Should Dems panic over Hillary’s polling, investigations?

(AP)

(AP)

“Dems near Clinton panic mode,” reads the headline from The Hill. The story then goes on to describe a situation in which the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email setup as secretary of state, combined with faltering poll numbers, has Democrats “nearing full-on panic mode” about the future of the party’s frontrunner for the 2016 nomination.

I don’t buy it. Not for a minute.

Yes, there may be deep concern among some who fear that Clinton’s once unassailable position is eroding, but if so it is unfounded. Her institutional strengths and advantages are far too significant to be overcome by any Democrat now in the race or likely to join the race, and that includes Vice President Joe Biden.  If that weren’t true, Biden would be in the race already.

That also includes Bernie Sanders, who is attracting both big crowds and lots of attention. I’m encouraged by the passion that he’s stirring, because the issues that he’s highlighting need to be discussed. He is changing the conversation and saying things that need to be said. But polling not withstanding, he simply is not a well-rounded, serious threat to win the nomination.

As to the email:

From the beginning, that controversy has been an unforced error of the type that has become a Clinton specialty and that drives their supporters crazy at times. Her decision as secretary of state to set up an independent email server outside government channels might have been understandable in some ways as a product of her desire to keep her business under her control and out of the hands of those whom she is convinced are out to get her, and who in fact are.

But the decision was still pretty dumb, not least because it compounds the sense that the Clintons live by another set of rules than other people. In fact, by trying to evade the scrutiny of her enemies, she has handed them exactly what they wanted, both in terms of a controversy and in terms of an excuse to now go mining into her private email correspondence to see what embarrassments they might find.

Clinton hasn’t forgotten — and neither have her opponents — that the investigation into the unfounded Whitewater “scandal” turned up nothing, yet somehow led to the very real, unrelated and highly destructive Lewinsky scandal. She doesn’t want that happening again, and that fear makes her deeply reluctant to cooperate in this latest round of investigations and particularly those launched by the GOP Congress. But that reluctance, understandable as it might be, compounds the aura of arrogance and lack of transparency that is her greatest political handicap.

To date, though, nothing that has been publicly revealed in the multiple investigations rises to the level of a threat to Clinton’s candidacy.  Certainly, nothing justifies the accusations of “criminal behavior” on her part emanating from her Republican opponents. She also benefits from a weird sort of political insulation in the sense that for the past quarter century, Republicans have been accusing her of all sorts of bizarre, over-the-top misdeeds, from TravelGate and the “murder” of Vince Foster to the Benghazi tragedy. All have proved to be without foundation. So when she dismisses this as just the latest in that string of exaggerations, it strikes a familiar chord.

The hypocrisy in this case is also pretty rich, because the use of outside email accounts is a pretty standard and open secret in government at almost all levels, from local to national.  The former and current Republican governors now attacking Clinton — Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal — have all dealt with similar controversies, as did Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.

And during the George W. Bush administration, some 88 senior officials in the Bush White House were discovered to have used non-governmental email accounts to conduct government business and evade transparency requirements; email from more than 50 of those officials — amounting to somewhere between 5 million and 20 million emails — somehow disappeared and most were never recovered. Nobody was prosecuted for it.

One more point: There’s no evidence that Clinton’s email system was ever compromised, and as we’ve seen from recent hacks, keeping her emails on a “protected” government server would not exactly have been a guarantee of secrecy from prying foreign eyes. That doesn’t excuse her decision, but it’s nonetheless true.

Last week, we learned that the Pentagon’s unclassified email system for the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been compromised, allegedly by the Russians, and had to be shut down. In June, we learned that applications from tens of thousands of persons seeking security clearances for government work had been stolen from a supposedly secure server by the Chinese. Earlier this week, Secretary of State John Kerry said that he considers it “very likely” that the Chinese or Russians are reading his emails, “and I certainly write things with that awareness.” (Kerry didn’t mention the fact that we are almost certainly doing the same to other countries, both friend and foe.)

In short, Clinton made a mistake in her handling of State Department emails, but it is not by any means a mistake of the gravity claimed by her opponents. If they weren’t making a mountain out of this relative molehill, they would be working some other molehill. And I very much doubt that we’ll be hearing much about this issue by the time the general election campaign begins between Hillary and her friend The Donald (ok, jk).

 

 

Reader Comments 0

1243 comments
Maggot_Man
Maggot_Man

Just wait for what this pressure will do to her………..she'll look even more tired and bloated…..and eventually will say something that will finally do here in for good. Then, we'll have fun listening to Biden quips. In the end, these democrat clowns will make the Republican field look like the Algonquin Roundtable. This will be fun to watch.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Pretty much anything by Taibbi is worth a read, this is no exception.

'Ya think?

In Classic Clintonian Fashion, Dems Insult Their Own Voters

In response, the Clinton campaign is launching a campaign to fire up the liberal base. They're going to accomplish this, they say, by having Hillary adopt "polarizing" positions she doesn't actually believe in. This comes via a trial balloon the campaign itself floated in The New York Times over the weekend.

[snip]

It would be gross even if they weren't openly telling us that's the plan. But with this trial balloon, that's exactly what they're doing. It'll be interesting to see if American voters have enough self-respect to be offended.---Matt Taibbi


straker
straker

Dawg - "why do Democrats continue to support a candidate with almost blind loyalty"


Because, after taking one look at the Republican clown car, even Hillary looks good.

straker
straker

td - "is breaking Federal law"


The FBI does not seem to be aware of any actual lawbreaking on her part.


Since you seem to have evidence to the contrary, do your patriotic duty and call them.


Let us know what they say.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Wow. The Democrat's shills are circling the wagons big-time now. Why do Democrats continue to support a candidate with almost blind loyalty who represents - embodies - nearly every negative characteristic they purport to despise? Oh, yes, she's bought and paid for by the Party's big money backers (the Democrat "Koch Brothers", if you will) and Wall Street.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@DawgDadII 

Why do Democrats continue to support a candidate with almost blind loyalty who represents - embodies - nearly every negative characteristic they purport to despise?
***
And conversely, it's odd that people like you don't embrace her wholeheartedly given that she represents almost straight down the line everything that you purport to support (an unabashed embrace of big money, influence and privilege mongering, unbridled militarism abroad, chumminess with big business and Wall Street). It's just that she has a "D" by her name.

fedup52
fedup52

Trump has secret plan to defeat ISIS.  But it is a secret.  The blow hard can think?

LeninTime
LeninTime

 Has this crew called the FBI and given them the evidence they have that Hillary broke any laws?

**
All of this sturm and drang .... and it's just shadings of Republicans that you're arguing over.

straker
straker

td - "for breaking the law"


Has this crew called the FBI and given them the evidence they have that Hillary broke any laws?


Maybe you should call them and find out.


Let us know what they say.

td1234
td1234

@straker  Have you not been paying attention to anything besides media matters? To store classified information off of approved Federal government sources IS breaking Federal law in and of itself.  Why do you think the Clinton lawyers are so careful in their statements to attempt to spin and say the emails were not MARKED as classified. 


They are attempting to say Hillary was stupid and did not know she had classified information in her emails. 

td1234
td1234

The "Morning Joe"  crew with democrats just blasted ole Hillary for breaking the law and then blasted the State Department and the FBI for allowing top secret data to be left unsecured for so long since they knew about it since May.

1Robert
1Robert

@CherokeeCounty @td1234 How many classified emails did Jeb Have ?  We can also point out that General Petraeus went down for mush less so the old "he did it as well" argument works both ways.  

td1234
td1234

@1Robert It does not matter because JEB was NOT a Federal employee and therefore NOT held to the same laws as the SOS. 


BTW: Your boy, Obama, signed an executive order that said Governors do not even have to be vetted any longer. 

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty Governors are NOT Federal Employees and are NOT held accountable to the same set of laws as Federal employees are. Can you show us where Governors are under the same set of laws? 


Governors only see what the Federal government WANTS then to see. 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Major Democrat ‘Getting the Old Gang Together’ to See ‘If There’s a Path’ for 2016 Run: Report

You dems can release the Panic button.  It appears that Al is ready to ride in and save the day!

BAWHAHAHA

Al Gore!

BAWHAHAHAHA

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany

This leakage has been run up the flagpole for at least a month now, but whatevs.

Oh, and a freebie from the clue fairy? Most people don't share your side's rather insane hatred for the man, and don't think there was anything especially treasonous about starring in a documentary about global warming.

fedup52
fedup52

I don't think we have any chemical or nuclear weapons housed at CIA headquarters.  Yes, they do get to inspect our facilities 8 times a year

++++++

jkl2

In a seminar a person asked a CIA recruiter "what is you annual budget".  The recruiter answered that is a secret.


You want me to believe the Russians inspect CIA?  Give me some of the dope you have been smoking.  It got to be good.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Report: Top secret Clinton emails covered drones

Death by a thousand pin pricks.

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

You know, I haven't seen a single one of you libs demanding fines and jail time over this EPA river spill like you would be doing if a company had made the mistake.  Are you afraid big brother will take your toys away if you tell him he has no clothes or something?  You people are the most inconsistent whiners I could ever imagine.  

td1234
td1234

@fedup52 I thought the CEO is always held accountable for environmental problems their corporations accidentally cause?  

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

@td1234 @fedup52 Yea, but we all know Obama can't be held responsible for anything.  Heck, it's so bad  I'll be one of his staffers has to take the blame for the stench of his daily dump!!

fedup52
fedup52

@td1234 @fedup52 Obama is not the CEO and Hillary is the CEO?  td I thought you are smarter than that.

fedup52
fedup52

@fiftythreepercenter The drama is not over yet.  Wait some moron congress man wants a hearing that will cost zillions of dollars and then blame Obama or Hillary to accidentally opening the valve.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@td1234 @fedup52 

"I thought the CEO is always held accountable for environmental problems their corporations accidentally cause?"

You mean you conservatives don't know that negligence has to be shown before a fine is imposed?  Man, the walls of that bubble get thicker every day, don't they!

td1234
td1234

@fedup52 @td1234 Since when is the POTUS not the Chief executive officer over all Federal Government employees? I could have sworn that is one of the main Constitutional duties of the office?  

td1234
td1234

@Nick_Danger Who is going to investigate to see if negligence has occurred?  I think BP should be allowed to do the investigation. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@td1234 @Nick_Danger 

"I think BP should be allowed to do the investigation."

Of course you're in favor of giveaways to corporations, but the entire Gulf of Mexico?  Can't "regular people" be entitled to just a bit of it?

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@fiftythreepercenter @Nick_Danger 

My post only had a few words in it, 53.  Try reading them again, more slowly, and see if you understand them this time.  Hint: the key word is "negligence"...

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@td1234 @Nick_Danger 

td, see my advice above to 53 - y'all seem to be having a difficult time with the English language, this morning.  Hard night?