Home / General / The Airing Of Grievances IV: James Comey, Partisan SUPERHACK

The Airing Of Grievances IV: James Comey, Partisan SUPERHACK

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Since the relentless coverage of Hillary Clinton’s EMAILS! only mattered because it was the shared obsession of many media outlets, James Comey might share more responsibility for blowing up the country than any single person not involved in either campaign. EMAILS! is fundamentally a scandal of media misconduct, but Comey was the catalyst, and it’s entirely possible that absent his October surprise letter Hillary Clinton would have won the Electoral College. Comey actually made three related horrible mistakes that led us to a white nationalist authoritarian in the White House.

First, he failed to control the insubordinate FBI agents in the New York bureau who insisted on launching and persisting in frivolous investigations literally based on a “book” written by a wingnut hack that’s so shoddy even fanatical Clinton-haters passively-aggressively defending it have to concede that it did not offer any actual evidence. (Incidentally, that Henwood excerpt is an absolutely perfect embodiment of the Prime Directive of anti-Clinton coverage. 1. Aggressively hyped-up but suspiciously vague descriptions of a MAJOR CLINTON SCANDAL. 2. OK, we don’t have a “smoking gun,” but you need subpoena power for that. 3. Someone highly motivated to find one or both Clintons guilty armed with subpoena power investigates and finds bupkis. 4. “Hey, if Emmett Tyrell/Jeff Gerth/Newt Gingrich/Bob Barr/Jason Chaffetz/Trey Gowdy just opened up a box of dry ice there’s gotta be a fire somewhere!” Rise, repeat ad Trump. Whether from the right or the nominal left, the formula is the same.) This led eventually to the letter that probably put Trump in the White House.

Second, when announcing his decision to announce that the FBI had not found sufficient evidence to justify the prosecution of Hillary Clinton — something he deserves no more credit for than deciding not to arrest Clinton for the murder of Meridith Kercher — he engaged in grossly inappropriate and substantively inaccurate editorializing about Hillary Clinton’s DEEPLY TROUBLING email management practices. This legitimized and heightened the already grossly disproportionate amount of media coverage given to this utterly trivial issue, which helped to create a Both Sides Do It narrative that was crucial to get close enough to winning an election for the electoral system designed to curb democracy and protect the interests of slaveholders to misfire again.

And then, in his follow-up grotesque abuse of power, the latter that destroyed America. The “news” was that there were unread emails on a computer belonging to the estranged spouse of a Hillary Clinton aide there was no reason to suspect had any new evidence of any kind of misconduct by Hillary Clinton was presented in a way to allow the media to infer that there was a BOMBSHELL that would finally prove something (see the process of the Prime Directive of anti-Clinton coverage above.) The letter also plainly violated longstanding FBI procedures while perfectly illustrating why these rules are in place. The defense of Comey’s utterly indefensible conduct is that he “had no choice” because the New York agents were going to leak the news themselves. But it’s no defense. First, Comey created the problem to begin with. Second, the leaks might be inconvenient for him but tough shit — he made his bed. And third, I don’t think there’s any way that leaks from the New York bureau would have had remotely the impact on the election that Comey’s letter did. There’s a big difference between stuff leaking out piecemeal from anonymous Giuliani-affiliated goons and a letter from the director of the FBI, and while no coverage of EMAILS! is good or Clinton there’s no way the former would have gotten the same five-alarm, 24/7, entirely-slanted-against-Clinton coverage Comey’s letter did.

The answer to the question of (as one commenter put it) whether Comey is a self-serving chickenshit or a partisan hack is, of course, “both.” I agree that we was probably not willfully trying to the election in a “MUHAHAHAHAHA I will put Trump in the White House” sense. But at every stage he was always acted in a way that was hyper-sensitive to the interests of various anti-Clinton Republicans. And his explicit adherence to the rules when the interests of the Trump campaign was involved surely settles the question. He was looking out for #1, but he also consistently favored the interests of his party.

Assuming that Article XII of the Trump Constitution does not contain a prohibition on bills of attainder, my suggested remedy would be to strip Comey of his health insurance, reduce his salary to $20/hour (maximum 35 hours/week), and freeze his savings accounts until age 65 (or indefinitely if Ryan succeeds in privatizing Medicare.) If the health insurance of millions of people can be sacrificed because it’s expedient for Comey’s professional and partisan interests, surely he can pitch in too.

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  • howard

    since the trump administration will have zero interest or reason to clean up anything at the fbi, abuse of same by trump and the unsavory specimen he will put at justice is, of course, now baked in.

    • CP

      We’re about to see what the Nixon administration would’ve been like if Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover had been BFFs instead of in a constant pissing contest with each other.

      • howard

        all through the campaign i thought here’s a guy with essentially a personality as pathological as that of nixon but who also doesn’t anything about anything, whereas at least nixon was knowledgeable.

        as i try to slowly unpack and figure out what fears are the greatest, the subversion of the intelligence services to political and corrupt ends by an autocratic and kleptocratic administration is well up there.

  • my suggested remedy would be to strip Comey of his health insurance, reduce his salary to $20/hour (maximum 35 hours/week), and freeze his savings accounts until age 65 (or indefinitely if Ryan succeeds in privatizing Medicare.)

    Unfortunately, he will be given a promotion instead.

    • jamesepowell

      Cf. George Tenet.

  • kayden

    Now that Trump has won and has Congress and SCOTUS, does it matter that Comey is a partisan hack? It’s not as if Giuliani and Chaffetz haven’t promised to continue persecuting Clinton for her email-related activities (probably indefinitely). It’s not as if a Trump administration will hold Comey responsible for his partisanship.

    I’m sure Comey will be well rewarded for his behavior. As usual, Republicans get away with doing things for which Democrats would be crucified.

    • catbirdman

      I’m getting a sense that perhaps Trump’s one YUGE concession to national unity will be a magnanimous decree not to have Clinton drawn-and-quartered over the server issues. The fact that prosecuting Clinton would open up the question of whether we also need to prosecute Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, etc., would enter into the equation. If Dems can’t be satisfied with such tremendous olive branch, that just proves how much greater he is than the rest of us.

      • vic rattlehead

        Good lord the Broderites’ ejaculate would knock out satellites.

    • Moondog von Superman

      Someone other than Comey should be in charge of the background checks on new appointees. Someone who might ask, for example, about coordination with Russia during the campaign.

  • N__B

    I think – I hope – that the first sentence of the second paragraph is missing a “not.”

    • Scott Lemieux

      Fixorated!

  • jamesepowell

    Comey actually made three related horrible mistakes that led us to a white nationalist authoritarian in the White House.

    I want to know why you – and pretty much everyone else – says these were mistakes. What evidence is there to disprove that it was deliberate? Because he looks like a guy who could play an FBI director with integrity in a movie? Because of some shit he did during the Bush/Cheney Junta that was a bit less despicable than the rest of the team?

    Seriously. My inference is that this fuck hates Bill and Hillary Clinton and was determined to do what he could to keep her out of the White House or, at the very least, to make sure Ds didn’t get the senate. What I’m saying is that he might not have known it would swing the presidential election, but he knew it would harm Clinton. He knew that all the norms of his office and American politics required him to say nothing, but he disregarded all that and issued the letter.

    • Well yes but I still need a better explanation of why the corporate media were so obsessed with the e-mails. Okay, they needed to somehow balance Trump’s real history of corruption, but they didn’t bother to cover that. So they only managed to be fair and balanced on one side.

      • cleek

        Podesta knows:

        “The media always covered her as the person who would be president and therefore tried to eviscerate her before the election, but covered Trump who was someone who was entertaining and sort of gave him a pass,” Podesta said, according to The Hill.

        http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/clinton-aides-blame-comey-media-election-loss

        you see this same thing in how the media handled the primaries. they gave Clinton more coverage than Sanders, but it was overwhelmingly negative. they expected Clinton would win it, so they went after her, hard (led, the whole time, by the GOP).

        https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2016/06/14/harvard-study-confirms-refutes-bernie-sanderss-complaints-media

        and they gave Trump an unbelievable amount of coverage because he was a fun toy novelty candidate, and was good for ratings.

        (google: Trump Moonves)

        • Lit3Bolt

          Now they’ll go after Trump hard! Right?

