PREDICTIONS AND DENIGRATIONS: Behind the scenes at our latest predictions!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2016

Part 3—"What, us worry?" career liberal pundits declare:
Will Candidate Clinton beat Candidate Trump if they square off in November?

We don't feel certain about that at all. Among a wide array of concerns, consider one line from Patrick Healy's news report in yesterday's New York Times.

As we noted yesterday,
Healy described the types of attacks on Candidate Clinton which are likely to come from Candidate Trump. The New York Times headline says this:

"Little Is Off Limits as Donald Trump Plans Attacks on Hillary Clinton’s Character"

Almost surely, that is true. But will attacks of the type in question gain purchase?

We can't answer that question. Along the way, though, we were concerned when Healy tossed off the highlighted statement:
HEALY (5/17/16): Mrs. Clinton has often flourished in the wake of boorish behavior: her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth W. Starr’s investigation of her husband, the congressional impeachment proceedings. Women rallied to her side during her 2000 Senate race after her Republican opponent, Representative Rick A. Lazio, invaded her personal space during one debate, and they helped her win the 2008 New Hampshire primary shortly after Barack Obama dismissively said she was “likable enough.”

Yet Mr. Trump said he was determined not to fall into those traps.

In a telephone interview, he noted that women did not like seeing Mrs. Clinton insulted or bullied by men. He said he wanted to be more strategic, by calling into question Mrs. Clinton’s judgment in her reaction to Mr. Clinton’s affairs—people close to the couple have said she was involved in efforts to discredit the women—and in her response to crises like Benghazi.
Say what? "People close to the Clintons have said Hillary Clinton was involved in efforts to discredit the women" involved in her husband's (alleged) affairs?

Which people close to the Clintons have said this? Which women is Candidate Clinton said to have "discredited," presumably in the type of vile way which could help Candidate Trump?

Yesterday morning, we were reading Healy's report in hard copy. We rushed back to our sprawling campus, eager to check the inevitable link which would help us see who and what Healy was talking about.

Alas! In its on-line form, Healy's report features a panoply of links, designed to shed light on a variety of subjects. But there is no link to help us know what Healy meant by that highlighted statement, a factual claim the journalist made in his own glorious voice.

Which people close to the Clintons have said these things about Candidate Clinton? What were they talking about? There's no way to know from Healy's report. But in a remarkably casual way, he dropped that highly unflattering claim into the current Trump mix.

Alas! As Candidate Trump assembles his attacks on Clinton's character, he has twenty-four years of demonology on which he can draw.

Some of that demonology has come from forces on the right. But a lot of that demonology has come from the New York Times, and from the Washington Post.

Last Monday, we watched Anderson Cooper hem and haw and chew his nails as reams of this demonology were spewed all over his "cable news" air. The recitations came from the ardent Kayleigh McEnany, along with a cast of thousands.

For details, see yesterday's report.

In fairness to Cooper, he's been busy creating the current two-hour movie about his enthralling relationship with his famous mother. We stumbled upon it two Fridays ago when it aired on CNN "with limited commercial interruption." We were amazed by its length, and by the glorious cable star's degree of self-involvement.

It's also possible that Cooper has been prepping for his appearance on last night's Jeopardy. According to published reports, it produced a highly spirited contest, a contest he lost to fellow celebrity Lara Logan.

At any rate, Cooper seemed completely unprepared for the profusion of claims which spewed forth from the true-believing McEnany last Monday night—from his panel's unofficial supporter of Trump, who was seconded by the official Trump spokesman in Cooper's balanced group.

Simple story: there's a profusion of demonology on which Candidate Trump can draw! There's also a profusion of people like Cooper and Healy who will perhaps be less than meticulous in the ways they handle these charges, assertions, fairy tales, dreams, inventions and claims.

There are very few Paul Begalas, who actually provided the actual facts about one of McEnany's demonological claims that night. Within the next week, we'll help you see how inane some of her other claims were, which doesn't mean that her heartfelt claims weren't also convincingly ardent.

Preview! McEnany's claim about Hillary Clinton's mistreatment of Juanita Broaddrick was highly inane that night. But alas! The befuddled Cooper seemed disinclined to police the demonology his "cable news" program was spewing.

Cooper has played it this way for a very long time, as have many others. As he does, the liberal world sits and stares.

Dearest darlings! Cooper is Gloria Vanderbilt's son! Beyond that, he's a "made man" cable news god. Within the guild, you simply don't notice, or complain, about the way his glorious "cable news" program is run.

Within the guild, it isn't done! That said, let's get down to brass tacks:

At some point, Candidate Trump is going to start spewing stories, stories of a type many people have heard for the past twenty-four years.

Some of these demonological tales have come from "the right-wing noise machine." But many of these demon tales have come from the New York Times.

Cooper isn't going to challenge the Times, and our corporate liberal stars aren't going to challenge Cooper. In our view, this is one of several obvious concerns as we look to November.

(Other concerns: How many people in the thrall of Candidate Sanders or Black Lives Matter will take a walk on Clinton this year? This isn't a question about the validity of those movements' global concerns. It's a question about who is going to win the November election.)

For ourselves, we aren't sure about November at all. In our view, it's possible that Candidate Clinton will end up winning big. We think it's also possible that the demonized hopeful will lose.

In the face of that possibility, what are our top liberal pundits now saying? "What, us worry?" we keep thinking we hear them declare.

Tomorrow, we'll look at our latest liberal predictions, some of which strike us as strikingly clueless. We'll also look at the denigrations we liberals reliably churn as we stumble ahead in our usual feckless manner.

Tomorrow: Encountered in this link from Drum:

"Clinton has been the target of more oppo research over 30 years than Jack the Ripper, with trivial results."

19 comments:

  1. Bob has somehow reached the conclusion that Hillary has done nothing wrong. Or, at least, nothing major. Based on that conclusion, all criticism of her is automatically false.

    Thus today's post is about who criticized Hillary. He says it's the right, the Times and WaPo. But, he doesn't address what the critcisms were or just how valid each cricism was. He doesn't need to, because he has already concluded that all the criticisms are invalid.

    Anyhow, here's some criticism from the right about Hillary's alleged relationship to Castle Grande and to her actions a Webster Hubbell's billing partner. I don't think Bob will respond to this criticism. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/03/126283.php

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    1. Somerby raises the point that Healy of the Times doesn't say who accused Clinton of attacking what women. Vague derogatory statements like that are slid into reports regularly, creating a generalized negative attitude toward Clinton without stating any facts at all.

      I don't know why you persist in posting links to discredited conservative sources about debunked attacks on Clinton. This is a liberal blog and most of the people who read the comments aren't interested in reading, much less responding to your tired smears.

      You are no doubt aware that everyone at a law firm is a "billing partner" of every other lawyer at that firm. That's a tenuous guilt-by-association attempt. Both Clintons were thoroughly investigated and the result was nothing. Clinton is smeared because they can't get any actual goods on her. There is nothing to find.

      How stupid would a politician have to be to live under a microscope as both Clintons have done and yet commit any infraction. That's why the scandals are always ginned up over silly things like email accounts or Christmas card lists, or donations to a charity foundation.

      I think it is time for you to go away.

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    2. Yeah David in Cal, this is a liberal blog and most of the lazy people who read the comments are dumb, aren't interested in reading, much less responding to your tired smears despite their questionable morals.

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    3. In.co.herent.

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  2. Back then, Mr. Clinton’s aides, having watched Gary Hart’s presidential hopes unravel over his relationship with Donna Rice in the 1988 Democratic primary race, were determined to quash any accusations against Mr. Clinton early and aggressively, former campaign aides said. Mrs. Clinton had supported the effort to push back against the women’s stories.

    Much of her involvement played out behind the scenes and was driven in part by her sense that right-wing forces were using the women and salacious stories to damage her husband’s political ambitions.

    Her reflex was to protect him and his future, and early on, she turned to a longtime Clinton loyalist, Ms. Wright, to defend him against the allegations, according to multiple accounts at the time, documented in books and oral histories.

    “We have to destroy her story,” Mrs. Clinton said in 1991 of Connie Hamzy, one of the first women to come forward during her husband’s first presidential campaign, according to George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton administration aide who described the events in his memoir, “All Too Human.” (Three people signed sworn affidavits saying Ms. Hamzy’s story was false.)

    When Gennifer Flowers later surfaced, saying that she had had a long affair with Mr. Clinton, Mrs. Clinton undertook an “aggressive, explicit direction of the campaign to discredit” Ms. Flowers, according to an exhaustive biography of Mrs. Clinton, “A Woman in Charge,” by Carl Bernstein.

    Mrs. Clinton referred to Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who had an affair with the 42nd president, as a “narcissistic loony toon,” according to one of her closest confidantes, Diane D. Blair, whose diaries were released to the University of Arkansas after her death in 2000.

    Ms. Lewinsky later called the comment an example of Mrs. Clinton’s impulse to “blame the woman.”

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    1. There is some irony to a series of attacks on Hillary Clinton, herself a woman, for the crime of defending her husband against specious attacks by women who were easily discredited because they were not credible.

      The Clinton campaign has fought back against all of the different kinds of attacks against them, not just those involving women making allegations against Bill. I find it weird that anyone would expect the team (Bill and Hillary) not to fight back.

      I also doubt there is anyone who followed the Lewinsky scandal who wouldn't believe Monica was a "loony toon". The rest of the diary goes on to say that Hillary didn't believe there was anything going on between her and Bill, that Monica made it up.

      When it is a woman attacking Bill, who else but a woman is Clinton going to blame? In other situations, where men were attacking them for other things, men were blamed.

      But you ignore that Monica Lewinsky, in her own statement, admitted being the aggressor. That implies that she was to blame (if you accept that anything happened and that consensual adult sex is blameworthy). Why would a woman go after another woman's husband and shouldn't she be blamed if she does? How would that then reflect poor character on Hillary's part if she blamed her?

      Given the lack of substance to the claims of the various women who accused Bill Clinton, the lack of support for their statements, their demonstrable lies, how is Hillary wrong to try to discredit their stories and how is that an attack on THEM when they have first attacked Bill Clinton?

      This is just weird.

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    2. Even some Democrats who participated in the effort to discredit the women acknowledge privately that today, when Mrs. Clinton and other women have pleaded with the authorities on college campuses and in workplaces to take any allegation of sexual assault and sexual harassment seriously, such a campaign to attack the women’s character would be unacceptable.

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    3. Dave the Guitar PlayerMay 18, 2016 at 1:13 PM

      Anon 12:38 - I can certainly see a significant difference between women recruited and funded by right-wing organizations making unsubstantiated claims against politicians and women at campuses and workplaces who have little to gain and much to lose by making accusations.

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    4. Anon @12:38

      No one, not even victim's advocates, has argued that women should be believed uncritically. The plea is to take their allegations seriously and INVESTIGATE them. Clinton has clearly stated that as her position too.

      The various allegations against Bill Clinton have been motivated by political opponents, not the women themselves (who have been paid a lot for their willingness to be used that way). They have been thoroughly investigated and found to be lacking in substance. Despite this, the right (and Sanders supporters) continue to raise them over and over, hoping that voters will not know the claims are lacking in substance.

      No one would support a victim of sexual assault on a campus after that kind of investigation and discrediting. Yet people continue to raise the same old claims repeatedly against Bill and now Hillary Clinton -- who is faulted for supporting her husband.

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    5. Here is the Clinton double-bind. Hillary is not supposed to defend Bill against women who accuse him of things, but if she says nothing, she is an enabler (as Trump has already called her). Conservatives starting urging Hillary to divorce Bill with the first attacks on him, but if she does, it gives credence to their charges and hurts his political career. Yet that is what she is supposed to have done, to escape being called an enabler of his secret blow job.

      This is nonsense.

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  3. Hillary does well among African Americans. But will they vote in the fall? A large majority of Millennials would prefer a Democrat to a Republican in the White House, but will they vote in the fall? Bernie has been doing well among white male yellow-dog Democrats wishing to stir up the establishment, but will they vote for the Democrat in the fall or go for Trump? It's said Romney would have won had he carried another 3 percent of the white male vote. Whether that's true or yet another statistical slight-of-hand, it's looking less and less like a landslide for former shoe-in Hillary, even without haunting by ghosts of scandals past.

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    1. Democrat? Landslide? This isn't 1964. This country Nixonland and Reaganland. Both long dead but people who share their values are very much alive... passing bathroom bills the last I heard.

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  4. David in CalMay 18, 2016 at 10:25 AM
    Bob has somehow reached the conclusion that Hillary has done nothing wrong. #And you have said nothing correct. Damn, I'm JUST a big a loser as you! What kind of dishonest construct is this ? Why read any further, "He HAS CONCLUDED..." No he hasn't. You are not satisfied that everyone hates Hillary Clinton FOR THE WRONG REASONS like you do. DODGING BULLETS in BOSNIA? No one has ever brought that up... well ENOUGH for you. Your're a bore.

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  5. The answer to what person "close to the Clintons" would say that is easy: Dick Morris.

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    1. I would love to see a Roger Stone Dick Morris ticket and THAT double entendre was meant, but specifically not for you, Kate.

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  6. When you read the comments to stories about Trump's behavior with women, they typically say Trump was just being a man whereas Bill Clinton raped women and Hillary Clinton had people killed. That makes an article about Hillary insisting that accusers of her husband be discredited seem subtle.

    All of these attacks on Hillary come from the same sources and are being made for the same purpose -- to undermine her campaign and prevent her election. There is no more truth to one than to another. They are just trying to push different buttons in readers.

    Hillary Clinton is not a hypocrite in her support for victims of sexual assault. She hasn't murdered anyone. She had the right to dig out and present proof that women were lying about her husband's behavior during his terms in office. Her actions in office and in her work in support of women's issues and causes speak for themselves. That is where people should look to find the truth about what she will do as president.

    Liberals who say they dislike here but prefer her to Trump and going to wind up with Trump if they don't start defending her against these unfair conservative attacks (and the ones borrowed from Stone/Trump by Bernie's out-of-control supporters).

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    1. Hillary Clinton said all rape accusers have "a right to be believed."

      Bubba's accusers have more evidence they were raped or harassed than Hillary has evidence Trayvon Martin didn't consensually forfeit his own life by brutally attacking another person, yet Hillary repeatedly invokes the names of the violent criminals Martin and Michael Brown on the campaign trail and smears her husband's accusers.

      Hillary thinks the credibility of those claiming to be victims of violent crime depends on whether the accusers or their defenders support her politically.

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  7. LOL WhoeverKidnappedJoshMarshall has gone full WhoeverKidnappedJoshMarshall by mocking Trump's SC nominees for being "White" and "Non-Harvard-Educated."

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