Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Anatomy of a Clinton Attack: Loud and Harsh and Nothing There

Don't inhale these people.

Yes, I'm a socialist and Bernie's my man, with Elizabeth Warren a close second if not a first, yada yada yada. But Hillary's going to be the candidate, so all the this-and-that and if-only's are only that.

Having said that, the problem with the latest attack on Hillary and Bill -- it was meant as a Clinton family broadside -- is that there's no there there, and the book's not even out yet. Even the author admits he couldn't connect the dots, so he asked the Washington Post, the New York Times, et al, to connect them for him, and they haven't yet.

Read Jamelle Bouie's piece in Slate for a concurring viewpoint.
Overall, Clinton Cash is best described as an exercise in question begging, in which you assume your conclusion in the premise of your argument. Schweizer believes that the Clintons are corrupt influence peddlers who have enriched themselves at the expense of America’s interests, and he’s written a book to justify himself. What he hasn’t done is written a book that proves his claims. Instead, all he has is a compendium of bad decisions and gross behavior that a more sober-minded writer could have used to make a real hit on the Clintons. As it stands, they will brush this off like they have most attacks from the right.
Indeed, there’s a sense in which Schweizer knows that he hasn’t done anything to hurt his intended targets. “I realize how shocking these allegations may appear,” he writes at the beginning of the book. “Are these activities illegal? That’s not for me to say. I’m not a lawyer.”
The author as much as admits he doesn't know what he's talking about. Not impressive. It relies on how you feel about the Clintons. If you like them and think this is just so much more Whitewater-style nonsense, then nothing changes for you. If you dislike the Clintons, you shout "What bastards, I knew it!" to the wall, with nobody but yourself listening.

Okay, I'm a socialist and as cynical as the next political observer, but this is just another WTF moment in a line of embarrassing attempts by the, yes, vast right-wing conspiracy to smear the Clinton name. It won't be the last. But I wonder if, each time, they get less effective, until nobody will listen. A good strategy? You tell me.

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