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Temporary Insanity

by on July 23, 2016


It seems that this election cycle both the Clinton (also known as Hillary) and Sanders (affectionately known as Bernie) supporters are suffering from temporary insanity.  The Bernie supporters – I am one, and on good authority do not speak only for myself  – seem unable to ever bring themselves to vote for Hillary; Hillary supporters cannot accept that Bernie has wide support in the country, and Hillary has legitimate trust issue, which even she acknowledges.

In an October debate Bernie Sanders broke the internet and gained popularity with the line that American people are sick and tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s damn emails. Not only did Bernie say damn, but he was right; people were tired about her emails.  It appeared that the email issue was a Republic Witch Hunt focused on Benghazi.

Eight months later we are still hearing about the damn emails.  They have become an issue for Hillary – a campaign issue, a personal issue, a moral issue, an ethical issue, and a legal issue.

Recently the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of State issued a highly critical analysis of Hillary Clinton’s email practices while running the department (Washington Post’s working).  Washington Post notes that Clinton “failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private email server and that department staff would not have given its blessing because of the ‘security risks in doing so,'” and that she “handled email in a way that was not an appropriate method for preserving public records and that her practices failed to comply with department policy.”

This is only one of many recent developments regarding Clinton’s misuse of her email and her inability to maintain government records of her activity in the government.  Brian Pagliano, who is an IT specialist, and who also was Clinton’s techie in her first election bid (pdf page 151) (I will return to this source)  pled the the 5th – the fifth amendment, which refers to right not to self-incriminate – more than 125 times in his deposition which focused on how the private server that Hillary used was set up.

By pleading the fifth,

“[Pagliano’s]  doing that in this context tells you something about the purpose of the system, potentially, and what was going on and whether it was a good faith issue — a matter of just folks making honest mistakes — or something more nefarious,” Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch’s head, told The Hill. …

“In certain circumstances, the witness taking the Fifth Amendment, you can draw some negative conclusions based on that about the State Department’s conduct …” he added.

Staying silent “can be used against you,” said Peter Toren, a former federal prosecutor and partner at Weisbrod Matteis & Copley.

“It’s extremely tedious, but the fact that [a witness] took the Fifth is an inference that what I’m asking is true,”

said Toren during an interview before the deposition occurred.

Hillary Clinton has long maintained that she made a mistake using a personal, unsecure, email.  She has also maintained that the server she used for this unsecure email was secure.  The Wall Street Journal says that “Mr. Pagliano maintained Mrs. Clinton’s server in her New York home.” ( It and also says that “The State Department paid [Pagliano], but a Clinton official confirmed to the Washington Post that the Clintons paid him in addition. Mr. Pagliano did not report that outside money on disclosure forms—as he was required to do. And the State Department claims to have been unaware that Mr. Pagliano was getting personally paid by the secretary of state,” which is another ethical matter).

We could shrug and say this was an error of two people who knew little about technology: Clinton, and her Chief of Staff (and legal council) Cheryl Mills (who was deposed about her knowledge of the server,and FOIA requests, last month- the deposition is the above-cited link from JudicialWatch).  One error is just one error.  However, if this is really a single-issue campaign, the single issue is the lack of equality: economic, racial, judicial etc.

As a human, what worries me most about Hillary Clinton’s email issues is not that she can’t email and is behind the times for those she wishes to represent, or even that she set up an email sever without much thought (although, it’s a bad thing for a public servant to do); my concern is with the lack of transparency by Hillary, who’s running to hold what’s considered to be the most powerful office in the world’s most powerful country, but, because no thought was ever given to rectify it, the information of what Hillary did while Secretary of State is largely missing.  For instance, her calendar, which should have been kept as public record of what she did daily, had at least 75 meetings with Clinton Foundation contributors and those with corporate interests omitted (never included).

The Nation poses a question and gives a partial answer: “Was it a crime for Hillary to use her private server for official communications? No. It was not a crime then—and it’s not now. But it violated the spirit of the Federal Records Act and the FOIA, which require preserving government documents so that they can be located and considered for release to requesters.”  The Republicans, who pursued a meaningless, costly, dead-end investigation into Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!, would generally considered to me by permanently, not temporarily, insane.  However, it seems they might be on to something with investing one last investigation into Hillary, and the lack of transparency – the inability to respond to FOIA requests – during her time as Secretary of State.

I’d rather not belabor the point on the emails, but every time I look up there’s more sources on the issue.  A the end of June it was revealed that another 165 pages of emails of Hillary’s were discovered (some of which had been deleted); the important part being that I agree “‘I think we need to get on this asap to be sure we know and design the system we want,’ doesn’t strike me as Clinton simply wanting convenience and following the instructions of her IT people on how to make that happen. It reads to me as though Clinton is both far more aware of the email setup and far more engaged in how it should look than she generally lets on publicly.”

We have now reached a point – a point we had not reached when this writing began – where Donald Trump (known sometimes as Drumf, or some variation of his name, so as not to garner more ‘hits’ online) has received the Republican nomination, Bernie has endorsed Hillary, and Hillary has chosen Senator Tim Kaine to be her running mate – both the endorsement and the running mate selection have occurred before the Democratic Convention.

In a sane world Republicans, from moderate to Tea Party, would be flocking to support Trump and most Democrats, moderate to very progressive, would have resigned themselves (the more progressive the less so) to Hillary.  But this article is titled Temporary Insanity, and that’s what we’re experiencing.

I surmise that most Tea Party Republicans support Trump, and are likely to vote for him November.  More moderate Republicans – especially the ones who don’t have a career to lose over it – are less less likely to support Trump, and maybe, a little likely to support Clinton.  She hopes so, because she’s targeting them.

Then, with the vitriol coming from Trump, you would expect that those Democrats – mainly progressives – who are otherwise turned off by Hillary, you’d expect support for Clinton to increase after Trump’s nomination.  Instead, as soon as Bernie endorsed Hillary it backfired on the Democrats, and Jill Stein (Green Party) received record donations and support from Bernie supporters (Stein and the Green Party has an almost identical platform to Bernie’s).

There are those that beg you to never vote third party, and there are those that propound that a Trump presidency would be better than a Clinton one.  There are also those who try to use reason to convince “the other side” of real issues that need to be addressed  (This article, I’ve heard, was posted on Huffington Post, and removed, so it ended up on the linked website).  It all sounds kind of temporarily insane.

In this anti-establishment year it appears the progressive (or, more properly, the non-regressive) part of the Democrat Party would consider splitting the vote and risking a Trump presidency.  I don’t advocate the thought, but at the same time will tell you that I’m with the #NeverHillary crowd, and never means never.  At the time I can’t tell you what I, and the many (tens of thousands/millions) that agree with me, will do in three months.  Indeed, there are articles that question whether Bernie supporters will back Hillary, should that time come, but no answer is provided.

Admittedly, people are not very good at predicting what they will do in the future. “‘People have ideas about how they’re going to behave that don’t necessarily end up being the case when they’re faced with that eventual reality,’ said Kim Nalder, a professor of government at California State University, Sacramento.”

The same article suggests that one way for Hillary to win over Bernie voters might be to pick a vice-presidential candidate with progressive credentials.  She failed even at this .  Her pick – again, I remind you this was made before the Democratic National Convention, which hasn’t happened yet (and Clinton still does not, and cannot acquire before the Convention the requisite number of delegates to clinch the Convention) – is Tim Kaine, Senator from Virginia, who describes himself as boring.  The leaders of the online Bernie movement, and progressives in general, are not impressed; Kaine is anti-abortion, and supports the reviled Trans Pacific Partnership deal (sometimes called NAFTA on steroids), which even Hillary Clinton has claimed to oppose, after supporting it.  Some has suggested the pick was to impressive the moderate Republicans Clinton hopes to persuade.  It appears she has no need for progressives; again, it appears a matter of temporary insanity.

I understand that the Hillary supporters are against Trump, and want to make sure he loses. They make somewhat sensible arguments about how a Democrat must pick the next Supreme Court judges, not Trump.  I’d rather vote for something.  If I could take Hillary at her word, it would make things easier, but she just wiffle-waffles, and it is rarely clear what she means – although I am sure she will always favor the corporation.

The Clinton campaign – and her supporters – are pushing the boogeyman Trump, and the arguments being “peddled are very poorly constructed. They rely on a mix of fear and bias toward the near.”  The argument is that the Democratic and Republican Parties are fundamentally different; they’re not.  Both pursue neoliberalism (read: trickle-down economics), and it’s not working.  ” Instead, this results in widening inequalities and it makes it increasingly difficult for ordinary people to continue to provide the ever-increasing amount of consumption the economy requires without borrowing increasingly large sums of money.”

I’d rather not see Trump win the general election, and it worries me that Hillary polls so badly that she is now tied with Trump in polls.  Her number are declining, not his increasing.  Clinton could still win the general election, if she can she can first win – or, if you’d like cajole her way to winning – at the Democratic Convention, but the prospect is actually declining.

Many argue multiple reasons not to vote for Clinton; they acknowledge terrible consequences – Trump, Trump appointing Supreme Court members – of not voting for Clinton, assuming she is the nominee, and still will not vote for her.  Economic reasons, racial reasons, international concerns are cited .. the list goes on.

Indeed, Bernie Sanders listed as perhaps the reason why he must work with Hillary (after endorsing her) was to defeat Trump – although he acknowledged that is just one of many issues to be addressed.  If responses online could be an indication, his supporters were not impressed.

Common knowledge says that Bernie endorsed Hillary.  The temporary insane mind, thinks, then, either that campaign is over or that it’s not over (it depends on which candidate you root for).  Chris Cilliza, who is generally respected by “the left,” agrees a rational mind might hear it that way, but (but!) the endorsement speech was more a “a celebration of Bernie Sanders by Bernie Sanders and for Bernie Sanders (and his supporters),” in which Bernie said endorsing once in the speech, and talked mostly about the record turnout and enthusiasm his campaign had generated.  Some endorsement!

Maybe those voting for Hillary are suffering from temporary insanity; maybe those who will not are suffering from temporary insanity.

Maybe those voting for Bernie are suffering from temporary insanity; maybe those who will not are suffering from temporary insanity.

This could become a treatise on what inspires politics, morality, and economics, but that might become boring very quickly.  The point is that there are actual issues that do drive, and have driven, this election year, which sadly has given rise to The Donald.  I still am never going to vote for Trump, but there’s a reason why people are so disenchanted with Clinton: she’s part of the system – the neolilberolist system – that just isn’t working for people.

I’d like to think just the Bernie supporters have gone temporarily insane among the Democrats, this election year.  However, I’ve heard some strange things from otherwise intelligent (<- here, I pass judgement) Democrats (who also happen to be Hillary supporters).  I’ve heard that it’s the same 10,000 people that follow Bernie from stop to stop so that his crowd looks big.  On a more serious issue, I’ve heard that all this stuff about emails and laws were only written after Hillary left office.  I mentioned the lack of public record, which would be acquired under FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) of 1966.  Last I checked, Clinton was Secretary of State from 2009-2013.  I concluded, in a rather judging way, that I must be in the presence of stupid people if they believed the things they were telling me. …




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