LET THE PRESIDENTIAL HILLARY GAMES BEGIN!
YES, THE DONALD IS GOING THERE!
Mr. Donald Birther Trump has shifted his target of bombast and outrage from his Republican rivals now that he’s pretty sure of receiving the Republican nomination in Cleveland this June, (there is that little contretemps with Paul Ryan (R-WI) but that’s for another post) to Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton. Of course anyone who was around in the 1990’s during hubby Bill’s administration and knowing Trump’s penchant for all things wild and wooly, would have known that this was going to happen. And now it has.
Over the past few days, Trump has dredged up Bill’s impeachment, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary as enabler for her husband’s infidelities, as destroying the “other women,” as unbelievably mean and nasty, and “playing the woman’s card” – whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Me? I am totally thrilled! Now, you know as well as I do that he’s probably saving her criminal involvement in Benghazi and her criminal actions in using a private server until after the respective conventions. I’m sure, television reality show wise that he is, he knows to save the biggies until they can have the largest impact. So his current attacks (ads included) are only his opening gambits and will only increase in breadth and intensity as the election season progresses.
Those of us who lived through the 1990’s and White Water Gate, Jenifer Flowers Gate, Arkansas State Trooper Gate, White House File Gate, White House Travel Gate, Vince Foster Murder Gate and the 18 lawsuits filed by Judicial Watch (not including their current ones over Benghazi and Hillary’s e-mails which would total 20) know the details of all of this crap only too well. (NOTE: Take a look at Judicial Watch’s “Because No One Is Above the Law” website www.juducialwatch.org. They claim to be bipartisan but they’ve filed only a couple of lawsuits against Republicans – Dick Cheney’s secret Energy Taskforce meetings and the Secret Service - against dozens against the Clintons and Democrats so I’m not sure how this can be termed “bi-partisan.” But you decide.)
While Judicial Watch has filed suit against Hillary for her e-mails, no such suits have been filed against Secretaries of States Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice and her staffers who have admitted to doing exactly the same thing. Nor have they seen fit to file suit against the loss of – oh, wait, let me revise – “the accidental, inadvertent deletion” from Government servers of around 1 million e-mails during the Bush Administration. Huh! How odd. So much for Judicial Watch’s definition of bi-partisanship and their empty “Because No One Is Above The Law” motto. But this is how right wingers work. Why the IRS allows this shit to happen is another story all together since apparently the IRS cannot investigate whether tax-exempt organizations are abiding by the rules that allow them this free ride without running into budget cuts from Congress.
We all know – those of us who were around - when Hillary declared in 1998 (that’s almost 30 years ago folks!) there seemed to be a “vast right wing conspiracy” out to do her and her husband harm, we all chuckled if not laughed out loud. How paranoid, we all thought. Except that she was right. Bill Clinton was impeached – only the second President to have earned this honor – based on a consensual blow job in the White House. Now, it was no secret – to the press corps if not the public – that John Kennedy had numerous White House liaisons including with Marilyn Monroe. But that was during the time when news was news and not entertainment as it is today.
The appointment of a Special Prosecutor (arch conservative Kenneth Starr) by the House of Representative plus numerous other folks appointed to investigate White Water, File Gate, Foster Gate, etc. etc. etc. over the years have amounted to nothing except for a colossal waste of time and taxpayer money. Same with Benghazi. But as a result of this conservative smear campaign that’s gone on for nearly 30 years, Hillary Clinton in now tagged as untrustworthy, unreliable, a liar and mean despite not a shred of factual information and/or evidence to bear this out. And it continues.
Frankly, the campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton is brought to us by the very same folks that have conducted the seven year campaign of vitriol against President Obama. Only the one against Hillary has gone on a lot longer. And this parallels the conservative, Republican need to disenfranchise Democrats, strip folks who have been convicted of crimes and served their sentences of their voting rights, of gerrymandering congressional Districts since they can no longer get elected by simply appealing to voters directly without these dubious strategies. Thus their efforts to derail Hillary.
I’m hoping that Hillary does not shy away from responding to Trump’s attacks. While we Baby Boomers understand the genesis of the “untrustworthy” “unreliable” “devious” Hillary Clinton, there may be a swath of the public who does not. This is particularly relevant to Millennials who grew up in this age of “news as entertainment” and have no connection to a time when news was actually news. Then too, they don’t know that in our recent past, Fox News would not be able to get away with their lies and propaganda when we had laws that prevented the media from getting away with such crap. We no longer do. But the more that Hillary is upfront about the unsubstantiated, unsupported and totally false and baseless charges levied against her, the better off she will be. People really do need to know the truth.
Here’s what I mean. The current Trump charge that Hillary destroyed the women Bill had affairs with has arisen from the right wing media and I have yet to see any evidence that this is so. What, for example, did Hillary do to Monica Lewinsky? For the most part, all I can recall is Hillary’s silence on the issue given the humiliation and embarrassment the entire affair caused. Jennifer Flowers? Her defamation case against the Clintons, George Stephanopoulos and James Carville, was dismissed by the District Court, which action was then affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court on appeal in 2006. Flowers, however, sold her story to the tabloids and Penthouse magazine and is estimated to have earned $500,000 over the affair. (That would be $850,000 today.) Also she posed nude for Penthouse magazine prior to her affair with Bill.
The White Water scandal involved the Clinton's investment in an Arkansas land development that went bankrupt while Bill was Governor of Arkansas. Fifteen people were convicted for fraud and a variety of other criminal actions and served jail sentences. David Hale, a municipal judge who originally brought the criminal charges against the Clintons over White Water, was found to have defrauded the Small Business Administration to the tune of $300,000 and served two years and four months in prison. The final word on White Water by Kenneth Starr's successor as Independent Counsel, Robert Ray, in a report releasedin September 2000 that stated: "This office determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that either President or Mrs. Clinton knowingly participated in any criminal conduct." Thus the first and most explosive of the criminal scandals cleared the Clintons but not more than a dozen others.
And so it goes with all the other crimes the Clintons have allegedly committed over the past thirty years. Of course, the right wing will tell you that this is because the Clintons are so powerful that they have been able to silence, coerce, bribe and intimidate folks. This, of course, defies logic. With so many official, lengthy and vigorous investigations, so many charges, so many scandals, so many court cases, it is simply irrational that someone, somewhere at sometime wouldn’t save their own ass by coming clean about Bill and Hilary’s involvement in criminal activity. But, here’s the reality: Out of all those folks who have “dropped a dime,” who have “attempted to prove criminal allegations,” “who have testified against the Clintons in courts of law” not a single charge adjudicated by the many courts that have processed these so-called criminal claims have ever found the Clintons guilty of anything. Read that again: not a single charge adjudicated by the many courts that have processed these so-called criminal claims have ever found the Clintons guilty of anything. On the contrary, most of the claims and charges – even on appeal – have gone against the complainants or they have been dismissed by the courts.
Another trend that is very apparent in the right wing world of non-facts and propaganda in 2016 in the continuing right wing tradition, is the tendency to depict Hillary as some powerhouse during her husband’s administration. I’ve seen allegations that she was behind the Crime Bill of 1994, that she was behind the passage of GATT and NAFTA, that she was behind the invasion of the former Yugoslavia. But unless I’m mistaken, Hillary was First Lady, not President, not a Senator, not a public official. In fact, other than her life-long campaign for children’s rights, the only policy issue she was closely associated with was attempting to craft new Health Care legislation. That, for those of us who were there at the time, was a massive failure. It went nowhere. It was a massive embarrassment. (Big Pharma and the Health Insurance killed the effort.) In fact, it was two decades later that such efforts bore fruit under the Obama Administration with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. So call me stupid, but I just don’t see how she was able to get all these things through Congress as First Lady. It simply didn’t happen.
We can all debate Hillary’s experience, her history, her accomplishments, her public record, and her qualifications for the Presidency. But we must debate these issues based on facts not on unfounded allegations all of which have proven to amount to a bunch of “right wing conspiratorial” bullshit. There is no “there,” “there.” In regards to all of this crap one should ask “So where’s the beef?” I have no problem vetting Hillary but let’s investigate her actions based on reality not conjecture, slander and right wing bullshit. And if you think that I’m just blindly supporting a damaged woman or public official, let me give you a clue about just how right she was back when she so hilariously declared that there was a “vast right wing conspiracy” out to get her and Bill.
Last year, yes, 2015, around October if I recall correctly, I ran across a piece from the Drudge Report (might have been Breitbart) with a new wrinkle about Hillary’s involvement with the death (murder) of Vince Foster that was also a part of Kenneth Starr’s investigation into the Clintons back in 1993. The 2016 update goes like this:
“Hillary Clinton did not actually pull the trigger on the gun that killed Vince Foster, but she made the arrangements for his murder.”
Google “new Vince Foster allegations” or something similar and you will come up with a flood of right wing stupidity alleging that Foster and Hillary had a long term affair, that there was a cover up, that there was a second bullet wound in Foster’s body, and a whole rotting raft of other such bullshit. It's demented. So, now tell me that there isn’t some conspiracy against Hillary with all the crap that's still floating across the planet.
Let me be clear: I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter at least as far as what he’s proposing. I would love for the U.S. to become more socialist like France, or Germany, or Sweden or Denmark. But I won’t live that long, if it ever happens. My problem with Bernie is the implementation of his proposals which will require massive new Congressional legislation and I don’t think this in the cards any time soon given the current state of affairs in both houses of Congress. Yes, Hillary’s proposals are more modest than Bernie’s but I think they have a better chance of actually being implemented. That said, if Bernie is the Democratic candidate for the Presidency, damned straight I will vote for him. If he's not, then damned straight I'm voting for Hillary. There is simply no other rational choice.
Finally, here’s a piece I posted some time ago comparing Bernie’s honesty with Hillary’s: