Saturday, October 29, 2016

COMEY RESETS AMERICA'S DOOMSDAY CLOCK

In the long run, the new email story will probably be a big fat nothing for Hillary Clinton. as the L.A. Times reports,
The emails [found on a computer jointly used by Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin] were not to or from Clinton, and contained information that appeared to be more of what agents had already uncovered, the official said, but in an abundance of caution, they felt they needed to further scrutinize them.
But now there's a real possibility of a Donald Trump victory. I wish we could look at that just as a problem for the Republican Party -- I've argued for months that the GOP will easily survive Trump's candidacy (if Trump is defeated, the Beltway will welcome Paul Ryan et al. back with open arms, and the party itself will unite around the goal of destroying Hillary Clinton), but that's only true if Trump loses. If he wins, he's going to be the worst president in American history by a wide margin. He's going to be a national embarrassment. That's going to do tremendous damage to the party that enabled his rise to power.

But we can't just look at the situation that way because of the damage Trump is likely to do to the country. He's not just going to the baseline damage any Republican would do -- transferring vast amounts of money from the tax coffers into the pockets of the rich, gutting regulatory processes, taking a shredder to the social safety net, blocking efforts to deal with climate change, appointing reactionary federal judges, opposing reproductive rights and LGBT rights, expanding access to guns -- though he's going to do all those things, or, rather, he's going to let congressional Republicans and advisers do all those things and he's going to sign off on them without even reading summaries of what he's done. I've always said that if you like Sam Brownback's Kansas or Bobby Jindal's Louisiana, you'll love the next Republican presidency.

But beyond all that, we're facing years of pre-adolescent bullyboy pique backed up with the threat to use nuclear weapons. We're facing a resurgence of organized and unorganized racism on a scale that would have unimaginable even in the presidency of a typical dog-whistling Republican. We're looking at a return of torture as U.S. policy. We're looking at consequential decisions being handed off to Machiavelli wannabes such as Roger Stone, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, and General Michael Flynn. We're facing the likelihood that we'll have a president of the United States who defers to Vladimir Putin. We'll have trade wars that threaten the global economy. We might have a default, because Trump loves using and manipulating debt. We'll have religious tests for immigration. We'll have a merciless deportation force. And we'll at least have a groundbreaking for the wall, because when Trump can't instantly snap his fingers and make everything better, he'll need to have the promise of the wall to keep his base happy.

But all this is cool for establishment Republicans, right? All they care about are the tax and regulatory cuts the Koch brothers want.

If the damage from the email story is limited and Clinton manages to win, it's going to be a much closer election than we imagined even a couple of days ago. That might still be possible -- the email story might be background noise a week from now, the Clinton campaign is better at getting out the vote, and we can't rule out the possibility of another headline-grabbing self-inflicted wound by Trump. The betting markets still think Clinton's got it won. But a victory by two points in the popular vote and two or three states in the Electoral College will have even "responsible" Republicans using the word "rigged" -- and the email investigation could inspire what I've been fearing, a mainstream Republican campaign to nullify the popular vote by urging Electoral College electors not to vote for Clinton in states she won. And I'm not sure what happens if Congress decides not to certify a Clinton victory. I'm not sure that can't happen. Maybe it will lead to a Mike Pence presidency, but the damage to American democracy will be incalculable.

This is what you wanted, GOP. America will blame you for it in the long run -- or what's left of America.

16 comments:

Victor said...

And conservatives don't give a shit about any horrible conseuences if t-RUMP wins.

Hey, they can rule again!
"Governing" is for sissy libtards.

I've been saying this for decades:
If the laspt person alive on the smoldering heap of what once was The United States of America is conservative, that person can claim victory for Republicans and Conservatism!

USA!
USA!!
USA!!!
*COUGH*
*Death rattle...*

homelessonthehighdesert said...

Not at all in jest nor without a high degree of trepidation: he would be the more effective catalyst for change.

Untwist your panties, Clinton will be your next "president".

Caveat Emptor
Ten Bears

Rand Careaga said...

[Trump] would be the more effective catalyst for change.

See also "Contradictions, heightening of," "Nixon, Richard M.," and "Social-Democratic Utopia in United States, establishment of following 1968 election."

homelessonthehighdesert said...

No endorsement, no frills, no strings attached: just a bottom line boiled down to ones and zeros balls on a brass monkey statement, he would be the more effective catalyst for change. I guess they teach better english at the boarding schools than in the public ones.

I remember Nixon. Voted against him,
Ten Bears

rclz said...

I just can't imagine this makes one wit of difference. If after the last year this is the thing that people say "Oh it's a bridge too far" and vote for Trump I'm betting they were never going to vote for Hillary anyway.

You know who votes more than anyone else, Women, of which I am one. I have Hillary's emails in one hand and I have Donald Trump's treatment of women, mocking of the disabled, racism, xenophobia, the list goes on... guess who I vote for.

I know, I know I'm a liberal so I'm predisposed for giving a shit about my fellow human beings but I'm still betting on the majority of my sex to do the right F**ing thing. I say this with full knowledge that I have a family tree full of racist Trump voters.

Rand Careaga said...

a brass monkey statement, he would be the more effective catalyst for change.

I understood what you were saying. Nixon (I did not have the opportunity to vote against him until he stood for re-election) was certainly an effective catalyst for change for the additional 15,000 American dead in Southeast Asia, to say nothing of the countless Cambodians and Vietnamese who perished during his needless prolongation and expansion of that conflict; nor indeed are there many students of Chilean history to be found who will deny the change agency exercised upon their unhappy country by the thirty-seventh president and his impish familiar, the Metternich of Georgetown.

President Trump would indeed be "the more effective catalyst for change," which is one more reason for us to put paid to his aspirations in that direction.

Phil Freeman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Freeman said...

now there's a real possibility of a Donald Trump victory

Show your work (see under: College, Electoral and States, Flipping Of) or...maybe just go take a nap?

Steve M. said...

Two days before the 2000 election, the New York Daily News reported that the GOP planned to rabble-rouse to overturn the results of the election if Al Gore won the Electoral College and lost the popular vote. Of course, the opposite happened, and Gore questioned the Florida vote count but never argued that the popular vote winner should be president. But the GOP planned to do just that. Would they have succeeded? They succeed with a lot of their propaganda blitzkriegs. We'll never know

eddie blake said...

fuck you, ten bears...

you think there's gonna be an ELECTION in 2020 to vote trump OUT?

fuck you. fascists don't play like that.

Heywood J. said...

Two days before the 2000 election, the New York Daily News reported that the GOP planned to rabble-rouse to overturn the results of the election if Al Gore won the Electoral College and lost the popular vote.

Yep. And who was the leader of that rabble-rousing effort in 'murka's Wang? None other than Roger Stone. These people need to be squashed like the cockroaches that they are, and eliminated from meddling in public affairs.

Danp said...

Question for Comey: Did you anticipate that Trump and the GOP would portray your memo as proof that Hillary belongs in prison? If not, you're an idiot. If yes, you're an asshole.

CF2K said...

By Monday night Obama needs to appoint a new Acting Director of the FBI. And I would like to see one, both, or three Bushes accompanying him at the podium.

Feud Turgidson said...

A brief point on FACTS, because IMO in a situation like this, starting at politics is usually stupid, particularly with these particularly fkd-up politics.

There's a report that Abedin doesn't know how her emails with State-related content came to be treated as DATA on her now-estranged husband's computer. Then there's Jane Mayer's short piece in The New Yorker:
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/james-comey-broke-with-loretta-lynch-and-justice-department-tradition

We can easily reconcile what Mayer's DoJ (FBI?) sources told her, with what Abedin is reported as saying.
1. HRC as SoS didn't like reading dense material off a screen.
I'm not as old as HRC, but I'm close, & I feel the same way.
Plus I'm a helluvalot more tech savvy than HRC is (Both my parents were computer or tech-related conversant back when I was in middle school, many of my friends back to early grade school were tech geeks, Comp Sci was my second minor in undergrad around 1970, I've used PCs since affordables first came out in the 1980s, & I was an early enthusiastic resorter to PCs, digital info & the Internet in my career.).

2. The Abedin reports & Mayer's piece can be reconciled if Abedin used her family's home computer-printer set-up to print off dense or long written material for HRC's review.
It's not clear to me whether Abedin was aware (bet she knows now) that doing it this way leaves the data at several stations involved in a typical home printer system.
There are ways to avoid this outcome, but it requires knowing, expense, effort & standards of care to adapt a typical home use system to bypass standard data storage.
EVEN THEN many systems do nothing more than disengage data from the system's storage skeleton - but the data's still there, just not retrievable the regular way. Unless every single data storage feature is wiped (best is destroyed), it'll continue to be retrievable by data recovery tech available now for well over 20 years.

Note that the FBI has been using such tech in retrieving data from still-existing devices to which HRC had directed her email while she was SoS.

I strongly doubt that any content in any of the material Abedin had printed off her family system for HRC to read poses the least risk to national security.

FWIW, emptywheel has a tweet out that suggests another compelling, possibly more compelling, reason for the timing: the Malheur acquittals. I know Comey, back from his early DoJ daze; he's a political animal & a self-serving, self-centered putz with very limited trial skills. The outcome in the Malheur case typifies his over-glorification & needless, avoidable complicating of criminal prosecutions.

Jimbo said...

I think this is a way too Doomsday analysis. Like other commenters, this announcement was weird though also obnoxious in its vagueness. I think it makes Comey look politically stupid, frankly, as if he's trying to step hard on the partisan scales even though I assume he doesn't like Trump but as a Republican he probably loathes Clinton. So, surrogates should focus on how he released this information. Podesta, it seems to me, had it exactly right. I think this election is already baked at the Presidential level. All efforts should be at the Senate and hope for a few pickups in the HOR.

Feud Turgidson said...

We should start by recognizing that the kind of person who posts at this blog and blogs like it are far from typical of American voters. Indeed, those with any sort of depth of interest in or partisan views on this latest bullcrap move by Comey are not going to have their decision to vote or on how they'll vote affected by it. Leaners will generally vote how they lean, if they vote at all. The vast middle will vote, if they vote, as they would have all along. Again: Sam Wang's PEC approach has basically predicted the outcome of the last 3 previous presidential elections on how polling stands in JANUARY of a presidential election.

As Sam himself keeps trying to hammer home, this year's presidential election has been over for 10 months, barring subsequent death or disabling of a likely nominee. Note that at the beginning of this year, Sam was predicting Trump would be the R nominee, and that he would lose to HRC, so that the whole point of this election has been about what happens in the Senate.

Also, another FWIW about the Jane Mayer piece today in The New Yorker: IMO, the anonymous "former senior DOJ official" who provides the clearest & strongest quotes in her article (She also quotes several NAMED former DoJos, but only ONE as anonymous.) is pretty clearly David Margolis, the recently retired head of what's effectively the DoJ's internal affairs section.