I ran a nice bubble bath, poured myself a glass of wine and then settled in to watch Rachel Maddow’s coverage from the day’s congressional hearing with FBI Director James Comey and NSA head Mike Rogers.
Maddow played the bombshell moment that I had been dreaming about. Comey confirmed that there is an investigation into Russian intrusion on our election, which was designed to hurt Hillary and help Trump. The investigation, which began last July, includes whether people from the Trump campaign colluded with this interference. I hit rewind and watched it again, just to savor it. I even jumped up for a moment to grab the bottle of champagne I had wanted to pop on election night to celebrate Hillary’s victory. At last, it was time to celebrate.
Oh, the irony. America did not vote for Clinton because they didn’t want an administration under FBI investigation. So instead, they voted for people under FBI investigation. I dropped my head back and laughed and laughed. On election day, Clinton wasn’t even under scrutiny. But Trump’s team was. And what’s worse? A private server—or treason? Oh, those poor American fools, I chuckled as I sipped the bubbly straight from the bottle.
While talking about the investigation, Rachel Maddow herself almost smiled. That was a break from her usual worried look each night as she doggedly delves into the Russian connections to Trump and his associates. What a hero she is. In my younger years, I used to put up posters of bands like The Who and The Rolling Stones. Now I hang screenshots from The Rachel Maddow Show.
I am giddy at the thought that the Hillary Clinton campaign may be vindicated. Her campaign had been shrieking since the summer about Russian hacking and the weaponization of information. Most of the media’s response then was “Yea, whatever,” while pushing the content of the hacked emails like good little unwitting Russian agents. They ignored the real scoop. They can’t anymore.
During the hearing, Comey said that Putin undermined Clinton because he hated her. Of course, Putin hated her. He’s a white man. (Well, maybe it wasn’t that. Maybe it was because she could not be puppeted.) Or perhaps Putin hated her for the same reason a lot of people gave: she just wasn’t “likable.” Perhaps if she “smiled more,” Putin would not have tried to upend American democracy. Maybe if she had just gone to Wisconsin.
One tactic of the Russian operation started during the primary. They flooded pro-Bernie Sanders sites with fake Clinton stories. Social media was inundated with anti-Hillary propaganda. That was in addition to the onslaught pro-Hillary people received from real Sanders supporters. Looking back at the primary, I no longer know whether I was arguing online with my best friends or Russian bots. No wonder most of her supporters went underground. It was too much to take.
So, I just want to say to those who helped spread the smears: Hillary backers are now open to receive your apologies. I have been waiting in my bubble bath for a while, expecting the phone to ring with many people reaching out to ask for forgiveness. I have waited and I’ve waited. I guess they just can’t find their phones.
The one I most want an apology from is James Comey, for writing the letter that sullied Clinton eleven days before the election—all while this more serious Trump/Russian investigation was going on. He should hold a news conference and tell America that he’s sorry. However, if he locks up some of the folks who chanted “lock her up,” he may redeem himself—almost.
Hilary Schwartz is a comedian and writer based in NYC with love (and hate) for politics. She is a regular contributor to Political Storm.