Thanks to private emails made public by WikiLeaks we’re learning all sorts of new things about the Hillary Clinton campaign. Clinton knew Saudi Arabia was funding ISIS. They feared Rand Paul becoming the Republican nominee. Advisers knew that raising the minimum wage would cost jobs but were still fine with Clinton supporting it for political reasons. Some think Chelsea Clinton is a “spoiled brat.”
We also now know, or have had what we already know reinforced, that protecting civil liberties is not a priority for Hillary Clinton.
Clinton strategist Luke Albee wrote in an email to campaign manager John Podesta on Friday, November 20, 2015, “I can’t quite articulate this…but having met with hundreds and hundreds of Virginia Tea Party folks for (U.S. Senator Mark Warner), and having actually listened to them… I think there is something here…”
“Trump (and others?) have called for registering Muslims. He has called for a federal domestic police force that will be focussed on arresting and deporting 11 million people.” Albee noted. “Other candidates are talking about separating immigrants by religion,” he continued.
“All of this is about building up and feeding the BIG BROTHER beast,” Albee emphasized, using all caps.
“The Tea Party was born bc of the perception of government encroachment in peoples lives — and it really has always been the Rand Paul mantra: government wants to control your health care decisions,” Albee said of the conservative grassroots of the Republican Party. “Government wants… register all your guns, which will ultimately lead to gun confiscation…. Government wants the ability to murder its own citizens with drones (remember the Rand Paul filibuster on that one?).”
“The Snowden stuff confirmed what many felt… the government was collecting vast troves > of information on everyone,” Albee wrote.
Then the Clinton strategist wondered if their candidate might capitalize on the anti-Big Brother mood among some conservatives and libertarians who tend to vote Republican. Maybe Clinton could stand to gain politically from trying to be just a little more like Rand Paul on these issues?
“At a certain point, I think HRC might bring together all the different strands (mostly Trumps) of expanding federal Big Brother government — and talk about how its possible to be safe without creating some kind of large and cumbersome and intrusive police state,” Albee wondered. “This will sew divisions and acrimony on the other side.”
Albee even suggested, “maybe she SHOULD pick a fight with Trump on this to help cement his front runner status.” We know from other WikiLeaks email threads that the Clinton camp preferred to run against Trump seeing him as a weaker candidate.
Still, John Podesta responded to Luke Albee, “Interesting. Her instincts are to buy some of the law enforcement arguments on crypto and Snowden type issues.”
“So may be tough, but worth looking for an opening,” Podesta added in a short response.
Needless to say, Clinton has never been to known to favor civil liberties or privacy rights over increased security, and that hasn’t changed during this election. Clinton has even called for increased mass surveillance.
Strategist Luke Albee apparently once had the wild idea that Hillary Clinton might benefit by painting Donald Trump as Big Brother. But it looks like Big Sister has no such intention.
Disclosure: I co-authored Senator Rand Paul’s 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington.