Revisiting “Whatabout Hillary?”
It’s a penetrating glimpse into the obvious:
MAGAs and Trump-enabling Republicans struggle with a painful double standard. They cheer or accept everything President Trump does that they would have impeached, frog-walked and and incarcerated President Hillary Clinton for doing. Starting moments after her inauguration.
Suffering debilitating Hillary Derangement Syndrome, Trump’s base still obsesses about Benghazi while swallowing Trump’s “total exoneration” hook, line and sinker without even seeing the Mueller report.
The fact that $100 million in Republican witch hunts over the years produced bupkis about Hillary merely proves she’s an actual witch, more slippery in eluding capture for criminal behavior than gangster Al Capone before the IRS got him. Whatever — it’s time to lock ‘er up already.
Speaking of the IRS, Trump’s refusal to release his income taxes prompts new MAGA/GOP double-standard logic that might shame the most self-respecting pretzels.
The tax issue is just more proof that whatever Trump does is not just justifiable, it’s making America greater. Whatever Hillary does, actual or Alex Jones, is axiomatically criminal.
That’s because Trump is a successful billionaire enriched by inheritance and often dubious real estate and failed ventures that cheated bankers and workers alike. Hillary and her husband made only millions through the questionable business of writing, speaking, consulting and advising. Which Republicans in the Washington swamp Trump is draining, and also drawing his staff and cabinet from, would never do.
Most important, Trump is not a politician. Hillary is. That’s why he’s rubber and she’s glue.
Just before the 2016 election, echoing a right-wing theme, LibertyBlitzkreig.com asked, “Why is Hillary Clinton Always Hiding Something?” citing her non-release of Wall Street speech transcripts and Secretary of State communications, and time between press conferences (which was far shorter than Trump’s as president).
The Trump-supporting blogger huffed, “While I appreciate one’s right to privacy as much as the next person, if you want to run for President of these United States, transparency and engagement with the public should be a top priority and requirement.”
“HIDING HILLARY” a Trump fundraising email called her.
Hillary and Bill Clinton released their latest tax returns during her 2016 presidential campaign.
They promptly were attacked not only for their incomes and sources — fair game — but by the Trump campaign for “an attempt at distraction and misdirection” from her email issue. Notably, Clinton’s disclosure put nearly 40 years’ worth of the couple’s tax returns in the public domain.
But when House Democrats demanded Trump’s tax returns, the White House claims it’s a “partisan hit job” “using the IRS as a political weapon.”
Even though candidate Trump repeatedly promised to release his tax returns but couldn’t because they were being audited, to his base and complicit Republicans — aka, the immoral majority — it’s ok if he lies through his teeth. He has the best teeth and he lies for the people!
Unlike every modern president or candidate, Trump shouldn’t have to release his returns, MAGAs believe. Unlike most other Americans, they don’t want to know. With Trump or Hillary, the truth doesn’t matter anymore.
MAGAs reject the logic that if he has nothing to hide, why hide? Maybe they’re worried there is something damaging — perhaps self-dealing to get richer in office, Russian money financing his properties — or proof he’s a fraud.
It won’t matter. Trump’s base will rationalize even the worst revelations. After all, they defend a president that paid hush money to a porn star. Like the old honey badger, MAGA don’t give a damn.
So it’s a stupid waste of time to note the MAGA/GOP hypocrisy.
But just for fun, let’s take a look:
· Honesty: What if Hillary had made a documented nearly 9,500 false or misleading statements as candidate or president to date? It would prove, as we all knew, she’s a pathological even sociopath liar. But when Trump lies, MAGAs give him a pass and sneer at the professional media for doing its job holding the president accountable.
· Decency: What if Hillary had gratuitously insulted nearly 600 persons, places and things on Twitter and in rallies and other public settings? Not just once uttering “basket of deplorables” off the cuff in a private gathering, but publicly, gleefully nastily, often cruelly, attacking even her own loyal people and American allies and spitting on the grave of an American war hero? The difference: Hillary’s despicable while Trump speaks his mind and tells it like it is, or his words don’t really matter.
· Mental health: What if Hillary’s tweets, behavior and public remarks were impulsive, incoherent and often insane even to her staff and supporters? Trump’s campaign pushed the conspiracy theory Hillary had dysphasia, a neurological condition that impairs the ability to communicate or understand speech. She’s mentally unstable while Trump is crazy like a fox.
· Attacking Americans: What if Hillary had organized rallies and whipped up her liberal mob and chants to attack Trump, Fox and other critics? MAGAs would preen with high dudgeon they were right all along — Hillary is a socialist fascist baby-killing despot dictator who’s sending her storm troopers to seize their guns.
This would make MAGAs glad they misinterpreted the Second Amendment to permit their unfettered gun rights, grab their arsenals and start shooting government officials to protect our liberty. When Trump attacks his “enemies” in America, he’s making America great again.
I don’t mean to pick on Trump’s base.
I apologize for any offense taken.
Hypocrisy is human. As Emerson said, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.
But with control of the White House, the Republican Party, the U.S. Senate, nearly half the House, the U.S. Supreme Court and many state governments, Trump’s base essentially is running the country now.
As Spiderman knows, with great power comes great responsibility. Yes, snarking about “stupid liberals” is irresistibly delicious fun, and Fox makes billions fueling the ire.
But in holding the president accountable, “the liberals” are doing their patriot’s duty our Founders demanded.
Trump’s base has bigger fish to fry than the liberals. Instead of obsessing about Hillary, the mainstream media, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, college snowflakes, late-night comics and other liberal hobgoblins, how about leading the nation?
I’d ask Trump’s base to flip the anti-liberal negative energy into a positive force for progress. Reach across to people who disagree. Use the power of persuasion, instead of burns and memes, to advance policies — healthcare, immigration, environment — our nation needs. Work to win the hearts, minds and consensus of most Americans. Unite not divide.
The liberals are not MAGA’s top challenge. Leading is.
And for God’s sake, MAGAs, please get Trump under control.
Everything he does he does for you. Kindly stop enabling, enjoying or egging on his mean-spirited mishigas, which lost Trump the House last fall and undermines his agenda and yours, and the country.
Let go of Hillary. She lost. You won. Act like winners. You’re in control. We’re counting on you.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer