Just when you thought the US election couldn’t get any crazier…
Now, I don’t want to go on too much about the US election, but with the Aussie dollar jumping all over the place on any political news, you’ve got to stay on top of things.
Or maybe I’m just kidding myself. Maybe the truth of it is this is the most bizarre election in my life time, and I just can’t stop watching.
And I think it’s making us question the whole concept of Western Democracy. (And maybe that’s a good thing?)
So in case you missed it over the weekend, the FBI came out and dropped a bombshell on the Clinton campaign.
Just 11 days out from the election, with pre-polling already open, it said that it’s reopening its investigation of the Clinton email scandal.
Why? What do they know now? What’s she done?
That’s the thing, we’ve got no idea. The FBI are being pretty tight-lipped about it. All it said is that something has come to light from another investigation that warrants reopening the Clinton investigation.
If your new to the scene folks, the server scandal involved HRC using a private email server, firstname.lastname@example.org, to do all of her official duties as Secretary of State. As one of the most powerful positions in the US government, it was certainly odd to be using the equivalent of a gmail account to run the country, but there hasn’t been any confirmed scandals so far…
… or yet.
And three months ago the FBI looked into the matter, decided it was irregular and that Clinton was “highly careless” with her handling of classified material, but that it wasn’t worth pursuing.
At the time, FBI director James Comey took a huge hit to his reputation. People accused him of being a stooge for Clinton and being part of a cover up. But he held his ground.
Now of course, everyone is accusing him of being a stooge for Trump. Resparking the server scandal just 11 days out from the election is a huge blow to the Clinton campaign.
Because it plays right in to one of the key campaign themes Trump’s been running – that HRC is crooked old-world politics, where money and connections run ram-shod over democracy.
And it is almost worse that Comey’s announcement is tantalisingly light on details – effectively, “we found some stuff and we need to look into it.”
But what stuff? Imaginations run wild.
And to top it all off, it comes after the FBI found something on Anthony Weiner’s computer. He’s a disgraced congressmen caught “sexting” (sending saucy pictures) to thousands of women, some of them, allegedly, underage. He was also, until recently, married to Huma Abedin – Clinton’s top aide.
Camp Clinton was probably hoping the server story was so boring it would die of natural causes. But add in a politician who can’t help sending pictures of his ding-dong all over the place, and it’s a total BBQ stopper.
But the interesting thing for me is the way that the FBI seems to have broken with protocol in making the announcement. The FBI have a policy of not announcing anything 60 days prior to an election.
In fact, the Hatch Act makes it illegal for public officials to influence elections, even unintentionally.
So James Comey seems to have thrown himself under a bus.
There seem to be only two possible explanations. One, he’s a stooge for Trump and wants to hand the election to him.
Or, there’s something so sinister that’s turned up, that he felt a moral or patriotic obligation to do something.
Which is it? Who knows? We’ll probably have to wait until next year to find out.
But we will find out eventually. So we’ll either be looking back at this as a piece of political sabotage (tainting the Trump presidency if he does win), or as a serious scandal (tainting the HRC Presidency is she wins).
Think about it. Either the system was rigged to derail Clinton. Or the system was rigged to help cover Clinton’s corruption… for who knows how many years.
They’re the only two options. Either way we’ll get to see how corrupt the system is.
Democracy as we know it is the loser on the day.
(Or perhaps, democracy the dream will be the winner on the day?)
It’s pretty wild either way.
Very interesting times to be alive.
Sabotage or scandal? What do you reckon?