Clinton Hits Trump On Demagoguery, Ties To Extreme Right

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton pointed out truths about Donald Trump that his fellow Republicans were too scared to point out during the primary..

Trump Nixon V

In a blistering speech yesterday in Nevada, Hillary Clinton sought to link Donald Trump to political and racial extremists who have rallied around his campaign as vindication for their own views:

RENO, Nev. — Hillary Clinton delivered a blistering denunciation Thursday of Donald J. Trump’s personal and political history with race, arguing in her most forceful terms yet that a nationalist conservative fringe had engulfed the Republican Party.

In a 31-minute address, building to a controlled simmer, Mrs. Clinton did everything but call Mr. Trump a racist outright — saying he had promoted “racist lie” after “racist lie,” pushed conspiracy theories with “racist undertones” and heartened racists across the country by submitting to an “emerging racist ideology known as the alt-right.”

“He is taking hate groups mainstream,” Mrs. Clinton told supporters at a community college here, “and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.”

Mrs. Clinton said that while a racially charged and “paranoid fringe” had always existed in politics, “it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it and giving it a national megaphone, until now.”

Mrs. Clinton’s remarks coincide with a conspicuous shift in strategy from Mr. Trump, who has spoken with more compassion about people in the country illegally and expressed a desire to win African-American support. He has even suggested he might revisit his call to deport 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally, a pivot seen as an attempt to draw in moderate voters turned off by his views.

With Mr. Trump’s rise, Mrs. Clinton has often struck a have-you-no-sense-of-decency theme in her critiques — warning sternly and repeatedly that the arc of his candidacy transcended standard political attack. But her effort on Thursday was remarkable for its exhaustive accounting of Mr. Trump’s controversial racial history in business and in his presidential campaign.

Mrs. Clinton detailed the Justice Department’s housing discrimination case against Mr. Trump during the 1970s, noting that the applications of black and Latino residents “would be marked with a ‘C’ — ‘C’ for colored.”

She said state regulators had fined a Trump casino for repeatedly removing black dealers from the floor and reminded the audience of Mr. Trump’s promotion of “birtherism,” questioning President Obama’s birthplace.

She recalled his opening salvo in the Republican primary, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals when he announced his candidacy, and his more recent suggestion that a judge with a Mexican heritage could not be impartial in hearing a case involving Trump University.

“This is someone who retweets white supremacists online,” Mrs. Clinton said, citing a posting by someone with the user name “WhiteGenocideTM. “Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to 11 million people.”

By the end, Mrs. Clinton was quoting headlines from the Breitbart News website, which is overseen by Mr. Trump’s new campaign chief, Stephen K. Bannon.

“I’m not making this up,” she warned, before digging into the site’s archives: “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy“; “Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?’“; “Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage.”

The address came a week after Mr. Trump hired Mr. Bannon, who has eagerly described the site as “the platform for the alt-right” — a loosely defined and contested term often associated with white nationalist and anti-immigrant sentiment.

“The de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump campaign represents a landmark achievement for the alt-right,” Mrs. Clinton said.

For anyone who has been paying attention, none of what Clinton talked about yesterday should come as a real surprise. From a very early point in his campaign, the extent to which he was basing his campaign on appeals to anti-immigrant biases inside the Republican base, xenophobia, and outright hatred was readily apparent. After all, this is the man who started out his campaign branding immigrants from Mexico as rapists and criminals sent here by the Mexican Government as part of some deliberate plan on their part to flood the United States with their criminal element. He has encouragied his supporters to engage in violence against supporters, and demonstrated utter disdain for the Rule of Law and Freedom of the Press, He responded to an issue as serious as the terrorist attacks on Paris and San Bernardino with a proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States for some indeterminate period of time and suggesting that Muslim-Americans and their houses of worship should be placed under apparently permanent surveillance. More recently, he has attacked a Federal Judge who was born in the United States by suggesting that the fact that his parents were from Mexico meant that he could not be fair in the fraud trial against Trump University, suggested that “Second Amendment people” could be the only way to stop Hillary Clinton from repealing the Second Amendment, and made a series of odd appeals to the the African-American community that are clearly based in the racially biased view that every African-American lives in a dangerous, crime-ridden rundown neighborhood in the inner cities of America.

Beyond those examples from Trump’s mouth, though, his campaign has also attracted some highly unsavory elements from within the GOP base and the dark corners of American politics. Both on the World Wide Web and on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, Trump supporters have come out of the woodwork who represent something far worse than just someone you might disagree with. These are people who proudly display swastika’s and images of Nazi and  KKK leaders on their home pages, and who openly attack African-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Catholics, and pretty much everyone else who doesn’t fall within the WASP category. They gather on Neo-Nazi websites as well as in the comment section of “news” websites like Breitbart News, which turned itself into a Trump propaganda network virtually from the moment that he entered the race. And now it’s CEO, Steven Bannon, who once described Breitbart as “the platform for the alt right,” alt right being what these neo-fascist rascists now apparently call themselves.

For anyone who has been paying attention, the argument that Trump is a demagogue who has spent his campaign appealing to the worst aspects of American politics is hardly a revelation. Indeed, some of us have been pointing this out for the better part of a year now. It was an argument based in facts such as Trump’s own words, but it was one that Republicans largely ignored either because Trump was saying things they agreed with or, in the case of his opponents for the nomination, because they were apparently afraid to take him on one-on-one. Whatever the reason, the fact that Trump was never confronted for a campaign that was blatantly mirroring the demagogic tradition of such poisonous political figures as Father Charles Coughlin, the Dixiecrats of 1948, and George Wallace will go down in history as one of the prime examples of political cowardice in American history. In the end, the only Republicans who seemed willing to take Trump on were Scott Walker and Rick Perry, who both waited until they were dropping out of the race for President to do so, and Mitt Romney, who wasn’t even running. Perhaps it might not have made a difference in the end but it would have been admirable if one of Trump’s opponents could have confronted him earlier in the campaign with the kind of speech Hillary Clinton made yesterday. At the very least, it would have shown that they recognized what he represented and had the courage to speak out against it. Instead of profiles in courage, though, we got cowardice and, as a result, this ‘alt right’ managed to take over the Republican Party.

In other words, Hillary Clinton is correct to point out what Trump represents, even if her motives are entirely political. On one level, of course, Clinton is making a play for support from disaffected Republicans who now find themselves stuck with a candidate who represents a movement that is not only a guaranteed political loser, but also antithetical to the very principles that the Republican Party was founded 160 years ago. Even if these Republicans don’t vote for Clinton in November, it would similarly work to her advantage if these voters either stayed home, left the President blank, or voted for a third-party candidate such as Gary Johnson, especially if they happen to live in one of the states that is likely to be a battleground state in November. Additionally, though, I tend to agree with Kevin Drum that there’s another motive at work here:

I’ll propose a different explanation: she was giving the press permission to talk about Donald Trump’s racism. So far, they’ve tiptoed around it. But once the candidate herself calls it out, it invites a thousand think pieces about Breitbart, the alt-right, the GOP’s history of tolerating bigotry, Trump’s troubling background, and dozens of other related topics. Surrogates can blather all they want about this, but it doesn’t truly become a mainstream subject until the actual candidate for president makes it one.

This is part of the agenda-setting power that presidential candidates have. Donald Trump has used it endlessly, and now Hillary Clinton is using it too. Trump has made his bed, and Hillary is making sure he has to lie in it.

Judging by the media coverage, that strategy appears to be working, and it’s helped by the fact that not a single Republican outside of the Trump campaign appears to be defending Trump in the wake of Clinton’s speech. According to a Google News search, even Trump’s running mate has been quiet, although he has been off the campaign trail back home dealing with a series of tornadoes that have struck central Indiana since yesterday.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. JohnMcC says:

    Compensating for the lack of Republicans defending Mr Trump’s campaign will be the interviews with David Duke, Robert Spencer, Milo Yaunnopaulus and someone from VDare unless I miss my guess. I’ll bet there are quite a few political journalists with national outlets who’ve felt constrained by the Broderism that attaches to their profession but who have been yearning in their bones to turn a bucketful of slops onto the Trumpkins.

    When and if that happens and the essential repudiation of democracy that the alt-right represents is displayed as naked as Mrs Trump was in the NYPost there will be plenty of those decent, salt-of-the-earth R’s that we all know who will have the final straw loaded onto their backs.

    And the Trump campaign will face it’s own conundrum: To defend it’s friends or not.

    Great move by the Hillary people. And long overdue.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Doug:

    will go down in history as one of the prime examples of political cowardice in American history.

    Indeed. The GOP has been sprayed by a skunk and they’ll find it very hard to get the Trump stink off them when this is over.

    Hillary did something else interesting: she basically offered a path to salvation by pretending that the Alt-right was an anomalous development rather than the inevitable fruit of Republican dog-whistle racism, nativism and misogyny. Tactically clever, at least short-term. Very Sun-Tzu allowing your enemy a path to escape.

    @JohnMcC:

    The silence from the establishment GOP is deafening.

    You’re right: now the media can go talk to David Duke and his brothers-in-bigotry and run clips of their enthusiastic responses. And then she can use those clips in her ads.

    Someone at the Clinton campaign has a nice sense of timing. Someone over there is smart.

  3. inhumans99 says:

    Someone at mother jones linked to an article by James Fallows at The Atlantic about how the lack of repudiation from any one who has some sort of gravitas in the GOP is intentional. If they try to deny that what HRC said was true on air and in print then the issue remains a hot topic that chews through one news cycle after another. In other words, the gop really is scared shirtless that this speech becomes a thing and are hoping that by not saying anything the news outlets will move on to the next big story. It is a good strategy, they know that a lot of what she said was true…better to try to whistle past the graveyard than give the press an excuse to keep it on the airwaves.

  4. CSK says:

    And some people here were worried that Trump might actually prevail in November. I don’t believe in counting chickens before they’re hatched, either, but in this particular case, why not?

    This is just the beginning. Trump’s going to be drowned in a Niagara of sludge.

  5. grumpy realist says:

    Doug, bravo. Your righteous recapitulation is magnificent. of Trump’s slither down into the sewage container dragging the entire official Republican party after him.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    Very interesting article on how Trump’s pandering to the alt-right may have caused a social tipping point.

    At some point, harassment stops being something “for the lulz” and becomes dangerous.

  7. Scott says:

    Very excellent summary. What will be interesting in the next few days is how the various characters and media outlets that have been playing footsy with the white nationalist movement react. Will there be a doubling down or a retreat?

  8. grumpy realist says:

    Best way of describing the “alt-right” I’ve heard so far: hipster Nazis.

  9. Gustopher says:

    Perhaps it might not have made a difference in the end but it would have been admirable if one of Trump’s opponents could have confronted him earlier in the campaign with the kind of speech Hillary Clinton made yesterday. At the very least, it would have shown that they recognized what he represented and had the courage to speak out against it. Instead of profiles in courage, though, we got cowardice and, as a result, this ‘alt right’ managed to take over the Republican Party.

    You’re off by a few years — the Tea Party and the Alt-Right have a whole lot of overlap.

    – McCain gave the hard right legitimacy with the choice of Palin (she never had the casual racism of the Alt-Right, but completely represented the know-nothing stubbornness of the movement),
    – the Tea Party channelled it that rage, and incorporated birthers into the mainstream
    – McConnell’s transition of the Senate Republicans from a minority party to an opposition party ceded most control over to them
    – The Freedom Caucus in the House brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy
    – Romney danced around during his campaign, feeding the hard-right bits of cheese and pretending the alt-right didn’t exist

    There was no sudden slide into Trumpism — the alt-right has been worming its way into the party for the past 8 years, at least. I would go all the way back to the Clinton impeachment and the stories about Vince Foster being killed to hide the Clinton Crime Family’s misdeeds.

  10. Gustopher says:

    @grumpy realist: Hipsters are harmless.

  11. JohnMcC says:

    @grumpy realist: Thank you for that link. I’d cruised past that Vox article thinking it was just celebrity news.

    Highly recommended.

  12. bill says:

    weird how clinton said robt. byrd was a “mentor” to her- yes, the former grand wiz and founder of the kkk in w.virginia. but he said he was sorry later in life……sure he was. but then again, she and bill are just a couple of hillbilly’s from arkansas who figured out how to scam some uppity northerners. and scam them they did- who else ever made that kind of money just by being the president/first lady? and you wonder why obama can’t wait until next january?

    now take trump, a ny democrat and highly visible bizman, pseudo-celebrity for the past few decades was never accused of being a “racist” until he decided to run against a democrat.

    and btw- just what’s the annual body count on these alleged “hate groups” anyways? anything like black lives matter or a weekend in south chicago? what a joke…..

  13. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Gustopher: someone over at Balloon Juice has been calling them Emo-Nazis.

  14. Grumpy Realist says:

    @bill: Anyone who thinks that Trump only started getting called racist when he jumped in the political ring isn’t very knowledgable of history.

  15. Thor thormussen says:

    Gateway pundit is running the same thing as bill. The headline over there right now:

    VIDEO=> KKK Grand Dragon Endorses Hillary Clinton
    August 26, 2016 By Jim Hoft 477 Comments

    ‘course, there’s a reason Jim Hoft has that nickname. 😛

  16. gVOR08 says:

    She was doing all of the above, and very skillfully. She made it clear to the soccer moms that Trump, despite any “softening”, really is a racist asshat, she offered them an off ramp by attacking extremists, and differentiating them from mainstream GOPs, and she, hopefully, provided cover for the supposedly liberal MSM to dig into the alt right and Trump’s extremist connections.

    And the neat thing is that by calling her a “bigot”, he gave her cover for gutting him.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @bill: Yes, Hillary is a “hillbilly from arkansas” via an upscale Chicago suburb, Wellesley, and Yale Law. Get a clue.

  18. Kari Q says:

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen many headlines that say “Clinton, Trump Exchange Accusations of Bigotry.” Because to say one actual is a racist courting racists is expecting too much of them, and both sides are always equally guilty.

    In further news, Democrats, Republicans disagree on the shape of the Earth.

  19. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @gVOR08: I’ve stopped expecting anything bill says to be accurate in any way at all.

  20. Jenos Idanian says:

    Gosh, that Trump is a horrid person. Thank God Hillary brought all this to light.

    Did I miss the part where she said she was returning his donations to her campaigns and to the Clinton Foundation? Or where she regretted attending his wedding?

    As Glenn Reynolds noted, Every four years the GOP nominee is literally Hitler, only to be resurrected as one of the “good Republicans” later in contrast to the new guy who’s literally Hitler.

    But I understand that this time, you really, really, really mean it. You even pinkie-swear!

  21. MBunge says:
  22. PJ says:

    @MBunge:
    Wow. you’re just. sad.

  23. MBunge says:

    @PJ: Wow. you’re just. sad.

    For what? Linking to a news story from UPI about a poll? What if I linked to the latest Reuters tracking poll that showed Hillary’s lead on Trump dropped SEVEN POINTS in less than a month? In any other circumstance, a candidate falling that hard and that fast in a poll would be presented in the media as on the brink of an implosion. Would that be more or less sad?

    Of course, that Reuters poll still has Hillary up by 5 with less than three months to the election, which is very good, both for her and for the rest of us. I do think we’re seeing an amazing demonstration of the difference between the conservative and liberal brain. When right wingers were confronted with poll numbers they didn’t like, they actually took the time and energy to construct an alternate reality more to their liking. This time around, left wingers are basically just ignoring any poll that shows Trump behind by less than 10%.

    It looks to me that, depending on how much of a Bradley effect there might be, Hillary is likely going to win by around 4-6%. That would be roughly what Obama beat McCain by, except this time 45% or so of the public would be voting for Donald Trump. That should be terrifying to anyone capable of seeing beyond winning the next election.

    Mike

  24. PJ says:

    @MBunge:
    You’re sad due to the fact that you dug up the only poll showing Trump in the lead, which makes you indistinguishable from right wing idiots like the Gateway Pundit.

    You’re sad bringing up the Bradley effect, which is one the arguments that the Trump campaign has been making recently to explain the polls.

    And you’re sad in your anger that most Sanders supporters in the ended ended up supporting Clinton, and that your protest, either voting for Jill Stein, Donald Trump, or writing in Sanders, or just staying at home won’t matter.

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:

    was never accused of being a “racist” until he decided to run against a democrat.

    Oh, is that the Breitbart line you’re regurgitating for our benefit? Hey, genius: he started being called a racist from when he began questioning Obama’s citizenship, which was many years ago.

    Yeah. So that’s 100% wrong.

    Here’s a thought, @bill: try actually using your brain and your memory and perhaps your access to Google before saying something so fwcking stupid that it will be shoved back in your face within minutes. Try applying whatever is left of your no doubt meth-addled mind and ask yourself, “Gee, is this thing I’m about to say going to instantly reveal me as a man who literally does not engage his brain?”

    Or you can go on making a laughingstock of yourself, your choice, it’s a free country. Just saying that even as dumb as you are, if you actually crank up the rusty gearbox of your brain, you could come across as a little less of a moron.

  26. David M says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m pretty sure Trump earned his racist credentials back in the 1970s when his buildings wouldn’t rent to black applicants and he was sued by the Justice Department.

  27. Kari Q says:

    @MBunge:

    In any other circumstance, a candidate falling that hard and that fast in a poll would be presented in the media as on the brink of an implosion.

    No, in any other circumstance that would be a candidate coming off a post-convention bounce. Clinton’s lasted longer than normal, but it’s hardly surprising that the margin closed a bit.

    This time around, left wingers are basically just ignoring any poll that shows Trump behind by less than 10%.

    Now personally, I find this almost refreshing. Typically, those on the left are ready to jump off a bridge any time they see a poll that says the race is tied. This time, they are focused on the aggregate and expressing confidence.

    I find the UPI poll interesting, though I have my doubts about its accuracy. Still, throw it in the aggregate and you come out with Clinton with a 7 point lead (HuffPost Pollster) or 4.5 point lead (Real Clear Politics). Either way, it’s not surprising that one or two polls show it close while a couple others show blow outs. That’s the way polling works.

  28. JohnMcC says:

    @bill: If you go to the little east Tennessee town where I lived for some 30 years and called those folks ‘hillbillies’ and compared them to the Clintons you’d never live long enough to make the city limits.

    Amazing stupidity even from the likes of you.

  29. An Interested Party says:

    now take trump, a ny democrat and highly visible bizman, pseudo-celebrity for the past few decades was never accused of being a “racist” until he decided to run against a democrat.

    Oh, you poor ignorant fool…here, let me help you out

    As Glenn Reynolds noted, Every four years the GOP nominee is literally Hitler, only to be resurrected as one of the “good Republicans” later in contrast to the new guy who’s literally Hitler.

    Uh huh…I don’t recall Mitt Romney, John McCain, or George W. Bush being openly supported by these people

  30. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Another Friday night without a date? I know I am shocked 🙂

  31. michael reynolds says:

    @David M:
    Yeah but no one knew that outside of Manhattan.

  32. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Romney wasn’t “almost Hitler”, he was the corporate raider who got rich firing working class people. And he lied. All the time. Do you really have that bad a memory?

  33. Jenos Idanian says:

    @David M: I missed your outrage when Matt Yglesias compared Romney to Hitler.

    And let me repeat Dr. Reynolds’ point, with a supporting link:

    Every four years the GOP nominee is literally Hitler, only to be resurrected as one of the “good Republicans” later in contrast to the new guy who’s literally Hitler.

    And let me also repeat: if Trump is so bad, why hasn’t Hillary returned all the money she’s taken from him over the years?

  34. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: Why are you so concerned about people who want to be associated with Trump, and totally unconcerned about the people Hillary wants to be associated with?

    Just for one example: Huma Abedin. Caught committing payroll fraud at State (collected full-time salaries from State and the Clinton Foundation at the same time, claimed she never took a day off even when she had her child), was Associate Editor of an Islamist magazine that published seriously anti-Semitic, anti-feminist, and other hateful articles).

    That’s who Hillary chooses to have as her closest aide.

    But hey, here is this tiny group of nuts nobody listens to who want to hop on Trump’s coattails. Let’s give them ALL THE ATTENTION!

  35. Tyrell says:

    The real issues are being ignored in this mud wrestling. The economy, foreign policy, strategy to defeat ISIS and terrorism, trade, Iran problem, and the debt. While they call each other names, people are scrounging around just to find low paying, no benefits, dead end jobs.
    If I want to watch this kind of behavior, I go to WWE.

  36. JohnMcC says:

    Wonderful opposition research on Mr Bannon this weekend. I’ll summarize because the sources are diverse and I don’t feel like writing a freshman termpaper with footnotes and bibliography but a look around at Balloon-Juice, TPM and LittleGreenFootballs and such will yield sources.

    Mr Bannon told his first wife that he’d marry her if the twins she was carrying ‘were normal’. He was rarely home but when present was a strong disciplinarian, once physically punishing one of his daughters for crying too much in her crib.

    He was charged (and arraigned) with domestic abuse and threatening a witness after physically attacking his first wife because she was taking a credit card with her on a shopping trip. At the time of trial she was advised by Mr Bannon and his attorney that should he go to jail she would lose his income and become impoverished so on their urging she drove out of town to be unavailable as a witness. Charges were dropped.

    When they were divorced he objected to the private school she’d placed their daughters in because there were too many Jews attending. When she suggested an alternative he asked what percentage of students there were Jews.

    His present voting address is an abandoned house in Miami-Dade Co FL that apparently was rented for his 2d ex-wife but has been empty for months. He seems to have never lived there. Which means that he is guilty of voter fraud in the state of FL.

    But Mr Trump ‘hires the best people’.

    Help me out here. Am I missing anything?

  37. stonetools says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Yeah, I hope its a tipping point. I’m getting tired of racist hate speech and slut shaming being lightly dismissed as “just words on the Internet” and “can’t you take a joke, har har har”. I think what happened to Leslie Jones was despicable and I hope the FBI finds those a$$ holes and perp walks them into jail cells.
    I also think that it’s WAAAY past time that Twitter gets serious about it’s anti harassment policies. Until now, they’re essentially just be wringing their hands and pleading with the “trolls” to be nicer. If they don’t do more, they could see a major exodus of users who no longer want to go on sharing social space with Nazis and other bottom feeders.
    The Republicans better take Hillary’s escape route. The reality is that Trump is pretty much the mutant outgrowth of the Republicans’ “Southern Strategy”. I understand, that Hillary wants those disaffected Republican votes in November, though. Still, the Republican Part needs to take a hard look at itself, win or lose in November.

  38. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “Hey, genius: he started being called a racist from when he began questioning Obama’s citizenship, which was many years ago.”

    Actually, much earlier. Like when he was caught refusing to rent apartments to minorities. Or when he demanded the death penalty for the black kids in the Central Park jogger case even after they had been proved innocent.

  39. charon says:
  40. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “And let me also repeat: if Trump is so bad, why hasn’t Hillary returned all the money she’s taken from him over the years?”

    Possibly because it’s so rare that Trump actually ponies up the money he promised that she’s keeping it as a novelty.

    And this is probably the lamest attack you’ve ever come up with. Why don’t you go back to diagnosing her multiple neurological illnesses?

  41. charon says:
  42. C. Clavin says:

    @bill:
    now take trump, a ny democrat and highly visible bizman, pseudo-celebrity for the past few decades was never accused of being a “racist” until he decided to run against a democrat.
    Right…that’s why he was taken to court for racial discrimination in the ’70’s.
    Ignorance is bliss, eh bill?

  43. Jenos Idanian says:

    Remember, folks, the standards that must be observed.

    Hillary’s scandals are “old news” and “already been covered,” because she’s managed to lie and stonewall so well.

    Clinton scandals from the 90’s are “old news.”

    Trump scandals from the 70’s are critically relevant.

    When there’s potentially scandalous news about the Clintons, you better have absolute, irrefutable proof of guilt before you even suggest bringing up an investigation.

    Conversely, whoever is bringing the accusations against the Clintons better not have the slighest hint of impropriety about them, because even that slightest tint means that they are “discredited” and can be readily dismissed.

    And even if you have that irrefutable proof, all you need is one person in the right place to spontaneously rewrite the law through creative interpretation, and that is a complete, full, and irrefutable exoneration.

    For an example, here’s the Washington Post stating that Bill Clinton allegedly cheated on his wife.

    No, it’s a stone-cold established fact to everyone but the Washington Post, who want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  44. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Shorter Jenos: Waaah! Waaaah! Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!

  45. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: Conversely, there is no “shorter wr.” He maximizes the efficiency of his stupidity. His comments are so dense, they cannot be condensed any more.

  46. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Trump scandals from the 70’s are critically relevant.

    Not so much critically relevant as evidence that the people supporting Trump have gaps in their understanding of the history of their candidate or are lying their little pin heads off.

    As to WaPo and “allegedly,” consider the litigiousness of our current society and ask yourself if, without the anonymity that a false name give you on the internet, you would be willing to expose yourself to a nuisance lawsuit and consider WaPo’s actions in that light.

    I realize that both of these comments are far too complex for you to wrap your brain around, but I do like pigmy baiting on occasion.

  47. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Hillary Clinton was exonerated as the various 90s charges. Not so Trump on the 70s lawsuit. But then for you right wing guys, charges without proof are as good as court findings.
    Anyway, this is pretty weak sauce, Jenos, I think you are actually declining from your (low) peak.

    ” Trump is a racist who courts racist right wing organizations ? Well, Hillary was accused of something 25 years ago, so there!And her husband is an adulterer.”

  48. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Clinton scandals from the 90’s are “old news.”

    No, they are just not scandals.

    Basically, there has been one real Clinton scandal – Bill & Monica and his subsequent denial of such. That’s it. The rest of the “scandals” are more or less the stuff of tabloid fantasies. In other words, the kind of thing you live for.

  49. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Wow. That makes absolutely no sense at all.

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    As Glenn Reynolds noted, Every four years the GOP nominee is literally Hitler, only to be resurrected as one of the “good Republicans” later in contrast to the new guy who’s literally Hitler.

    Glenn should know better, the ‘literal’ Hitler died in the bunker in Berlin a few years ago. A shame too, he had just been issued a press credential as a Breitbart representative to the 1948 Republican Convention.

  51. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: when you’re called a “racist”- it’s usually because some liberoid has nothing left to throw at you…..hence.
    you’re losing it mike, it was a good run but you’re wallowing and it’s sad.
    you have 0.0 positive to say about hillary, as she’s nothing anyone brags about- so trying to turn trump into something negative to compensate for her severe lack of anything is beyond pathetic.

    so again, she’s white trash posing as royalty, and you all know it but have nothing better to run…..not like trump is much of a prize either but compared to that washed up pantsuit….who doesn’t look good?

  52. Buffalo Rude says:

    @bill:

    weird how clinton said robt. byrd was a “mentor” to her- yes, the former grand wiz and founder of the kkk in w.virginia. but he said he was sorry later in life……sure he was.

    Bill, Bill, Bill. . . Ending your opening parry with a glaring logical fallacy is not a good look. It’s also the reason I basically skipped the rest of your comment. Yeah, Bob Byrd was a pretty despicable person at certain times in his long life. That is not in dispute. It’s also not really relevant devoid of the actual context.

    It’s weird, though, that the rightwing thinks that hanging Sen. Robert Byrd’s repudiated past around Sec. Hillary Clinton’s neck is a good line of attack. Though kind of predictable given that the GOP has been taken over by people that don’t seem to have a clue about how the world works outside of their cozy bubble/feedback loop. Sen. Byrd was once a full-throated advocate of a general ideology based on white supremacy (recently rebranded as “alt-right”) who changed his views wholesale and remained a Democrat as and after the other racist Democrats from the “solid south” continued their migration to the GOP.

    So what’s your point? If you point out that the Confederacy was lead by Democrats and that Democrats essentially built institutionalized racism (a lot of which exists to this day at unacceptable levels, IMO) into the system in the years after the “War of Northern Aggression (wherein the Republican Party led Northern Aggression won a decisive, if incomplete, decision)” and subsequent reconstruction? Yep, totally true. It was also the Democrats that worked really hard to maintain the oppression of black people via Jim Crow after the Republicans passed the first, albeit weak, Civil Rights Act. It totally happened, I’ve read books about it. It’s also true that FDR traded race based concessions in order to get southern Democrats to go along with the arguably illegal “lend-lease” with the UK and in securing support for our eventually entry into WWII. Did you ever wonder why most of the largest domestic military bases are located in Dixie? But it totes happened. Again, your point?

    Harry Truman desegregated the military, and that and other disagreements within the northern and southern factions of Democrats (especially with regards to organized labor) fractured the party and gave rise to, then a Democrat, Strom Thurmond’s run for president as a Dixiecrat. Strom, who was a demonstrable and observable unreconstructed white supremacist (who fathered and hid from his “traditional family” until his death, a child conceived outside of his “traditional marriage” with a black woman) went on to become a Republican. Most of the rest of the “solid south” followed suit in the next few decades. When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which was unsuccessfully filibustered by Sen. Byrd) the floodgates opened and most of the southern racists the Democratic party found a new and welcoming home with the GOP.

    Nothing you said about Robert Byrd, aside from your logical fallacy, was untrue. But context matters, as does the observable record. You say “sure he was” like you have some yet undisclosed knowledge on the topic. The Senator’s record, statements and public actions are observable (even since his death) and they easily contradict “sure he was.”

    And again, context matters.

    tl;dr Don’t be stupid.

  53. JohnMcC says:

    @Buffalo Rude: Wonderful comment. Very informative and satisfying to anyone with curiosity about facts. But if you harbor the thought that you can argue our friend bill out of stupid — I have a picturesque bit of rather moist Florida landscape you would love to own.

  54. Jenos Idanian says:

    @stonetools: Really? “Exonerated?” Or allowed to skate?

    Let me refresh your memory:

    — White House Travel Office

    — Rose Law Firm billing records

    — Whitewater (“nothing” scandal that led to 15 criminal convictions, including very close Clinton associates and Bill Clinton’s successor as governor)

    — Cattle futures investments

    And that’s just off the top of my head.

    BTW, did you hear Hillary’s latest defense of the Clinton Foundation? “I know there’s a lot of smoke and there’s no fire.” It’s amazing how much smoke follows her throughout her life, but — according to her — there’s never any fire.

    But I would like to reconsider one point. Yes, I believe that Trump’s rhetoric does inspire violence in people. But so far, most of that violence has been directed against his supporters.

    Could someone point me to the denunciations of these attacks from the Democrats, from the media, from this site, or these commenters? ‘Cuz I know that all those Morally Superior folks wouldn’t let this go unremarked.

  55. JohnMcC says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Do I assume correctly that you have some new evidence that would lead Sec’ty Clinton to being successfully charged and convicted of a crime or are you just blowing froth off ancient headlines, dipshit?

  56. Jenos Idanian says:

    @JohnMcC: Well, my dear asswipe, I have no such evidence, as I have no access to such sensitive information. And I’m not alone — Hillary made damned sure that such evidence would not be accessible.

    And the FBI also did their work in protecting her — remember how Comey said that she wouldn’t be charged, because they had no evidence of criminal intent? Not only is “intent” not part of the law in question, apparently the subject of her “intent” never even came up in her interview.

    It’s amazing what you don’t find when you choose to not look for it.

  57. Jenos Idanian says:

    Also, remember: when the Clintons withhold, conceal, or destroy evidence, the only fair assumption to make is that whatever was withheld/concealed/destroyed was innocuous, or even exonerating. But the best thing to do is just pretend it never existed.

  58. grumpy realist says:

    In other words, Jenos’s only reaction to Hillary’s speech about the alt-right is “but–hey, look over there! A squirrel!”

  59. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Dude, give it up. Those 90s charges are just that-unsubstantiated charges.You know that, I know that and everyone outside Wingnutopia knows that-which is why that no one cares about them.
    We liberals have finally figured out the RW media game, so apart from Maureen Dowd and a few oldsters, most liberals just ignore charges against the Clintons these days. We know that when right wingers say , “Clinton did X”, it generally means “Clinton did nothing wrong” or “Clinton did mini-X that no one would care about if say, a Republican did it.”
    All that smoke? Once liberals used to wring their hands over this, because they assumed at first, “Where there’s some, there’s fire.” Now liberals-and frankly, most people-know that “Where there’s smoke, there’s a right wing smoke machine.” If there are charges, most people just wait to see if there is evidence-and, of course, there’s generally none.

    And the FBI also did their work in protecting her — remember how Comey said that she wouldn’t be charged, because they had no evidence of criminal intent

    So Comer is now part of The Great Conspiracy to Exonerate the Clintons? Comer, the lifelong Republican? Dude, stop digging.The email stuff is DONE. The body’s still moving, but the head is dead.

  60. Jenos Idanian says:

    But back on topic, I’m more worried about what might have been called the “alt-left,” which is now the mainstream left. Some of its key constituencies:

    Occupy Wall Street
    Black Lives Matter
    The anti-free-speech crusade on college campuses
    The BDS movement
    The undeclared war on Christians who dare to practice their faith

    I find these groups far more troubling, because they have a well-established record of using violence to achieve their goals, and a few even have body counts. That puts them way, way beyond the level of danger posed by the “alt-right.”

  61. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Or where she regretted attending his wedding?

    Oops, I misread that as “repeatedly attended his wedding”. An entirely understandable miscue.

  62. Jenos Idanian says:

    @stonetools: I didn’t state any conclusions. I just laid out the facts. Here, let me repeat and expand upon them.

    Bill Clinton meets secretly with the Attorney General.

    Hillary Clinton goes into her FBI interview.

    Comey comes out and says that, based on a lack of proof of criminal intent, he recommends against charging Hillary Clinton.

    Trey Gowdy says that, after reviewing the FBI’s notes on the interview, Hillary was never asked about “intent.”

    The law in question does not require any “intent.”

    (f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

    And I still get a thrill up my leg whenever I reread how the Washington Post invented a delightful new oxymoron to exonerate Hillary over her emails — “Ms. Clinton’s willful misjudgments.” It’s kind of like when Hillary defenders argue that she’s supremely intelligent and uniquely qualified to be president, but shouldn’t be expected to recognize classified material unless it’s clearly marked, in big red letters, repeatedly, on every single page. Somehow she had eight spectacular years as First Lady, eight legendary years as a US Senator, and four years as Secretary of State, but never learned at any point how to recognize “classified material” unless her subordinates spelled it out to her.

    And all those forms she signed agreeing that she did understand classified material, how to recognize it, and how to keep it secure? Either she didn’t actually sign them, or she treated them like most people treat “terms and conditions” on web pages and software licenses.

  63. Jenos Idanian says:

    @gVOR08: Oops, I misread that as “repeatedly attended his wedding”. An entirely understandable miscue.

    You bastard, you actually made me laugh with that one. You won an uptwinkle.

    Now you’ve got me tempted to go checking and see if the Clintons attended either of those. OK, fine, I’ll do it.

    1977 to Ivanka: highly unlikely. Bill was the brand-new Attorney General of Arkansas, and Trump was still a local New York figure.

    1993 to Marla Maples: Bill was just finishing his first year as president, so also highly unlikely.

    Only in 2005 did Trump have a big enough profile, and the Clintons a low-enough one (a former president and a first-term US Senator) did the stars come together (thanks to a very generous donation from Trump, I’m sure).

    But again, thanks for the good laugh.

  64. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Jenos, you aren’t a lawyer, mate. Lawyers and courts have looked at that statute-including the Supreme Court-and have held that intent is required. You can read a detailed analysis here.
    Time to give it up, I tell you.
    I don’t expect you to-but at least intelligent lurkers can now know for sure that the matter is settled.

  65. Jenos Idanian says:

    @stonetools: I just gave that a read, and one part jumped out at me:

    That is another critical point here. This Espionage Law clearly was never intended to address a Secretary of State using — foolishly or even improperly to maintain her privacy — a personal email server to send and receive emails.

    The Act in question was passed in 1917, so OBVIOUSLY it was not written with email in mind. Which is why it was written in general terms defining information and “moving” said information. Hell, it predated photocopiers and modern cameras, so easy duplication was not a major concern. Instead, it outlined principles.

    Second, it was not INTENDED to cover Cabinet-level officials? So much for “equal justice under law.” If a law is not supposed to cover a group of individuals, then that law should be written to say so. For a very relevant example, the laws covering the release of classified information do not apply to the president, because he has the authority to declassify something, and that has been ruled to include simply releasing it, and not having to go through any kind of formal declassifying procedure.

    So yes, I’m not a lawyer. And I resent the attitude that the law should be written in such a way that only lawyers have any right to discuss it and hold opinions about it. Because that implies that even though I can’t be expected to understand a law, I am obliged to obey it regardless. That theory puts a hash to the long-established truism that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

    Anyone who argues “the law doesn’t mean what it seems to clearly say” isn’t arguing that the layman is at fault, they’re declaring that the law itself is at fault.

  66. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    So yes, I’m not a lawyer. And I resent the attitude that the law should be written in such a way that only lawyers have any right to discuss it and hold opinions about it.

    That’s not the case at all. But at the same time laws are subject to test and interpretation in court, and the results of those are of vital importance, are they not?

    In this context the interpretation has generally been more favorable to the defendants than to the government, absent clear evidence of intent to reveal classified information to unauthorized parties. I don’t know about you, but I’m happy there’s at least some body of law for which a simple mistake isn’t punishable by years in prison. We should have more of that.

  67. Steve V says:

    If I had to guess, I would suggest that Clinton was not prosecuted because if she was, half of the employees of the State Department would have been subject to prosecution for the same offense. if HRC had been charged she would’ve been able to argue the law was being used selectively against her.

  68. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Mikey: I don’t have a disagreement with you in principle, but I don’t believe “a simple mistake” covers this case.

    According to stonetools (and their source), “whoever” doesn’t mean everyone and “gross negligence” means “deliberate.”

    And setting up one’s own server for use over several years, at the exclusion of the government-owned and government-maintained and government-secured ones is hardly “simple.”

    Finally, if “intent” was such a key element in Hillary’s case, why the hell didn’t the topic come up during her multi-hour interview?

    The obvious answer is, of course, “the fix was in, and was probably covered by Bill and AG Lynch on that plane,” but I’m curious to hear someone give an alternate one.

  69. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “Gross negligence” has been adjudicated long ago, and does not apply to Clinton’s actions. You have a problem with the courts’ interpretation, fine, but don’t try to assert a “fix” when the law has been applied the same way for many years. I mean, that’s the law as it stands, it doesn’t take a lawyer to understand it.

    I’ve dealt with classified information up to TS/SCI on a near-daily basis for over 20 years. I’ve seen some shit, but never anyone being prosecuted for even a very careless disclosure.

  70. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Mikey: I’ve dealt with classified information up to TS/SCI on a near-daily basis for over 20 years. I’ve seen some shit, but never anyone being prosecuted for even a very careless disclosure.

    Just how far did you have your head in the sand to escape hearing about this case?

    No intent or attempt to pass the information on to others? Check.

    Attempted to destroy the information, but unsuccessful? Check.

    Information wasn’t explicitly marked classified? Check.

    High-ranking Democrat with lots of connections? OK, there’s the difference.

  71. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Ridiculous equation of apples to oranges? Check.

    The biggest difference here is that sailor knew exactly what he was doing. There is an intent that is simply not present in Clinton’s case, despite the efforts of the American right to create one from whole cloth.

    What the sailor did is pretty much the same as if I would bring my smartphone into the SCIF and take pictures of everything in there. Damn straight I’d be in big trouble. But Clinton did nothing even remotely similar to that, and assertions of some equivalence are ludicrous on their face.

    I know of a case where a careless but inadvertent disclosure led to a foreign government coming into possession of classified material, and even that guy didn’t get prosecuted. Every case is different.