Emails on her private server=dishonesty=Hillary- Have the Republican “dirty tricks” gurus outfoxed the Democrats
When Bernie Sanders famously said: “Enough of those damned emails,” many thought they’d heard the death-knell of that wearisome argument. Just this week, President Obama referred to it as “all that noise,” designed to confuse new voters about Hillary’s trustworthiness. The concept of “noise” comes from cybernetics and it refers to anything that interferes with a message sent by one party to another–we laymen also know it as static. Sad to say, we are all familiar with static on our cell phones which keep us from hearing the other person’s words and messages. The static in this case, as we all know by now, are the dark references to some of Hillary’s emails. Of the emails, President Obama also noted that while Clinton, while serving as his Secretary of State, made an “honest mistake” by using a private email server, as it was now “being blown up into just some crazy thing,” which will affect new voters when they hear “all that noise.”
Why now, you may ask, all of this focused static. Well, in this political year, as in others before it, specialists in “dirty tricks” deliberately put out such static in order to draw the voters attention off the ball, as it were, so that they don’t focus on such things as Trump’s litany of outrageous acts and statements. Such things as: Donald’s now infamous refusal to show his tax returns to the public (something no presidential candidate in modern times has withheld), his many racist comments–against Mexicans, Muslims and other minorities, including asserting that his second generation Indiana Judge Curiel couldn’t proceed with fairly with his Trump University fraud case because of his Mexican heritage, his mime ridicule of a reporter’s disability, which he had valiantly and successfully overcome with encore encouragement from most decent Americans, yet mocked by Donald Trump at a political rally. Of course Trump’s coziness with Putin and the policy implications for that are high on the list. Vying for the most vulgar of his comments, Donald’s sexism, once again was revealed, in all of its ugliness, in his own voice, was Donald’s claim that as a celebrity he could, with impunity, go up and grab even a married woman by her private parts.
The public’s attention in each of these cases was countered by a deliberate campaign to take the voters attention away from his abominations with static. The static as his campaign puts out, is to simply repeat, as if a mantra: emails, emails, emails, emails, followed by syllogisms emails = dishonesty claims, and then the obvious: emails = Hillary = dishonesty–and, as usual, reinforced by Donald’s reference to Clinton as “Crooked Hillary.”
He gives us the same bait-and-switch “hokum”, as P.T. Barnum would say, along with his famous:”There is a sucker born every minute.” He gives this kind of “hokum” night after night. Whenever Donald gets pinned down as to policy: How will he be the greatest jobs creator ever, how exactly he will defeat ISIS, how he will cut out Obamacare while making for a plan with better benefits, how he will make our military stronger (in fact the best it has ever been), how he can promise so much, even ignoring the absurdity of a 10-15 billion dollar wall that he claims will be paid for by the Mexican government, even as proposing a gigantic tax cut, regressively of course, i.e. giving the biggest tax relief to the wealthiest–all the while without specifying where the money will come from. It has been estimated that his program will coat 30 trillion (that’s thirty thousand billions) deficit. The business rating service, Moody’s, after examining Trump’s policy promises, argues that it will result in a LOSS of 3.5 million jobs. As for Trump, he regularly let’s his audiences know, modestly of course, that he’s the best in the world at everything. One thing he is the master of is high pressure real estate selling. Promise them everything they could wish for and then promise them more and then, before his promises can be seen to be empty ones, close the deal. And, when it becomes obvious that he knows very little about a subject, such as the Mideast, he simply asserts that he’ll study the subject for 24 hours, and then he will know more about it than “all of our generals combined.” As a New Yorker, he is well familiar with the concept of Chutzpah* and he attempts to bowl over his “bumpkins” with Chutzpah to the nth power.
When confronted with the impossibility of his promises, made night after night, Trump simply promises more, and before the focus can be on how he will fill the promises, comes the static, by him as well as from his surrogates, the familiar emails, emails and more emails by “crooked Hillary.” Who directs this “noise” campaign? Men like Karl Rove and Roger Stone.
Rove, whom George W. Bush called, The Architect, was a planter of untrue stories about Ambassador Joe Wilson as part of an attempt to draw attention away from Rove’s role in ousting the former covert CIA operative, Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, at great danger to her. He did this in response to an op-ed piece critical of Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq. In the 2008, primaries Rove authored a whisper campaign against John McCain, claiming that he fathered a “love-child.” Rove is a well known “dirty tricks” political consultant.
Roger Stone was well known for his promotions of numerous bizarre conspiracy theories. As a long-time Trump loyalist, he was a probable source of much of The Donald’s embracement of so many conspiracy theories. Stone is also the head of a key Trump PAC (remember when Donald bragged that he wouldn’t use any PACs?). Oliver Willis, writing in Media Matters, notes that Stone has been reported as a key promoter of the conspiracy theory that “The Clintons had four people murdered over the summer.” Stone was also associated with an earlier claim that the Clintons “were plausibly responsible for killing roughly 40 people.” Stone earlier alleged that the Bush family “tried to kill” President Ronald Reagan, among numerous other outrageous claims (including one, during the primaries, “pushed by Trump”: that opponent Ted Cruz’ father was also involved in a killing.”
Stone has been behind much of the campaign to discredit Hillary and has been quite successful at it. The Gallup Poll reveals just how successful when they found that for most Americans, “email” dominates any mention of Hillary. From interviews conducted Oct. 28-31, “email” drowns out everything else, particularly anything relating to policy or substance. Indeed, the second- third- and fourth-most-frequently used words associated with Clinton also relate to emails: “FBI,” “investigation” and “scandal.”
The reasons behind this obvious elevation of the rather minor issue of Hillary’s use of a home server, into the single issue many Americans identify with Hillary has not escaped many observers, including the venerated Gallup polling firm. They noted; “Just a week ago we were writing that the public was hearing and reading more about Trump than Clinton. Not now. Americans’ recall of hearing news about Trump is falling significantly, while their recall of hearing about Clinton has picked up over the past few days.” And those recollections aren’t positive. Republicans once said that Hillary should just admit it was a mistake, apologize for it, say it would never happen again, and move on. Not so. Republican “dirty tricks” gurus have thrown pitches from well down in the gutter. Michael Dukakis, speaking recently with respect to the Willie Horton attacks on him, by H.W. Bush, during his campaign, noted how he had taken the “high road,” and not fought back aggressively. He urged Hillary not to make the same mistake–advice that she pretty much ignored. Hillary took the high road, and though it is a sad commentary on the American political scene, it just may have been the wrong choice.
*Leo Rostin famously defined Chutzpah by example: a boy, after murdering both of his parents, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is a poor orphan.