          *crickets*

      • jamesepowell

        I go with what Cleek says, but you have to include people who carried a fairly open animus against Hillary Clinton. The NYT appeared to have a crew working full time to Get Hillary on Something. Quite a few at CNN & MSNBC followed the Clinton Rules.

        The only thing I have to say to Hillary Clinton, Podesta, everybody else on their campaign: What the fuck made you think this wasn’t going to happen? Why the fuck didn’t you do something about it?

        • Taylor

          Yes, someone should have done something about it. (roll-eyes)

        • Scott Lemieux

          Why the fuck didn’t you do something about it?

          It strikes me that the “something” should probably be specified here.

    • ochospantalones

      My sense is that Comey was another free-rider who didn’t want Trump to win, but hated the Clintons and wanted get his kicks in so that Hillary would be badly damaged when she became President. And, as you say, keep Dems from taking over the Senate. Like much of the anti-anti-Trump left, he gravely miscalculated.

    • sherm

      I believe that the point is that Comey’s conduct was inexcusable irrespective of his intent.

      • jamesepowell

        I disagree. His intent is critical. Otherwise we get the “he had no choice” narrative, the one that claims that since Hillary had her own server, anything that happened after that was totally her own fault and evidence that Trump was the better choice.

    • Rob in CT

      Seriously. My inference is that this fuck hates Bill and Hillary Clinton and was determined to do what he could to keep her out of the White House or, at the very least, to make sure Ds didn’t get the senate.

      Yup, this.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Fair!

      • XTPD

        Supporting your theory that EMAILZ chickenfucking threw the election to Donald: German Lopez notes that the voting margins against Clinton – except in Wisconsin – are too large to be sufficiently explained by suppression alone.

        • howard

          in kevin drum’s fuck you james comey he points to commentary from within the trump camp that their polling showed older rural whites moving to trump immediately after the comey letter, which is why they sent trump to the likes of pennsylvania and michigan.

    • Gizmo

      Hopefully somebody has better memory than I.. Wasn’t Comey part of the initial whitewater witchhunt? If true, that should have disqualified him from the job in the first place.

      • howard

        true.

      • jamesepowell

        I also read somewhere that he prosecuted Marc Rich and was outraged when Clinton pardoned him. I’m going with personal animus against the Clintons to explain his behavior. I await evidence to rebut or otherwise explain.

        • (((Hogan)))

          It was Giuliani who prosecuted Rich. Comey investigated the pardon after Clinton left office and found procedural irregularities but no criminal activity. (He did prosecute Martha Stewart.)

    • CP

      My inference is that this fuck hates Bill and Hillary Clinton and was determined to do what he could to keep her out of the White House or, at the very least, to make sure Ds didn’t get the senate.

      I think a large part of the security community is socialized into liberal derangement syndrome from the start – the product of fifty years of mythology about Vietnam stabs-in-the-back and liberal judges letting criminals go on technicalities and the like. It’s simply taken as a given, axiomatic, that liberals in general (and punching bags like the Clintons in particular) are corrupt, immoral, and hate America and the people in uniform and whatnot. And that this justifies relating to them differently.

      That’s one thing in, say, the military, where the ethic of obedience to the lawfully elected civilian authority is as deeply ingrained as it is. It’s quite another in the FBI, which was basically founded as a lawless institution whose main, self-appointed mission was to pursue its director’s political prejudices.

      TL/DR: “If you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to Geico. It’s what you do. If you want to be an FBI agent, you use the resources the public gave you to harass and destroy political opponents that offend your worldview. It’s what you do.”

  • CaptainBringdown

    The irony that the one person outside of either of the campaigns who is to blame for vaporizing Obama’s legacy happens to be an Obama appointee is … not particularly delicious.

    • Lit3Bolt

      It’s crap like this that makes me believe that Obama never really wised up to DC politics. Political equivalent of trusting the double agent to guard your back.

    • jamesepowell

      Delicious? I was thinking bitter. Across the board, Obama’s “forward not backward” and “hands across the aisle” seem pathetically naive. But he is definitely not naive so there has to be some other explanation.

      • vic rattlehead

        His 2012 slogan was Forward, right? I guess Trump voters decided “fuck that, let’s try Backward.”

      • Rob in CT

        No, about those things he really was that naïve at least to start. He’s admitted as much. I remember an interview he gave where he basically said that. In a very understated way, of course.

