While the news media has been almost totally focused on Donald Trump’s misogyny, alreday well-established long but somehow decisively important once it was in full display from the video of a private exchange from 11 years ago, revelations about his opponent’s character and modes of operation have also been trickling out into view, and receiving far less attention from either journalists or voters.
They have also exposed many of Clinton’s lies. For example, after posturing about Trump’s birtherism and claiming that his defense that Clinton led the way in 2008 with planting conspiracy theories to otherize Obama, this ugly email, surfaced from the 2008 Clinton campaign, including John Podesta and Paul Begala on the distribution list. It strongly suggest that an attack on Obama’s religion and citizenship was part of the strategy to defeat him, as well as using his alleged use of illegal drugs and support for gay adoption as ammunition.
The 2013 Goldman-Sachs speeches that Clinton received $675,000 to give to the investment companies have turned up, thanks to Wikileaks. More revealed files from the FBI have cast suspicion on the process whereby Clinton was cleared of criminal misconduct in her irregular handling of official e-mails.
Other documents have indicated that the federal government, “supported by tax dollars,” as the Wall Street Journal puts it, was working as an extension of the Clinton campaign. The State Department seems to have coordinated with her staff to blunt the email scandal, and the Justice Department kept her team informed about developments in the court case.
Clinton’s State Department, as documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show, also facilitated Clinton’s use of her official influence to provide special favors to Clinton Foundation donors. For example, in one series of 2010 emails, a senior aide to Hillary Clinton asked a foundation official to let her know which groups offering assistance with the Haitian earthquake relief were “FOB” (Friends of Bill) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs).
The leaks show “that the press is in Mrs. Clinton’s pocket,” writes Kimberly Strassle at the WSJ. Donna Brazile, now DNC chair, sent the exact wording of a CNN town hall question to Hillary ahead of a scheduled debate. Other journalists gave the Clinton campaign the power to veto which quotes were used from interviews, helped facilitate press events, and offered advice to her campaign.
Less surprising but arguably more damaging if the average voter knew, the various leaks, e-mails and speeches reveal a candidate with little integrity and few core principles, an opportunistic policy Janus who constantly changes her position to maximize political gain. She told an audience that she believes in giving the voters one position while holding different ones, and has taken such dual positions on banks; international policies, trade, illegal immigration, energy, and more. Though many of the leaked e-mails reveal views of her staff that are only attributed to Hillary, it is likely that the voluminous discussions among Clinton’s advisors about what false rhetoric she should use to recruit “the Red Army,” also called “the base of the Democratic Party.” are not inconsistent with her own attitudes.
All of this, and more is on the way, does not show an individual with Donald Trump’s repulsive narcissism and contempt for a full half of the world’s population, but does show Clinton to be, like Trump, untrustworthy, dishonest, corrupt, ruthless, and shameless. Unlike Trump, it reveals an individual addicted to showing the public a completely different political being than she really is.
Strassle concludes her summary by saying that “Voters might not know any of this, because while both presidential candidates have plenty to answer for, the press has focused solely on taking out Mr. Trump. And the press is doing a diligent job of it.”
So I wonder…what if, rather than requiring explanation, analysis, extrapolation, and connecting the dots, and without being marred by over-reaching and biased exaggerations of already damaging evidence by right-wing, Hillary-hating zealots, visual and audible smoking gun proof of Clinton’s lies, false poses and corruption was exposed to the nation?
I now present this hypothetical as a thought experiment:
James O’Keefe’s Mission Impossible Accomplished
James O’Keefe, assisted by a secret multi-million dollar gift from Donald Trump, pulls off the sting of his life. An actress-associate is trained over many months to know every available detail of the relationship between Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton and their work together. Hacking into communications between them, O’Keefe learns of a half-day private meeting between the two, its time, place and agenda, which is wide-ranging. As the meeting approaches, Huma is lured to a place where she is drugged and secreted safely. (The drug used is an amnesia-inducing hypnotic agent: when she awakens, she has no memory of what happened to her, and is found wandering, confused but unharmed, in Central Park.)
While Clinton’s top aide is under wraps, O’Keefe’s actress associate meets with Hillary, disguised as Huma, using a “Mission Impossible”-style mask, make-up and voice-simulator, for more than four hours, with every minute surreptitiously recorded and videotaped. On the video, Clinton talks frankly about many things, and since she is drinking wine during the latter part of the session, becomes increasingly voluble and candid as the meeting goes on.
She never suspects a thing.
The content of Clinton’s remarks to the fake Abedin is stunning, to say the least. Among the “bombshells,” pulled out of her by the Huma-doppleganger’s deft questioning…
- That she knew the risks her handling of her e-mails posed to national security, but felt it was worth it to hide possibly damaging communications from discovery.
- That she destroyed many of the e-mails she claimed were “private” because they were potential evidence of official wrongdoing.
- “Thank God Loretta took the deal we offered her, but she owes Bill big time. Pretty slick the way she handed off her agreement to Bill when they shook hands on her airplane.”
- That she facilitated favors and official benefits from the State Department in exchange for large gifts from individual donors, corporations and foreign governments.
- That the Democratic National Committee had coordinated with her since 2014 to ensure her nomination, and later, to defeat Bernie Sanders, whom she regarded as “an old fool.”
- That she used back channels to major reporters, columnists and broadcast media figures as ” a main line of defense” against accountability for any of her machinations, and as insurance that negative information about her would be spun, buried, or ignored.
- That her health has been much worse than reported, and that she would count on Bill, and to a lesser extent, Tim Kaine to be shadow presidents when she was incapacitated.
- Statements about the public and Democrats being gullible and ignorant; Obama being “a weenie” and a “pompous ass”; about men being “a sub-species”; about climate change being a useful wedge issue but that “there’s really not much we can or should do about it right now.”
- Negative comments about Black Lives Matter, and this: “What we have to do is get the blacks to vote for us, and then crack down on all their crap before the cities turn into ‘Mad Max.'”
- That Bill’s “pussy-chasing” still haunts her; that she wished she could just make “that bitch that Bill raped” Juanita Broaddrick “disappear,” that anyone who would vote for Trump over her is a “mouth-breathing, drooling redneck moron,” and
- “It’s incredible, really. I can get away with almost anything, just like Bill. They can’t touch me, and won’t touch me. They say I think laws are for the little people. Well, they are right about that…the little, poor, ordinary, pathetic people who don’t know their ass from their elbows. And once I’m President, it will be even better.”
O’Keefe releases the video on YouTube, after sending it to major news organizations and political websites.
What would happen?
Would the mainstream news media treat this video with the saturation coverage that the NBC tape has received?
Would the news media attack the methods by which the video was obtained as a deflection?
Would Clinton apologize for her comments, or come up with an explanation, such as that she knew the “Huma” was a fake, and having fun giving her the kind of admission O’Keefe was after. “I guess I got carried away a bit, and I’m sorry about that. It wasn’t the best way to handle it. But I was joking, obviously.”
Would the mainstream media support that explanation? Which journalists and publications would, if not all of them?
Would the Washington Post moderate or retract its endorsement that stated,
“There is a well-qualified, well-prepared candidate on the ballot. Hillary Clinton has the potential to be an excellent president of the United States, and we endorse her without hesitation.” ?
Would any publication retract its endorsement? Any prominent columnists? Which ones?
Would any prominent Democrat publicly condemn Clinton’s words and admitted conduct, or retract his or her support?
What would Elizabeth Warren say in response? Bernie Sanders? Barack Obama?
Would a significant number of Hillary voters switch their preference to Trump? Would any?
Would it change a thing?