats aren’t taking pot shots at each other over these kinds of things they stop being Democrats. And I don’t know what they start being then – nobody on the left hangs together and unites behind a leader figure. That isn’t how people on the left think.

            (And this is why Sanders ultimately had a problem winnning and why Jeremy Corbyn in the UK is having a huge problem. You don’t lead a group of left-leaning people that way – they don’t have the unity of vision for that. You herd them like cats and hope you can get them all to point in the same direction for a while and get something done before they start scratching each other and ripping ears off. The candidates who can best point the cats in the direction they need to go are the ones who do the best.

            • Srsly Dad Y

              “The Democratic Party is a coalition. The Republican Party is a faith.” ‘Twas ever thus.

              • tsam

                That’s a concise and perfect way to put it.

          • There are a lot of people I know personally who have said the “hold my nose” line or indicated similar distaste at voting for Clinton who have also loudly bemoaned the end of Obama’s presidency. That I find pretty much indefensible unless you believe the claims that Clinton is personally corrupt.

            • ASV

              I will go to my grave believing that disconnect is to a great extent about the fact that Obama is a cool dude. I know a number of people like this, and they were all clamoring for Biden to get into the race last fall.

      • The Lorax

        Hear, hear. I enthusiastically voted for her in the primary. She will be a good president. Probably not Obama-good. But who knows!

        • wjts

          I guess. I expect her foreign policy to be hawkish and, given that she’ll probably be dealing with some form of hyper-obstructionist Congress for at least some of her term(s), her domestic policies won’t be as strongly liberal as I’d like. Assuming a Democratic Senate, though, I expect her appointments to run the gamut from adequate to excellent. There’s no reason to suppose her court appointments at all levels will be terribly different from either Obama’s or B. Clinton’s. At least as important, in the short term anyway, are Cabinet appointments. I have no idea what hyper-competent disaster policy wonk she’s going to name as FEMA head, but whoever it is will save lives that would be lost in a Republican administration.

          • tsam

            Doesn’t this kind of sum up Obama’s administration? I mean, aside from being scandal free n(pretty remarkable), he’s been a left-ish president who has used military power. I think he would have been more liberal domestically if he could have, and I think Clinton will be pretty close to that same paradigm.

    • cpinva

      “She fucked up what is likely to have been the most important issue of her political career and there are few indications she’s learned sufficiently from that. I could go on.”

      please elucidate.

      • Murc

        Iraq. Her political career isn’t over yet, so she may come across something more important (maybe Texas tries to secede or something) but it doesn’t seem likely.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          And if we throw every Democrat overboard who voted the same way, we’d never have enough people in Congress to pass anything that the perfect Democratic President proposed.

          Clinton’s vote wasn’t that unusual with her Party at the time.

          • tsam

            We all love LBJ’s domestic policy, but Vietnam was inexcusable. They’re all a mixed bag, and I think they have less power than we like to think they do.

  • Gwen

    This is all just a conspiracy to keep Chris Cilliza gainfully employed, since the only sentence he can write anymore is noun-verb-“e-mail”.

    (Thanks OBAMA).

    • Arouet

      Can we dispense with that conspiracy? I’m all for jobs programs, but I think that one may have run its course.

      • humanoid.panda

        There are people like Fournier who are I think obliviously stupid. Cilizza knows he is stupid, and enjoys rubbing his stupidity in the faces of people who expect people who have his job to not be idiots. Alternatively: Fournier is a profound fool, and Cilizza is a glib one.

        • humanoid.panda

          This came out somewhat opaque. What I meant is that there are people like Fournier who really do think the e-mails are the worst crisis of leadership since Obama refused to enact Bowels-Simpson into law by fiat. I think that Cilizza knows those stories are nonsense – and is gleefuly writes them, because by doing so he is showing up those earnest liberals.

          • Arouet

            It’s a good description, but I’m rather sick of his stupidity being rubbed anywhere near my face. I suppose I could pay for the Times, instead (the Post is provided free at work), but they certainly employ idiots from across the spectrum as well.

            • efgoldman

              I could pay for the Times, instead (the Post is provided free at work), but they certainly employ idiots from across the spectrum as well.

              Yeah, but at least WaPo has comics.

          • NonyNony

            there are people like Fournier who really do think the e-mails are the worst crisis of leadership

            I believe that you mean “there are people like Fournier who are Republicans”. Fournier believes that Clinton is bad because he’s a Republican. He always has been and he tries to hide it – whether because he really believes in some kind of notion that journalism is some kind of non-partisan endeavor (like a Bizarro version of Matt Taibbi) or because he’s an active ratf*cker who knows getting caught out as a Republican ratf*cker would kill his career or whatever.

            But Fournier is a Republican. Unlike a lot of the rest of the jokers in the press who are Democrats or Democrat-sympathetic who feel a need to err on the side of Republicans because of the guilt they feel for not being “balanced” (I think Cilzza likely falls into that category), Fournier errs on the side of Republicans because they’re his people and he has their backs.

            • humanoid.panda

              FWIW, he seems to have accepted voting for Hillary this time around, but this is not saying much.

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  • BiloSagdiyev


  • dn

    And this is the respectable WaPo version. Yesterday on FB a wingnut was explaining to me about how the fact that some Gulenists were emailing Abedin asking for favors back in 2009 proves that Hillary Clinton was the mastermind of the coup plot in Turkey.

  • ASV

    Narratives gonna narrate.

  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    At this very moment, CBS’ website (part of the Liberal Media) is breathlessly reporting that AP says that 85 people met with Clinton who had also donated a lot of money to the Clinton Foundation.

    Imagine that. A foundation meeting with its major donors. Wait til they discover that Democratic politicians also meet with their major donors.

    • The Lorax

      I’m now getting alarmed at how this will be spun going forward.

      And I wish they would have waited until after getting out of public life to start a foundation.

  • Joe Bob the III

    The WaPo helped write the book on The Clinton Rules of Journalism, and this is just another load heaped onto that steaming pile.

    Under the Clinton Rules, when the Clintons engage in the typical if sleazy business of politics, which involves unseemly things like people seeking influence and trading favors, their behavior runs the gamut from:

    A) Very concerning, and raises serious questions that could in theory create the appearance of a conflict of interest.


    B) Damning evidence of graft and corruption unheard of in modern politics. A heinous lack of transparency to cover up another Clinton power grab.

    To summarize: Everyone does it but when the Clintons do it it’s for nefarious reasons.

    Even when the Clintons don’t do it, e.g.: collect millions in filthy lucre and use it to vaccinate children in Africa – rather than run a hedge fund, what they do is still just like the things other people do for corrupt and self-enriching reasons.

    So, if you give me $10,000,000 and I spend it feeding nutritious meals to poor children that is influence peddling no different from if you put that money in my hedge fund and I took a few percent off the top for myself.

    • Breadbaker

      Indeed, and using all those creepy financial tricks to pay less for the vaccines than the going US market price is obvious chicanery, rather than, say, a use of market power to make the money stretch farther and vaccinate more children. These abuses of power need to be pointed out.

    • nemdam

      Yet another thing I don’t get about the Clinton Foundation story is what the hell else was Bill supposed to do after he was President? We’ve apparently concluded this election cycle that both giving speeches and running a charity are nefarious, so what is left? If Bill went into the private sector in any capacity that would be not only lame but would look even sketchier. So what is he supposed to do? Just work as an aide to Hillary?

      • BiloSagdiyev

        I believe that “jump off a cliff” is on their wish list. Or confess to all of his crimes and spend the rest of his life in a dungeon, possibly Gitmo.

  • nemdam

    It’s funny how I seem to not recall any stories about how donors to the Bush foundations had access to Jeb. Or W when he was running.

    Everyone of these “scandals” just make me rally around Clinton even more. It makes me think that if Clinton is perceived as this strong of a threat to the Republicans, she must be doing something right.

    • The Temporary Name

      You’re forgetting the words “Trump Foundation”.

      • nemdam

        Similar to Trump’s other charitable endeavors, I assume no one has actually donated to it.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          I believe he’s gotten other people to donate to it, but has donated little if anything himself.

          Now, as to who his charity has helped, like the numerous children Michelle Bachmann supposedly foster-parented, no one has come forward. (I’m not counting the recent donation he MAY have been forced to make to veterans groups after a reporter pressured him. Though even there I haven’t heard any group say they got a check and it actually cleared.)

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