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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 27 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
(THREAD) Given tonight's major news about Ivanka having done for many months *exactly what her dad said another woman should go to prison for*, I think it's time for me to do an Ivanka thread. I hope you'll read on and share—as an Ivanka thread is like the white whale of threads.
1/ First, here's the story we're talking about—which I hasten to emphasize is not, actually, important. Why do I say that? Because everyone in America knows that no one actually cares about whether someone uses their personal email for government business.…
2/ Let me *quickly* add that we *should* care—deeply—whether someone uses personal email for government business. And it's even the case that, when it's politically expedient—but *only then*—certain politicians will actually *pretend* to care about this in fact important issue.
3/ So someone needs to state the obvious tonight: NO ONE IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY and NO ONE IN AMERICA actually, really, seriously, honestly gave a single goddamn about Hillary Clinton's emails. What Republicans and Republican voters did was *pretend* that they cared. Here's why:
4/ In 2016, Republican voters were looking for any excuse they could possibly find to vote for a racist, misogynist, pathologically dishonest, borderline nonfunctional human intellect for Most Powerful Person on Earth. So any cheap excuse to throw morality to the wind was useful.
5/ What Republican voters lit upon was an issue they didn't care about *whatsoever*—"her emails"—which had enough of a sheen of plausibility about it that they could vote for Trump and have a way of explaining it besides "Trump that b*tch" or whatever the Trump t-shirts all said.
6/ What was ironic about this bait-and-switch—Republicans voting against Hillary on the stated basis of her emails, with the real reason being misogyny (i.e. not liking "her sort of woman")—is that it actually really is important to not use personal email for government business.
7/ When government officials use personal email for government business, it's often to ensure what they're saying lies outside the reach of FOIA requests or other oversight. While that's important at all times, it's *really* vital when venal grifters like the Trumps are in power.
8/ I was in a strange category during the email controversy—I call it "attorney"—inasmuch as I'd vote for Clinton over Trump 100 times out of 100 (and indeed did vote for her, after endorsing her in an essay published during the DNC) but still was bothered by her email practices.
9/ Anyone who voted for Clinton but expressed dismay at her email practices is well within their rights to now say Ivanka should skewered for *her* practices—particularly as, unlike Hillary, Ivanka had *2 years* of "lock her up!" chants ensuring she knew what proper practice was.
10/ Unfortunately, 99% of voters already fall into 1 of 2 camps: either they're Democrats who said Hillary's email practices didn't matter in 2016, in which case they arguably must say the same now, or they're Republicans who said it *mattered* then and therefore must matter now.
11/ But let's be frank with one another: no Democrat is actually going to say *Ivanka's* errors don't matter, just as no Republican is going to say Ivanka's errors *do* matter—and at base *no one* really thinks this issue matters—so this WaPo story is actually not that important.
12/ In US politics, a story becomes important when there are a large number of people with moral standing to call it important—otherwise, everyone discussing the story is a hypocrite and that allows everyone *reading* about the said story to mutter, "a pox on *both* your houses."
13/ At most, what will come of this story is Dems stating (correctly) that the Trumps are hypocrites—that they demanded someone *go to prison* for something *all of them* were doing, going to do, or willing to do themselves—while GOP voters will say Dems can't be angry at Ivanka.
14/ Hillary should've known better, and did something bad, and maybe should've been held accountable in some way, but it shouldn't in a *million years* have kept her from the White House. Likewise, Ivanka should've known better—for different reasons—and should face consequences.
15/ This last point raises—finally—the main point of this thread: "The Ivanka Question." A key difference between Hillary and Ivanka and that everything Hillary *ever* did was placed under *wild* amounts of scrutiny while Ivanka—a *far* shadier operator—has escaped all oversight.
16/ Hillary was investigated for *20 years* and they found *nothing* except some bad email practices and maybe a bad call regarding the security situation at Benghazi. Nothing that'd cost someone the presidency. Meanwhile, Ivanka has been credibly accused of fraud *repeatedly*.
17/ On *countless* occasions Ivanka and her organization have partnered with the criminal element in business deals, and Ivanka has multiple times misrepresented the occupancy at Trump properties. And she has mixed her business and government roles in a way that's per se corrupt.
18/ Moreover, Ivanka's one of the chief advisers of the most corrupt president in U.S. history—maybe *the* top adviser (and if she isn't, her husband is, and they're a "business unit" of sorts)—which automatically makes her the *chief witness* to a slough of Trump-era corruption.
19/ Moreover, Ivanka's involved in the Trump-Russia investigation *specifically* though her management of a Russia-linked business venture in Panama; her/Jared's friendship with Leon Black, of the Russian Direct Investment Fund advisory board; and via Putin girlfriend Wendi Deng.
20/ Yet no one will *ever* question Ivanka about *any* of this because her dad would go ballistic—he would fire Mueller and, if Mueller had brought any charges against Ivanka, would pardon her immediately (which many people expect he will do when/as Donald Trump Jr. is indicted).
21/ Ivanka therefore is—more than almost any American—above the law. *Unlike Hillary*, there isn't an effective way to investigate her—and say what you like about Hillary, you have to admit that *no one* ever had *any* difficulty finding ways to investigate the *hell* out of her.
22/ It's in *that* context that Ivanka using her personal email to hide her government business from America matters—because she *is* a key Trump-Russia witness who's currently protected from any questions or consequences regarding her behavior due to her dad being a corrupt man.
23/ So don't fall into the trap of attacking Ivanka using Hillary as a touchstone unless a) you have clean hands (by virtue of having criticized Clinton also for her email use) or b) you're happy to have this WP story become just a giant echo chamber for accusations of hypocrisy.
24/ If, instead, you want this story to be *big*, start asking "The Ivanka Question." The Ivanka Question is this: "Why has Ivanka escaped *all questioning* in the Trump-Russia matter—despite her being her father's confidant *and* connected to certain key issues within the case?"
25/ If you ask The Ivanka Question, you then get to then ask The Ivanka Followup Question: "Was Ivanka's evasion of FOIA requests and federal oversight of her email connected to her knowledge she can get away with *anything*, never even facing *questions* about her actions?" /end
PS/ The theory I'm proposing—that tonight's news has everything to do with Ivanka and Trump corruption (including Russian collusion) and nothing to do with Hillary unless Democrats just want a pointless shouting match—could *also* refocus attention on Ivanka in a responsible way.
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