Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ummmm... Really?

For the record, I could care less about who uses what email and when they use them and what they might've said. To me this is all a giant waste of time. But, this whole Hillary Clinton email thing has brought up some interesting points of fact that might otherwise be overlooked. The very fact that it was "routine" for high level government officials to use private email accounts for their jobs? Really? This was happening through 2010? Were Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney planning Iraq strategy via AOL accounts? I mean, I get that someone joins an organization from the outside, they're used to one system, they want to keep it. But this isn't McCarthy & Sons Funeral Home, she was the Secretary of State!

In a way, I like it. The fact that government officials weren't using secure email at the same time Justin Beiber was cute-famous and not yet creepy famous just goes to show us all that things aren't as perfect as we imagine. Our government isn't any more high tech or on the ball than the place you work. We're all just people - even those people who pretend to be the most important people in the world.

Speaking of them. Lindsey Graham comes out commenting on this whole thing by admitting he's never sent an email!! He also said he doesn't have an email address. I'm pretty sure that's a lie - he might not know what it is or who answers it, but he's got one - unless of course the government's IT department is woefully behind the times... oh, right... Hillary Clinton was sending top secret emails through a server in the basement of her Westchester home. Awesome. Maybe Lindsey really doesn't have an email address.

Still, bragging about it doesn't seem to be any better. With email, even a strange, unsecure, private email, there's a record of conversations. Lindsey might have some sort of paper trail, but likely everything he's doing is out loud and in person, what kind of historical record is that? Also, this guy is one of the more powerful Senators in the US. Shouldn't his job require some measure of access to that's become a life necessity even for the Bushmen of the Kalahari? Maybe?

The odd think-tanker and occasional sports commentator Gregg Easterbrook used to go on and on about CEOs and minor political officials traveling with huge security details to make themselves look and feel important. Perhaps we've got the same thing going on in Congress? "No, I don't need to use email, I have ipads and things I keep track of stuff on and people I tell to do things for me." They don't write (or read) their own bills, they don't have to actual fillibuster anything anymore (just tell someone they're thinking about it and the wheels of the greatest representative democracy in the history of the earth come to a screeching halt), they don't even have to walk on the street like normal people (looking at you, private underground congressional monorail). Perhaps this is a sign of being just a little bit out of touch?

People get into politics to reinforce their sense of self-importance, I get that, at the same time, you'd think they might be a little better at hiding that ego from the general public? Then again, maybe the machines of money, gerrymandering, and ad-men really have made elections obsolete and Lindsey is laughing his way to the bank (because he still has to go to the bank, you know, since he doesn't do email).

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