Anyone else been wanting a thorough, well-written, dead-on accurate takedown of the bogus “email scandal” that Trump and the GOP have used to great effect this cycle? Well better late than never. This piece is good. Thank you, Matt Yglesias of Vox, for giving voice to what’s been so infuriating to me for months and months now.
The sub-headline says it all: “If you agree with her on policy, vote with a clear conscience about the server.”
The gist (and the whole thing’s well worth reading):
Some time ago, Hillary Clinton and her advisers decided that the best course of action was to apologize for having used a personal email address to conduct government business while serving as secretary of state. …. (Aides hoped this) would lay the issue to rest.
It did not. Instead, email-related talk has dogged Clinton throughout the election .... July polling showed 56 percent of Americans believed Clinton broke the law by relying on a personal email address with another 36 percent piling on to say the episode showed “bad judgments” albeit not criminality.
Because Clinton herself apologized for it and because it does not appear to be in any way important, Clinton allies, surrogates, and co-partisans have largely not familiarized themselves with the details of the matter, instead saying vaguely that it was an error of judgment and she apologized and America has bigger fish to fry.
This has had the effect of further inscribing and reinscribing the notion that Clinton did something wrong, meaning that every bit of micro-news that puts the scandal back on cable amounts to reminding people of something bad that Clinton did. In total, network newscasts have, remarkably, dedicated more airtime to coverage of Clinton’s emails than to all policy issues combined.
Iglesias’s piece is a long one, but it is worth bookmarking, sharing, and reading in full. He goes into well-researched detail on each of these subtopics:
- Why HC used a personal email account
- Why HC used a private email server
- Why this was not a transparency dodge
- Why the “deleted emails” are a red herring….. there’s zero evidence that her legal team deleted any work-related emails
- Why the “some emails were marked classified” thing is a red herring
- And, ultimately,
Why “this is a bullshit scandal amidst a serious election.”
What’s been depressing to witness, is how effective it’s been as a GOP battering ram. People’s opinions really do seem to be that malleable, that manipulable. The GOP chooses a certain drum to bang, and do they ever BANG BANG BANG on it. And it works! Between July 11 and Sept 18, Gallup asked Americans “what words do you specifically recall hearing about each candidate, Trump and Clinton, over the past day or two?” Check out the results — proof that our opponents succeeded wildly in making a huge and durable mountain out of the email thing, and that our so-called “librul” media was all too happy to assist: