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Pundits Can’t Get Clinton Derangement Off Their Jock, It’s Like Static Cling

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You may remember T.A. Frank from such articles as “Chelsea Clinton’s anodyne Twitter feed is destroying America.” You will probably remember him for his forthcoming article, “Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky’s nefarious scheme to impose neoliberalism on her elementary school student council.” His latest article is “Can Hillary Clinton Go Quietly Into the Night.” It is certainly…representative of the “Clinton should adhere to newly invented “tradition” that losing candidates disappear from public life” genre:

We can’t expect them to accept this, of course. Psychologist Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism, has famously observed that optimists tend to do better in life but exhibit more delusion. They tend to attribute failure to changing external factors rather than enduring internal qualities, blaming outside causes, not themselves. Hillary—who has been pinning her defeat on Comey and Vladimir Putin and the Democratic National Committee and Wikileaks and “a thousand Russian agents” and high expectations and the press and sexism and voter suppression and, for all I know, static cling—is a major optimist. That’s great for persistence and mental well-being. She’s ready to keep driving the bus. But it’s not so great for knowing when to quit. That’s where the passengers come in.

You have to love the incredibly smarmy setup here. You will note, while he calls Clinton delusional and irrational, that Frank has no case to make on the merits about, say, the very strong evidence that the Comey letter influenced the campaign. He just asserts without any argument — let alone evidence — that thinking that the director of the FBI baselessly implying that Clinton was a crook, or awful substance-free press coverage, or vote suppression (!), or Russian/Wikileaks ratfucking influced the election is as irrational as thinking that “static cling” affected the election. I don’t think Clinton is the delusional one here.

But it’s even worse than that. Frank frames the whole column as concern about the future of the party. But Clinton making some banal observations about factors that obviously influenced the outcome of the election is not an indication that she wants to “keep driving the bus,” and indeed they will have no effect at all on any future election whatsoever. Vote suppression, ratfucking by domestic and foreign opponents, and substance-free media coverage devoted to Both Sides Do It coverage, conversely, are all highly relevant going forward. Because the point of these columns isn’t to think about how to win about future elections; the point is pundits seizing on any excuse to say that Hillary Clinton sucks.

Admittedly, Frank may have been set off by Clinton’s recent appearance on Meet the Press [H/T to Rebecca Traister]:

MR. RUSSERT: Let me show you a photograph from Inauguration Day. Here is George W. Bush giving his second inaugural address. And there watching is John Kerry.

SEN. KERRY: I was in the wrong seat there, wasn’t I?

MR. RUSSERT: What was going through your mind at that moment on that morning?

SEN. KERRY: Respect for the process, not feeling sorry for myself at all. I mean, look, I think we waged a great campaign. Did we make some mistakes? You bet we did. I take responsibility for them. You know, I am the person in charge, my campaign, I am responsible. I am not going to sit around worrying about what we did or didn’t do. But we did some unbelievable things. We raised more money than any Democratic campaign in history. We involved more volunteers than any campaign in history. I won more votes than any candidate on the Democratic side has ever won in history. I lost, Tim, to an incumbent president by a closer margin than an incumbent president has ever won re-election before in the history of the country, and if you add up the popular vote in the battleground states, I won the popular vote in the battleground states by two percentage points. We just didn’t distribute it correctly in Ohio.

So I think we did a great job, and we are going to continue to build on that campaign as I am now with my Kids First health plan. We have over 400,000 co-sponsors through the Internet who want to fight for this, and we are going to fight for it.

MR. RUSSERT: At the Clinton Library dedication on November 18, a few weeks after the election, you were quoted as saying, “It was the Osama bin Laden tape. It scared the voters,” the tape that appeared just a day before the election here. Do you believe that tape is the reason you lost the race?

SEN. KERRY: I believe that 9/11 was the central deciding issue in this race. And the tape–we were rising in the polls up until the last day when the tape appeared. We flat-lined the day the tape appeared and went down on Monday. I think it had an impact. But 9/11, you know, it’s a very difficult hurdle when a country is at war. I applauded the president’s leadership in the days immediately afterwards. I thought he did a good job in that, and he obviously connected to the American people in those immediate days. When a country is at war and in the wake of 9/11, it’s very difficult to shift horses in midstream. I think it’s remarkable we came as close as we did as a campaign. Many Republicans say we beat their models by four or five points as to what they thought we could achieve.

I am proud of the campaign, Tim. And I think if you look at what we did in states, I mean, millions of new voters came into this process. I won the youth vote. I won the independent vote. I won the moderate vote. If you take half the people at an Ohio State football game on Saturday afternoon and they were to have voted the other way, you and I would be having a discussion today about my State of the Union speech.

Oh, sorry, my mistake — this was John Kerry on January 30, 2005. Oddly, this appearance did not set off a wave of pundits arguing that John Kerry was obligated to retire from public life and certainly never to make any comment about the election other than “I ran the worst campaign in known human history and I go to the box and feel shame.” This is for the obvious reason that this Longstanding Tradition is sexist nonsense that was invented in May 2017. And AFICT nobody argued that Kerry’s comments were CONSUMING OXYGEN that would prevent the next generation of Democratic leadership from emerging, presumably because the idea that interviews or speeches given by losing candidates affect future primary or general elections is transparently idiotic, and this is obvious to anyone in any context that doesn’t involve Hillary Clinton.

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  • Thank you for that. I needed a bitter laugh today!

    • efgoldman

      HRC is much too polite and has much too much self control, but if I were she I would use some of my leftover campaign funds to buy two minutes on every TV and cable network, and just have the camera trained on me while I raised both middle fingers and shouted “FUCK YOU!” over and over again until my time was up.

      But then, I’m a spiteful bastard, I am.

  • Karen24

    Um, my snark detetector does need repair, but I am older than you and I remember Kerry running in 2004, not 1994. There was no Presidential inauguration in 1995.

    • Ahuitzotl

      clearly your memory needs work too. You’re going to claim you don’t remember Reagans 4th term, next.

      • Bri2k

        Honestly, Reagan’s 4th term wasn’t that memorable. Now Nixon’s victory in ’66, that was something!

      • Judas Peckerwood

        That was the least believable part of Watchmen II, in my opinion.

  • sigaba

    “I ran the worst campaign in known human history and I go to the box and feel shame.”

    You never slashing or high sticking, only a stupid English with no sense of morals do that.

    (For those of you that want to catch a Chiefs game, they’ll be playing Hyannisport at the War Memorial this Thursday evening. Good tickets are still available…)

    Greatest sports movie ever made.

    • Downpuppy

      I hate the way they blackballed Michael Ontkean after his victory lap

      • Bitter Scribe

        Meh. He and Jennifer Warren were the weak links in that movie IMO. They had zero chemistry with their co-stars. But sigaba is right, it was a great sports movie.

  • nemdam

    The “SHE IS BREATHING OXYGEN SHE MUST BE STOPPED!” is used as a joke, but considering there isn’t any event that prompted this turd clown to write this, I think it may be possible that Hillary breathing oxygen is what prompted this article.

    God help us all if Hillary ever writes a children’s book.

    • wjts

      Make Way for History’s Bloodthirstiest Neo-Liberal Warmonger (If You Know What’s Good for You)?

      • Hogan

        It Takes an Investment Bank and a Carrier Group

        • sibusisodan

          James Comey and the Giant Impeach

          • keta

            NO! I Won’t Go the Fuck to Sleep!

          • Hogan

            Excellent.

            • Sev

              “It Takes a Child to Raze a Village; Trumpie’s Great Adventure.”

              • smartalek

                Sev wins the Noblest Prize Ever for Literature on the basis of that title alone.

    • sigaba

      You get the impression that certain people want her to go away exactly because her claims are so strong and legitimate. The last thing certain people want is for Americans. every day, to be confronted with the popular vote winner, and the fact that she’s a basically bog-standard competent American politician, that she lost under highly peculiar circumstances, and that the winner is a plainly inferior human being in every possible way. Also particularly avoid reporting the fact that essentially nobody, including Trump supporters, are getting what they want out of the political process.

      The real bias in the media is their conviction that The System Works, and that everybody who disagrees has to be dragged by the nose to this conclusion every time. This is essentially how the NYT treats its readers — you’re a moron for thinking there’s anything strange going on here and here are twenty articles about your normal, salt-of-the-earth neighbors who are now the decisive minority constituency in the US. Everything is business-as-usual, nothing to see here.

      • cpinva

        a hundred years from now, when we’re all ashes & dust, they’ll still be blaming the Clintons for every single mistake they will make, a hundred years from now. it’s a virus, passed from one idiot to another, lovingly gestated, then passed on to another idiot.

        they hate her because, well, she makes most of them look functionally illiterate/petty/venal by contrast. there is not a damn thing they can do about that (a mostly male syndrome), other than baying at the moon. their baying needn’t be published, however.

      • msdc

        The last thing certain people want is for Americans. every day, to be confronted with the popular vote winner, and the fact that she’s a basically bog-standard competent American politician, that she lost under highly peculiar circumstances

        And that those circumstances included the behavior of the people now making the argument that she should go away.

        • thebewilderness

          I consider that most significant.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          It’s an inconvenient truth.

        • Pat

          Absolutely, msdc.

  • wjts

    It wasn’t static cling. Or even ring-around-the-collar. It was the Cavity Creeps. But that’s no excuse – throw her in the pit with the rest of the losers.

    • Scott Lemieux

      She woulda won if she had given up her neoliberal shampoo and taken advantage of the dandruff-killing power of Selsun Blue.

      • Bri2k

        “Head and Shoulders – the Sensible Compromise!”

      • Derelict

        Nizoral or GTFO!

  • Hondo

    Speaking of Both Sides Do It media coverage, did anyone hear NPR Morning Edition David Greene interview with Margarita Simonyan from Russia Today?
    Here is a truly incredible statement by Greene:
    “You know, I think about the United States. And some of the proudest moments for news organizations in the U.S. have been when investigations have ended up confronting power. I mean, I think of Bill Clinton and the scandals that he got involved in, the reporting around that. I think of Richard Nixon and his ultimate resignation. If investigations revealed things about Vladimir Putin that could ultimately lead to him leaving office, would you be ready to carry out an investigation like that to its fullest here?
    So, Clinton getting caught having a blowjob on public property during working hours is the same thing as Watergate?
    We stopped giving money to NPR several years ago for shit like this.
    Un.Fucking.Believable

    • IM

      what kind of tool speaks with Russia today?

    • The Lorax

      Yep. NPR News goes out of its way to make both sides appear equivalent. This includes leaving out information that would make the GOP look bad. It also involves reporting on what either side says, without adding that what the GOP is saying is bullshit.

      It’s enraging. And then think of themselves as Serious journalists.

      • Bri2k

        I bust out laughing every time they play one of those PR spots about “in-depth” coverage of current events. Was NPR drunk for the entire 2016 election cycle?

        • smartalek

          NPR was hardly the worst offender, a slot I reserve for that august institution, our Paper of Record, the NYTimes.
          Patient Zero in the contagion of the media bias so well documented by Harvard’s Shorenstein Ctr, because they still largely set the agenda for the rest of the corporate media.
          By credulously catapulting every Publican faux scandal, every Judicial Watch calumny, and every vile Congressional leak — but never promoting the inevitable retractions and corrections when every last one of them came to naught…
          And by utterly ignoring all the very real Trump scandals, especially the leading edges of what we now know of the Russian connection…
          The NYTimes is the primary reason we are now saddled with this so-called President, and all that that entails.

          • Q.E.Dumbass

            IIRC this is in large part due to Pinch Sulzburger, no?

          • Pat

            When you’re the NYT, you never need to explain why you made the decisions that you did.

            Instead, you attack the Clintons for their decisions.

      • Derelict

        As one NPR yakking gob explained it, conservatives are always yelling at NPR for being too liberal, and liberals are always yelling at NPR for spreading falsehoods. So, since both sides are not happy, they MUST be doing it right!

        The bubble they live in must be made of pure neutronium, since the conservatives will be calling them liberal no matter how much air time NPR give to Jonah the Fail. Liberals would be happy if NPR simply reported the facts, by reality’s well-documented liberal bias sez that’s no longer an option.

        • twbb

          The Liz Spayd Theory of Journalistic Integrity.

        • sam

          No joke, I wrote an honest to goodness letter to my affiliate explaining that I would no longer be donating money as long as Steve Inskeep was on air. I got REALLY tired of his weekly “election panel” that consisted of (no joke) Cokie Roberts and Tucker Carlson.

          I didn’t even have a problem with Carlson there as a “conservative” voice as long as someone called him out on any bullshit. But that they had no corresponding democratic or liberal voice? (I mean, Cokie may nominally be a democrat because her father was a pol, but she’s clearly representing, at least in theory, a more neutral “journalist” view).

          That’s just one example of many.

          Inskeep is so afraid of getting criticized for liberal “bias” that he ends up bending over backwards to accommodate conservatives to the point where the show ends up biased the other way.

          I like a lot of their other programming and podcasts, and my local affiliate (WNYC) does a lot of good stuff, but I noted to them that until they figured out a way for me to donate money in a way that could guarantee that none of it would go to morning edition, I would have to refrain from donating all all. After all, “money talks”.

          • ringtail

            I wrote almost the same letter to my local affiliate the week of the election. It really broke my heart too because I grew up with NPR on long road trips and its one of the few unambiguously happy memories I have from my childhood. And in another letter to NPR proper I told them that and how much I will forever resent them for taking it away from me.

            So far I’ve kept to my promise to avoid all NPR programming. There are a couple of local shows I would listen to if I catch them, but so far I haven’t even done that.

            • efgoldman

              So far I’ve kept to my promise to avoid all NPR programming.

              Shit, I worked ON AIR for both Boston NPR affiliates, and I don’t even have presets for them on my car radio.
              Cannot fucking stand them. Couldn’t stand ’em in the 90s when I worked for them, but their checks didn’t bounce.

          • Scott Lemieux

            Our local affiliate is basically a one-man operation. He recently did an interview with Krugman where he agreed with all of Krugman’s arguments about Comey, the media, etc. Needless to say, he didn’t tell Krugman about his 90-minute daily political wankfest, “Hillary Clinton used a private email server and she’s about to die.”

            • veleda_k

              To Be Scrupulously Fair, Clinton will someday die, which is clear indication of moral weakness on her part.

              • Hogan

                And she hasn’t yet, which is even worse.

            • sam

              Wait! You’re in Albany, right? that means you’re stuck with WAMC (aka Alan Motherf*cking Chartock) radio?

              I’m so sorry. That’s the affiliate that we get when I’m up at my parents’ house in the Berkshires. he’s…something.

      • twbb

        NPR often, like many of its listeners, seems serious and intellectual on the surface, but then you realize there’s not much there there.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      Greene was born in 1976 I believe (his wedding announcement in the NYT says he was 31 in September 2007), so he was born post-Watergate and thus probably also doesn’t have much recollection of the Iran-Contra investigation. Conversely, the Bill Clinton investigation would have broken while he was in college, so it’s likely the first presidential political scandal that he specifically remembers details of media coverage about.

      • prostratedragon

        Oh, I don’t mean to yell, especially at the commenter here, but isn’t the fundamental purpose of education to inform the student of matters beyond the immediate frame of reference, history for example? If Mr. Greene, for example, is limited to what happened during his personal lifetime or consciousness, then why should the rest of us attend to his evaluations?

        Of course, the point is just as likely to be keeping the general frame as small as possible.

        • twbb

          Yes, yes it is. I was born around the same time period but have the modicum of self-awareness to realize that things that happened when I was a teenager aren’t the important things ever.

        • Origami Isopod

          “The commenter here” is a libertarian concern troll who voted for Johnson, so yell as you please.

      • ColBatGuano

        By “investigation” you mean right wing witch enabled by a press hoping for “Watergate II: Electric Boogaloo” right?

    • ToddTheVP

      As much as I hate “both sides do it” / “fair and balanced”, the reason I don’t donate to NPR is during the 2014 Gaza conflict NPR interviewed an Israeli citizen and then the Israeli ambassador and called it a day.

      • smartalek

        They had BOTH an ambassador AND a citizen.
        Both sides!
        Not seeing the problem here?

        /s
        Since I also stopped listening well over a decade ago, I had no idea.
        Thanks for sharing that; my blood pressure probably has been a bit too low lately.

    • Warren Terra

      did anyone hear NPR Morning Edition David Greene interview with Margarita Simonyan from Russia Today?
      Here is a truly incredible statement by Greene:
      “You know, I think about the United States. And some of the proudest moments for news organizations in the U.S. have been when investigations have ended up confronting power. … If investigations revealed things about Vladimir Putin that could ultimately lead to him leaving office, would you be ready to carry out an investigation like that to its fullest here?

      Yes, let’s imagine as a ridiculous hypothetical the absurd notion that Vladimir Putin might have committed unsavory acts. Never mind that it’s an open secret he’s skimmed off billions of dollars and hidden it overseas. Never mind that his political opponents and sometimes allies keep on getting murdered or thrown in jail. Never mind the extremely fishy bombings of Russian apartment buildings that accompanied his rise to power.

      … the critical point here is, this was a prepared question Greene posed to his Russian propagandist guest. A list of crimes both sordid and vicious known or alleged to be associated with Putin can be assembled in minutes. To pose such a question that isn’t in the context of Putin being a horrible criminal against the Russian people is simple journalistic malpractice.

  • SlothDC

    *shrug* It probably would be better if she dropped out of politics at least to the extent that Rove did when *he* sidestepped PRA/FOIA policies – her continued visibility and baffling denial of wrongdoing isn’t going to help the party any in winning over non-party-line-voters.

    • wjts

      Oh, right. I forgot about all the wrongdoings. I bet another investigation would finally get to the bottom of all the wrongdoings. Fifth or sixth time lucky and all that.

      • John Revolta

        It’s not the (non-existant) wrongdoings. It’s the denial of the (non-existant) wrongdoings. Do try to keep up.

        • rea

          It’s absolutely baffling that she won’t make up some wrong doing and admit to it–for the sake of the country!

        • wjts

          Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Which is more than Clinton ever said about her numerous wrongdoings, including getting sushi and not paying.

          • John Revolta

            “Nobody is innocent. Increase the voltage.”

        • It’s not the denial, it’s the cover-up of the denial.

          (And does FYWP just really, really like me, or has everyone had to log back in about six times today so far?)

        • Davis X. Machina

          Oldest rule in DC. It’s not the entirely notional crime, it’s the entirely notional coverup

      • Derelict

        Going on 30 years of continuous investigation, and exonerated at every turn. How to explain such thing? Well, my wingnut friends have this all figured out.

        Consider Vince Foster as an example. Investigations by the park police, DC metro police, the FBI, two Republican-led congressional committees, and two Republican Special Prosecutors–and nobody could pin that murder on Hillary because they’re all in on it. Same thing with Benghazi, and Whitewater, and the Rose Law Firm, and, well, everything!!

        But, if we could just get one good conservative-led investigation, then the truth would come out!

        • “If only she would knock over a bank, we would HAVE her!”

          • tsam

            Somewhere out there, some bug eyed, fat, stinky white guy has accused her of such a thing. It’s almost beyond plausibility to think that she hasn’t been accused of breaking damn near every law in existence

            • efgoldman

              It’s almost beyond plausibility to think that she hasn’t been accused of breaking damn near every law in existence

              Newton’s third law?

        • Hogan

          one good conservative-led investigation

          Well there’s your problem. It can’t be both.

          • Mack Lyons

            I bet the mouth-breathers and the so-called “serious” journos would piss themselves in ecstasy if Trump opened an investigation into HRC and somehow managed to railroad her into a jail cell. It’d also let the press take the spotlight off Trump’s own screwups for a while and if the press could somehow make 45 look presidential in all of this, all the better.

    • Hondo

      *shrug*
      Duh, I’m like *drool* baffled, man. Don’t likes me no Clinton, duh, so there must be wrongdoing.
      *mouth breathe*
      *fart*
      *drool*
      *shrug*

    • Morse Code for J

      After all, it is a well-known tradition for former losing presidential nominees to accept blame for wrongdoing for which they were exonerated by an FBI director in public testimony before Congress.

      Think about all the zero times George W. Bush begged the public’s forgiveness for what he had done wrong with regard to 9/11, the Iraq War or Katrina. Or the time Obama has spent agonizing publicly over not prosecuting any bankers or not getting a public option through the Senate. Why, it astonishes me that Hillary Clinton can show her face in public, and not just because she’s a woman.

    • JMP

      How is someone who did nothing wrong rightfully denying her nonexistence wrongdoing supposed to baffling? That makes no sense whatsoever. What’s she supposed to do, confess to the crime of daring to be a woman?

      • IM

        She should make a false confession; thereby proving that she is an inveterate liar.

  • John Revolta

    “you don’t have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.”

    Nov. 7, 1962

    • SIWOTI

      Yeah, and Nixon was 49 in 1962.
      Hillary Clinton is 69 right now, she’ll be 70 in October.
      I don’t think there’s a comeback in her future.

  • tobie

    Thanks for this. I really don’t get the rabid HRC hate on the left, much less the lack of awareness that if you want Clinton to go away, you should be begging for Bernie to go away too. When has he admitted that he’s at fault for his losing candidacy in the primary? I’m certainly yet to hear it. Usually he blames the DNC and DWS. What a legacy. He’s channeled the hate of the gullible left against the Democratic party.

    • StellaB

      Bernie isn’t at fault for losing the primary. He’s a man, so obviously HRC and DWS are at fault. Huma Abedin, Neera Tanden, Lauren Duca, and baby Charlotte may have all contributed as well. It’s not that hard to keep this all straight, so try to keep up, ‘kay?

      • Bri2k

        Srlsly, those trollops could derail the Capitol Limited Express. /s

    • Murc

      Usually he blames the DNC and DWS.

      Not sure why I should take anything you have to say seriously when you open with a lie.

    • Phil Perspective

      I really don’t get the rabid HRC hate on the left, much less the lack of awareness that if you want Clinton to go away, you should be begging for Bernie to go away too.

      Maybe because Sanders is still an elected official. Just sayin’.

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Yes, I’m not a fan of Sanders, McCain, or Kerry, but their continued media presence after losing their respective races is pretty easily distinguished by them still holding public office. I don’t have media surveys to back this up, but my impression is that the recent losers who no longer held office (Romney, Gore, and Dole) in contrast all went pretty quiet on political issues for the first six months or so after their respective defeats. (Dole did do a credit card commercial, but that made fun of himself and his defeat — “I just can’t win.”)

        • smartalek

          Hmmm.
          I can’t easily Google on this ancient device while commenting here, but…
          You might well be right.
          But I seem to recall seeing and hearing Rmoney with considerable frequency, starting very soon after his well-earned thrashing, and noting the contrast with the likes of Dukakis, Mondale, and even Gore, who all (except for that little movie thing, of course) appeared to me to have pretty much disappeared into the woodwork after their losses.
          And we won’t even bring up Sarah Palin. Nope, not gonna mention her at all.
          But my memory is shaky at best these days…

          • Bitter Scribe

            Oh, Palin is starting to disappear, in the sense that people are no longer listening to her because they’re getting bored with the stupid things she says over and over.

          • Scott Lemieux

            The argument is incredibly bad anyway. The idea that the junior senator from Massachusetts is an inherently more newsworthy figure than a former First Lady and Secretary of State who was the first woman to be a major-party nominee for president is farcical.

    • JMP

      What really gets me is how so many of the rabid Hillary haters also insist that everybody hates her just because they do. Um, no a lot of us really, really like her because she’s awesome.

      • randy khan

        From sad experience arguing with Hillary haters, I have to say it’s even worse – many of them find it inconceivable that anyone could think well of her, and when you point out specific admirable things she’s done (the time she spent in the south working as a tester to see if Christian (sic) academies were discriminating was my go-to example for this), they sometimes refuse to believe them, or argue that they weren’t actually good or important.

        • CP

          Yep. And it’s fucking nuts. No one gets to that level of national politics without having a following. Mitt Romney was Charles Montgomery Burns without a personality, and even he had one. Of course Hillary does.

    • Davis X. Machina

      When has he admitted that he’s at fault for his losing candidacy in the primary?

      It’s not his fault.
      It was all the false consciousness.
      And DWS.

      • Pat

        And all those African American female Democrats, who thought they could vote in the primary for whomever they wanted…

  • Mac the Knife

    Hold on…is the heading above the article’s title literally “Dems in Disarray”?

    I know things become tropes for a reason, but…are they lacking self-awareness or does this demonstrate some kind of higher level of self-awareness that I’m not hip enough for?

    • efgoldman

      are they lacking self-awareness or does this demonstrate some kind of higher level of self-awareness that I’m not hip enough for?

      Yes

      SATSQ

  • Murc

    What sort of baffles me is that there’s a much more straightforward argument a person can make: that you want Clinton to go away because you don’t find her politics and presence congenial to your vision for the Democratic Party. You know, the same argument people use for saying that Sanders should go away.

    One or both of those arguments might be wrong, but they aren’t risible; they’re simple statements of political preference.

    • Phil Perspective

      Sanders is still an elected official.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        so?

        Sanders should just go back to doing his job in relative obscurity the way he used to before lightning struck and he got famous, right?

        of course not. He can speak to and for the people who supported him, who are an important part of the party going forward. As are the people who supported Clinton. Grow up, would you please?

        • efgoldman

          He can speak to and for the people who supported him, who are an important part of the party going forward.

          That’s really arguable. Most of the hard core Berniebots are not Democrats; they don’t want to join the party, they don’t want to work to actually win elections.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            I always try to maintain a distinction between people who supported Sanders and “Busters/bots/whathaveyou”

            I will admit, having just read that Sanders is railing about what an “absolute failure” the D party is at his wingding in Chicago, I do think he should live up to his own principles and run for President as an independent next time

            • efgoldman

              I do think he should live up to his own principles and run for President as an independent next time

              I don’t think he’ll run again. If nothing else (and there are plenty of something elses) he’s too goddamned old.
              But it would be interesting, because whether he ran in the Dem primary or as an independent, he wouldn’t get even a substantial fraction of the primary vote he got last year. The novelty has worn off.

              • free_fries_

                After the hot garbage that was McCain’s questioning on Thurs, I think asking people to for a candidate who will be 79 at inauguration will be a real tough sell.

      • IM

        as was Joe Lieberman…

        • tsam

          He’s a special case. Campaigning for Mr Bomb bomb bomb Iran is grounds for a beat down and exile from anywhere near the Democratic Party. Fuck that guy.

      • ColBatGuano

        Sanders is still an elected official.

        So is Louie Gohmert.

    • cpinva

      “You know, the same argument people use for saying that Sanders should go away.”

      since Sanders has never actually been a Democrat, telling him to go away would seem to make more sense.

      • Dalai Rasta

        Be fair. Sanders was a Democrat for the span of an election cycle.

  • King Goat

    “baselessly implying that Clinton was a crook”

    It wasn’t baseless. She did set up and conduct her business as SoS on an non-approved private server, leaving herself open to all kinds of possible charges and suspicions.

    Also, a good reason to want her to go away is she had/has really high unfavorables, and why would you want someone that unpopular to be the face of your party? Of course, I wouldn’t expect all the people here who covered up their eyes to that fact back when they pushed for her as nominee to easily acknowledge it now (though you’d think the actual losing would make people a bit more receptive to ‘ I told ya so’ there).

    • Murc

      It wasn’t baseless.

      Yes, it was. The very guy who was implying she was a crook was admitting in his next breaths that he, a lawman, with a staff like an army and subpoena power, had no actual evidence she was a crook!

      She did set up and conduct her business as SoS on an non-approved private server, leaving herself open to all kinds of possible charges and suspicions.

      None of those charges and suspicions had any actual base to them, especially once they were massively unfairly investigated (any investigation into Clinton’s email practices that did not dedicate precisely equivalent resources towards Colin Powell and Condi Rice is by definition unfair) and no actual crookedness was found.

      Hence, baseless.

      Also, a good reason to want her to go away is she had really high unfavorables, and why would you want someone that unpopular to be the face of your party?

      I’m open to this argument but it is hard to take any good points you might have to make seriously when you buy them under your usual insanity.

      • King Goat

        Clinton wasn’t prosecuted for a felony because of a tradition in the FBI not to use the law in question except in airtight cases with obvious bad intent because of a fear courts might find the law too broad otherwise. That’s far from baseless. Apart from the law, we don’t or shouldn’t want our high level government officials to conduct their business off the books. And…she did. Was too much made of this? Of course. But acting like nothing was wrong here is Clinton Derangement Syndrome in reverse.

        “when you buy them under your usual insanity”

        That’s right, it was decreed irrevocably eons ago that we’d have only two crappy candidates to choose from in the 16 nominating contest, so all those who ran to Clinton are excused for supporting a candidate with such obvious flaws who went on to lose to a guy Lemieux wrote of as ‘a terrible candidate running a terrible campaign.’ Gotcha.

        • cpinva

          “so all those who ran to Clinton are excused for supporting a candidate with such obvious flaws who went on to lose to a guy Lemieux wrote of as ‘a terrible candidate running a terrible campaign.’ Gotcha.

          apparently you don’t “Gotcha” because, as per your usual, you just hand wave away all of the “odd” circumstances affecting this campaign. she had so many “obvious flaws”, that she won the popular vote (even after Comey flapped his gums, for no good reason.), by several million. frankly, if any of the other Democratic candidates were perceived as better qualified than HRC, they presumably would have won the primary. they didn’t, because they weren’t.

          • King Goat

            Winning the popular vote doesn’t win the election. She lost to ‘a terrible candidate running a terrible campaign.’ When you lose to someone like that it suggests you were also at least one of those two, only more so. Even the proponents, which includes me btw, of the idea that Comey’s letter was an awful thing and significant factor say it was worth only a few points. It was the equivalent of a fourth quarter bad DPI call. That should be criticized, but if your team went on to lose to the Browns complaining only about the call as the reason would be seen as silly.

            • Murc

              Again, we would take some of your more legitimate points more seriously if you didn’t mix them in with obvious insanity and you didn’t have a long and terrible history of making claims that are either false, or specious.

              • Pat

                Hey Murc, this is how trolls like the goat work to control how people approach problems.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Clinton wasn’t prosecuted for a felony

          …because she didn’t do anything illegal. All of which is completely irrelevant to the Oct. 28 letter, which was sent well after her not having done anything illegal was well-established, and Comey had no basis for suggesting otherwise.

          • King Goat

            From Comey’s statement:

            “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

            In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.”

            • humanoid.panda

              Are you even aware that there is no connection whatsoever between the email server issue and handling of classified information issue? That whatever she and her aides did wrong re: classification, would have been wrong even if she used a .gov account?

              • King Goat

                Are you aware that the people most in the know about what happened, the FBI, described her actions as ‘evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,’ ‘this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions’ and ‘None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff?’

                She wasn’t referred for charges because while the law literally allows for violation with less than intent, FBI practice for decades has been to only use it when they have that.

                • Murc

                  Again, everything you quote destroys your own points and buttresses those of others, yet you somehow think otherwise.

                  It’s curious behavior.

                • randy khan

                  Comey’s statement on this particular point was risible because it was quite evident he literally knew nothing about internet security or what had been done to set up the Clinton server. It was particularly awful because the Clinton setup was considerably *more* secure than what Colin Powell did, which was to use a public email account that literally – and I do mean literally – was subject to access by thousands of people who worked for the email provider at a time when current standard practices like 2-factor authentication and encryption of email transmissions were not in place.

                  Further, in the real world (as many State Department employees have attested), there are more significant breaches of security protocols than those involving the Clinton server multiple times a day. The secured systems are difficult to use and people often bypass them to get their jobs done. Nobody (and I again I mean this literally) gets prosecuted for such actions. In Clinton’s case, there is no evidence she ever intentionally sent any classified information using that account, nearly all of the classified messages were classified after the fact, and there is exactly zero evidence that any of them were intercepted or that her security was breached. So, what she actually did with the server falls pretty far below the threshold of anything anyone ever would prosecute. That’s what Comey concluded, despite the window dressing of chiding her for supposedly reckless behavior, and he was right.

                • King Goat

                  “there is no evidence she ever intentionally sent any classified information using that account, nearly all of the classified messages were classified after the fact, and there is exactly zero evidence that any of them were intercepted or that her security was breached.”

                  Comey addresses this:

                  “There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail”

                  and

                  “it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.”

                  and

                  “we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence…we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.”

                • King Goat

                  “everything you quote destroys your own points and buttresses those of others”

                  That’s very interesting. So when humanoid says “there is no connection whatsoever between the email server issue and handling of classified information issue” when I point to Comey’s statement that “None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff” it buttreses *his* point?

                  Like I said to you before, I guess people can look at the same thing and see very different things.

              • Scott Lemieux

                Are you even aware that there is no connection whatsoever between the email server issue and handling of classified information issue?

                Yup, that’s the sign everybody should take to ignore everything Goat has to say about the issue. The private server posed no legal problem whatsoever. Passing on retroactively classified information also posed no real legal issue — nobody would be prosecuted for it without intent, and if they were the statute would be thrown out — but the use of a private server is entirely irrelevant to any legal issue.

                • King Goat

                  That seems hard to square with Comey’s official statement where he says “None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff”

                • Scott Lemieux

                  Comey’s (grossly inappropriate) editorializing on this question is completely irrelevant to the legal issues.

            • Murc

              Everything in your quoted paragraphs demolishes your own points and buttresses Scotts.

              • King Goat

                Which? Be specific. Because it sure seems to me that what it says is ‘yes, the actus reus is found here, but when it comes to the mens rea we have a practice of looking for more than the statute demands and we don’t see *that* here.’ But what do you see?

                • Murc

                  But what do you see?

                  “We didn’t find jack shit that’d stand up in court, so as in all cases where we find jack shit that’ll stand up in court, she won’t be charged.”

                  In other words, not actually a crook. There was no crookedness. Since your initial contention was that charges that she was a crook weren’t baseless, this would seem to neatly demolish you.

                • King Goat

                  “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes”

                  +

                  “In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information”

                  +

                  the actual text of the law in question, which clearly doesn’t require intent and which the actus reus is clearly met here

                  Supports my view that there was clearly actus reus, but that past FBI practice indicated no referral.

                  But people see all kinds of things differently I guess.

                • Murc

                  “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes”

                  Or, in other words, “there might be something there but we didn’t find it.” That’s what this says.

                  “In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information”

                  This literally just says “we investigated, and are now looking back on that investigation.”

                  Supports my view that there was clearly actus reus, but that past FBI practice indicated no referral.

                  Even if this were true, which it isn’t, how would it make her a crook? How would it make her crooked?

                • King Goat

                  It says ‘there *is* evidence of potential violations.’ (emphasis added)

                  If you read what they found, and then read the statute, the actus reus is met.

                  Then he goes on specifically to address the mens rea. If you read the statute it’s not intent, but he says we only bring cases when we have intent. That supports my contention here.

                  As to the ‘crook’ thing, I hate that term, but if we’re talking about whether she violated the law here, it’s not ‘baseless’. Baseless means no base, no basis in fact or reason. And that’s overstating here, where what she did literally falls under the statue, but there was a practice of not bringing such cases but seeking ones on more narrow grounds. It’s not like they were just making shit up totally about her. She really did set up her own less secure system. She really did conduct her official business on it. That really did include sending secret, classified material out. It really was extremely careless. It really was the kind of thing that, at least gets people administratively sanctioned and at most ‘is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information.’

                  Do you know how I know all this about the case? Because I’ve spent hours on line *defending* Hillary from RWNJ’s who argued it was clear she should be in jail and Comey was just part of the Deep State Illuminati covering for her, blah, blah, blah. I *like* Clinton. I agreed with most of her platform. I voted for her, donated my time to her campaign.

                  But there’s a reverse Clinton Derangement Syndrome that completely over (or under?) states her flaws. That wasn’t helpful when people were rushing to nominate her, and it’s not helpful now.

                • Murc

                  It says ‘there *is* evidence of potential violations.’ (emphasis added)

                  The operative word in that sentence is, of course, “potential.”

                  Evidence of potential violations is a much weaker reed than evidence of ACTUAL violations.

                  As to the ‘crook’ thing, I hate that term,

                  Then why the fuck did you wade in specifically supporting the point that she was one?

                  but if we’re talking about whether she violated the law here

                  Everyone violates the law. Almost all Americans are criminals in the sense of “we have done something that violates the law.” The actual substantive question is “did she do anything both criminal and wrong.”

                  She really did set up her own less secure system.

                  My understanding is that the systems she set up was actually more secure than official ones.

                  She really did conduct her official business on it. That really did include sending secret, classified material out. It really was extremely careless.

                  If it was extremely careless, then both Colin Powell and Condi Rice were extremely careless.

                  Honestly. In what way is “ask my predecessors for their best practices, implement them, and take every care I can to make sure I comply with relevant laws” extremely careless? It might not succeed in keeping your ass covered, but it can’t be described as careless per se.

                  It really was the kind of thing that, at least gets people administratively sanctioned

                  Yes. And? Should they be? I would argue that people operating in best practices, confirmed by their predecessors, openly and without any evidence of malice or conspiracy, shouldn’t be sanctioned for good-faith conduct in many cases.

                  at most ‘is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information.’

                  Again: the word “potential” is doing a lot of work here.

                • King Goat

                  He says ‘potential’ most likely because he’s going to then go on and say that this is not going to be a referral for criminal charges. And that’s not because there’s no evidence, in fact there *is* evidence he says, it’s because of the FBI charging practice which he goes on to describe. How you get ‘baseless’ out of that…

                  The IG report found that Rice did not do what you’re talking about, but Powell did. But 1. policy on that changed between Powell and Clinton, and Clinton knew or should have known that and 2. at best that gets you a tu quoque.

                  If your predecessor gives you a ‘best practice’ that would subject ‘a person who engaged in this activity…to security or administrative sanctions’ and provides ‘evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information’ I’d suggest you decline.

                • ColBatGuano

                  He says ‘potential’ most likely…

                  Your mindreading abilities are top notch. Your ability to present an argument, less so.

        • sibusisodan

          > “Clinton wasn’t prosecuted for a felony because of a tradition in the FBI”

          God bless the FBI and their scrupulous observance of institutional norms.

        • JMP

          Clinton wasn’t prosecuted for a felony because she did nothing illegal at all, and the witch hunt dedicated to find any excuse whatsoever to indict her could not find one. It was made up, just like every other phony “scandal” thrown at Hillary Clinton who in fact has always been completely honest and ethical throughout her career. But keep on lying about her to justify your irrational hatred!

          • King Goat

            Nothing illegal at all? So she didn’t take classified information and send it out via several private servers?

            • humanoid.panda

              The private servers are absolutely irrelevant: sending classified information via an official government email is also illegal. The reason she was prosecuted is simple: if we started prosecuting people who send stuff the FBI/CIA deem classified via open channels, we would have to imprison the entire staff of the State Demartment. Again, THE CLASSIFICATION ISSUE HAS NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WIT THE SERVER ISSUE. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO MAKE THAT CONNECTION ARE EITHER HACKS, OR PEOPLE CONFUSED BY TERRIBLE COVERAGE. WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

              • Scott Lemieux

                THE CLASSIFICATION ISSUE HAS NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WIT THE SERVER ISSUE. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO MAKE THAT CONNECTION ARE EITHER HACKS, OR PEOPLE CONFUSED BY TERRIBLE COVERAGE. WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

                Can’t be said enough.

