Because I’m a glutton for derp, I like to trawl around right-wingers on social media. As such, I’ve been pleased as punch at their apoplectic tone over much of the country frankly not giving a shit about the Hillary Clinton email controversy they’ve been trying to gin-up for months. Conservatives and Republicans are genuinely perplexed at how Americans by and large just don’t care that much about the emails, and the best part is the answer why is staring back at them from the mirror.
They seem really, really upset by this fact, so I thought I’d help Republicans out by telling them why people don’t care about the emails. It’s kind of simple, actually. Here it goes.
Republicans did this to themselves.
Now, don’t get me wrong, if there had been any actual, provable criminality in the emails, I’d be the first to say that Hillary belongs behind bars. But there isn’t any of that in the emails. There’s some pretty gross political wheeling and dealing. There’s some obvious collusion to keep Bernie Sanders out of the winner’s circle (which we Bernie supporters suspected anyway), and there’s certainly been some self-serving decisions and deals made by the Clintons and for the Clintons, but right there is the first chip in the case against them — those deals were done via the Clinton Foundation, which is a highly rated charity.
Short of proving that the Clintons were doing some truly Nixonian shit, the Republicans will never win this fight. The key difference is that while the Clintons clearly have zero issue doing what’s best for the Clintons, they also have an undeniable charitable streak. Nixon had all of the personal ambition of the Clintons, but none of the (public, anyway), devotion to the lowest among us. He created the DEA with an executive order, for Chrissakes, and nothing says “small, unobtrusive government” like policing a plant, right?
Are Bill and Hillary Jimmy Carter-esque? Well, not quite that altruistic, I’m afraid, but most people just aren’t going to care that the Clintons got rich, in part, by helping developing countries. Maybe the big dollar speeches are obscene, but the charity stuff? That’s pretty damned cool, in all reality.
In the end, the GOP is hitting the point of diminishing returns on Clinton scandal accusations. There has never been anything — from White Water, to Vince Foster, to secret communist getaways to Russia, to White House oral, to Benghazi that has stuck to them. That’s because unlike Nixon, there is never anything but speculation. Conservatives will say that’s because the Clintons have corrupted everything to the point of making them untouchable, and that is unmitigated bullshit. America loves to tear down its idols, and if anything, literally anything, that the Republicans have thrown at the Clintons in the last 25 years had actually been worth the hand-wringing and accusations, way more Americans would be down with locking them up.
Spending twenty years trying to take one couple down based on bullshit conspiracy theories and really not much else will result in you becoming the party that cries “Scandal!”
If Republicans had been judicious, taken their time, and amassed an actual case with actual evidence, then that would be entirely different. But it’s like Richard Nixon’s shameful exit from the Oval Office permanently short-circuited their ability to understand there’s a huge difference between a opportunistic politician and an opportunistic, malevolent politician. One of those things describes Bill and Hill, the other, Dick Nixon. And the difference matters more than Republicans will ever care to admit.
But instead of waiting, and biding their time, Republicans have been trying to discredit and remove the Clintons from American politics since 1992. They’ve done so by trying to get every half-baked nutjob’s theories credence. When Limbaugh started parroting the idiocy, it was all over. Because for three hours a day for 20 years, Republicans have been told everyone else are un-American and illegitimate. For all that time they’ve pumped full of a toxic cocktail of hubris, history revision, and straight-up denial.
Are the Clintons a dirty political family? Very probably so. Many of us wanted Sanders for that very reason. But what the Clintons are not, much to the Republicans’ chagrin, is an evil pairing of nefarious minds. And the more they try to hammer and bend the narrative and facts to that conclusion, the more average Americans sigh, put their hands up, and ignore the Republicans.
So who’s to blame for most of America genuinely not giving a shit about emails?
Republicans. That’s who.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.