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Emails, Genitalia and the F.B.I
Emails, Genitalia and the F.B.I
Charles M. Blow
October 31, 2016
New York Times
A shorter URL for the above link:
Who would have thought that the final leg of this election cycle would be dominated by crowing about violating vaginas and by probes into penis pictures?
But even that frame is problematic because it creates an equivalency that doesnt exist. One scandal is about a man boasting of predation and the other is about a woman weary of peoples prying. These are fundamentally different flaws, one being clearly about a pattern of assault and the other about a pattern of ill-fated insularity.
And yet an utterly irresponsible media, thirsty for a scoop and ignoring the consequences of its scope, has egged on a public with a scandal lust, aiding and abetting Republicans in turning an email mistake into a colossal crime.
Far from the faux election rigging that Donald Trump has been harping on for weeks, this election isnt in danger of being stolen by Hillary Clinton, but in danger of being stolen from her.
On Friday, the F.B.I. director, James Comey, took the outrageous and unprecedented step of sending a letter to Congress announcing that the bureau has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the inquiry into Clintons personal email server that apparently had been uncovered as part of an Anthony Weiner sexting investigation.
Not only was this move reckless, weaponizing the reputation of the bureau once again as a partisan political entity, but also Comey was apparently ignoring the strong discouragement of the Justice Department.
Risk of being misunderstood is one of the most appalling understatements of this presidential cycle. Comey clearly knew that his ill-advised actions could implicate Clinton by insinuation and he proceeded anyway, presenting his vague letter as an act of valor when in fact it was an act of vacuity. The irony here is that the man who blasted Clinton for being extremely careless for her use of a private email server was himself extremely careless for inserting himself and his agency into an election with that letter.
And lets be clear: Although there have been contradictory news reports on how many new emails there are in question and whether or not any of them were sent to or from Clinton, Comey himself did not and has not clarified any of these questions.
How are voters supposed to fold this into their decision-making with a little more than a week left before Election Day? Is this a big deal about nothing or another phase in something substantial?
Republicans may be gleeful, but Democrats have every right to be livid. This is just the latest lifeline being thrown to a Republican candidate drowning in his own ineptitude.
There is no way to know what electoral impact this will have, but I would venture that it is safe to say that it will have some. Headlines and sound bites are as deep as some voters go. The impropriety of Comeys action requires a level of detailed assessment that is simply beyond the inclination of what I roughly call the Fickle Five Percent, the late-deciding swing voters who move between candidates based on the weeks revelations.
Add to that the fact that Trump has been encouraging his supporters to watch the polls in certain areas, a move that many worry could amount to voter intimidation, particularly in minority neighborhoods.
The complete article may be read at the URL above.
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