“Voters do not give a shit. They do not even give a fart… Find me one persuadable voter who agrees with HRC on the issues but will vote against her because she has a non-archival-compliant email system and I’ll kiss your ass in Macy’s window and say it smells like roses.”
—Clinton enabler/mouthpiece/consultant Paul Begala, quoted in Politico’s essay by Gabriel Debendetti
Begala, just in case you’ve forgotten, was the most loathsome of Bill Clinton’s paid defenders—deceitful, smug, arrogant, Machiavellian. I’ll confess my bias: along with Karl Rove, David Axelrod, Dick Morris, James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin, and others whose names I am mercifully unaware of so far, Begala and his species are the scourge of the political culture as well as democracy itself. Their stock in trade is misrepresentation, and their objective is to make Americans ignorant, uncritical, lazy, compliant, and gullible. The contempt they have for Americans is palpable, as in Begala’s quote.
If voters, as Begala says, don’t “give a shit,” then it is the obligation of statesmen, journalists and pundits to enlighten them about the duty of responsible citizenship, and why it matters a great deal when a potential American leader hides her actions and words in violation of reasonable and important policies of her own agency designed to ensure transparency, prevent misconduct, protect secrecy and security, and engender public trust.
Begala, in contrast, seeks to deceive even in this vulgar statement. It isn’t a “non-archival-compliant email system” the public should care about, as he well knows. It is the duplicitous character and dangerous arrogance displayed by a candidate who breaks the rules she is supposed to oversee in an agency she leads, and then tries to con the public with the false and risible claim that her actions were “in the spirit” of the provisions she intentionally breached. I wouldn’t be surprised if Begala drafted that despicable language. It’s his style.
In addition to being misleading and vulgar, Begala’s cynical quote insults the public, which is not as dumb as he works so hard to make it, nor as devoid of respect for ethical values as he is. There are many voters whose belief in Clinton have been shaken by the double disclosures of her using the Clinton Foundation for foreign influence peddling and her deliberate skirting of government e-mail requirements.. I have spoken to quite a few of them, though I will not attempt to take Begala up on his wager, as I have too much respect for my ass to degrade it with close proximity to Paul Begala’s weasel face.