This Time it's not about Bill and Sex
Most of the political crises and scandals in Hillary Clinton's career have centered on her randy husband, the former president Bill Clinton. There was Whitewater and Ken Starr's investigation, and Hillary's cattle futures deal, but those were outliers. There's no sex romp by Bill to blame this time, though, not regarding Benghazi.
It's Hillary's fingerprints all over Benghazi, not her husband's. There's no bimbo eruption that requires Hillary's master touch to quell. Gennifer Flowers is a distant memory. Monica Lewinsky's semen-stained dress will turn up one day on Mysteries at the Museum. The quietly suffering wife storyline won't play this time.
Former Secretary of State Clinton is dead center in the burgeoning Benghazi scandal. It's Hillary's judgment, decision-making, and ethics that are coming under fire (Mr. Obama won't be far behind). No doubt, Bill, indebted by years of Hillary's managed bailouts, is troubleshooting Benghazi for his bride behind the scenes. But Bill is too crafty, and gives a real damn about salvaging something of his legacy, to play too conspicuous a role. Of course, since Hillary has the goods on her hubby -- every crumb of his sordid personal and professional life in her lockbox -- Bill will be obliged to step out to defend his wife if it looks like Benghazi will do irreparable damage to her reputation and fortunes.
Be that as it may, Hillary's outsized problem is that Benghazi doesn't involve her sex life. If it did -- somehow -- concern Hillary's trysts and sexual peccadilloes (does Hillary own cigars?), then the mainstream media and the culture's lefty arbiters could compartmentalize and dismiss her transgressions as merely personal, unrelated to her performance as secretary of state. The ploy worked for Bill during his White House years and to his great benefit during the Lewinsky scandal, giving Democrats an easy out on Bill's impeachment vote. Americans bought the line about Bill's extramarital sex life being his personal, if smarmy, business (forget about lying under oath), which saved his presidency.
But when it comes to national security and the lives and welfare of Americans serving in hot spots (as is Libya) overseas, the American people are likely to take a dimmer view of willful negligence, ideological blinkeredness, and political expedience on the part of elected and appointed officials. There's also the greater matter of lying and covering up that doesn't sit well with citizens, not when it comes to the people's business.
Hillary lacks the fig leaf of sexcapades to protect her from further investigations and revelations about her critical role in the Benghazi debacle. The mainstream media's purposeful disinterest in Benghazi has begun to waiver, as this report from ABC News attests. The mainstreamers haven't hung a bull's eye on Hillary yet (or the president, which will likely come only after a last stand to shield him), but continuing pressure from, principally, Fox News, the Washington Times, and the Wall Street Journal will sorely test the mainstreamers loyalty to Democrats versus being outhustled and outscooped by their fair and balanced competitors.
Sure, liberal opinion writers and lefty bloggers will continue to try to smokescreen for Hillary (and the president). But with a rich mine of facts, information, and substantiations about the Benghazi debacle still to be unearthed, those revelations will trump lame excuses and diversionary interpretations of the facts.
Hillary's performance as secretary of state during the Benghazi flap has the makings of a big Shakespearean fall. As Senator Rand Paul wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Times last Friday:
During those [January Senate] hearings, I reminded Mrs. Clinton that multiple requests were sent to the State Department asking for increased security measures. I asked if she had read the cables from Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens asking for increased security. She replied that she was busy and had not read them. I find that inexcusable.
Negligence, one hopes, is what Hillary is guilty of in not paying heed to Ambassador Stevens' cables requesting greater security in Benghazi; it's the lesser offense. A darker possibility is that Hillary ignored the cables because it didn't fit her or the president's worldview. Perhaps Hillary and Obama also feared that a stepped-up American security presence in Benghazi would inflame Muslims. Either way, Ambassador Stevens and three other patriots were killed by a terrorist-led mob on the night of September 11.
The terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate was known to the CIA, the White House, and the State Department from the get-go, per this report from Fox News. That means Hillary knew in real time, and the president as well. It appears that Ansar Al-Shariah was the militant Muslim group spearheading and inciting the assault. The decision to stand down Special Forces positioned in Tripoli for a rescue attempt in Benghazi had to have originated with the president and among his highest circle, including the secretary of state, whose ambassador was imperiled.
That's all horrible enough, but the subsequent lies, disinformation, and denials are the real nails in Hillary's political coffin (right along with the president's and other key players, as the story continues to unfold and ripen).
Hillary, with Bill, is first and foremost a political animal. With a presidential election in the offing last autumn, Hillary fully appreciated that the president could ill-afford admitting a terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate. The president was astutely aware of the political fallout in what was then considered a near-toss up presidential contest with Mitt Romney.
For Hillary, had Mr. Obama lost reelection in November, a big contributable factor would have been the Muslim terror assault on the U.S. consulate. A good share of the blame would have fallen on Hillary, damaging her badly. It's fair speculation that the president and Hillary hoped the Benghazi attack would not result in fatalities, permitting them to more easily spin the story. Or, again more darkly, since a U.S. drone was above Benghazi returning real time images to Washington, perhaps fatalities were what the president and secretary of state were willing to accept in an attempt to avoid escalation -- an escalation that would have certainly made a dramatic splash during the election.
So insulated has the president been -- and by extension, his administration -- from scrutiny and criticism by the mainstream media, that it's not unreasonable to believe that conceit led Mr. Obama and Hillary to believe that they could get away with whatever pap they fed the media and the public.
Forgotten by many now was Hillary's stint as a lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate imbroglio. Watergate -- where a president, Richard Nixon, led and participated in lies and the cover up of a bungled burglary at DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex. Lies and a cover up -- ironic, isn't it?
What fewer may recall is the revelations during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses that Hillary may have filed a fraudulent brief with the House Judiciary Committee that led to her dismissal.
This from a WND article dated April, 2008:
[Jerry] Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat [and the House Judiciary Committee's general counsel], called Clinton a "liar" and "an unethical, dishonest lawyer."
Her brief, Zeifman said, was so fraudulent and ridiculous, she would have been disbarred if she had submitted it to a judge.
[Franklin] Polk [Republican counsel] confirmed Clinton wrote a brief arguing Nixon should not be granted legal counsel due to a lack of precedent. But Clinton deliberately ignored the then-recent case of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who was allowed to have a lawyer during the impeachment attempt against him in 1970.
Moreover, Zeifman claims Clinton bolstered her fraudulent brief by removing all of the Douglas files from public access and storing them at her office, enabling her to argue as if the case never existed.
Polk confirmed the Clinton memo ignored the Douglas case, but he could not confirm or dispel the claim that Hillary removed the files.
Hillary needs to manufacture a juicy sex scandal to give her allies in the mainstream media and blogosphere a chance to divert attention from the real trouble. A president and his secretary of state created the circumstances in which a U.S. ambassador and three other brave Americans perished at the hands of the nation's enemies, and then lied and covered up the facts for the basest political motives.
But one suspects that not even a titillating sex scandal could save a Clinton this time.