Today’s it’s Hillary’s turn in the bullseye. Don’t worry, Donald Trump in particular and the GOP in general will be topics of future posts, with the Democrats being mentioned either along with the GOP or in a separate post of their own.
For those not interested in things political, here’s an amusing gif of a dog taking a bath with a rubber ducky on his head. For the rest of you, we start after the jump.
Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that Hillary Clinton is guilty of all the crimes the GOP has accused her of.
In 30 years time, they have failed to have her indicted, charged, arrested, or tried, much less convicted and sentenced.
This during periods when they controlled the White House, controlled the legislature, controlled the judiciary.
This during periods when they controlled not only federal offices such as the Department of Justice and the FBI but state offices as well.
zero zip nada bupkis
Assuming, again for the sake of argument, that she is indeed guilty, that means she’s too smart for them to catch.
Despite numerous official investigations and countless unofficial ones through the press, Hillary Clinton has eluded them.
She has been vindicated by every official investigation on or around her. The GOP couldn’t even hang Benghazi on her and were forced to exonerate her not once, not twice, but eight -- count ‘em eight -- times.
Assuming she is indeed this master criminal they claim her to be, then she is a James Bond-worthy adversary…
…and the GOP is Maxwell Smart: Demonstrably and woefully incompetent if, with all the evidence they claim to have possessed, they still couldn’t put her away.
Hell, they couldn’t even convict Bill Clinton of an open and shut case of perjury under oath.
If they are that incompetent, then let the competent crook have control.
She’s at least demonstrated herself as being unflappable under the worst of situations, can stick to her strategy, and won’t be deterred from her mission.
And if she lines her pockets, she’s at least sensible enough not to kill the goose laying the golden eggs.
That’s assuming, for the sake of argument, of course, that she is indeed guilty.
Assume, if you would, and also for the sake of argument, that she is actually innocent of all the crimes the GOP has accused her of.
If she is then she has been the victim of a 30 year witch hunt, a slander campaign unprecedented in U.S. history. This is not a campaign based on principle but on emotion: Hillary Clinton, and other Democrats, represent an existentialist threat to the GOP, at least as it exists today.
What could cause such animosity?
Well, Bill & Hill were textbook examples of the kinds of college students found on campuses in the 1960s. Hillary Clinton started as a Young Republican “Goldwater Girl” then switched over to Democratic politics as a young lawyer. She had a small part in helping research the impeachment charges against Richard Nixon.*
Assuming again for the sake of argument that Hillary Clinton is 100% innocent, then the GOP has demonstrated itself to be deliberately and willfully and knowingly engaged in a generation-long smear campaign directed solely for corrupt purposes, comprised of lies and innuendos, and dedicated to thwarting the will of the American people.
If the GOP is that selfish and malignant, they should be voted out of office, if not out of existence.
The truth, of course, probably lays somewhere in between.
There is no doubt that despite her countercultural college roots, Hillary Clinton is a classic mainstream politician of the Southern good ol’ boy (and now gal) variety.
She does not appear to be squeaky clean: She has been found in the vicinity when others have been convicted of financial shenanigans, and she has never passed on an opportunity to line her own pocket by whatever legal means are available even if they look a bit iffy.
Conversely, she has given value to her voters, fighting for things her constituents want and either getting them or coming close, not just passing meaningless votes that would never survive executive or judicial review.
She is a savvy, competent, experienced politician.
The great unanswered and, barring a deathbed confession on someone’s part, unanswerable question lays in what she knew about Bill Clinton’s swinish behavior regarding his unwanted sexual harassment of women.
As products of 1960s college campuses, Bill & Hill were certainly exposed to a different type of sexual morality than older generations.
Call it less prudish, call it more libertine, it was less hypocritical in terms of sexual repression but perhaps more hypocritical in terms of not condemning bad behavior.
And Bill Clinton, by everyone’s account including his own, behaved very, very badly.
What did Hillary know and when did she know it?
Was she always so smitten with Bill that she overlooked his flirtatious nature, his petty dalliances, his incessant affairs, his sexual abuses, his near-rapes?
If so, she’s not the first woman who was so beguiled by a man that she ended up carrying water for his crimes.
Or was she cold and calculating and a silent conspirator with Bill’s libido in order to advance her own ambitions through his political career?
That would be far from unheard of, too.
We can never prove either case objectively because time and memory blur events, because key players and witnesses are no longer among the living, and because the Clintons were the targets of a campaign against them so virulent that it manufactured and misrepresented incidents in an effort to destroy them, thus muddying the waters forever.
The truth, based on what we do know, again may be somewhere in between.
The Clintons’ relationship certainly started in mutual respect, love, and admiration; Bill Clinton has often cited Hillary Clinton’s keen intellect and political passion as among the things that attracted and kept him close to her despite a rocky marriage.
We know as both a product of so-called “liberal” 1960s college campuses and good ol’ boy Southern sexism, Bill Clinton felt entitled to sexual dalliances at his convenience.
We know this was a friction point in their marriage many, many times, just as it was a friction point in the marriages of many people, especially politicians, particularly Southern politicians.
We know that unique to the Clintons’ case, they were faced with an opposition not merely content to stoop to rumor mongering but manufacturing criminal accusations as well.
We know that Bill Clinton’s ego was such that he couldn’t simply ignore Paula Jones’ lawsuit, that he could not stop carrying on affairs despite knowing he was under intense scrutiny, and that he thought he could get away with it if he lied and persuaded others to lie.
We do not know if Hillary was part of those decisions.
We do not know if Hillary stuck by Bill even knowing he had done wrong, or if she stuck by him because despite all the hurt and humiliation he inflicted on them, he was still her husband, he was still the father of their child.
We know their marriage has never been the same since then, and that they are, for all intents and purposes, living separate lives.
We know that since the impeachment, Hillary Clinton has been more of an advocate for women’s rights, particularly in regards to rape and sexual harassment, than in the past.
And we know from her own history as a “Goldwater Girl” that she is capable of changing her mind based on new information (the same as every responsible human being should do; only demagogues and fools never change their opinions or ideas).
Hillary Clinton was probably never the Lady Macbeth her enemies painted her. She was never the patient saint of her hagiographers, either.
She was then and now a human being like all human beings, filled with complexities and contradictions.
But most of all, one thing she is now is qualified to be president of the United States.
* Nixon’s 5 o’clock shadow looms large over the GOP. A fervent anti-communist, he was only one step below the infamous Joe McCarthy in his willingness to judge and slander Americans over their political beliefs. A corrupt criminal and a bona fide traitor -- his campaign sabotage an early round of Vietnam peace talks in 1968 so as to scuttle Democratic chances -- when he finally obtained the presidency as a notoriously divisive candidate, he and others in his administration engaged in criminal activities directed at other Americans of such an epic scope that in the end even his own party was forced to turn against him. That history has since demonstrated he was not an aberration but an example of Republican political ethics has rubbed the GOP raw ever since, and rather than tend to their own house they have chosen, in the manner of all guilty parties trying to hide their culpability, to attempt to shift blame and project it on their political enemies. What the GOP accuses of others, they are guilty of themselves and the record in the form of arrests and convictions of GOP operatives over the last 40 years proves this.