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October 23, 2015

THE DIG’S FRIDAY MAILBAG: Taking your questions on Benghazi, Biden & Twitter!

Hola amigos! Or, as they may say in Benghazi, مرحبا! Our regularly scheduled mailbag falls right smack dab in the middle of Hillary Clinton’s epic Benghazi hearings. Apropos of this explosive scandal, our song this week is AC/DC – Dirty Deeds. Just make sure the kids are in bed before you press play!

Now on to the mailbag…

Is Benghazi-email server-Blumenthalgate finally going to end Hillary’s campaign?

-Paul in Greene, ND

As a veteran Clinton-watcher I’ve seen Bill and Hillary worm their way out of dozens of scandals, each one individually explosive enough to take down a less savvy politico. I had the foresight to know that Whitewater, Travelgate, Lewinskygate, et al wouldn’t be enough to knock off Slick Willy. So it’s a big deal when a seasoned Clinton analyst like me has an inkling that the email scandal that has enraptured the nation will finally be their undoing. It has all the makings of a huge Hollywood blockbuster: a secret e-mail server! Open records administrative violations! THE Sid Blumenthal! Plus a hunky male lead in the form of Rep. Trey Gowdy, a tortured genius who just wants to get to the bottom of it all. Right now the question isn’t just “will her campaign survive?” — it’s “will she escape a life sentence in jail?” Get your popcorn ready.

Why do you think Joe Biden chose to sit it out this go around? From the way you spoke about him, he seemed like a shoo-in for the candidacy?

-Jessiga Grunkle, Sioux Falls, SD

This is my favorite part of being a reporter: when I get to put on my Sherlock Holmes disguise and do some classic detective work for why the inevitable did not take place. I gotta say, it’s elementary, my dear Watson: Beau Biden. The unfortunate departure of the Veep’s son displays a dangerous unpredictability in the candidate. My guess is, Biden’s pollsters saw this in initial focus groups and pulled the plug. Sorry, Joe, you’ll never fulfill your promise to come in third in another primary.

Who are the big winners in the Benghazi hearings?

-Marla in Portland, ME

No doubt: Trey Gowdy, who gets some serious facetime with the American people and the ability to flaunt his Spanish Moss and leftover Chinese takeout-inspired hairdo for the C-SPAN cameras. If Republicans don’t win the White House next year look for Gowdy to throw his hat in the ring come 2020, pitching voters on how he could use knowledge of what happened in Benghazi to safeguard our embassies in the future.

Another winner: our ambassadors across the world, who are sure to receive extra protection as a result of the committee’s fine work. Look for these guys to walk around surrounded by platoons of heavily-armed Marines in square formation at all times.

Dig, I’m an avid follower of yours on, among other mediums, Twitter. I can’t help but notice the negativity you incur there, despite your superhumanly clear vision of politics, pleasing avuncular demeanor, and uproarious sense of snark. How do you rise above the haters?

-David “The Milk” Milkberg in Essex County, NJ

I was hesitant of jumping into the veritable sewer of negativity that is Twitter. The humanesque monsters that inhabit this medium are a vast departure from the ladies and gentlemen that occupied the old newsgroups that I was quite the sensation in. And yes, the blatant nastiness of these pig-men braying their porcine snouts at my reasoned posts can get old.

I gotta say though, for every should-be suicide stalking everything I say, trying to prove that they, the lower human, can tell me anything, there are some good folks there. It can still get emotionally trying. Recently, I poured over everyone who “favorited” a cruel, ironic tweet that seemed to mock me, and felt sickened as I blocked every piece of trash that came up.

What right do they have to judge me? Does just the simple availability of a wi-fi signal and access to a device entitle them to this real estate in my emotional state? Why am I plagued with the inequities and toil that men like this have foisted on men like me? I reject it! I am compelled to this gentrified Sodom and Gomorrah where the streets are paved in feces and the rivers run with the waste and tears of the wicked, simply because the literati are here. I am cursed to track the most happening trends as the villagers hurl their barbs on a knight. The weight of Christ’s cross bears down on my shoulders ten fold. How much longer must my liver be plucked from my gut? For Prometheus it was eternity. For me, it may be longer.

But to answer your question, I just ignore the haters. I don’t really care what they have to say.

Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years, and is the author of “Think-ocracy: The Rise Of The Brainy Congressman”. He currently resides in New York, but also spends time in Washington DC and Los Angeles (but most of all, airports!).