Rooting for the Clinton Slump

Our beloved Wichita Wingnuts lost in frustrating 11th-inning fashion to the Grand Prairie Air Hogs at the old Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on Monday, and that convoluted Supreme Court ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency’s insane scheme to regulate your exhalations was at best a split decision, but we found some consolation in Hillary Clinton’s continued losing streak.
The Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee has been in a noteworthy slump the past few weeks, whiffing the softball questions lobbed by a previously friendly press and making bush league errors on the most routine plays, and it’s been a most entertaining spectacle. Her widely-panned book has already been relegated to remainder tables, a carefully choreographed special on the Cable News Network met with low ratings and bad reviews, and the worst of it seems almost deliberately intended to undermine her standing with his most fervent admirers.
At a time when the animating passion of the Democratic Party’s activist base is an opposition to income inequality, even the most polite press are pointing out that Clinton and her immediate family are quite well off, and worse yet mostly from book deals and speaking fees with those nasty old corporations that the Democratic Party’s activist base also despise. Some of the coverage has been so very impolite it has even touched on daughter Chelsea Clinton, who was treated quite gingerly during her awkward years as First Daughter but is apparently considered fair game now that she’s getting $600,000 a year for her infrequent and undistinguished appearances on the National Broadcasting Company’s newscasts. The mother compounded the problem by complaining to a network interviewer that she had left the White House “dead broke” and had struggled to purchase the multi-million dollar “houses” she desired, and the daughter struck the same tone deaf note by telling another interviewer that “I tried to care about money but couldn’t.” It’s the sort of mud that was so effectively hurled at the last Republican presidential nominee, who earned a Clinton-sized fortune by the disreputable method of saving American companies from bankruptcy and dissolution, and could be even more effective in bringing down a Democrat. Already potential rival Joe Biden is touting his relative poverty, and his salary as Vice President of the United States is about a mere two-thirds of what some correspondents make for their infrequent and undistinguished appears on NBC News, and we can imagine that a poor Native American woman from the reservation who’s been getting by on her meager earnings as a Harvard professor and United States Senator, such as the unmistakably Caucasian Elizabeth Warren, should be able to exploit the issue to even greater advantage.
There’s also a problematic 40-year-old rape case that has at last come to light, and just as the feminist wing of the Democratic Party’s activist base is very much concerned with a “culture of rape” that is said to pervade America’s colleges and universities. The concern is such that writers are being shouted down for suggesting that young men accused of sexual assaults should be given a presumption of innocence until proved guilty, the administration is threatening the funding of any school that does not apply a low standard of evidence when dealing with charges of sexual assault, and now is not a good time for Clinton to be explaining why she volunteered to defend a man accused of gang raping a 12-year-old girl from a poor and troubled family. There’s a perfectly respectable argument to be made that even those accused of the heinous crimes are entitled to a vigorous legal defense, and there are probably some Democrats who will still find it convincing even if the accused isn’t a dreadlocked cop-killer such as Mumia Abu Jamal, but an enterprising reporter at the Washington Free Beacon came upon a dusty old tape recording at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville library that has Clinton sounding just a bit more enthusiastic about the case than one might hope, boasting about the aggressive tactics she used against the victim making a joke that seems to suggest she knew her client was guilty, and generally sounding like someone the feminist wing of the Democratic Party’s activist base would not like. The Washington Free Beacon is considered conservative press, and has been duly banned from the Clinton Library for its impertinent journalism and will be just as duly ignored by respectable opinion, but the impeccably hip and liberal Daily Beast looked up the now 52-year-old victim in the case for a heartbreaking interview about being subjected to the sort of character assassination that would become a favored Clinton family tactic when dealing with sexually exploited young women, and that will be harder to ignore.
All of which is coinciding with the publication and widespread excerpting of Edward Klein’s book “Blood Feud,” which chronicles the uneasy relationship between the Clinton and Obama families and will quickly leap past the presumptive Democratic nominee’s book on the best-seller lists. A well-publicized distance from the Obama administration will likely be a political advantage for Clinton by the time ’16 rolls around, and no one who’s been paying attention the politics the past six years should be at all surprised by its central thesis that the Clinton’s and Obamas don’t like one another, but it’s also full of tantalizing tidbits of her faulty heart and other health problems as well as frequent reminders of the disasters both families colluded on. A hit piece by one of conservatism’s most reliable hit men might not make much of an impression on the activist base of the Democratic Party, but it can’t help Clinton with those who still have stubborn allegiance to the Obamas.
Calling Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee is starting to sound presumptuous.

— Bud Norman


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