A step back to sanity

May 21, 2017

In the dark days following Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election her sudden departure from the camera lens was spun as physical exhaustion and the emotional drain of the campaign.

That she just needed time to reflect upon what had just happened, time to decompress, and time to seek answers.

Those outside of Madame Secretary’s earshot already knew the answer:

A candidate with more flaws than a salvage title Yugo, an entitlement mindset that refused to accept that if she really wanted the Presidency she would have to earn it, and a lame “I’m with her” campaign slogan that registered nothing but disgust with millions of voters living West of the East coast and East of the West.

But in the end, it wasn’t answers Hillary was seeking, it was excuses.  The blame must not fall upon the Lady from Chappaqua. History must show her the victim, not a failure.

Thanks to Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, authors of the behind the scenes look at Hillary world book “Shattered” we now know just how quickly those excuses began to form and how fast the Clinton camp settled on the mother of all excuses: “The Russians did it.”

From the book: “That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

Yes, you read that correctly. While millions of hangovers from the worst election in modern American history were still wearing off, top Clinton aides John Podesta and Robby Mook were creating the narrative that their compliant media would begin spreading to their oh so gullible followers.

Who would have thought that in the second decade of the 21st century the power of propaganda that Josef Goebbels had so skillfully exploited in the third decade of the 20th, would be deployed against the very nation that defeated it barely 70 years ago.

And so it was, with that last act of blind devotion to candidate and cause,  Mook and Podesta lit the fuse to blow up a duly elected Presidency before it could ever get started.

Thanks to a complicit national press corps bookended by the Amazon, er Washington Post and the Carlos Slim er New York Times and buttressed by more than willing producers at CNN, MSNBC, and network newscasts, the nation has been fed a steady diet of anonymously sourced “the Russians did it”, “Trump campaign colluded” rumor and innuendo unparalleled in the modern era.

So deep has the paranoia been planted that the cover of the once venerable TIME magazine has as its cover image this week an image of the White House morphing into the Kremlin.

Thankfully Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took a step to put us back on the path to sanity by appointing former FBI director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel with the mandate to investigate, “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump and; any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation……”

It’s not a perfect solution but when surrounded by a pack of foaming at the mouth rabid dogs, far better to throw them a bone than to anger them more.

Mueller is a Princeton grad who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968 and went on to lead a rifle platoon and receive a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and more in the process.  His qualifications and reputation are stellar.

Whatever Mr. Mueller’s final report recommends tomorrow, I for one pledge today to support them.  This nation has had 8 years of politicos skating above the rule of law; it’s time to end that era once and for all, no matter the party, no matter the person.

But until this Russian rabbit hole finally gets filled in I wouldn’t go near any Founding Fathers graves right about now.  Else you just might find a cold, clammy hand around your neck and a voice from above thundering: “What the hell are you doing to our treasured Republic?”

Publisher Note:  A version of this column first appeared in the May 21, 2017 print edition of the Joplin Globe

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