I’m not Facebook friends with Irvine council member Christina Shea, but it doesn’t stop some of her Facebook “friends” from forwarding me stuff from her Facebook page or her blog they think I should see. The latest, Shea shares a YouTube video that compares Hillary Clinton with Nazis when it comes to the Hillary email “scandal.” The image below captures the “share” on Shea’s page.
You can see the raw YouTube file here.
It’s Republican humor at its best — a video parody that plays loose with the facts and there’s the bonus of Nazis. Shea is the second member of the current Irvine Republican Council majority to use Nazis to belittle Democrats. Back in 2009, then Council member now Mayor Steven Choi appeared with Tea Party Republicans at the DPOC Truman dinner; one of them had a Photoshopped image of Pelosi as a Nazi SS officer while Choi himself wore an image of Pelosi’s head Photoshopped on Josef Stalin’s body in a Soviet propaganda image.
Shea’s argument, from her Facebook page: “This is funny…take it as you will as good humor.” And, “Just a funy (sic) video (sic) I hope no one is offended.. we can laugh still?” Sure we can laugh — at Shea for not using better judgment.
Here’s a short primer on the Hillary email “scandal” from Slate which I like because it does take Clinton to task for the way she handled this “scandal” but also covers the rule of law. Spoiler alert: Clinton didn’t break the law.
From the story:
I probably wouldn’t talk to her about it either, mostly because this story has been dragging on for so long I don’t even remember how it started. How’d we even get here?
For the four years she was secretary of state, Clinton never used an official state.gov email address. Instead, she relied exclusively on a private email account housed on her own personal server to conduct her government business. Those facts went unnoticed—or at least unaddressed—by the State Department until this past summer, when agency officials were responding to a request for documents from congressional investigators and realized they couldn’t find a single email to or from a Clinton government email address.
So then what happened?
After a specific request from the State Department—that came nearly two years after she had left office—Clinton turned over 30,490 messages to the agency that she and her team deemed to be possibly work-related. Clinton and her staff, though, say they also destroyed 31,830 messages that they decided were personal. The private server was then subsequently wiped clean.
And how did everyone else find this out?
Hillary’s unorthodox, nongovernmental email setup was revealed to the public by the New York Times in March of this year in a report that prompted the major controversy that still hangs over her presidential campaign and will for the foreseeable future.
Remind me, what was her excuse for using a private email account in the first place?
Hillary and her team have offered a number of lawyerly and convoluted justifications, but her explanation ultimately boils down to what she says was a simple a matter of convenience: She didn’t want to carry two smartphones, which she says would have been necessary at the time since State Department policy didn’t allow her to have multiple email addresses on a government-issued BlackBerry. As a result, she decided to send work emails on a personal account as opposed to personal emails on a work one.
Is that … believable?
That probably depends on where you’re sitting. But it would sound much more believable if Clinton hadn’t described herself earlier this year as “two steps short of a hoarder” who lugs around a BlackBerry, an iPhone, an iPad, and an iPad Mini in her purse, and similarly made it clear at a 2011 State Department event that she doesn’t exactly travel light.
An iPad and an iPad Mini? Well, that doesn’t sound convenient at all.
Neither does going through the trouble of purchasing your own Web domain, which a longtime aide to her husband did for her on the first day of her confirmation hearings in 2009; nor setting up and maintaining a personal server in your home, which someone did for her in Chappaqua, New York, as she was preparing to start work at the State Department.
OK, but was any of that actually illegal?
In a word: no.
How about a few more?
If Secretary John Kerry did today what Clinton did, it would run afoul of the current laws on the books, which require government officials to copy or forward work email sent or received on a private account to their government account within 20 days. Hillary’s email use, though, does not appear to have violated any of the laws that were in place when she was in office—even though it did clearly fall well short of the Obama administration’s preferred best practices and was also explicitly discouraged by the State Department.
If she didn’t break any specific law, though, then what’s the big deal?
Clinton does not appear to have violated the letter of the law but she did ignore the spirit of it when she went out of her way to create a system that gave her unprecedented control over what could become public. Hillary’s private email account and server effectively shielded her messages from Freedom of Information Act requests, congressional subpoenas, and other searches.
Is the video funny? Depends on your sense of humor and your political party affiliation. Mel Brooks parodies Nazis well (To Be or Not To Be, The Producers, etc…) but he takes aim at the Nazis and never compares them to another group of people as Republicans often do with Democrats.
No wonder Shea and Choi get along so well.