Monday, March 9, 2015

Where Do You Put the Postage Stamp?

News came out last week that Hillary Clinton, during her time as Secretary of State, did not establish a government e-mail address and instead conducted all her e-mail communications through a private account. A lot of people are up in arms about it even if they're not entirely sure about why. It just sounds kind of iffy and if a Clinton is involved, well, it must be shady, right?

While this may seem like a tempest in a teapot, I am concerned that Clinton's use of a private account to conduct business as Secretary of State shows a disturbing degree of arrogance.

"I say, using a government e-mail account?" Clinton comments with barely hidden disdain as she fans herself. "How terribly gauche! I am the Hillary! I am above such petty concerns! I deserve a private account to conduct my business as Secretary of State! Using a government account, why it's like asking me to share a water fountain instead of drinking my imported Norwegian spring water!" 

Now let's be fair here. Laws and regulations in force while Clinton was Secretary of State allowed for the use of a private account as long as there was full disclosure of e-mails sent through that account for legal and archival purposes. And Hillary has turned over a whole bunch of e-mails to that end. But Clinton's exclusive use of her private account is a bit unprecedented. Other Secretaries of State have used private e-mail accounts but in conjunction with their government account. While Clinton has turned over e-mails, she hasn't exactly been quick to do it.  

While ultimately there may well be nothing to it, Republican smell blood in the water. Remember how GOP congressmen conducted a 2nd subcommittee investigation into the 2012 attack on Benghazi only to come to the exact same conclusions as the 1st subcommittee? There's talk of 3rd go-a-round because by God the truth about Benghazi is  buried in those e-mails, you just know it! 

If Hillary Clinton is keeping her e-mails secret, what else is she not telling us? What other lies has Clinton been responsible for? Man, this stuff just writes itself for the GOP and Fox News, doesn't it? 

As First Lady, Hillary Clinton was witness to the extent that the conservative enemies of Bill and Hillary were prepared to go to get something, anything on these two. Thousands of hours and millions of dollars later and the best they could come up with was Bill Clinton lied about having sex with an intern. This whole e-mail debacle is just red meat to the right wing nut jobs who run the GOP these days.  

But Sunday brought about a funny revelation from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Meet the Press. When Chuck Todd asked the Senator if he had a private e-mail address, Graham replied, "I don't email. No, you can have every email I've ever sent. I've never sent one."

Now let that sink in: a US Senator in the 21st century with office staff in Washington DC as well as South Carolina does not use e-mail. 

There are two alternatives here. One is that Sen. Graham is lying, so desperate to paint himself above the alleged shenanigans of whatever is going on with Hillary Clinton's e-mails. But the 2nd alternative I think is much worse. 

Sen. Graham is telling the truth. 

As a person who works in an office environment, e-mails are a part of life. Sometimes e-mails are relied on too much when sometimes its better to pick up a phone and actually call someone. But for the most part, e-mail is a useful and effective tool for inter-office communication. Even if you look upon the concept of e-mail with disdain, you can't avoid it. 

Except Sen. Graham has managed to do that. 

Taken at face value, Sen. Graham is saying he never SENT an e-mail, not that he doesn't have an e-mail account. So maybe he sees the e-mail traffic between the associates who work for him. But he himself has managed to avoid actually participating in this medium of communication. I say this 2nd alternative is worse than lying because 1) we expect politicians to lie and 2) it shows how dangerously out of touch Lindsey Graham with the modern world. No wonder so many Republicans seem so out of touch with the changing demographic picture of American life. 

Maybe I'm being too hard on Sen. Graham. Maybe he would like to use e-mail but he doesn't know where to put the postage stamp. 

Everyone be good to one another. I'll see you back here tomorrow.  

Dave-El
I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You 

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