On James Comey’s Senate appearance today

Leaving aside the fact that if you don’t run a candidate who’s got the Feds all over them, then you won’t have the FBI poisoning the well for your candidate. Leaving aside the fact that many media outlets were all too willing to indulge in journalistic malpractice and credulously take Sidney Blumenthal’s horseshit about the Feds’ investigation being merely an “inquiry”, a “security review”, not an investigation “[I am] not familiar with the term ‘security inquiry,’” Comey replied. “We’re conducting an investigation. … That’s what we do.” and those journalists continued to push Hillary as the safe, reliable choice when perhaps those voting for her under those terms were unaware that the Feds were all over her and, thus, she absolutely was not the safe, reliable choice. Leaving aside that Comey really did his damage in the summer when he made the case for indicting Hillary but then refused to do so: bashing her up but, importantly, just enough so that the cowardly Democrats would still keep her in play. Leaving all that aside, the establishment Democrats are right to be angry.

For all of Comey’s tap-dancing – and I hope that someone asked this of him today – then surely, if he was going to write his bullshit letter, it was of vital importance that he highlighted at the very top, the very start, that no new evidence was found on Weiner’s computer, that he was, at the time, talking about the possibility of new evidence. His bullshit letter was hazy and indistinct and manna from heaven for Jason Chaffetz and those other scoundrels.

Still, after a few days the polls suggested a clear win for Hillary. They thought so too, breaking out the champagne on the plane on election day. They thought that they got away with it but a much better bullshit artist beat her to the White House.

The Clinton campaign was maladroit. Ever since the 2012, it was received wisdom that demographics would ensure a Democratic victory in 2016 (that was why the worried Republicans conducted their autopsy). That the Republicans didn’t follow their findings, instead going further “up river” into Kurtz-style craziness doesn’t mean that demographics weren’t an issue. Clinton was always going to be the 2016 front runner so many, who used to know better, got on the train then and there and were to never be dissuaded from that narrative: that Hillary was inevitable, despite the ever mounting evidence to the contrary.

JFK hated LBJ but picked him as a vice-president, even winning LBJ’s Texas in an extremely close election with ‘Mad Dog’ Nixon. Reagan’s biggest trouble in the 1980 primaries was the Idiot Son’s father, George H. W. Bush, who attacked his trickle down economics canard mercilessly, calling it ‘Voodoo Economics’ yet Reagan still shored up the base and picked Bush as his vice-president before his 1981 landslide. Hillary’s extremely sharp. She knew this; her campaign knew this. Picking Kaine – one of the few Democrats more right-wing than her – stopped the spotlight going onto a more populist pick, like Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown or Bernie or Nina Turner and was a ‘middle finger’ to her base, saying – as some of her supporters were wont to say – ‘we don’t need you’. How’d that work out? A progressive pick and, even if everything else played out the same, Comey letter et al, this whole fiasco would have been over last August and the short-fingered, orange bandit would have been confined to nightmares. This debacle is on her and her people.

Seeing Trump in the White House still makes me reflexively want to call the police and report an intruder on the grounds who’s acting all shady.

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