The Republican M.O. of the Past Two Decades

Not content to quietly fade away after eluding punishment for a horrid life, cheney has emerged into the light yet again to say:

“I think it was sloppy and unprofessional, that it reflects a lack of understanding about how easy it is for adversaries to tap into communications,” Mr. Cheney said. “She’s an intelligent woman. She spent a lot of time in the White House. You should not operate in the way she did.”

Are you KIDDING me!?  Was it YOUR White House that was supposed to teach against this behavior!?

This guy is just flat-out unbelievable.  It is hard to conjure any series of words that might do justice to this hypocrisy.  If anyone might recall, what Hillary Clinton has done on a personal level was exactly what the Bush/cheney White House did on an administration level.

The administration officials had been using a private Internet domain, called gwb43.com, owned by and hosted on an email server run by the Republican National Committee,[6] for various communications of unknown content or purpose. The domain name is an acronym standing for “George W. Bush, 43rd” President of the United States. The server came public when it was discovered that J. Scott Jennings, the White House’s deputy director of political affairs, was using a gwb43.com email address to discuss the firing of the U.S. attorney for Arkansas.[7] Communications by federal employees were also found on georgewbush.com (registered to “Bush-Cheney ’04, Inc.”[8]) and rnchq.org (registered to “Republican National Committee”[9]), but, unlike these two servers, gwb43.com has no Web server connected to it — it is used only for email.

The republican party has virtually perfected the exploitation of the average American voter’s ignorance, amnesia, and apathy.  This allows them to do things which are of obviously nefarious intent, such as using side-channels for communication for huge swaths of the administration’s staff when committing obviously criminal acts.  But, because the public doesn’t care enough to do anything about this, even when made painfully aware, even when their children are sent to die on account of said administration’s relentless criminal behaviour, they can simultaneously hold democrats accountable for transgressions of similar nature for far less obviously nefarious or criminal intent.

I was alluding to this in a previous post when I said:

In Clinton, we’re seeing what seems a genuinely well-intentioned person fall into a pattern of apparently deceitful behavior as the political system slowly convinces her that underhandedly dodging regulatory constraint is the only way forward.

For decades, the republican party has exploited these matters of degree against a tired, inattentive populace.  They have learned the American public together has the attention span of a small child, and that the media merely responds to the incentive to play into the attention deficit.  Their misdeeds will be forgotten and overlooked only a few years later if they can simply weather the puny, impotent, limp-wristed scrutiny of the farce that is modern public discourse.

And so the republicans are just doing whatever they want, (which appears to be to further entrench their personal wealth, but that’s a rant for a later time…or previous times).  They succeeded in impeaching Bill Clinton for lies about oral sex, and yet they avoided impeachment or any sort of consequence whatsoever for any of their overt offenses committed against America.  Even in undeniably expending tremendous effort to deceive the American public into the country’s greatest strategic disaster since Vietnam (or perhaps worse), they have proven themselves untouchable.  Even in endorsing and promoting torture against our international treaties, even when innocent people are torturously murdered at their hands, they remain not only free, but massively influential in American politics.

The evidence against the them is extreme and obvious, and yet, Hillary Clinton’s private email server, which in all likelihood hides criminal behaviour utterly unremarkable when compared to the republican corruption which has become their modus operandi, is dangled above the populace by republican strategists to significant effect.

It is truly unbelievable.  The republican political machine continues to manhandle the American public on so many levels, it’s downright embarrassing.  And that’s not to speak, of course, of the unprecedented danger this sort of successful corruption presents to a country already reeling from its horrors.

The Creep of Corruption

So if it’s not made clear above, my opinion is that Clinton (and the democrats as a whole) has learned that she’s up against a party that so flagrantly violates the law to gain the upper hand that her only recourse is to play the same game, albeit at a far less severe degree, to try to keep up. One does not go through the trouble to acquire and maintain a private email server because one simply prefers not to use the official, approved infrastructure already managed on one’s behalf by highly skilled professionals.  Rather, one acquires a private email server so one can circumvent the official infrastructure.

I have no question in my mind that Clinton is engaging in behavior which is, if not illegal, against the spirit of the law.  The question is: why does she do this?  Is she really as nefariously bad as the republicans?  This strikes me as seriously unlikely, if not merely on account of the extremity of republican misdeeds and the copious, thorough evidence against the latter which is nearly entirely missing from the former.  Where we have blatant lies recorded for all the world to see regarding the rationale for the Iraq war, coupled with cheney’s assertions that the tortured death of innocents at our hands is completely acceptable so long as we weren’t attacked while we did it, against Clinton, we have nothing which stands even remotely as strongly.

My guess is that Hillary has observed the republicans’ success in disregarding the law, and she thinks she needs to even the playing field to fight fire with fire. She knows she’ll get destroyed for one problematic email, but her opponents get off scott free for lying America into a war.  She can’t stand the risk of having her emails subjected to such biased scrutiny in the official infrastructure, so she gets around it, and is probably tempted thereby to commit the same sorts of infractions as her adversaries, albeit most likely on a far smaller scale.

Update:  This looks to somewhat substantiate my hypothesis above; fear of an untrustworthy media rushing to feed the vices of the public.

Of course, I’m not defending Clinton’s use of a private email server.  The right way to go about combating these lunatics is to be painstakingly up front, and to deny them even the semblance of impropriety.  The official infrastructure must be used as a repository for records of one’s behavior which serves unanimously as evidence in favor of the righteousness with which one proceeds.  But, given that public opinion regarding the democrats doesn’t seem to care for accuracy or parity with public opinion of republicans, I recognize there is a practical counter-argument to be made against what I consider a moral principle which prevails nonetheless.

I am very disappointed in Clinton.  I have read about her life, and I think she’s almost certainly a capable, well-intended individual who could really help to pull us from the wreckage left by the republicans, but I worry now that the republicans have become so blatantly evil that it’s corrupting everyone around them.

As I wrote, we need another Theodore Roosevelt.  We need a pure moral authority to wrest control of the nation’s helm and prevent from succeeding the republican strategy of double standards and playing to the cynicism and ease with which the public asserts false equivalence between the democrats and republicans.  It seems doubtful the democrats can provide such a person.  I was hopeful that Obama might have been it, and while he does seem close to fitting the bill in terms of moral character, he just never seems to have found the ability to make as effective a stand against the republican noise machine as I would have liked to see.

Update II:  And cheney rattles on and on, insisting on victories that never were atop his hypocritical castigation of misdeeds that saw his own commission thereof..

Not only will they stubbornly formulate plans based on their theories which run contrary to the real world, they will attempt to pretend long after their theories fail to pan out that their misadventures offered nothing but additional evidence in favor of their obviously inadequate theories.

The republican party of the United States of America is filled with extremely dangerous people.  I really don’t see any way any sane person who follows American politics could ever cast a vote for them.  Again, I’m not overflowing with support for the democrats, but the alternative is abject insanity.

Update III:  Kevin Drum calls out the same phenomenon more concisely and with a chart for a related point.  Nothing new here, just thought I’d point it out..

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