June 13, 2005
In one of the weirdest stories I've ever read, Matt Drudge is reporting that Ed Klein's upcoming, hatchet-job-to-end-all-hatchet-jobs alleges that Bill Clinton raped Hillary to conceive Chelsea.
Putting aside the fact that Hillary was one of the most liberated women of her generation and would be about as likely to accept forcible assault as step out of a moving plane sans-parachute, this story is still weird. After all that's been written on Bill, on Hillary, on Billary, on their relationship, on their lack of a relationship...no one has found this? I've got my doubts.
In any case, this sort of thing is one of Hillary's great strengths. Ed Klein may be strenuously objecting to the term right-winger, but so long as he's going to publish weird screeds about the Clintons, that's where he'll end up. More to the point, this all sounds hysterical, over the top, insane. It'll be inhaled by a right hungry for evidence that Clinton is as bad or worse than they believe. It, and the other allegations in the book, and the accusations to come, will be repeated, with varying levels of subtlety, until the misogyny of many of Hillary's detractors and the unheralded hate they hold for her is on full display. And, in the end, what does a story like this do? Increase female sympathy with a women watching her name get dragged through the mud in order to run for president? Make men feel uncomfortable with the whole election? There's no constituency this allegation will scare away, no facet of public life that such a charge makes Hillary unworthy for. Moreover, the right has spent so many years painting Hillary as a cold, calculating bitch with a heart of stone and a spine of steel that the story on its own makes no sense -- the prevailing sentiment is that she could rip Bill's heart out with minimal effort.
This is good. This is what Hillary wants. For the right to overreact, keep her in the news, make her sympathetic, give her more time with cameras, make her an emotional cause for women, turn men off from the whole election (who, after all, will want to swim in these currents?). Ed Klein may be crazy, he may be stupid, but he's doing no harm to anything but his own reputation. The media will ruminate about the return of Clinton -hatred, Hillary will craft a quip and smart statement to read when she's asked about the issue, and Republicans, when they enter, will have one more media minefield to navigate, because the last thing they want to do is inject themselves into a marital rumor where their opponent was the hapless victim.
Update: QandO argues that none of the folks inhabiting the rightwing blogs have jumped on this. Well, no, I wouldn't expect the Libertarianosphere to sink to this. And indeed, I don't think all Republicans would jump up and down with glee over the idea that a presidential candidate might have been raped (Incidentally -- if Bill Clinton was walking off to rape her, isn't it odd that he made a public announcement about it?). But I do expect a fair portion, the portion that keeps buying, reading, and blurbing the endless procession of anti-Hillary screeds, to grab this as well. Not quite sure what they'll do with it -- the ostensible villain, after all, isn't running for anything -- but they'll figure out something. I know, it sounds cynical. But after watching the anti-Clinton cottage industry survive for a good decade now, cynicism is a fact of life.
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Tracked on Jun 14, 2005 11:34:23 PM
I agree, this story is weird. Even if the 'facts' represented are true it doesn't mean much. I have heard the 'i'm going to rape my wife line' from others, and im meant nothing more than consensual sex with the wife. A joke.
I also agree that one of Hillary's great advantages in her desire to be President is the overwhelming hatred of the right for her. Nothing drives away moderates faster than overblown, crazy antics that Hillary is likely to inspire on the right.
(This was a bit true coming from the left for the last election as well, Hillary hatred is even more extreme than Bush hatred though)
Posted by: Dave Justus | Jun 13, 2005 11:51:06 AM
Ah, but wait for the next Regnery book- The Truth about how Hillary financed VRWC attacks on herself to gain sympathy so she could win the presidency and EAT THE WORLD!!!!
Posted by: SP | Jun 13, 2005 11:51:11 AM
I felt the same way about the Swift Boat Liars but I was wrong about how effective their lies would be. Most people accept this tripe uncritically and after having it hammered in their brains about a billion times via talk radio, ads and the SCLM it becomes fact. Hillary and her people need to address this immediately. How about we help her out by writing Parade Magazine and their advertisers about how disappointed we are with their association with Ed Klein.
Posted by: GregH | Jun 13, 2005 11:59:51 AM
"Ed Klein may be crazy, he may be stupid, but he's doing no harm to anything but his own reputation."
Actually, he'll be doing just fine. The Rabid Right will love him, he'll get booked on talk shows, he'll get more free publicity than he knows what to do with (even on left-wing blogs!), and he'll laugh all the way to the bank.
This is the Cold War writ small. Your hard-liners and my hard-liners are each others' best allies.
And I gotta say, I really don't think it helps Hillary. For every mushy-middler who feels sympathetic to her, there's one who is turned off by all the icky "controversy," and another who is "confused" and doesn't know who to believe.
Posted by: bleh | Jun 13, 2005 12:48:33 PM
I have a medical theory, as yet untested, that states it is possible for a person's head to physically explode if they get enraged enough.
A Hillary Clinton presidency would not only be a great test for this theory, but may prove to be then end of our wingnut problem.
Posted by: Stephen | Jun 13, 2005 1:11:56 PM
because the last thing they want to do is inject themselves into a marital rumor where their opponent was the hapless victim
Which is exactly why they'll also shy away from commenting about this. You might see a few Rush or Coulter types running with this, but no way is it going to get mainstream right-wing coverage it the way the swift boat stuff will. I think this will become a non-issue and people will forget about it a year from now.
Posted by: Adrock | Jun 13, 2005 1:22:31 PM
I say "feh":
For every mushy-middler who feels sympathetic to her, there's one who is turned off by all the icky "controversy," and another who is "confused" and doesn't know who to believe.
Paging Dr. Freud.
Posted by: Nash | Jun 13, 2005 1:39:45 PM
I cannot conceive on how this would help the Republicans retain the White House, other than maybe, "If Hillary wins, there will be a RAPIST IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!" Actually, that may be the point.
Posted by: Ugh | Jun 13, 2005 1:52:21 PM
I am truly disgusted that anyone would put an accusation of that nature in a book especially when there is a child involved (Chelsea). I predict people will be repelled by this the way they were when Kerry talked about Cheney's gay daughter. This has gone way too far. This accusation makes what Dean said sound like a conversation in Church.
Posted by: Drdemocrat | Jun 13, 2005 2:21:26 PM
I felt the same way about the Swift Boat Liars but I was wrong about how effective their lies would be.
Excuse me, but Kerry's campaign admitted that 1) he never was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve, despite the memory being seared - seared! - in him, and 2) that his first Purple Heart *might* have come from a self-inflicted wound.
That makes it 2-0 for the Swifties and makes Kerry a lying phony.
As for Ed Klein's book, I am not terribly surprised that a leftwing journalist would stoop this low. I've read enough Bush=Hilter crap from these wingnuts for 4 years.
Posted by: VRWC | Jun 13, 2005 3:50:09 PM
After all that's been written on Bill, on Hillary, on Billary, on their relationship, on their lack of a relationship...no one has found this? I've got my doubts.
"I've got my doubts", eh? Way to take a strong stand on a vicious wingnut fairy tale. If liberal commentators are going to pay any attention at all to this crap, how about a little righteous contempt and an outright dismissal?
Posted by: Chris | Jun 13, 2005 7:31:36 PM
Don't you just love how VRWC proves my point for me?! It's like he is in one of Jon Stewart's classic hypnotized stupors as he repeats the words of his puppet master/propagandists.
Posted by: GregH | Jun 13, 2005 7:58:17 PM
Since Kerry's service record has now been made public I was silly enough to think the talking points against him had been refuted and/or used up.
Posted by: opit | Jun 14, 2005 1:11:11 AM
Don't you love how Greg H can't back up his "Swift Boat Liars" claim?
And no, Kerry's full service record has not been made public.
What is he hiding?
Are the rumors true? Was he dishonorably discharged?
Posted by: VRWC | Jun 14, 2005 1:18:21 AM
Oh, VRWCunt is back in town? Dear me. What a sad fuck it is.
Posted by: ahem | Jun 14, 2005 2:37:31 PM
I see AHEM is still a fellating fuckwit. Some things never change.
Posted by: VRWC | Jun 14, 2005 4:02:05 PM
oh yes indeed the libertarianosphere jumped on this. technorati hillary clinton rape if you don't believe me, 'cause i refuse to dignify dickheads (i literally think their brains are composed of dickmeat) with a link.
Posted by: Jami | Jun 14, 2005 11:09:59 PM
Ezra, some time has passed....where are the righty supporters of this piece of trash? I see the usual suspects on the far, far, fringe (Newsmax, etc.) but if any mainstream righty has jumped on the cause I'd like to know.
I wonder, though, if the disgusting author will get three consecutive mornings on the Today show, as Kitty Kelly did last year. Says something, huh?
Who were the lefties that then about Kelly what so many righties are saying about Klein (the author, not you)?
Posted by: RW | Jun 15, 2005 9:32:37 PM
"That said back then about Kelly", it should say.
Posted by: RW | Jun 15, 2005 9:33:36 PM
Posted by: peter.w | Sep 16, 2007 10:08:51 PM
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