The media today is dutifully reporting that Hillary Clinton has “changed her tack” on the email scandal that is threatening to sink her campaign. What does that allegedly involve? Almost exclusively saying that she “takes responsibility” for using two different emails:
“I know people have raised questions about my email use as secretary of state, and I understand why,” Mrs. Clinton said Wednesday. “I get it. So here’s what I want the American people to know: My use of personal email was allowed by the State Department. It clearly wasn’t the best choice. I should’ve used two emails: one personal, one for work.”
She added: “I take responsibility for that decision, and I want to be as transparent as possible, which is why I turned over 55,000 pages, why I’ve turned over my server, why I’ve agreed to — in fact, been asking to — and have finally gotten a date to testify before a congressional committee in October.”
“I’m confident that this process will prove that I never sent, nor received, any email that was marked classified,” she said.
Under no circumstances is this statement a whit different, substantively, than anything she has said before. In previous statements she has a) claimed that her use of the personal server was allowed b) admitted that it wasn’t a good thing to do in hindsight, c) made vague representations about turning over documents, and d) denied that she sent or received classified email. These are the same exact claims she has made since day one of this controversy.
The only differences are differences of omission. She is no longer ludicrously claiming that she had two separate emails because she didn’t want to use two separate devices. She’s always made these exact same four claims before, however, so this is nothing new.
The only arguably new thing here is her statement “I take responsibility for that decision[.]” What that means, however, we are left to wonder. In the same breath that she denies that there was anything wrong for it or that she did anything wrong whatsoever, she “takes responsibility” for having done it.
That is not the ordinary sense in which people usually use the words “I take responsibility.” This would be the rough equivalent of Scott Peterson saying, “I take responsibility for killing my wife, which I definitely didn’t do.” Or maybe Cecile Richards saying “We take responsibility for selling baby parts for money, which there is absolutely nothing wrong with.”
It is an attempt to appear contrite without actually expression contrition whatsoever. It fools Clinton’s willing dupes in the press into thinking that she is changing her tone on the email scandal and actually addressing it head on, when in fact she is saying something that is zero per cent different at all.
Hillary Clinton has “take[n] responsibility” for putting the nation’s national security at risk for the sake of her personal privacy in exactly the same way that Michael Scott “declared bankruptcy” on the office – which is to say, not at all.