A teeny-tiny whiny part of #TheResistance

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It Was Comey, Duh.

I wrote this just two days ago:

Following up on what I wrote yesterday about the New York Times's depiction of the Clintons, it's also worth mentioning that I spent months volunteering for the campaign at the Brooklyn headquarters and found it to be a really professional operation. I've said it many times before, going by Nate Silver's estimates (and some others), before the Comey letter, she wins by six points (for comparison, Obama beat McCain by eight points and Romney by three) and receives perhaps more popular votes than any other candidate in American history.

It took me a lot of time to get there myself. From the beginning, I thought that no one would care about either Benghazi or the e-mail server, other than people who already would never vote for a Democrat anyway.

On October 30th October 28th, I was just about to head over to HQ when the letter was released. A friend of mine called him and I tried to talk him down from the ledge. The letter really said nothing of note, and voters would ignore it. But when I got to HQ, people in the Volunteer Center were noticeably nervous. Much ado about nothing, I thought. I didn't worry about it for a second, and I thought it was strange that cable news and the papers kept talking about it.

On November 6th, there were cheers and dancing at HQ when the news of Comey's second letter, "exonerating Hillary" (from nothing). I was glad everyone was relieved, but it still meant very little to me.

A significant reason that Ari and I started writing here was to analyze the post-mortems of the election. I was counting the number of appearances Hillary made in each swing state, analyzing the content of every speech, looking at how much each party spent in which states, and thinking about rural outreach, just like everyone else. However, I came around when Silver and other analysts pointed out the major polling disruption beginning October 30th. It's just undeniable.

Only now is the New York Times acknowledging this. Of course, it does so after it helps publicize Shattered. Given that we've known about the harm the Comey caused for month, why are they doing this right now? It's partially a HOOCOODANODE to absolve them of responsibility for the election debacle, and partially because now that they've gotten mileage from discussing Shattered, they can get a bonus by putting two sides on a one-sided story.

Argh. I hate sounding like such a Clinton defender; normally I wouldn't object this strenuously (I liked Kerry a lot but didn't defend him all that much after 2004; it seemed pointless, and besides, others didn't seem to be spending much time on him after that November, so there was no reason to defend him). I'm not calling for her to run again in 2020. However, it  just doesn't seem nearly as consequential to discuss, say, whether she should've made a speech at Marquette to get 1% more of the vote in Wisconsin if there were a singular event that cost her 3-4% across the board, as well as the substantial amount of evidence that AN AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ACTIVELY COLLUDED WITH A HOSTILE FOREIGN POWER TO STEAL A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION!

No, I can totally see why it's more important that one campaign staffer said something mean to another one or if someone who worked for Hillary had ambitions beyond coordinating her social media presence in 2016...

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