              • JR in WV

                Well, some of the people making that connection [which I agree is untenable!] are Russian stooge trolls, and another large part of the people making the argument are Republican fact-twisters.

                The facts are that no classified information leaked via the SecState email system during Clinton’s period as SecState. No illegal acts were committed by Clinton or her appointees during her time in Congress as a Senator or during her time serving the nation as Secretary of State. Period.

                Secretary Clinton has been investigated by hostile prosecutors since her husband, President Bill Clinton, began his run for the presidency. None of these investigations have uncovered so much as a misdemeanor violation. So far as I can tell she hasn’t even gotten parking tickets.

                She is the least corrupt politician to run for the presidency in our lifetimes.

                Screw all the Russian stooges, the Republican fact-twisters and grifters. They all hate America, which is why they hate Hillary Clinton.

                • Pat

                  And why they love Trump, whose allegiance can be purchased by any foreign despot.

            • Murc

              My understanding is that, in fact, she didn’t.

              Some of the information was classified later. That’s markedly different.

              • humanoid.panda

                The funny thing is that if you talk to people who work for state/DOD, the issue they are angry about is the use of the private server, which is not illegal, but can cause serious problems to lower-rank people, the classification issue, which is where her legal jeopardy came from, is a joke..

              • King Goat

                ‘even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.’

                https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clinton2019s-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system

                • randy khan

                  Yes, but that statement doesn’t answer the question.

                  As I noted above, nearly everything that was classified that ended up on the server fell into two categories – sent to her by other people (not her violation, since she’s not the one who sent them) or classified after the fact (and, in nearly all of those cases, not obviously classifiable at the time they were sent and, again, most of that sent to her by other people). There were a couple of occasions when someone mistakenly sent her something classified – IIRC, none of it at the top of the email chain sent to her – and she replied. Whether she should have known that there was classified material buried 10 emails down sent to her from a non-classified account is, at most, iffy.

                • King Goat

                  ‘nearly everything’

                  It only takes one to be a criminal offense. Hence, not baseless.

                  btw-here’s Comey on the topic:

                  “seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).”

                • randy khan

                  See my discussion above concerning how Clinton’s actions compare to what happens at State every day. As Comey said, those people might be subject to administrative sanctions, but they don’t get prosecuted, so prosecuting Clinton would have been a huge stretch.

                  And it fascinates me that you continue to make believe that Comey specifically said that no reasonable prosecutor would charge her. That’s pretty much the definition of baseless.

                • King Goat

                  I think you’re confusing something. No reasonable prosecutor would prosecute a man trying to get his wife to the hospital who was found going 58 in a 55. But that wouldn’t mean the charge of speeding would be ‘baseless.’

                  As Comey describes, prosecutors think about a lot of things in deciding when to bring charges. As you say, they’d take into account things like ‘well, every one here at state was falling technically short of the laws.’ They’d take into account things like ‘well, this law is so broad that we should really only apply it when someone really had a rotten motive.’

                  But that wouldn’t make it ‘baseless.’ Literally, the guy sped, and literally Clinton did something ‘extremely careless’ and providing ‘evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information.’

                • Murc

                  No reasonable prosecutor would prosecute a man trying to get his wife to the hospital who was found going 58 in a 55. But that wouldn’t mean the charge of speeding would be ‘baseless.’

                  But the charge that he’s a crook would be. So would the charge that he was, say, engaging in an illegal street-race.

                  There is also, of course, the fact that the FBI has no business calling press conferences where they name-call. Even if Clinton had been ‘extremely careless’ that’s a subjective judgment that the FBI shouldn’t be fuckin’ rendering.

                • King Goat

                  I think you’re taking the ‘crook’ thing to mean ‘rotten criminal’ or something, but it clearly is regarding whether Clinton broke the law in the email scandal (because Comey certainly never implied she was some rotten criminal). And the idea that she did was not a ‘baseless’ one. Your analogy to illegal street racing is bizarre. The question was did Clinton break the law regarding classified information, whether there was a base for it. And there was. So the analogy is whether the speeder broke the speeding law. He did in a technical sense, but no reasonable prosecutor would bring that charge. I think Comey was correct not to bring the one against Clinton as well (it’s an old, very broad law that shouldn’t be taken literally, and classification is absurd these days). But it wasn’t a baseless charge. She straight up violated that law technically.

                • randy khan

                  If you’re distinguishing between “no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute” and “baseless” after conceding the first point is true, then you’re slicing the onion awfully thin. But perhaps we can compromise on “abusive.”

            • JMP

              She did not.

              • King Goat

                “seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).

                None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government”

              • JR in WV

                King Goat is obviously either a Russian stooge/troll, OR a bought and paid for Republican liar. You all are wasting your time and carpal tendons discussing any of this with him.

                He doesn’t believe anything, he has a false message to sell, that Hillary Clinton is corrupt, and nothing, no fact, no logic will convince King Goat of the fact that Secretary Clinton is an honest, Christian, American hero. King Goat’s income may depend upon his not believing that fact.

                • Q.E.Dumbass

                  I’ll go with “neither” and submit that he’s on his way to (if he isn’t already) being the Blue Dog equivalent to ProgressiveLiberal/herewewankagain.

                • efgoldman

                  He’s really good at hijacking threads, especially when someone encourages him :::ahem… Murc::::

                • JMP

                  The only difference between King Goat and “Progressive” “Liberal” is that Goat also hates Sanders almost as much as he hates Clinton, and instead continually insists the Democratic party needed to nominate – some imaginary perfect candidate, who he refuses to actually name.

                • Q.E.Dumbass

                  Hence “Blue Dog equivalent.”

                  To my knowledge, he hasn’t really been abusive towards the frontpagers or the commentariat, which makes me wonder how much longer PL would’ve lasted under his own nym if he hadn’t insulted Erik.

                • King Goat

                  Yes, only a Russian stooge or a bought GOP liar would point to the official FBI statements on the case, the text of the law, and the IG report to show that whatever else can be said about the charge, that it wasn’t ‘baseless.’ I mean really, you sound like a cult when you talk like that.

                • ColBatGuano

                  That you breathlessly repeat FBI statements is not a point in your favor. Or do you believe all of their statements about the Black Panthers as well?

        • Murc

          Clinton wasn’t prosecuted for a felony because of a tradition in the FBI not to use the law in question except in airtight cases with obvious bad intent because of a fear courts might find the law too broad otherwise.

          No, she wasn’t prosecuted for a felony because she did nothing felonious.

          That’s right, it was decreed irrevocably eons ago that we’d have only two crappy candidates to choose from in the 16 nominating contest, so all those who ran to Clinton are excused for supporting a candidate with such obvious flaws who went on to lose to a guy Lemieux wrote of as ‘a terrible candidate running a terrible campaign.’ Gotcha.

          I… what?

          If this non-sequitur were any larger it would blot the sun out.

          Not only is it larded with bullshit, but it is utterly non-responsive.

          • King Goat

            This is, what, your third completely conclusory comeback. Not a good sign.

            • Murc

              Says the man who has made a long and ignominious career here with non-responsiveness, including this very comment.

              • King Goat

                See, now I know you’re full of it. Because most of my comments in this thread alone have been excerpts from and links to official statements, polls, etc. on the exact issues questioned. Yours are a bunch of ‘we don’t like you saying these dumb things in the past and don’t like it any more now!’

                • Murc

                  Because most of my comments in this thread alone have been excerpts from and links to official statements, polls, etc. on the exact issues questioned.

                  First of all, this mere fact isn’t enough to make the comments in question responsive as opposed to non-responsive.

                  Second of all, “most” isn’t “all.”

                  Yours are a bunch of ‘we don’t like you saying these dumb things in the past and don’t like it any more now!’

                  This is a flat-out lie; some of my comments have been saying this, not most of them.

                  And the ones that are saying it are absolutely fuckin’ true.

        • You’re a liar and a right wing troll. You need to apologize for you crimes and then crawl back under your rock.

          Motion to ban King Goat for his crimes against reason. Do I hear a second?

          • ThresherK

            I have offered baked goods bribes for such an action in the past.

            I repeat the offer here (chocolate chip cookies with bacon, or without) and second your motion.

            • King Goat would have still been bitching about unpaid parking tickets of Hitler’s opponents six months after the Night of the Long Knives.

              • Scott Lemieux

                I look forward to seeing him on the New York Times political desk.

          • Q.E.Dumbass

            Wasn’t he already suspended for about a month back in April?

          • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

            Based on the number of words Goat has posted just this evening, he should be on the masthead.

          • King Goat

            “You need to apologize for you crimes ”

            Please. Again, this is cult talk. I’m left wing and vote Democrat, but I’m not willing to blind myself to what investigators found, what the law is, etc. out of some bizarre personality cult.

            “Motion to ban King Goat ”

            Let’s make our bubble even smaller, tighter, and more pure!

            • ColBatGuano

              Yes, many left wingers blindly support the FBI when it commits election misdeeds.

        • sk7326

          any email she sent to her underlings were on government servers …

        • SIWOTI

          Clinton wasn’t prosecuted, not because of any tradition, but because of two very important facts about this case:
          1. There was no evidence that Clinton knew or should have known that she was violating the Espionage Act. There was no evidence of intent.
          2. There was no evidence that Clinton or anyone else knowingly violated the rules and procedures for safeguarding properly classified documents and other materials.

          Read the FBI Report. The investigation was thorough. They didn’t find any crimes. There was bad judgment. And that was bad. But it wasn’t criminal.

          There was nothing there. If a charge was brought, I could probably get it dismissed at the preliminary hearing — the case was that weak. And I’m not even a criminal defense lawyer.

          • King Goat

            “There was no evidence of intent”

            And the law in question doesn’t ask for intent. There’s a tradition in the FBI of only charging so. As to the report, I’ve primarily quoted from Comey’s official statements on that.

