With all the furor surrounding the Wikileaks dumps of John Podesta’s emails, most of the energy on this side of the pond seems to be spent on finding some kind of a smoking gun–proof positive of anything scandalous, really, that could be used to either club his client Hillary Clinton or provide further proof of how much the “news” media are in the tank for her. Over in the UK, meanwhile, Thomas Frank has taken to the pages of The Guardian to give us a more interesting analysis of what those purloined emails, like the pages of a political potboiler, actually tell us about the way that Washington works and the lives of the people running the show:
The class to which I refer is not rising in angry protest; they are by and large pretty satisfied, pretty contented…
They are the comfortable and well-educated mainstay of our modern Democratic party. They are also the grandees of our national media; the architects of our software; the designers of our streets; the high officials of our banking system; the authors of just about every plan to fix social security or fine-tune the Middle East with precision droning. They are, they think, not a class at all but rather the enlightened ones, the people who must be answered to but who need never explain themselves.
It’s an interesting read, and pretty much confirms what we’ve long suspected about our nation’s capital having all the depth and intrigue of a CW soap opera–minus the impossibly good-looking characters. What’s most remarkable, though, is the utterly insulated way of life inside that bubble, with the triumvirate of big media, big politics and big money (in the form of Wall Street sharks and Silicon Valley messiahs) networking with each other in an elaborate dance of power and prestige–and if you ain’t born to it or married to it, there’s no way you’re going to be allowed in.
Masters of the Universe, truly.
Now juxtapose that against this post about Hillary’s email woes from the Z Blog:
The most amusing part of this caper is they started sending e-mails from this domain to people outside the domain. If they had kept this as a tight internal communication system, they could have got away with it…
Once e-mail was sent from the domain to outsiders, it was only a matter of time before the secret was out. They were lucky that most media people are remarkably stupid so they lack the wherewithal to wonder why Hillary Clinton did not have a State Department e-mail account. Watch the cable channels and you come away thinking that the people on TV just learned about e-mail last week. Eventually the Romanian cab driver unearthed the whole thing and the enterprise came crashing down.
Of course, none of this is a surprise to those who have even a passing familiarity with how email works–but apparently that was all too much rocket science for our ruling elites to understand, so they just went ahead and conducted classified business on a server that didn’t even have SSL encryption.
Which begs the question: How could the Masters of the Universe be so stupid?
There are many answers to that, arrogance being the most obvious–and as we’ve seen, arrogance coupled with ignorance can lead to some entertaining stuff. It’s the same potent cocktail that makes that dude from Fast Times at Ridgemont High fancy himself an intellectual and that heartthrob from Titanic think he’s a climate scientist: no, you’re not really that smart–but because you’re a celebrity and everybody tells you you’re a freekin’ genius, after a while you actually start to believe it.
The Washington elites are no different. Because they all attend the same schools, know the same people, intermingle and intermarry, they rarely (if ever) get a look outside of the cozy bubble they live in. And because they believe themselves to be our intellectual betters, they’re free to monkey around with public policy as they please, knowing that they’ll never have to personally face the consequences for their failures. And because they’re think they’re too smart to be dumb, they fail quite a bit–which goes a long way toward explaining the state of our inner cities and our public education system.
Things being what they are, it’s no shock that we have the rise of someone like Donald Trump. The only surprise is that it took this long for it to happen.Share