Is it possible that even die-hard Hillary Clinton Democrats might end up grudgingly grateful for Bernie Sanders?
She’s still the all-but-certain presidential nominee. But he could be the party’s Plan B if it turns out there’s really something to the Clinton email “scandal.”
Naturally, the Clinton campaign is downplaying that state department inspector general’s report which castigated her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. Predictably, Trump has stepped up calling her “Crooked Hillary.”
A lot of Democratic rank-and-filers, including this union card-packing Sanders supporter, are of the we’re ‘Voting Blue No Matter Who'” persuasion. Though some of us Feel the Bern and others sport “Hillary for America” buttons, we’re all getting behind whoever wins the nomination.
Right now, we’re worried.
That ongoing FBI probe into Clinton’s emails scares us more than the watchdog’s report, which is bad enough.
It’s not clear how much political hay Trump and the Republicans can make off the report. The story will fade from the news–thought not from Trump commercials and campaign speeches–if the FBI investigation will, as some expect, fail to lead to criminal charges.
Meanwhile, Ed Kilgore of New York magazine suggests much of the “scandal” is media made.
His column is more proof, as if proof were needed, that the “liberal media” is a myth.
Kilgore faulted the media for its tendency toward false equivalency. The county is “drifting into a general election where important media sources seem to have decided that Clinton violating State Department email protocols and Trump openly threatening press freedoms, proudly championing war crimes, and cheerfully channeling misogyny and ethnic and racial grievances are of about the same order of magnitude.”
He cited an editorial in the Washington Post, vilified by cold war conservatives as “Pravda on the Potomac” and still scorned by the right as a leader of the “liberal media” pack.
Headlined “Clinton’s inexcusable, willful disregard for the rules,” the editorial “hurled righteous thunderbolts at Clinton,” he wrote.
The author added: “Words like ‘inexcusable’ suggest that Clinton has all but disqualified herself from the presidency. But if the FBI disagrees, as most everyone expects, then the Post will have done yeoman’s service for that other major-party presidential nominee, and his effort to brand Clinton as ‘Crooked Hillary.’”
Kilgore conceded that John and Jane Q citizen don’t completely trust the all-but-certain Democratic nominee. (Polls show they don’t much trust Trump either.) “But a bigger concern ought to be that Trump fans credit him for ‘telling it like it is’ when the man is constantly repeating malicious gossip, lunatic conspiracy theories, ancient pseudo-scandals, and blatant falsehoods.”
Clinton may weather the storm, mostly media-made or otherwise. The FBI report may confirm her campaign’s claim that the email “scandal” was more of a tempest in a teapot than a hurricane.
But if the Feds say Clinton broke the law—though that’s evidently unlikely—we’ve got Plan Bernie. He’s ahead of Trump in most polls, though some pundits and political pros insist that’s because Trump and the Republicans have yet to vilify him like they have Clinton. Others say he really does have a better chance at beating Trump than Clinton has.
At any rate, the Republicans only have a Plan A in The Donald, a racist, sexist, nativist, misogynist, greed-is-good, union-busting demagogue who is the Real McCoy scandal of 2016.