The Inconsistency of Conservative Outrage.

George Bush.

George Bush.

If anything can be counted on, it’s the inconsistency of conservatives, especially the scarily right wing conservatives. Their howls over this outrage, that outrage, and the other outrage tend to be remarkably convenient. There’s always a noted lack of balance, and there’s scant evidence of thinking going on. Right now, the far right won’t let go of the Clinton email issue. They are like a starving dog with a bone, and they are not about to let go.

The frenzy and furor over Hillary Clinton’s email habits while at the State Department, now into their 16th month and still going strong, have predictably and effectively chipped away at her reputation, so a sizable majority of Americans (67 percent in a poll last month) find her “untrustworthy.”

That’s what a year of FBI investigation—leading to no recommended charges—a budding congressional investigation and a relentless right-wing watchdog’s lawsuit buy you in American politics.

But take a moment away from pawing through the tens of thousands of her personal and professional emails now on public view and consider the long list of elected and appointed Republicans who have done exactly the same thing as Clinton—and worse.

Between 2003 and 2005, the George W. Bush White House “lost” around 5 million emails, including messages related to the firing of federal prosecutors who didn’t adhere to Bush’s conservative agenda. A federal judge ruled that the White House didn’t have to look for them.

Those emails were among some 22 million messages that the Bush administration “lost” during its time in power, most from right around the period that it was crafting a scaffolding of lies to sell what turned out to be the greatest American foreign policy debacle in a generation: the Iraq War. The emails were eventually found in 2009, when Bush and Dick Cheney were safely back at their ranches, but long after thousands of young Americans were dead and maimed and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were dead, and as Islamists were mustering to eventually capture swathes of lawless, war-ravaged turf for their hideous “caliphate.”

Colin Powell—Bush’s secretary of state and the team player dispatched to the floor of the U.N. to deliver some of the lies about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction—also used a personal email account while at the State Department. He didn’t even bother to set up his own home server but chose the eminently hackable public email giant AOL. And he was hacked, by an Eastern European criminal who used the nom de plume Guccifer.

Years later, at a 2009 dinner party in Washington, he recommended to Clinton that she use a private email account. In his upcoming book, Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, Joe Conason describes the conversation, which took place at a dinner for Hillary Clinton soon after she was appointed secretary of state: “Toward the end of the evening, over dessert, [former Secretary of State Madeleine] Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel [to Clinton]…. Powell suggested that she use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer on his desk. Saying that his use of personal email had been transformative for the department, Powell thus confirmed a decision she had made months earlier.”

Goodness me, all those lost emails, all that hacking, all that carelessness! Can we bring Bush back to give him a proper spanking now?

Full story here.


  1. says

    They all do it for the same reason: to hide the fact that they, as public servants, are engaging in secret diplomacy against the public interest. Federal records retention laws are specifically at attempt to scale back that sort of activity, to keep the public sector public -- and politicians are above the law, and work actively to thwart it. It’s particularly insulting when they pretend that they are doing it because the technology is hard to understand. Bullshitters gotta be bullshitting.

  2. says

    By the way, I do think it’s outrageous. It’s just that everyone should be outraged about it all the time.

    We, the people, keep trying to rein these political assholes in, and they respond by spending their precious time trying to defeat our efforts instead of doing their jobs. Imagine if employees at WALMART tried to defeat their management’s attempts to monitor their activities?

  3. Siobhan says

    Caine, I have literally been paid to spank people, and there is no price in the world that would convince me to spank dubya.


  4. says


    Caine, I have literally been paid to spank people, and there is no price in the world that would convince me to spank dubya.

    Well, I wouldn’t do it either, but I’m sure someone would volunteer!

  5. blf says

    The mildly deranged pengion is thinking about the Bush ][ walloping problem — as she currently sees it, the main difficulty is the most basic level of appropriate whacking would launch him out of the Milky Way and probably into orbit around Andromeda, approaching that galaxy from the other side. This means we’re likely to annoy the Andromedans, and, keeping in mind Newton’s third law, the Earth would go flying off. That might not be such a bad thing, except we still have Cheney on what would be the A, B, and C Arks combined. With the Annoyed Andromedans in hot pursuit.

    Hence, she suspects, it’s probably better to spray both of them with pea attractant and let nature, and horses, do the work.

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