This is why we all hate Washington. Seriously.
This Hillary Clinton email non-dump dump and the sound and fury that has ensued first shocked then confused me, then finally made me furious at the political establishment. (Which is why I’m… confurious.)
Sorry if that sounds immature or reductive or just plain pissy, but this is our democracy they’re all messing with. And we in the media are not necessarily helping.
On Friday I fielded a not-small number of emails from readers upset that we published a news break saying that the FBI had “re-opened” its investigation into Clinton’s emails.
It turned out that the news was more nuanced than this, and we should have merely published that FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress letting them know that his agency was investigating Clinton emails that had surfaced.
What emails? How many? What did they say? All a mystery.
Is it a new investigation ? A revival of the old investigation? A fishing expedition? A pre-election covering of FBI keester? Or a political move?
Cue hysteria on the Republican side of the political circus tent, with Donald Trump claiming that the Clinton email scandal is now as significant as Watergate.
(Sure: Whitewater. Vince Foster. Monica. Benghazi.)
We learned, as the dust started to settle, that the emails came from Anthony Weiner’s computer (him again!) that he shared with estranged wife Huma Abedin.
We learned that Comey had no idea if they were relevant to the Clinton investigation or even how many there were. That not only hadn’t his officials read them, they did not yet even have a warrant to look at them. And that Comey ignored a Department of Justice recommendation not to go public at the time.
Cue Democratic hysteria on Sunday, with letters and tweets and emails flying about how Comey had broken the law, shredded political precedent and generally destroyed his own credibility.
Through his partisan actions, FBI Director Comey may have broken the law. https://t.co/rDcYbKBa8G
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) October 30, 2016
Ah, Washington. That distant little swamp that controls the destiny of the most powerful nation on earth. That place can mulch a sewer of cynicism around the country faster than you can delete the latest fund-raising email from one of their residents.
And this, dear readers, is why we tune out our politicians. Why the Republican Party is an unrecognizable mess led by a real estate billionaire who has never served a day in office. We don’t know who to trust – so we trust no one.
Will the October email surprise sway the election? At this point, it’s pretty hard to say. Let’s hope not.
But it definitely will fuel the forces that are dividing the country, deepening the distrust of our political system on both sides of the political spectrum and ultimately hurting our democracy.