Even if Clinton were criminal guilty with her emails…

She would still be way less corrupt than Trump.  This from Conor Freidersdorf is so good.  Must excerpt lots.  Love that he starts off with a great riff on the horrible media of late:

Newspapers and TV newscasts are biased in one way more than any other: They focus on what is new. Lately, they’ve focused on a statement by FBI Director James Comey that emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer may inform the investigation into how Hillary Clinton handled classified information as Secretary of State. Though the content of the emails remains unknown, the chattering classes pounced on the story like cats on balls of yarn. You’d think nothing mattered more in the election…

At their best, commentators offer context and perspective about the news so that the newest information is synthesized with what was already known. Then citizens can draw more circumspect, sensible conclusions. With days to go before an election that role is especially vital. The public and its news media have short attention spans. And it would be folly to ever let the last news cycles determine our leaders.

And a nice long summary of Trump’s awfulness (you are surely familiar), before:

An elite team of investigators would need months to plumb the depths of all those stories. Individual instances of unethical behavior related to them could fill 100 news cycles.

Trump has escaped a lot of that scrutiny because no one expects any better.
None of this means that bad news about Clinton should be ignored. It is proper for journalists to keep informing the public about her misdeeds as new information becomes available, whether it concerns her emails or her family’s nonprofit foundation and its donors. There are so many politicians, many Republicans among them, that I would rather have as America’s president. If not for Trump, I would not even consider voting for her. And yet, strikingly, Clinton’s behavior doesn’t come close to the depths of awfulness displayed by her opponent. He isn’t just a little bit worse. He is orders of magnitude worse, and would do irrevocable damage to the country in ways totally unrelated to his preferred policies…

It really does appear that she did not violate that oft-abused statute’s provisions, even though using a private email server did show poor judgment and was almost certainly designed to thwart Freedom of Information Act requests. Voters ought to punish that poor judgment when evaluating Clinton. But if their vote flows from a cumulative comparison of both candidate’s flaws, rather than reflexive disgust at the one that they read about most recently, Trump would easily lose to Clinton even if her emails did violate the law.

And it isn’t even a close call.

It isn’t just that Trump has a staggering record of deliberate cruelty toward strangers and even family members; that he unlawfully used the Trump Foundation to funnel money to an elected official while she was deciding whether to charge him with fraud; or that he deliberately does the most dangerous thing a politician can do in a diverse country, willfully stoking ethnic tensions and anxieties against minority groups in hopes that it will increase his chances of gaining power.

Those things alone would be enough to make him the inferior choice. But they don’t come close to exhausting his flaws. NATO is a lynchpin of global stability. Trump suggested ending NATO as we know it. Trump suggested seizing foreign oil fields. Trump said he would order U.S. troops to perpetrate torture and to kill innocents. Trump spoke chillingly about using nuclear weapons. An erratic, easily baited quasi-authoritarian obsessed with projecting strength cannot be trusted with nukes.

To elect him would immediately crash markets as panicked investors braced for instability. And it would immediately harm America’s global standing, not in a wishy-washy way where Europeans make fun of us, but in concrete ways that court danger. Ross Douthat sums up the stakes in a column about the most likely risks of a Trump presidency, where he charitably assumes that Trump won’t misuse nukes. Still, he writes, a “highly-plausible peril, and by far the most serious, is a rapid escalation of risk in every geopolitical theater…

The trouble with calling both candidates bad and leaving it at that isn’t just that it doesn’t capture how much worse he is, though it doesn’t, or that it is unfair to Clinton. I don’t actually care about her. I do care about us––about Americans who have to live in this country going forward, who will suffer if we elect a man as unfit for the presidency as any major party candidate for that office in generations. His inexperience matters, his indiscipline matter, his ignorance matters, and so do his character flaws, which render him a greater danger to others the more power he is given.

Don’t let the new blind you to what is obvious.

The already stated assessment of Trump’s flaws, in number and gravity, far surpass Clinton’s, and we haven’t even discussed Trump’s exploitation of charity. We haven’t even discussed the time he told Howard Stern that Stern could call his daughter, Ivanka, “a piece of ass.” What kind of man lets his daughter be degraded that way to millions! We haven’t even talked about Trump spreading the absurd smear that Ted Cruz’s father conspired to murder John F. Kennedy and publicly attacking Cruz’s wife as ugly. We haven’t even talked about Trump attacking an American born judge of Mexican descent in a manner that even Paul Ryan called “a textbook example of racism.” We haven’t discussed the multiple women who accused Trump of sexually assaulting them in exactly the way that he had previously bragged to Billy Bush about assaulting women. With the worst choices of my lifetime on the ballot, the inferior candidate, the much greater of two evils, is remarkably easy to determine. Trump is worse—much, much worse—than Clinton. Voting to deny him power will make the country and the world a better place. [emphasis mine]

How is Trump almost neck-and-neck in the polls.  Yes, white ethnocentric politics is strong, but I would argue systematic journalistic failure as much as anything.  Through the narratives of the candidates, the media has allowed the vast majority of Americans to believe that somehow Donald Trump is both more honest and more trustworthy than Clinton.  Any half-hearted reading of available evidence shows that to be preposterous on it’s face.  Additionally, there’s clearly been an assumption among the media that Clinton is going to win, and she has therefore been held to a far higher level of scrutiny.  The Trump Foundation– a clearly criminal enterprise that has been all but ignored by most mainstream news– alone would have submarined any other normal Republican and the media is worried about Hillary meeting Nobel Prize winners who gave to the Clinton Foundation.  If Trump manages to squeak through with a narrow win, we will have the astounding ignorance of many Americans and the astounding irresponsibility of the mainstream media to blame.

Polarization amok

From the latest NBC Survey:

“Important to discuss” is ambiguous enough that I’m okay with this even though, at this point, there’s no reason whatsoever to expect that these emails change the case about Clinton or what we know about her past actions.  But, whatever, Drum points out a far more absurd result from a recent Morning Consult poll (sorry, no cool graph):

Elsewhere, they asked about Trump’s comment that Clinton’s use of a private server was worse than Watergate. Among Republicans, 82 percent said it was. I wonder if they would have agreed if Trump said it was worse than the Holocaust? [emphasis mine]

Just, ugh.  Yes, I know that mostly these are people just answering a survey question, but “worse than Watergate”??!!  Total historical ignorance, total willingness to believe anything Trump says, whatever it is, is is absolutely totally embarrassing that we have over 80% of one party openly agreeing to something so patently absurd.

%d bloggers like this: