Democrats On Record Destruction: Who Cares?

“Few Democrats,” according to the Washington Post this morning, “believe that the revelations about [Hillary Clinton’s] un­or­tho­dox e-mail practices as secretary of state are a substantive issue that would damage Clinton with voters, and many said she performed adequately in a Tuesday news conference defending herself.”

I suspect the Post is right. Democrats have shown a remarkable ability to defend whatever legally “unorthodox” practices Democratic politicians engage in. I wonder, though, how many of those Democrats who are old enough to remember their anger at Richard Nixon’s “unorthodox” destruction of eighteen and a half minutes of White House conversations will continue to look so kindly at Hillary Clinton’s “unorthodox” appropriation to herself alone, the Federal Records Act be damned, the sole, unreviewable ability to shape and splice and delete and even augment the entire corpus of her email correspondence during her service as Secretary of State.

All of the “top Democrats” quoted by the Post were concerned at how poorly Hillary has handled “the story” of her email. None expressed any concern with how she handled “her” documents.

Usually historians get quite agitated about even retail document destruction, but in an OpEd yesterday in the New York Times Richard Immerman, a professor of  history at Temple and Chairman of the State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee and Matthew Connelly, a professor of history at Columbia, seem to believe that “What Hillary Clinton’s Emails Really Reveal” is that the National Archives, ultimately responsible for overseeing the Federal Records Act, is overworked and that our regulations for the retention of electronic records need revision.

Both of those are no doubt true, but neither has much if anything to do with what Hillary’s Clinton’s “unorthodox” retention of sole control over her email reveals.

Say What?