            • Nick056

              Look, KG, I’m a lot more sympathetic to you than most people commenting on this thread, but where intent is not proven, there must be gross negligence. I don’t think Clinton was grossly negligent. Nobody reasonable does. So it’s not just an amorphous tradition or the loose application of prosecutorial discretion at play here — she just didn’t violate the law. Someone who really hates Clinton could say she committed a separate misdemeanor — but that WOULD be selective and political prosecution. Ben Wittes is a sometimes frustrating figure, and a Comey partisan, but he does a nice job explaining the context of Comey’s statements in July here:

              https://www.lawfareblog.com/jim-comeys-statement-clinton-emails-quick-and-dirty-analysis

              My basic belief about the server is that it’s exactly the type of boundary-pushing behavior people might get administratively sanctioned for, and I believe Clinton should have known better than to set it up. I believe now such a server is explicitly prohibited by law. But it was not criminal, and it was only tangentially related to the classified materials analysis.

            • SIWOTI

              The law in question asks for evidence of intent: i.e., the mens rea, the state of mind of the alleged perpetrator. And the law requires either knowing violation or “should have known” violation (the grossly negligent portion of the statute).

              And the FBI doesn’t charge people: the Department of Justice does, and in Espionage cases, it is the National Security Division. To talk about charging traditions in the FBI exposes your own ignorance of the subject.

              And Comey’s public statements aren’t evidence of the investigation, or even part of it. They’re the public statements of a government official who was in charge of the FBI. They aren’t evidence, they’re hearsay as to the case, and they aren’t admissible in court.

              The actual FBI report is the closest we have and we can get as to the facts of the case that can be alleged. And they contain the contemporary reports of all the FBI interviews done with the people involved, including Clinton. And you don’t miss much because of the classified parts of the report that couldn’t be published.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Yes, it was. The very guy who was implying she was a crook was admitting in his next breaths that he, a lawman, with a staff like an army and subpoena power, had no actual evidence she was a crook!

        And, once his agents actually got their warrant, determined in about 10 minutes that the laptop that didn’t belong to Hillary Clinton contained no material evidence about Hillary Clinton, who was still not guilty of any legal wrongdoing. Why, it’s almost as if violating rules and norms to send a prejudicial letter about an investigation without knowing what the investigation will reveal is a really terrible idea!

        • King Goat

          They did find two email chains with classified information on Weiner’s computer that were manually forwarded. It’s just that they had already seen those two threads elsewhere.

          • Morse Code for J

            Or that it was unlikely to change the primary finding announced in June, being the total lack of evidence supporting criminal intent to break the law.

            • King Goat

              Again, ‘total lack of evidence regarding criminal intent’ is a big overstatement.

              The law in question doesn’t require intent, it requires gross negligence, and Comey officially described Clinton as being ‘extremely careless.’ It’s just that the FBI has a long standing practice of only bringing cases when they can find a clear intent.

              • Murc

                The law in question doesn’t require intent, it requires gross negligence, and Comey officially described Clinton as being ‘extremely careless.’

                And he was wrong to do so, because she was not.

                • King Goat

                  Comey was more specific as to this carelessness:

                  “For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).

                  None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government”

                  Maybe that’s not careless behavior to you?

              • SIWOTI

                Yeah, and gross negligence in this case means doing something so stupid, you had to know it was going to end up in enemy hands because of your actions.

                The ONLY case every brought under the gross negligence standard was against an FBI agent who left classified documents in a simple locked briefcase alone for hours in the hotel room of his lover, a known Chinese agent.

                The standard isn’t just being careless, or extremely careless. The standard is being so careless and reckless, that if you didn’t know that what you were doing was wrong, it is only because you are willfully blinding yourself or are consciously accepting the risks. No reasonable person would knowingly take that risk — that’s how bad it has to be.

                And that standard simply was not met.

                • King Goat

                  Comey’s statement says the FBI concluded that Clinton’s practices here made it likely that enemies did get into it. But really, when you’re parsing ‘gross negligence’ and ‘extremely careless’ you’ve already lost the ‘baseless’ charge I’d say.

                • SIWOTI

                  Doesn’t matter what Comey’s statement was.

                  The question for a charge is whether Clinton knew or should have known that what she was doing was putting classified information at risk, and whether she was failing to take reasonable precautions to safeguard that information. Trying to secure your email server to make sure that no one who isn’t authorized has access to it is one of those reasonable precautions.

                  If we talk about practices here, merely putting email on the State Department email server made it likely that enemies got it, since the official unclassified server was hacked multiple times, most publicly by Russia in 2014.

                  And really, when you’re having to parse the gross negligence part of the Espionage Act to try to support a charge, you have a pretty fringe case.

                  Most cases that are brought are done so because someone crossed a clear, bright-line rule, and they did it in way they knew they were not supposed to. I thought there might actually be something there. I was stunned by the results of the report, because it was a complete nothingburger, a mountain out of a molehill. It is a picture of bad judgment from the point of a security professional, but there was nothing criminal there.

                  After all the investigations, after the reports that have come out, to continue to assert that there was criminal activity here is baseless.

                • ColBatGuano

                  King Goat’s love of the FBI makes him a true leftist.

      • TopsyJane

        “If it was extremely careless, then both Colin Powell and Condi Rice were extremely careless.”

        My understanding is that Rice didn’t use a personal e-mail account. A few e-mails that weren’t marked classified at the time went to her aides’ personal accounts.

    • JMP

      Bullshit, lying liar; it was baseless, there was nothing wrong with Clinton’s perfectly legal email server. And guess what, a lot of us are not filled with irrational hatred of Hillary Clinton because she dares to be a politician while being a woman; she’s actually very popular with a lot of people, your bullshit claims that because you hate her everyone else does are just more lie3s.

      • King Goat
        • JMP

          “Sigh” in response to pointing out that most people don’t share your irrational hatred of Hillary Clinton. That makes perfect sense.

          Sigh.

          • King Goat

            Uh, the poll showing that “just 35 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton, compared with 55 percent who have an unfavorable one” was what you were supposed to take away from that.

      • twbb

        “there was nothing wrong with Clinton’s perfectly legal email server”

        I like Clinton, I voted for Clinton, I think the emails were blown out of proportion, but the idea of setting up a private channel for official State Department business — whether classified or not — should have set off alarm bells in Clinton’s and everyone around her’s head. It was a terrible idea.

        • Michael Masinter

          I like Clinton too, and I voted for her in the Florida primary as well as in the general election. I also don’t think she committed any crime, or that the extended investigation was warranted, but that’s only because setting up a private email server to circumvent FOIA is not a crime. Given her experience with Judicial Watch and the VRWC, she had every reason to fear FOIA litigation, but that’s beside the point; FOIA is the law, and a good one to boot. It was her obvious attempt to avoid FOIA, not her mishandling of classified information, that was the wrongdoing, but as I said, it was not criminal wrongdoing even if done with intent. All that said, it would have been both more ethical and wiser never to have done it, and despite my unwavering support of her candidacy, it still sticks in my craw.

          FWIW I have no doubt that in Trumpistan, no Schedule C or higher appointee complies with FOIA; perhaps technology (Signal, Whats App, etc) has rendered FOIA obsolete for all but merit system service employees.

          • Scott Lemieux

            to circumvent FOIA .

            Assumes facts not in evidence.

            • TopsyJane

              I think the IG’s report did actually cite concerns HRC had expressed to Huma Abedin about her personal e-mails being accessible. It’s reasonable to think that she was trying to protect her personal e-mails from FOIA. I have every sympathy for her, given the harassment she has dealt with over the years, but it was still a ghastly error (and also the wrong thing to do). Not to mention, as Kevin Drum notes below, using the same account for both personal and work e-mails:

              http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/hillary-clintons-personal-email-key-understanding-emailgate/

          • cpinva

            if her intent, on setting up a private server at her home, was to avoid FOIA, then she did a spectacularly poor job of it. specifically, she made sure that a copy of all her emails, sent and received, were cc’d to State. this would make them easily subject to FOIA. setting up her own private server wasn’t a violation of any law then on the books. it did, however, violate State policy on the subject. policy and law are not, by definition, mutually inclusive.

            the emails containing allegedly “classifed” materials were not (as Comey also admitted) clearly identified as classified. some of the information alleged to be “Top Secret/Classified” by our people charged with making that determination, have no obvious reason for being put in that class (ie: newspaper articles,identified by someone, as now being “Top Secret/Classifed”, after they’ve already been published). someone not aware of this refers to that article, in an email to someone else. technically, they’ve broken the law, but done so, because A. they didn’t know it was “Top Secret/Classified”, and B. they’d have no particularly good reason to suspect it might be marked as such, because it isn’t identified as such on the document and, having already been published, there’d be no legitimate reason to think it might be.

            such was the case with most of the emails allegedly received by/sent by HRC, on her home server. if the gov’t doesn’t want someone to do something, it is incumbent on those running it, to clearly identify what it doesn’t want you to do. that’s part of its job, you’re not supposed to be left guessing, and HRC shouldn’t have been either. Yes, she was “Madam Secretary”, that doesn’t automatically mean she knew every single item marked/reasonably assumed to be classified “Top Secret/Classified”, no one could possibily be exspected to know that.

        • It wasn’t really a “private channel”, though. It wasn’t concealed in any way from normal State employees, and all of the messages between it and the department’s email servers were logged like any others. If Clinton had been doing state business with foreign governments through that email server, that would be a matter of concern. But she wasn’t.

    • humanoid.panda

      “It wasn’t baseless. She did set up and conduct her business as SoS on an non-approved private server, leaving herself open to all kinds of possible charges and suspicions.

      I’m on record saying that the setup was a mistake she should have avoided, but this is so dumb. Let’s imagine, arguendo, she set up an official account, and also kept her private account. Whose to stop us from having suspicion she is doing her dirty business on her private account? In fact, how could we not suspect it when she is corrupt, but her official account doesn’t show and suspicious activity?

