The falsest of equivalencies

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When Lindsey Graham metaphorically smacked his lips at the delectable prospect of Donald Trump’s goons, ghouls and cretins “rioting in the streets” if Trump should be indicted, he summoned the ghost of Hillary Clinton as a moral justification. After all, the feds did nothing to Hillary, right? If they indict Trump and not Hillary, isn’t that politicalization? Isn’t that favouritism? Isn’t that (gasp!) prosecutorial misconduct?

No it is not. What it is, Senator, is a false equivalency. And you know perfectly well that’s what it is. For Lindsey’s low-information, mouth-breathing followers whom he’s trying to trick with these lies, here’s why.

After an extensive investigation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the FBI found they couldn’t charge her with one or more crimes because she hadn’t committed any. She was indiscreet, to be sure, but indiscretion is not a crime. And lucky for the people who keep insisting that she committed crimes, neither is persistent, intentional, stubborn stupidity.

Why didn’t Hillary commit any crimes? Because there was no deliberate or systemic mishandling of classified information. Because there was no deliberate or systemic intent to conceal classified information. Indeed, there was no mishandling of physical documents at all. Hillary’s documents were electronic. Even the inspector general’s office in Trump’s Justice Department concluded that the FBI had no reason to charge Clinton.

So Clinton took no physical documents out of a SCIF. (Note: no information she handled was SCIF-worthy, either). She didn’t ignore pleas for cooperation from the FBI. She didn’t lie and claim she’d turned them back over to the FBI when in fact she had not. She didn’t store highly sensitive secrets at a private club that had an unfortunate habit of letting foreign spies walk around.

She didn’t try to demonise or vilify the FBI. She didn’t try to provoke hatred against the FBI among her fans and followers. No one tried to murder FBI agents as a result of provocative statements Hillary made about the investigation into her emails. Above all, the FBI didn’t beg her for a year and a half to return stolen documents while she played games with them and told lies to them.

Here’s what she did in fact do: she sent emails on an improperly secured server. Two or three of those emails contained classified information. None of that classified information potentially put at risk lives or national security. She was asked not to do it again. She didn’t do it again. End of story. Get the difference?

Republicans have used “Hillary’s emails” as a pearl-clutching battle cry for years now when they know perfectly well that it’s completely disingenuous to vilify her. But because it’s the best they can come up with they keep doing it, and contemptibly stupid people continue to believe them, the same way contemptibly stupid people believed Senator Joseph McCarthy and his communist-baiting lies.

Trump followers in MAGAland have all the same information we have, they simply reach different conclusions because they’re stupid. They also believe it because they want to, and they are easily persuaded to believe whatever they want to believe because they are also weak.

So the next time someone suggests to you that there is some kind of equivalency between Hillary’s emails and Trump stealing, concealing and lying about highly classified and sensitive materials he stole and tried to conceal at Mar-a-Lago, show them this article. Don’t be surprised if they then refuse to read it. Because stupid people are also ignorant people, and ignorant people often love to stay that way. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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