        I love the guy, but that was a real fault. And honestly? On 1/20/09 it was a fault I shared.

  • vic rattlehead

    If there’s anything left after the atrocities Trump may well commit, and the world decides to have another Nuremberg, Comey as far as I’m concerned is an accessory before the fact to any and all crimes against humanity Trump and Co commit.

  • XTPD

    Also: Look at this piece of shit‘s Twitter feed. Mothefucker thinks he gets to dismiss the popular vote completely, totally shirk culpability in the EMAILZ chickenfucking, AND be all high-and-mighty in warning against a Trump honeymoon.

    I know this may be a rather small in the scheme of things, but I seriously want to see this guy’s ass beaten by Lewandowski.

    • cleek

      Mothefucker thinks he gets to dismiss the popular vote completely

      he does.

      the popular vote means absolutely nothing when it comes to who gets the power.

    • Taylor

      The guy thinks it’s a game. “Come and get me, Donald.”

      JFC.

  • David Hunt

    I said something to this effect on Wednesday and it may have been on LGM, but…as someone who doesn’t believe in Hell, I hope the is a Hell so James Comey can rot in it.

    • CaptainBringdown

      as someone who doesn’t believe in Hell,

      If you live a few more years, you’ll become a believer. Except Hell won’t be in the afterlife.

  • postmodulator

    Okay, I’ll just be the asshole that says it: are we going to talk at some point about the fact that Campos indulged in this himself? As a reminder, this article was, at the time, the number one hit on Google News for the name “Clinton.”

    • steve Rodent

      Campos had some pretty wrong headed posts during the campaign.

    • jamesepowell

      Campos is not the director of the FBI. HIs blog posts, while admittedly of worldwide historical significance, did not harm Clinton’s campaign or re-energize the moribund Trump/Republican campaigns.

      Let’s talk of adult things, okay?

      • postmodulator

        Yeah, I spent the primary shutting up because the grownups knew what they were doing. I’m not going to do that again.

  • steve Rodent

    Please tell us more about Jack Shaeffer, whoever the hell he is. I don’t think you’ve mentioned him before, and he’s surely the biggest problem we are facing.

    • (((Hogan)))

      He’s the guy who wrote Shane.

      • cleek

        he was a lousy brewer, too

    • XTPD

      He’s only the third greatest threat to our democratic republic, behind economic anxiety and the Rue Morgue Killer administration. Clearly, my exhortations to attack a washout glibturdian POLITICO writer represents the best use of the left’s energy.

      In all seriousness, though, he’s a perfect conduit for the Village horse-race POV the way GG represents brogressives and ZEGS/Yertle the GOP establishment. He might not be personally influential in the way ZEGS, Fucking Idiot or the Clinton Guy Shocked About Blowjobs are, but his arguments are the same ones the Beltway media will use to shirk responsibility, and it’s worth discrediting those arguments before they’re allowed to gain traction.

      • Manny Kant

        Okay, I know who GG is. But who are ZEGS, Yertle, Fucking Idiot, and the Clinton Guy Shocked About Blowjobs?

        • XTPD

          Fucking Idiot is Mark Halperin and Yertle is Mitch McConnell. “Clinton Guy Shocked About Blowjobs” refers to Joe Scarborough, and ZEGS is an abbreviation of “Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver”; both epithets were coined by Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce.

          • Thlayli

            You explained what ZEGS means, but not who it is. It’s Paul Ryan.

            Speaking of whom … another weirdness about the current situation is he finds himself in a better place, in terms of getting shit done, than if he were Vice-President.

          • rcshowman

            “Clinton Guy Shocked by Blowjobs” is George Stephanopoulos, not Scarborough.

  • nemdam

    As the result of this election continues to sink in, one emotion that I’ve been having lately is that I’m really angry not only that Trump wasn’t defeated, but that Hillary now never has a chance to be president. I believe the rhetoric that she was arguably the most qualified and prepared person to ever run for president, and the fact that she lost to the most unqualified person to ever run because the media, FBI, and Russia decided to drag down Hillary to Trump’s level burns me up inside in a way that I can’t really describe. It’s a crime against humanity that she lost for such bullshit reasons, because whatever you think of her policies and politics, I have no doubt that she would leave the country better off in 4 years.