      • King Goat

        If government officials conduct business on personal private servers what’s the point of FOIA and other type laws? These used to be acts and values important to liberals.

        • Morse Code for J

          I guess that’s why Congress is busy stamping out any use of private email in the course of state business, like Chaffetz giving his Gmail out on his business cards.

          I also haven’t heard of any showing that Clinton destroyed any official records, failed to produce any official records, or otherwise failed to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

          • King Goat

            “The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014.”

            And there were others by all accounts that were neither returned by Clinton or found by the FBI.

        • Murc

          These used to be acts and values important to liberals.

          The implication that we don’t anymore is vile and slanderous.

          • King Goat

            It’s the shrugging off of the SoS doing official business on a personal server where many of the emails are totally lost that makes me question how valued they still are.

            Again, for me that is a drop in the bucket of the cesspool that is Trump. But totally shrugging it off? Yikes.

            • Murc

              It’s the shrugging off of the SoS doing official business on a personal server where many of the emails are totally lost that makes me question how valued they still are.

              There is no “shrugging off.”

              You present these facts as if they are the only ones. In isolation, they are indeed concerning.

              But you know what? Because they were concerning, they were looked into. Thoroughly. And what was found was that Hillary Clinton was, in entirely good faith, following the advice of her predecessors as to how to facilitate communications in an environment in which the official channels were inadequate to her needs.

              She replicated their practices, not precisely but in large part, and was as careful as any reasonable person could expect her to be to preserve all relevant communications and official records and to make sure that, to the best of her knowledge at the time, she was complying with records laws and information-handling laws. Once it became obvious she might (might) have failed at this, she cooperate fully with the official investigation, at the conclusion which even an enormously partisan political enemy of hers concluded that even if she’d done something wrong, something that’s very much in doubt, she hadn’t done anything wrong enough to even warrant charges.

              Given all those facts, why shouldn’t I shrug “Hillary’s Emails” off?

              • King Goat

                “she hadn’t done anything wrong enough to even warrant charges.”

                What a bar to demonstrate your value here! The same source said “a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.” But hey, no criminal charges, so we’re all good!

                • Murc

                  “she hadn’t done anything wrong enough to even warrant charges.”

                  What a bar to demonstrate your value here!

                  That and all the other things I said, yes.

                  A guy who hates Hillary Clinton so much he installed Donald Trump in the White House couldn’t find enough evidence on her to charge her. That, combined with all the other facts that would seem to indicate non-crookedness on Clinton’s part, would seem to indicate she was pretty clean.

                  “a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”

                  ‘Security or administrative sanctions’ covers a multitude of sins. A memo that says “stop doing that; we know you meant well, but stop it” is a form of sanction.

                  More to the point… again, you are non-responsive to my question: given all the facts I outlined, why shouldn’t I be shrugging of “Hillary’s Emails?” What evidence is there she is, you know, actually crooked? What evidence is there she was acting badly, in bad faith?

                • King Goat

                  Yeah, when Comey says “this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions” in relation to Clinton’s behavior, which he describes as involving “evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information” and “xtremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information” he was just talking about something you might get a memo saying ‘stop that!’ lol

                • tsam

                  Comedy opened by bragging that he did everything he could to build a case against her. If you don’t take him at his word when he says he tried like hell to put her in jail, then you’re a bigger mess than your comments prove. A guy who wanted to prosecute her couldn’t. That’s good enough for you. Stop acting like it’s not or we might think you’re fixated on a delusion

                • SIWOTI

                  Yeah, now that the election’s over, we’ll all good.
                  The law has been changed, so if a future SoS uses a private email server, they’ll be violating the law. The holes that Clinton slipped through have been closed.

                  And there’s nothing further that can be done to Clinton officially.
                  If she’s charged with anything, she’ll walk. There’s nothing there. Clinton can’t be subject to those security or administrative sanctions.
                  Whoop! No security clearance anymore for you Clinton!
                  No more federal government employment for you, Clinton!
                  Yeah, that's pretty effective as a sanction.
                  So yeah, we’re all good.

              • TopsyJane

                “And what was found was that Hillary Clinton was, in entirely good faith, following the advice of her predecessors as to how to facilitate communications in an environment in which the official channels were inadequate to her needs.”

                In fairness, the State Department official report (which was also highly critical of the State Department’s system) came down pretty hard on her, and not without reason. She broke the rules that were in effect at the time and also did not seek permission to use a private server or personal e-mail account. Many State employees did use personal e-mail accounts from time to time to get work done; Clinton was one of the few to use it all the time and one guy got canned for such use. Tech staffers who raised the issue were told to shut up and “support the Secretary.”

                It also seems clear that by such use she was hoping to avoid fishing expeditions by Clinton-watchers, or haters, rather. Efficiency may have been part of her motivation but not all of it.

                She made a mistake and she has paid for it, times ten or a thousand, and the criticism was insanely over the top. Still, it’s not good to create an environment where your own aides feel the need to warn subordinates against speaking up with unwelcome information, even if that information is for your own good in the long run. And I write as someone who supported her fully.

                • Nick056

                  Yes, all of this. Totally spot-on.

        • humanoid.panda

          Which is a good thing that after the departure, the law changed.
          But
          1) Not applying the law retroactively is a solid liberal value.
          2) She delivered her emails to State.
          3) As I said, if you insist to claim that she was up to something no good, nothing she could have done with emails wouldp have satisfied you. Again- if she has an official and and a private account, what is she hiding on the private one?

          • King Goat

            “She delivered her emails to State.”

            Even her and her lawyers don’t say they delivered all of them.

            “Which is a good thing that after the departure, the law changed.”

            What are you specifically talking about?

            As to your point 3, I’m not sure what you are getting at. Should, for the purposes of FOIA values, officials do their work in a way that makes it later accessible or not? You seem to be saying ‘well, even if they do someone could say they’re not.’ Sure. There’s lots of unfair takes on officials, Clinton especially so. But that doesn’t mean that what she actually she did was OK.

            • humanoid.panda

              On point 1, I agree with you. Once the thing became an issue, HRC should have transmitted the server as is to State, and trust them to keep her personal info confidential.

              On point 2, using private email became officially verboten only under Kerry.
              On point 3, you started with “her behavior gave rise to suspicions.” I clearly demonstrate that, no matter what she did, you could easily spin her behaviour as suspicious.

              • sibusisodan

                “Secretary Clinton has no record of suspicious behaviour. Is that not, in itself, suspicious?”

            • SIWOTI

              Clinton shouldn’t have co-mingled business and personal emails, but it wasn’t her fault that any emails that should have been handed over were not.

              She handed all her emails over to her lawyers, told them to sort through them and hand over anything business related, and she let them do it. Her lawyers delivered the emails to State that they believed were government property. Of course, they delegated some of that work to computers, which followed the lawyers instructions, so they missed some.

              But there is no evidence that she was trying not to hand her official emails over, only her co-mingled personal emails, which the government had no claim to.

              As to it not being OK, well, what do you frakkin’ want? Clinton can’t be prosecuted for it: it wasn’t illegal when she did it. The Federal Records Act was changed in 2014 to prevent it from happening in the future. If someone tries it in the future, they can be prosecuted, and Clinton’s political career is over. What else do you want?

              • humanoid.panda

                “She handed all her emails over to her lawyers, told them to sort through them and hand over anything business related, and she let them do it. Her lawyers delivered the emails to State that they believed were government property. Of course, they delegated some of that work to computers, which followed the lawyers instructions, so they missed some.

                As a side-note, this is where I think she did wrong. As a presidential-candidate-in-waiting, he first call should have been to her political people, not lawyers. She didn’t, so her response was legally sound, but politically stupid.

                This is I think the biggest argument for “Hillary was subpar candidate:” her political instincts are just not good..

    • Thank you, we are all very impressed with the boner you have for Bernie Sanders, who is, after all, God’s Only Begotten Son.

      • Q.E.Dumbass

        Actually, King Goatse’ shtick is he thinks Sanders was an even worse choice. The Sanders boners here are from Phil P above & 3x Joe below.

      • tsam

        Oof-that didn’t work out too well for the last one

    • tsam

      You make me sigh and roll my eyes a lot. Be quiet.

    • nemdam

      Holy shit this thread belongs in the LGM HOF. I can’t believe both how long King Goat went at it without trolling and how long people kept responding to him without snark. This is amazing.

    • Ask Me Gently

      Why argue with this fool?

    • LawyerWhoWantsToHelp

      I am a lurker here, but as a Bernie primary-voter, Clinton general-voter, I feel compelled to come to King Goat’s defense because he/she, Russian troll or not, is voicing my exact thoughts on the email situation and this blog’s general outright dismissal of it as a valid thing. Goat is spot-on that the statute at issue was, in all likelihood, violated based upon Comey’s description of what was found. When Comey said no charges were recommended because there was no evidence that Clinton “knew she was doing something wrong,” I felt like my entire law school education was turned on its head in an instant, as every law student ever is taught that mens rea doesn’t mean you know you are breaking the law, it just means you do a certain act with a certain state of mind related to that act (hence, passing along classified information in a manner in which the passer should reasonably know that he/she is passing classified information). So, I would agree with Goat that Comey’s decision was, in fact, not based on the conclusion that the law was not violated but instead was based on a tradition of not prosecuting under that statute unless the suspect “knows he/she is breaking the law.” This goes against the way the criminal law works in most cases.

      I find it curious how recent-era Comey, re: his Trump memos and testimony thereon, is a perfect boy scout who has exposed Trump’s obstruction of justice but email-era Comey was a partisan hack dead-set on throwing the election for Trump. (I should note that Trump is a disaster and his conduct as documented in Comey’s memos, which I believe to be accurate, reeks of obstruction of justice, as does his subsequent firing of Comey). I read the comments on this blog for a steady diet of rational, thoughtful, and accurate dissection of all that is wrong with the modern American right, of which there is SO much. Sadly, this cult-like dismissal of Goat and others who so much as quietly suggest that maybe, just maybe, Clinton isn’t perfect really chips away at the credibility of many commenters and that of this blog in general.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        I think in general you’re arguing against strawmen

        as far as King Goat goes, he thought spending September and October filling up threads with metric tons of whining about the primary process was an effective use of time and attention. He’s a crank and a timewaster

  • Bootsie

    If political losers are supposed to hole themselves up in a cave and never contact society again, then why is Sanders still around instead of going permanently underground sometime in June?

