Here’s why you should be sick of GOP posturing on Hillary’s emails

So, Republicans are creaming their pants because the FBI is looking into three Clinton-related emails on a Clinton staffer’s account. Let’s have a simple reality check (via Digby):

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Between 2003 and 2009, the Bush White House “lost” 22 million emails. This correspondence included millions of emails written during the darkest period in America’s recent history, when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and, later, when it was firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons.

Like Clinton, the Bush White House used a private email server—its was owned by the Republican National Committee. And the Bush administration failed to store its emails, as required by law, and then refused to comply with a congressional subpoena seeking some of those emails. …

Most troubling, researchers found a suspicious pattern in the White House email system blackouts, including periods when there were no emails available from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. “That the vice president’s office, widely characterized as the most powerful vice president in history, should have no archived emails in its accounts for scores of days—especially days when there was discussion of whether to invade Iraq—beggared the imagination,” says Thomas Blanton, director of the Washington-based National Security Archive. The NSA (not to be confused with the National Security Agency, the federal surveillance organization) is a nonprofit devoted to obtaining and declassifying national security documents and is one of the key players in the effort to recover the supposedly lost Bush White House emails.

The media paid some attention to the Bush email chicanery but spent considerably less ink and airtime than has been devoted to Clinton’s digital communications in the past 18 months.

Let’s not forget that Dick Cheney pushed Executive Branch action that allowed the company he used to head, Halliburton, to get no bid contracts for work during the Iraq conflict. And let’s not also forget that Cheney had a financial interest in Halliburton, even though he placed his holdings in a blind trust. Only that the blind trust made lots of money because Halliburton stock took off during the Bush administration. So the former vice president made money off of the blood of our soldiers, which should in itself have been an impeachable offense.

But if you’re a Republican, you intentionally forget all that, because nothing existed before Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama moved into the White House.

I ran into a pump truppet this past week who swore that Hillary was about to be indicted. Of course, I had to ask what the offense was. It was a Breitbart-fueled conspiracy theory that had absolutely no basis in reality. And there was no satisfaction in pointing out that the whole theory was stupid, because followers of the bogus billionaire blob don’t deal in reality anymore.

When Trump fluffers get indignant about Hillary deleting emails, ask them how many emails they’ve deleted in the past eight years. They’re now freaking out over three. Maybe they should be investigated for the tens of thousands they’ve deleted over the years.

The reason why people believe Trump’s lies

Business Insider’s Josh Barrow explains:

The conservative information sphere has long been full of lies. The reason for this is that lying has been the most effective way to promote many of the policies favored by donor-class conservatives, and so they built an apparatus to invent and spread the best lies.

For example, wealthy conservatives favor lower taxes on themselves for the obvious reason that this lets them keep more wealth for themselves. …

So, conservatives built a network of think tanks and magazines and pressure groups funded by wealthy donors whose job was to come up with arguments that would sell the donor-class agenda to the masses. …

For example, conservative think tanks have put out elaborate models, purporting to show enormously positive economic benefits from Republican plans to cut taxes on owners of capital and spending on social programs. The point of these models is to show that fiscal policy that would seem to be regressive is actually good for everyone.

These models rely on assumptions that are outside the mainstream of economic opinion and overstate the economic benefits of regressive fiscal policy. That is, they lie. …

Trump’s contribution to conservative messaging has not been the introduction of widespread lying. Rather, it has been his realization that you don’t have to just lie about what the donors want lied about, and you don’t need a fake model, because nobody’s paying attention to the numbers anyway.

You don’t need an elaborate approach to “dynamic scoring.” You can just say, “I’ll make us so rich,” and mutter some nonsense about the trade deficit, and you can convince approximately the same set of voters.

You don’t need a clever replotting of climate data when you can just say the whole thing is a conspiracy invented by the Chinese.

Trump lies and lies and lies and lies and lies and he does not even respect his supporters enough to lie well. You would think he would get in trouble for this, but Republican elites have spent so many years intentionally discrediting the media and policy experts and others who would dare to tell the truth about the public policy that his lies are, in fact, convincing enough for the conservative base.

Trump talks about a (fake) crime epidemic and a (fake) invasion of Mexican criminals and a (fake) Chinese trade conspiracy and a (fake) plot to rig the election. Do conservative elites hate these claims because they are lies, or because they are lies that do nothing in particular to advance the interests of elite conservatives?

A fact-full environment wouldn’t just stop candidates from running on a platform of bombing ISIS to take the oil and getting Mexico to pay for the wall so we can beat China and be so rich. A fact-full environment will also be very inhospitable for ordinary Republican policy platforms of the sort advanced by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.

Bush’s promise of 4% growth wasn’t more honest than Donald Trump’s promises; it was just more artful.

If Republicans want to tell the truth and win elections, they will have to advance different policy ideas — and that’s why they lie.

And this isn’t the first time we’ve been told that most Republican platforms have been based on lies. This was common knowledge after Mitt Romney lost in 2012:

People on the right are lied to all the time. The billionaire hemorrhoid’s lies were just more appealing to the GOP base.

What really matters in a presidential race

From Jezebel:

When you consider just how ill-informed flatulent butternut squash Donald Trump’s campaign is, this bewildering fact makes a lot of sense.

The Washington Post reports that according to Federal Election Commission filings, the Trump campaign has spent $1.8 million on polling from June 2015 to September of this year. They have spent an astonishing $3.2 million on hats.

Hats. Dumb hats that say “Make America Great Again,” in camo and black and white and red, with the American flag emblazoned on them, sold to Trump supporters and some people somewhere that might wear them as an attempt at irony.

What the hell is this guy doing? He cancels major fundraisers, he pimps his hotel in D.C. (where he’s not going to get any electoral votes) instead of campaigning in states where the presidential race is close, and he spends more on those stupid hats than on polls to see how bad he’s gonna get his ass kicked on Nov. 8.

The only voter fraud taking place is the fact that the flatulent butternut squash is wasting our time by turning Americans against each other and casually threatening the very existence of the republic.

(Flatulent butternut squash: Wish I’d thought of that.)