    • Bitter Scribe

      Indeed. She takes her place next to Al Gore in the Tragic Losses Hall of Fame.

      • Rob in CT

        Yes, but it’s like that squared. Not only was Dubya far more qualified than Trump, Trump is megasexist. A super qualified, smart, hard-working woman loses* to an sexist pig who blathers nonsense.

        It’s awful, even if you’re not her biggest fan.

        * despite getting more votes

        • urd

          To me it’s even more awful in that this could have been avoided if her campaign hadn’t made so many bad decisions.

          She could have won; she should have won. She didn’t.

          • Rob in CT

            You can take that away from it if you want.

            I don’t think she ran a bad campaign, actually. It doesn’t look good in the aftermath of (very narrow) defeat. But in real time it looked pretty damned solid, at least to me.

            There were liabilities she had that weren’t about her 2016 campaign, of course.

          • nemdam

            The more I think about it, the more I’m not really sure what else she was supposed to do. The media would not cover anything she did except her attacks on Trump and her scandals. So I’m not really sure how she could run on a different message as she tried to contrast her progressive economic message with Trump’s history of screwing over workers, but it was covered like crickets.

            Despite this, she broke through with her main message that Trump is unqualified to be President as evidenced by the fact that 60% of the country believes this. I would say that is both a powerful message that any campaign would love to have, even more powerful than saying your opponent is corrupt, and it shows that she was damn effective in communicating it. Trump also ended the race with the lowest favorability of any presidential candidate. And let’s also not forget that she won all 3 debates decisively.

            Before the Comey letter came out, she was up like 5+ points in the national polls and her firewall was even stronger. Even on election day, her firewall looked very strong as her campaign, Republicans, and public polling all said this. I would think if any presidential campaign were told that these are the conditions on election day, they would take them and feel very confident about winning.

            No, none of this means there aren’t mistakes and that Clinton was perfect. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t rethink things, get a better candidate and run a better campaign. But as I keep thinking this through, I keep coming back to the conclusion that Clinton ran a great campaign and there were forces largely outside her control that lost the election for her. YMMV.

        • catbirdman

          Please let us not ever forget the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, who played a key role in establishing the bedrock principle that, once a fake movement has formed around some concept, the idiocy of the concept becomes secondary to the fervor with which it is pursued. (Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.)

          • (((Hogan)))

            Meh. I’ve heard plenty of things I didn’t want to hear, most of them in 2016.

    • jamesepowell

      I’m not angry that Hillary didn’t get her day. I’m not sorry for her. She fucked up. Her husband fucked up. Repeatedly and without regard for how it would affect the rest of us.

      When the books are written I will be looking for the explanations for why they were not prepared for what the idiots who comment on blogs all knew was coming.

      • nemdam

        Yes, the idiots who comment on blogs all warned us that Russia and the FBI were going to interfere against Clinton and the media was going to amplify this to an greater extent than any campaign ever could.

    • The Lorax

      Very well said. This gets at what I’m feeling, too, but have had trouble articulating.

    • ASV

      I’m sad for that. I’ve been a Hillary fan since the 1992 campaign, with the exception of parts of the middle of the Bush era. The way the campaign used her history just expanded on that – her Wellesley valedictory alone is an incredible piece.

      But I’m sadder that I now don’t believe we will elect a woman president in my lifetime. My mom is a few years younger than Hillary, and she told me way back when (could’ve been in the time of “two for one” campaign talk in 1992, I don’t recall) that she didn’t think it would ever happen. I saw her take a lot of sexist shit in “professional” environments and sit on it. All of her life that I was in close proximity to witness (so up to about 2000) was spent in the rural midwest, and I can guarantee all but one of the shitheads she had to deal with were Trump voters if they were still around to vote (the one, in a weird coincidence, is a personal friends of the Clintons). I was excited for this to be, I don’t know, validation for everything she’s endured as just a woman trying to exist in spaces where she’s seen as lesser. And now it will never fucking happen.

      • LF

        I agree with all of this plus nemdam’s comment. I feel deflated for a lot of reasons, but losing the opportunity to make this history is a really big one. That fact that Trump is pretty clearly shitting his pants at the requirements of the job makes it even more galling.

  • Bitter Scribe

    The current narrative on the right is how Trump “overcame” a “biased” media. Sure, because they didn’t immediately call for Clinton to step down over e-mails.

    • cleek

      the media was incredibly biased against Trump. maybe the news media tried to play it even-handedly, but the entertainment world was dead set against him.

    • howard

      i can only suppose that by “biased” they mean “didn’t take trump seriously,” and i can only say that they should be thanking their lucky stars.

    • XTPD

      The new line from the Beltway is “it’s all Clinton’s fault,” which has actually gained traction on the left (in economic anxiety-type articles, natch).

      • CP

        Everything in Washington is always the Democrats’ fault. And as always, you can expect to find a gaggle of purity pony faux-lefties going along with it.

  • Musashi

    I would kill for $20 an hour, and I never even once threw an election to a racist authoritarian reality tv moron.

    • veleda_k

      At this point, I’m fairly sure I will never make $20 an hour.

    • Breadbaker

      I think a minimum wage minus presumed tips is about right for Comey.

    • CP

      I would kill for $20 an hour, and I never even once threw an election to a racist authoritarian reality tv moron.

      This is what infuriates me.

      I make minimum wage now and I made minimum wage in Florida last year, in places where that’s not nearly enough to live. I spent half of last year shelling out money in quantities that hurt to meet the unsubsidized price of a health insurance plan that was all I could afford, and had such a ridiculously high deductible that it bled me dry for half of last year when I had a ton of medical problems to pay for. I’m 28 years old and have no car, no house, still contributed absolutely nothing towards my retirement; at this point I’m wondering if I ever will.

      And I’m white, heterosexual, male, and Christian (the heritage is goddamn Yankee-WASP, even). You want to talk to the white working class? Hi! Nice to meet you. You want to talk politics? Absolutely:

      1) I am not a Trump voter.

      2) The people who are Trump voters are people who, by and large, would like to see me thrown off my health insurance and left to die and decrease the surplus population. I am a leech, a thief, and a parasite to these people.

      3) I have no idea how many other low-income whites are in my position, but it sure as hell ain’t just me.

      4) So please stop invoking my demographic and my economic conditions, to justify the votes of the people whose number one goal in life is to make mine as miserable as possible. Thank you.

  • urd

    Here we go again; another great example of bringing up examples that had a marginal effect on the outcome.

    If you want to look at root causes of this failure, why not look at the raft of missteps and unforced errors from the Clinton campaign that are now coming to light?

    Did the email/Comey issue hurt? Sure; but the amount of impact was small and Clinton should have never let it get to a point where it was so close. She was running against a political clown; and lost.

    This type of attitude simply ensures future failures.

    • catbirdman

      I wonder how many teams could successfully execute a presidential campaign if a substantial proportion of their internal communications were made public.

      • urd

        I’m not talking about what was released during the campaign but after.

        These errors were serious enough on their own that it wouldn’t have mattered when they were released. I take that back; actually I’d argue that if they were made public early in the process, there might have be enough well placed democrats asking if the people running the campaign were were fucking stupid.

        That might have helped. But bitching about minor issues after the fact really adds nothing to the situation the democrats find themselves in.

    • Joe_JP

      Did the email/Comey issue hurt? Sure; but the amount of impact was small and Clinton should have never let it get to a point where it was so close. She was running against a political clown; and lost.

      A political clown that appealed to a lot of people. She had polls — people here were talking about her getting 366 electoral votes! — saying she was almost a lock. Even the outlier, Nate Silver, gave her 65% odds. But, she was supposed to think she was doing something wrong?

      The “small” impact by one account I saw very well could have been the margin of victory. At any rate, it was a problem of a basic level even beyond that. The FBI can’t be doing this & the message it sends alone is poisonous.

      And, this wasn’t the only thing she had to deal with. Addressing those issues is part of dealing with this not happening again as much as Bill Clinton knowing how to play in the 90s.

      • urd

        Don’t forget the LA Times polling methodology had it essentially being a toss-up.

        But that is my point; she had so many advantages that there was no excuse for it even being close. If her campaign had not made massive, amateur political miscalculations, and hadn’t been outright arrogant about who they needed to focus on, none of this – emails, Benghazi, etc. – would have mattered.

        • Joe_JP

          She had various disadvantages too including the things LGM has discussed here (media, FBI etc.).

          Plus, Trump had various advantages as a force. The public had enough there to see he was a horrible choice. Enough people still voted for him. “Clown” or not.

          Finally, one or the other poll aside, “professionals” when they are judging how they are doing look to see how their campaigns are doing. And, the general understanding, with a few outliers easily cited as merely that, was that she was basically a lock.

          [so as usual when told ‘not to forget,’ I’m not overly impressed]

          I personally don’t see all these “massive, amateur political miscalculations” myself. She made various quite reasonable moves that in some cases didn’t turn out well or did not hold up — though she won the popular vote as far as I can tell — given Trump advantages, FBI actions up to DAYS before the election, media that net helped Trump a lot more, apparent Russian hacks etc.

          She made mistakes. Trump made a heck of a lot too. When you lose, you look bad, but what campaign can’t be cited for errors?

          • urd

            I think you are going out of your way to ignore the main issue: the biggest single factor in Clinton losing was her own campaign. It ran an arrogant, misguided, and out of touch campaign. You don’t feel that taking PA for granted was a political miscalculation? How about not needing to appeal to the Catholic vote? Or the fact that Bill Clinton was fuming that Hillary Clinton’s campaign managers were not trying to be competitive among white voters?

            I don’t disagree many forces were against her. But they knew this and yet still ran the type of campaigning they did.

            There is no excuse for this and continuing to point to issues you do only ensures nothing will be learned from this mess.

            • tonycpsu

              You don’t feel that taking PA for granted was a political miscalculation?

              lolwut?

              Clinton and her surrogates were all over Pennsylvania throughout the campaign. That link only counts visits through late October (each campaign came to PA 18 times), but they visited PA several times in the last week, including two minutes from my office window in Pittsburgh on Monday afternoon and the giant 30k person rally in Philly Monday night.

              How about not needing to appeal to the Catholic vote?

              Her VP pick was a Jesuit missionary, and she has, in fact, reached out to Catholics. What else should she have done that she didn’t?

            • nemdam

              Um, she absolutely did NOT take PA for granted. She advertised there heavily and visited it constantly. I actually thought she was sinking too many resources there, but I was obviously wrong. Is there any evidence that the Catholic vote was crucial? The little polling I saw showed her doing better with Catholics than Obama, but I’m not sure of the final numbers. And her opponent insulted the Pope, and she put a Catholic on her ticket. Lastly, the polls showed her doing better with white voters overall than Obama despite doing worse with white working class voters. The college educated whites ended up breaking for Trump more than the polls indicated, but the data was showing that Clinton was appealing to white voters.

        • ASV

          The LAT poll was a national poll that’s going to wind up being off by a few points in Trump’s direction.

      • urd

        With regard to the polling issue: was she supposed to think she was doing something wrong? Not necessarily but you can be damn sure that it warranted a closer look and not a smug dismissal, especially as high as her negatives were.

        • (((Hogan)))

          Smug dismissal of what exactly?

          • Scott Lemieux

            She shouldn’t have ignored Pennsylvania by making tons of visits, expending lots of resources, and picking a vice presidential candidate designed to appeal primarily to mid-Atlantic white people!

  • efgoldman

    Mr. Obama is president until noon on January 20. He has plenty of time to fire Comey. Me, I’d do it on the Friday before xmas, like so many thoughtless companies do to line level employees.

    • Joe_JP

      This has a lot less charm now that Trump gets to pick his successor.

  • Breadbaker

    Hillary had four big bounces during the campaign, each time when she gave her own message in an unfiltered way to the public: the convention speech, and each of the three debates.

    Her messaging on her commercials, on the other hand, focused almost entirely on Trump and used Trump’s words, rather than her words. To the Trump supporters, they actually served as Trump ads; those people not only liked what he was saying or doing but got angry that Hillary was using those words against Trump–angry enough to make sure they showed up to vote. So the ads essentially backfired. To her own supporters they did not inspire, to the undecided they did not give them a reason to vote FOR Hillary rather than AGAINST Trump (see the vote for Johnson in Florida) and to the Trump supporters they made them make sure to show up at the polls.

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