Nader must be vilified because of the popular notion that the two major parties are entitled to your votes, and if you have any agency at all it’s to prevent the more terrible of the two from taking the reins of power. That’s how Gore, despite running an uninspiring campaign where he benched uber-campaigner Bill Clinton and chose the hawkish and moralistic Joe Lieberman as his running mate (thus turning off a great many off the liberals whose votes many feel were Gore’s birthright as the Democratic nominee), gets let off the hook, as do the hundreds of thousands of Republican-voting Democrats (in Florida alone), while “Ralph Nader” becomes shorthand for the folly of idealism.
If Hillary Clinton loses the 2016 election to the odious Donald Trump, you can bet the blame will not fall on Clinton for failing to win over a portion of the left repelled by her record of censorship, failed military interventionism, drug prohibition, and crony capitalism, but rather it will fall on what Salon‘s Amanda Marcotte is already describing as the “attention-seeking dead-enders” or “Bernouts” who will vote for Jill Stein.
There’s nothing wrong with holding your nose and voting for the candidate you believe has the best chance to defeat another candidate who you consider an existential threat to the country. There’s also nothing wrong with refusing to confer legitimacy on a major party candidate you don’t feel deserves it, even if you begrudgingly could live with that candidate over his/her opponent.
But it’s also perfectly fine to reject the binary system which produced the two most disliked and distrusted presidential candidates in history, in the hopes that next time (and yes, there will be a next time) the concerns of voters who want no part of the Democratic and Republican standard-bearers will have a greater voice. Remember, no party has a right to your vote.
Bill Clinton spoke out on the email scandal last week, basically repeating the same lies from the Clinton camp which have repeatedly been debunked by the fact checkers, and by both the State Department Inspector General report and the FBI statement on the investigation. The Washington Post Fact Checker once again debunked the Clinton lies. After reviewing the facts, the article concluded:
Bill Clinton is correct that Comey “amended” his statement in the hearing, to provide more details about what the FBI had found. But Comey did not say Hillary Clinton “had never received any emails marked classified.” Two of three emails that had portion markings were call sheets that were improperly marked, and State Department considers the markings no longer necessary or appropriate at the time they were sent. Comey acknowledged that Clinton may not have known what the little-C marking meant.
The whole dispute over the little “c” versus big “C,” portion markings versus header, and so on, is the political equivalent of three-card monte. Democrats, like Bill Clinton, have cherry-picked Comey’s comments from the five-hour hearing to declare Hillary Clinton vindicated. But what they conveniently sweep under the rug are the 110 emails — which were not a part of the 2,000 that were retroactively classified — that were found to “contain classified information at the time they were sent or received.”
Moreover, the diversion to “little-C” markings is an effort to distract the public from the disturbing finding by the FBI that Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling her emails, and should have protected the information whether or not it had a classification marking. And it distracts voters from the fact that for more than a year, Clinton modified her excuse over and over to position herself in a way she can declare she was technically right in some form or another.
Bill Clinton also repeated the Democratic excuse that she used a personal email account just like her predecessor, and that she turned over more email records than her predecessors did. This comparison is a pathetic and misleading attempt to normalize Hillary Clinton’s use of her personal email account and play down the fact that she was the only secretary of state to use a private server. The decision to use a private server is the root of all of the political difficulties concerning her email practices.
No matter how many times the Clintons and their supporters tell the same lies, the facts are clear. Hillary Clinton knowingly and intentionally violated State Department rules in effect as of 2009–which were made stricter in response to abuses during the Bush administration. She is the only one to have used a private server to circumvent the law. Hillary Clinton actively tried to cover up her actions, failed to cooperate with investigators, and has repeatedly lied about the manner. While I doubt she intentionally sought to compromise national security, she did send and receive classified email, including instructing an aide to remove the “identifying heading” on one document. Multiple other lies have been identified by media fact checkers and in the reports from the State Department Inspector General and FBI.
In an interview on NPR earlier today, Julian Assange described the hypocrisy in the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton:
Julian Assange says if the United States government sees him as a threat to national security, it should see Hillary Clinton as one, too.
In an interview with Morning Edition‘s David Greene, the founder of WikiLeaks called the Department of Justice’s decision not to prosecute Clinton for handling classified information on her private email server an “incredible double standard.”
Assange has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for four years to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on suspicion of rape.
In a statement last month, FBI director James Comey said the FBI “did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws,” but that the use of a private email server was “extremely careless.” Comey advised the Justice Department that “no charges are appropriate in this case,” and career prosecutors agreed.
Assange noted that, had a case proceeded, Clinton could have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917, which bans the disclosure of classified information to an unauthorized person “with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States.”
Assange said in the past courts have found that a lack of intent to harm the United States did not absolve the accused of guilt.
Of course we know that there is a double standard in the United States, and that Hillary Clinton is too big to jail.