Friday, September 9, 2016

Reaching The Point Of "Now, We Turn"

Earlier this week, commenter Prup predicted that Wednesday night's military issues presidential candidate forum with Matt Lauer may have been a turning point in the campaign.

I don't have a specific reason, but I expect this competing town hall event may be looked back as one of the most important events in the campaign, for any number of reasons.

It's starting to look like Prup was right on the money as now the Washington Post editorial board is weighing in on Lauer's downright silly performance.

JUDGING BY the amount of time NBC’s Matt Lauer spent pressing Hillary Clinton on her emails during Wednesday’s national security presidential forum, one would think that her homebrew server was one of the most important issues facing the country this election. It is not. There are a thousand other substantive issues — from China’s aggressive moves in the South China Sea to National Security Agency intelligence-gathering to military spending — that would have revealed more about what the candidates know and how they would govern. Instead, these did not even get mentioned in the first of 5½ precious prime-time hours the two candidates will share before Election Day, while emails took up a third of Ms. Clinton’s time.

Sadly, Mr. Lauer’s widely panned handling of the candidate forum was not an aberration. Judging by polls showing that voters trust Mr. Trump more than Ms. Clinton, as well as other evidence, it reflects a common shorthand for this election articulated by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick last week: “You have Donald Trump, who’s openly racist,” he said. Then, of Ms. Clinton: “I mean, we have a presidential candidate who’s deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me, because if that was any other person, you’d be in prison.”

In fact, Ms. Clinton’s emails have endured much more scrutiny than an ordinary person’s would have, and the criminal case against her was so thin that charging her would have been to treat her very differently. Ironically, even as the email issue consumed so much precious airtime, several pieces of news reported Wednesday should have taken some steam out of the story. First is a memo FBI Director James B. Comey sent to his staff explaining that the decision not to recommend charging Ms. Clinton was “not a cliff-hanger” and that people “chest-beating” and second-guessing the FBI do not know what they are talking about. Anyone who claims that Ms. Clinton should be in prison accuses, without evidence, the FBI of corruption or flagrant incompetence.

For the Washington Post to come in using an editorial position to say that the coverage of Hillary Clinton's e-mails is too much ado about nothing is what should have been said months ago, but at least the Post is finally making noise about it now.

And yes, that seems like something of a turning point to me.
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