So now it’s Shoegate.
Clearly, the conservatives who have spent the Obama years suffering from paranoid psychosis – the “birthers” who insisted that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, the “skeet shooter truthers” who said Obama faked the photo that shows him firing at clay pigeons, the Gettysburg “truthers,” the list goes on – are now primed to aim their wingnuttery at Hillary Clinton. Which makes perfect sense, since they first manifested their symptoms way back when she and Bill were national newbies.
It’s back to the future for the run up to 2016, and we who are sane might as well play it for laughs. Because when we’re sniffing the stench of true lunacy – in this case, the allegation that Hillary conspired to have somebody throw a shoe at her – surely we can agree that humor is the best disinfectant.
You probably know what happened. At a Las Vegas event last Thursday, some nutcase hurled an athletic sneaker that sailed past Hillary’s head. The hurler has been charged with two federal crimes, and that should be the end of the story. But of course it isn’t.
Rush Limbaugh – bingo! – got an earful the other day from callers who insisted that Hillary set the whole thing up, that she staged it to gin up sympathy for herself. The callers had no such evidence, of course, but that didn’t bug Rush. He trusts his fine mind more than he cares about evidence. He said: “In my subconscious, I think it was staged, or set up, or whatever…Maybe it’s (her) attempt to make the Benghazi people look like nuts and lunatics and wackos.”
While Rush was busy communing with his subconscious, Herman Cain was keyboarding on Twitter. You may remember Cain; for a few months prior to the 2012 presidential primaries, he drove the Republican clown car. Even though he still probably knows nothing about the country he called “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan,” he says he knows a Hillary scam when he sees it. He tweeted: “Hmm…Fakery from the Clintons? That Hillary shoe-throwing thing does look kind of fake, huh?”
Fortunately for Cain, he was saved from the burden of evidence because his 140 characters were up.
Other truthers, who wrote articles at length, had no such excuse. On Bernard Goldberg’s website (Goldberg is a Fox News commentator), contributing writer Arthur Louis intoned: “There is a political axiom…that when Hillary does something, or when something happens to her, she has carefully calculated it beforehand. This is almost always true….So it would not be stretching logic to suppose that Hillary arranged to have the show thrown at her…she may have calculated that this would make her seem presidential.”
He concluded: “I am just guessing, of course.” I love that line.
Naturally, some of the trolls on that blog guessed right along with him (“I would put nothing at all past the libs”), and Louis duly replied: “You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to suppose that Hillary would phony things up….There has to be more investigation.”
Yes, an investigation! The bat signal has been flashed, and I hope Darrell Issa sees it.
But as I was tracking this stuff (truther-columnist Dan Calabrese: “Is it outlandish to suggest Hillary Clinton would pull a stunt that is totally fake if she thinks it would help her political fortunes?”), I couldn’t help but experience deja vu. Where have I seen this kind of thing before…
Ah yes. Shoegate is a replay of December 2012, when Hillary got sick during GOP Benghazi hearings – and the usual right-wing suspects insisted without a shred of evidence that she was faking illness. They joked that she was suffering from “Benghazi flu.” It turned out – according to the doctors – that she had a concussion and a blood clot in a vein between her brain and skull. But to this day, the truthers and trolls haven’t apologized.
Nor will they this time – because, hey, you never know, maybe the shoe-hurler will produce a shoe-store receipt smeared with Hillary’s prints.
But who needs empirical proof when all you need is a tinfoil hat?
Meanwhile, speaking of humor…John Boehner ‘s GOP primary opponent deserves a little cred. Who else has ever run a TV ad that ends with a line like this:
“If you have a Boehner lasting longer than 23 years, seek immediate medical attention.”
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