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Clinton'ish Thoughts

I posted a short version of this on Facebook. It’s an effort to diagnose Hillary’s decades-long tendency to find a way to put herself in a bad public light. It’s happened over and over forfreakingever. A quick run-down of the non-scandals over the years: the Rose Law firm cock-up, Vince Foster’s death, Whitewater, Travelgate, Benghazi, the email server and now the Clinton Foundation.

In each of these so-called “scandals” we’ve witnessed the same extended dramaturgical sequence: questions get asked, hints of possible misconduct emerge, investigations are mounted, evidence is presented and scrutinized and, sometimes after years of detective work, the final decision is that nothing is amiss, It was all just (another) nothing-burger, a tempest in a teapot.

As many pundits and commentators have noted, a lot of this political frenzy is initiated and promoted by her enemies who are many. But a lot of it is of her own making simply because she does not handle these things well.

When you brush away the “Hillary derangement syndrome” elements that drive those on the political right, Clinton’s main problem isn’t what she’s actually done, it’s how she (and Bill and the rest of their operation) handle issues. And it goes like this:

An issue emerges and the press comes snooping around. She responds in her patented buttoned-down style, dismissive, unrevealing — which, of course, does nothing to deter the curious who start asking more focused questions. To these she typically pulls the tent-flap up a bit but denies that anything’s amiss — which, of course, makes everyone ever more curious. When they predictably push harder she acknowledges, usually in a vaguely obscure way, that perhaps there were some things done not according to “standard protocol.” To calm the criticism, she releases some of the information in the form of memos or emails which, quelle surprise, just tweaks the press and her critics who assume that since she only served up some of the material she must be hiding something.

Finally, often after some “official” investigation initiated by the GOP, she opens the books and/or releases the emails and we see that she was right all along, that nothing out of the ordinary was going on, nothing indictable, nothing illegal, nothing treasonable, just the usual mishmash of government and the occasional errors of judgment that any and every official makes. Interestingly, once this point is reached virtually everyone, including the FBI, the GOP and her enemies, grudgingly acknowledge her non-culpability (if not her actual innocence). Even Tray Gowdy whose entire political focus for several years now has been a laser-like effort to bring her down, has admitted that she’s done nothing improper.

But by the time we’ve reached this semi-denouement, it’s too late. Everybody (including those on the political left who should be her strongest supporters) can’t shake the feeling she’s still hiding something …. and the wolves start howling for her flesh yet again.

This pattern’s been going on for decades and why she hasn’t learned is a puzzle.

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