Just to forestall the screeching, whining, crying, pissing and moaning from The Right, let’s be clear: yes, Clinton did use separate computers and email addresses to communicate political information within the White House, same as the Bush Administration. Are we satisfied?
Now for the really big news: the Bush Administration isn’t nearly as bright as was the Clinton Administration. No, really.
The situation is this: back during the Clinton Administration, while the Congress sought every little thing it could use to drag the president down (you know, because they respected the office so much), the Clintonistas took to using separate computers and email domains to conduct the more political business of the president. That was because they were already getting dinged by the GOP for doing political things on the taxpayer’s dollar.
That’s nit-picky investigation, of course, but it is fair.
Now, the below-linked article suggests that the Bush Administration probably took things much farther. Presumably too far. Here, I disagree. I have a hard time believing that anything that could be done politically in the Clinton Administration wouldn’t have been done. Bitch if you like, but the president is not just “a politician,” he’s “the politician,” and that’s just the way it goes.
The real difference is this: the Bush Administration has used any excuse it could find to invoke executive privilege and stymie efforts to investigate anything happening inside the White House. Well, in an attempt to avoid the politics charge, they’ve succeeded in creating a wealth of all-too-easily subpoenaed communications that is of an entirely pure, unadulterated political nature.
GOP-issued laptops now a White House headache – Los Angeles Times
Waxman told RNC Chairman Mike Duncan in a letter that such exchanges “indicated that in some instances White House officials were using nongovernment accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of communications” that could be reviewed by congressional committees or released under the Presidential Records Act.
Lawyers for the committees say that use of campaign-connected e-mail addresses may make it easier to gather information because it would be harder for the White House to make a broad claim of executive privilege. Lawyers for congressional Democrats have anticipated that the White House will invoke executive privilege in an effort to block requests for information about its role in the firing of U.S. attorneys, Abramoff and other matters.
Oops. Other administrations ~ even the Clinton Administration ~ would have found this less problematic than the Bush Administration. If books like Tempting Faith are to be believed, there is almost nothing done in this White House which does not have a specific political intent. That means that these communications are even more political than the average email. Oyie.
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