Historically, the Clintons have proved to be politically indestructible. To paraphrase the movie "Aliens," to truly destroy the
Given that alone, I doubt that the unfolding controversy over Hillary's email schemes spells her doom.
The basic details are as follows: In 2009, a week before she started her job as Secretary of State,
The server was registered under the name Eric Hoteman -- someone who doesn't exist. But it's almost surely
This system allowed Clinton to maintain control over her email correspondence. No third-party copies would be stored on, say, government or
Depending on whom you ask, this was a violation of Obama administration policy, long-established
Team Clinton's initial response was as expected: send out oleaginous flacks to shoot the messenger and befog the issue. That failed. Even normally reliable resellers of Clinton spin at MSNBC balked at the prospect of keeping a straight face as
Then Mrs. Clinton weighed in to somewhat greater effect. She tweeted, "I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible."
This was a reference to the "55,000 pages" of emails Clinton handed over to the
The number of pages is also meaningless. First, if you've ever printed out email, you know that "pages" and "emails" are not synonymous terms. But even if they were, so what? I could release 99.99 percent of all my emails, and you'd see little more than boring work product, press releases, spam and appeals from Nigerian oil ministers. My incriminating stuff could remain invisible -- valuable snowflakes held back from a blizzard of chaff. If you don't think the Clintons are capable of such legerdemain, I refer you to the Clinton-inspired debate over billing records and the meaning of "is."
This points to another reason why I think Clinton will survive this mess. If there's a damning email out there, it's been deleted, and the relevant hard drive would be harder to find than
The real significance of this moment -- and a partial explanation of the media firestorm over it -- is that time is running out to stop the Clinton freight train.
Nothing in this story is surprising: not the desire for secrecy, nor the flouting of legal norms, nor the cynical attempts to shoot the messengers -- and certainly not the staggering hypocrisy. (In 2007, then-Sen. Clinton denounced the Bush White House's far more defensible use of "secret"
At some point down the tracks, when yet another fetid cloud of Clintonism erupts into plain view, many smart liberals will look back at this moment as the time when they should have pulled the emergency brake and gotten off the Hillary train.
The unease they feel now will be nothing compared to the buyer's remorse to come.