Hillary Clinton’s Non-Existent Free Pass
Hillary Clinton has endured fewer TV attack ads so far in the 2016 campaign than Marco Rubio.That remarkable fact underscores how virtually unchallenged Clinton has been on the advertising airwaves, as Democratic and Republican strategists alike say she has gone deeper into the election calendar than any non-incumbent president they can remember in the modern era without sustained, paid opposition on television. – Shane Goldmacher, “Hillary Clinton’s Historic Free Pass On The Airwaves,” Politico, August 23, 2016
But on Monday, Clinton was delivered a rude reminder that her long-running woes will likely persist all the way to November — and potentially beyond. A federal judge ordered that the State Department must review 14,900 documents discovered by the FBI as investigators probed Clinton’s use of a private email server during her four years at the agency, and he set a hearing date for next month about the “production” of such emails. That means Clinton could be a hit by a wave of fresh emails — possibly including deleted emails the FBI recovered — right before the election.(emphasis added) – Nick Gass, “Clinton Faces Late Summer Scandal Wave,” Politico, August 22, 2016
I weep for our stupid political insider reporting. Esquire’s Charlie Pierce calls Politico Tiger Beat On The Potomac, and the above articles are excellent examples why that works. First is the claim that, since there has been very little negative advertising directed at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she has had “a free pass” during her candidacy for the Presidency. Just the day before, they published an article saying she faces “a scandal wave”, while the story itself uses the conditional “could”, a single word that carries the entire weight of the story on its possible shoulders. It’s an open secret Washington insiders detest the Clintons. While the Post is pulling out all the stops attacking Trump since he banished them from the press bus, the rest of the press corps works tirelessly asking Clinton questions about Benghazi, questions about her emails, questions about her health, and now questions about the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during her tenure. This last in particular would be laughable if it weren’t being pressed with such dogged, if stupid, determination. She was Secretary of State for years. Not once during those years were questions asked about any possible collusion or conflict-of-interest. Now, all of a sudden, it’s a “scandal”. All because some emails are now public, released by Julian Assange who, it seems, doesn’t particularly like Sec. Clinton.
In the meantime, people continue to insist she’s personally responsible for the deaths of four foreign service workers in Benghazi in 2012, despite nine separate investigations finding nothing. The whole email nonsense – both the question of her using a private server for professional use as well as the recently dumped emails from Wikileaks – continues to be a non-story, no matter how often people insist it’s worse than Watergate. Recently, there is the whole nonsense about Clinton’s health, pushed by bottom-feeders like Roger Stone and Sean Hannity. Just to show what a horrible human being Roger Stone is, his new book recycles the claim that Webster Hubble is Chelsea Clinton’s real father, claiming the young Ms. Clinton has had multiple plastic surgeries (with no evidence whatsoever). Little different from Rush Limbaugh, back in the 1990’s, calling Chelsea Clinton a dog on his short-lived television program, this is the kind of nonsense that, thanks the Internet creating “buzz” about things that aren’t true, leads to the near-constant hounding both Clintons have faced for a quarter century.
To claim that Mrs.Clinton has received some kind of “free pass” is just to ignore the steady drip of nonsense that appears all over the news, as it always has, resulting in the widespread belief, among other things, that Mrs. Clinton is not to be trusted and is dishonest despite being the most honest candidate of the current election cycle. These things just don’t “happen”, but are the result of the mainstreaming of the wildest – and most horrid – conspiracy theories about Bill and Hillary Clinton. Even a poor Democratic National Committee staffer’s murder in Washington, DC didn’t escape becoming part of the hysterical narrative of the Clintons being mafiosi, selling drugs out of an airport in Arkansas and leaving a trail of bodies behind them that would make Ted Bundy jealous.
She has never received a free pass in her entire public career. That she continues on regardless shows how tough she is.
As has always been the case, there are legitimate questions the Clinton Campaign can and should be asked. This story by Rick Perlstein is the best among recent entries, and should be followed up. It seems the Clinton people wanted to separate sitting Republican officials from the Trump campaign, instead of chaining every single Party member running for office, whether it’s a County Coroner in Texas or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to Trump’s sinking ship. This is the kind of nonsense that makes many Democrats and liberals, including me, absolutely crazy. It’s bad tactics and worse politics.
Instead, we have people who aren’t doctors, or doctors who’ve never been within shouting distance of Mrs. Clinton, claiming she’s an epileptic, suffers from the nonexistent “dysphasia”, or requires pillows to sit everywhere because she gets so tired all the time.
I’ll be so glad when this campaign season is over. Of course, that will mean at least four more years of conspiracy mongering about Hillary Clinton, so I suppose there just is no upside to any of this.