Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Bcc: Hillary Clinton

Well, at least Hillary Clinton is smarter about privacy than David Petraeus was, getting someone to set up a private domain name rather than leaving his love notes in a DropBox account.
So how much does Hillary Clinton's private email account matter? Probably less than the media thinks. This controversy is magnified because it presses a berzerk button for journalists: The Right To Know. But do Real Voters care?

In our polarized partisan political culture, which is All About That Base Base Base and where only about 5% are actual swing voters, is ANYONE actually going to choose Scott Walker or Jeb Bush over Hillary Clinton a year and a half from now just because of this issue?  The overwhelming consensus among apolitical and anti-political "independents" is: They're All Crooks Anyway. (You couldn't script a better race to turn off independents than Clinton-Bush.)

Yes, it's better to do as much as possible in the open.  But the reality is: public people sometimes need to have private conversations. It's simply not possible to say and do everything in front of everybody.  Remember the old definition of a gaffe: inadvertently speaking the truth?

For some reason people accept this in day to day life.  Do YOU always tell the boss everything you're thinking to their face? Not if you like having a job. We think long and hard in private, or discuss with trusted colleagues,before we offer the toned down and diplomatic (see what I did there) version to the higher-ups.

But in politics, we resent it. Yet we contradict ourselves, by at the same time expecting it. The faux "exploratory committees." The sure loser insisting "the only poll that counts is Election Day" or the party chair insisting the candidate has a chance. The Supreme Court nominee insisting they've never decided what they really think of Roe-Wade. We don't vote for Prophets Of Doom. 

Any journalist who's ever fished for a blind quote understands the value of going off the record, and willingly participates.  Yet it doesn't keep them from being self-righteous when they Bust someone for Official Secrecy.

So the issue here isn't privacy. It's the AMOUNT of privacy and the WAY it was done. As Chris Cilizza rightly notes, the political problem is that it plays into the pre-conceived notions of Clinton as secretive and scheming. And paranoid - though it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

Which probably WOULD matter - if Hillary Clinton had viable, live primary opposition. Instead, reluctant Dems have little choice but to circle the wagons around the Presumptive Nominee while grumbling in private. Jim Webb or even Martin O'Malley ain't viable, live primary opposition. There's only three or four viable, rock star level potential rivals out there: Joe Biden, on rank and Bidenness, and Bernie Sanders OR, not both, Elizabeth Warren on ideology. And Sanders still has to meet the necessary precondition of joining the Democratic Party.

And it says here that Al Gore is coming to Iowa in May. Now THAT would make me ready for Hillary.

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