    • Scott Lemieux

      Joe Biden is still an elected official! Wait, I’ll come in again.

  • King Goat

    I had forgotten the Osama tape. What a world we live in where the threat of bin Laden may have swung voters to the guy who was in charge when he hit us.

    • Gordon Schumway

      He kept us safe!

  • ASV

    This is only going to get worse know that we’ve learned Comey is the One Who Will Save Us All.

  • Scott P.

    One odd thing about the Clinton postmortems. Having grown up in the 80s and 90s, one thing I know for certain is that if a Democratic candidate, having put forward one of the more liberal platforms in the party’s history, had lost a general election, the pundits would universally agree on one thing: the Democratic Party needs to move towards the center. Get tough on crime. Back off on tax increases on the wealthy. Reduce the size of government. And we’re not hearing that.

    Sure, there are umpteen attempts to gaze into the soul of the WWC Trump voter, but that isn’t taken as license to prescribe a rightward shift on economic policy, certainly not to the extent that occurred after the 1984 and 1988 elections.

    • farin

      Because everyone knows HRC is a hard-right corporatist except for her desire to kill all white men, so now the Democrats need to stop looking out exclusively for the rich and also stop killing all white men. [eyes roll out of head]

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    Technocratic argle bargle. Kerry choked away a slam dunk.

    • vic rattlehead

      Lol good one.

  • petesh

    Did I read all 116 comments so far? No, I did not. I skimmed a sample and I wouldn’t bother commenting except to say, good grief, people, let it go.

  • joejoejoe

    Rip Taylor’s comedy relied less on confetti than you rely on emailz.

    U.S. Senator John Kerry went back to the Senate after losing to a sitting President during wartime and didn’t really have a choice but to be a public figure; he had a public job. Hillary Clinton is unemployed and went back to Chappaqua with a record comparable to Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb. Congratulations on beating Jeff Shelburg and/or Rick Lazio! Congrats on the suspect split decision win over an aging Marvin Hagler/Bernie Sanders Hill-a-Ray! We’ll all agree to overlook your zero victories against any Top 10 fighter ever and welcome your comments on what it takes to be a champion. James Comey is Don King and stole what was rightfully yours! Adversity and deception are unprecedented obstacles in politics! It is so unfair that you had to overcome them. You are The Greatest of All-Time! Because you are The Goodest of All-Time!

    • humanoid.panda

      “U.S. Senator John Kerry went back to the Senate after losing to a sitting President during wartime and didn’t really have a choice but to be a public figure; he had a public job”

      Little known fact: the Commonwealth of Massachusetts bans Senators from resigning their office on pain of death.

      • Scott Lemieux

        And also requires them to appear on Sunday shows and talk about factors that caused them to lose elections, even though as of May 2017 this is the worst thing a human being can possibly do.

        And, of course, the idea that fanatical Clinton-haters wouldn’t be launching exactly the same attacks if she was still a senator is absurd.

    • tsam

      You should try to get a job at Salon.

    • Oh!

      I’m very sorry, sir, I was just bringing you those ten towels you called for.

      Quite all right, sir. I’ll just leave the towels here by the door, sir.

      :leaves, carefully places “Do Not Disturb” sign on doorknob:

  • jpgray

    I’d like to know whether anyone here:

    1. Wanted HRC to run for president at any time
    2. Wants HRC to run for president again
    3. Wants HRC to be a major public leader of the Democratic Party

    Nothing about whether she had/has a right to – she clearly did and does. Just whether you personally wanted/want it.

    I like her, and I respect her, I supported her over Obama in ’08, supported her in ’16 after the primary, and I think she’s brilliant, but for me it’s nos all the way down. As the election and the OP show so clearly, no amount of smarts and toughness can cut through such a massive twenty-five years accrual of disgusting bullshit.

    We shouldn’t shut up about her deplorable treatment, and neither should she, but as far as the party goes, a path to victory that avoids the necessity of tunneling through the Himalayas of bullshit is going to be a more plausible path.

    I felt the same about Gore, who was in my view less tough and smart but received a concentrated dose of the same nonsense.

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      1. To piss people off
      2. Not at this point
      3. Fine with me

      • Q.E.Dumbass

        Note: “People” in the above means Republicans, BOFF SIDES chickenfuckers, and purity brats; I don’t actually want her to run.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      1. I don’t think in terms of “who I want”, it’s “of those who are running, who do I think will make the best President”

      2. no, twice was enough

      3. of course. No doubt some fairly large number of dumbshits on both the left and right are going to have their usual conniptions but I see nothing wrong with reminding people in the mushy middle they had a better option than trump

    • Joe_JP

      Other than as a mental “fuck them” enterprise, not sure anyone wants her to run again. As to public leader, yes, she has the experience/support/smarts to be one of some sort.

      I think it was helpful that she ran in 2008 and that she had the support/drive that it made sense for her to run at some point. If only to show that still there was someone else that all things considered should have had the nomination over her.

      But, I was never gung ho for her to run, in part since I was tired of all that bullshit and how much it interfered with winning. There was always going to be bullshit, be as a woman or merely a Democrat. A Clinton was just too much. I also was wary of a family member of a previous President running. Two families controlling the presidency with Obama was too much. I also disagree with her on policy to some degree but that isn’t really my biggest concern. That alone wouldn’t make me upset at her just running.

      Gore if anything was tainted as someone connected to Clinton (e.g., Dave Barry said the Cuban boy might have cost Gore Florida). He had issues as a candidate but the Clintons went to a new level. You can think the whole anti-Clinton campaign was all b.s., but it existed. For decades.

      I rather someone else would have run in 2016, but there wasn’t some special savior out there. She was the best one of those who ran. Probably why she won the nomination and so many votes, even with all the baggage.

    • UncleEbeneezer

      1.) Yes because I knew she could win the popular vote. She did.

      2.) Not particularly

      3.) Yes!! She talked about Reproductive Justice and systemic racism, ran the most liberal platform in history*, preached inclusivity and inspired a shit-ton of women and girls. All things we need more of. She also had greater knowledge of issues, policies and the way government works than just about any previous candidate. She was the ultimate wonk. I want that in leaders.

      *Really, it’s up to the Leftier-than-thous to explain why they wouldn’t want the candidate with the most Leftward platform in history for a major party to have a significant voice in the future of the Left. Because wanting her to go away doesn’t make a damn bit of sense for anyone who claims to care about rewarding politicians who dare to run on progressive platforms.

      • Davis X. Machina

        it’s up to the Leftier-than-thous to explain why they wouldn’t want the candidate with the most Leftward platform in history for a major party to have a significant voice in the future of the Left

        Because she doesn’t mean it. You can tell.
        Same problem with Obama. He didn’t mean it, either. You could tell that, too.

        ‘Course, back in ought-eight, HRC was the authenticity candidate, and Obama was the trimmer. That was pre-Bernie of course, which changes everything.

        Before that, it was Kerry who didn’t mean it.

    • randy khan

      1. Yes, in 2008 and 2016, and I put my money where my mouth was in both elections. I think she would have been a fine President, something you can’t say about every candidate. Mind you, I was perfectly happy with Obama in 2008, and would cheerfully have voted for pretty much any of the Dem candidates except Webb over any Republican in 2016.

      2. In certain fantasy scenarios, yes, but in reality, not particularly.

      3. Yes. As noted by others, any sensible person on the left would want her to be an important voice.

    • 1) yes, because it’s a positive thing to have a credible female candidate for President. She was not my pick in the primaries in either 2008 or 2016 but I’m glad she ran
      2) no, general election losers shouldn’t run again (primary losers running again is normal and good)
      3) no/yes, depending. I don’t expect her to run for office and she’s not going to be any significant formal role again. I don’t think it’s really possible to be a “major public leader of the Democratic Party” without any actual formal role related to said party. That said, I don’t want her to shut up, and I hope she throws herself with passion into the project of motivating and training a new generation of Democrats.

    • Murc

      No to all three.

      I’ve never particularly cared for much of Hillary Clinton’s politics.

    • IM

      “1. Wanted HRC to run for president at any time”

      In 2016, yes.

      “2. Wants HRC to run for president again”

      No. Her time has passed

      “3. Wants HRC to be a major public leader of the Democratic Party”

      As an elder stateswoman yes, as an active leader no. Think Eleanor Roosevelt.

  • randomworker

    Good god these comments.

    • Joe_JP

      Come on. Let’s re-examine the emails question one more time!

    • tsam

      Do you have something to share with the class?

      • Bri2k

        More emails, apparently.

    • wjts

      Seriously. “Hey, you guy. The voters, eh?” “Yeah, the voters. Stupid voters. You had any luck with the emails?” “No, the emails are all… idiots. You know, between the voters and the emails, sometimes I don’t even know why I put my hat on.”

  • Buttery males

  • I’ve been tough on Chelsea Clinton—hard not to be

    CDS really is a compulsion, isn’t it?

  • MDrew

    It’s a poor comparison for a variety of reasons.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I mean, John Kerry somehow overcoming the New York Democratic Party’s unassailable hammerlock on the presidential nomination process proves he was a better candidate than Killary, and therefore the Longstanding Tradition (est. May 2017) that losing candidates never discuss the exogenous factors that caused their loss doesn’t apply Q.E.D.

  • Brien Jackson

    Tossing vote suppression into the mix is a new wrinkle, I suppose, and really does give away the game here, doesn’t it?

    • Scott Lemieux

      Indeed. The “who among us could not despise Chelsea Clinton for doing whatever it is that she’s doing [and after reading my column you’ll still have no idea what you’re supposed to be outraged about]” quote stepped pyramids cites above is useful context.

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