It’s that feeling you get when you catch a whiff of something that takes you right back to the last time you smelled it; that familiar sound that sets the needle on a record in your head even though you haven’t heard it in ages; it’s déjà vu all over again. It’s the Clinton playbook.
For all her talk of being a forward-thinking change-maker, Hillary Clinton is downright Pavlovian in how she handles charges of wrongdoing and corruption.
The Clinton playbook became a media bestseller in the 1990s. It’s short and to the point: Lie, deny, delay, and when you can no longer do those, dismiss as old news.
The most important aspect, though, is to attack. Always.
Attack the accuser. Demonize him or her. Attack friends of the accuser. Demonize them. Attack anyone associated with the accuser. Demonize them. Attack anyone who reports what the accuser is accusing you of. Demonize them. Lather, rinse, repeat.
It’s a reflex for Bill and Hillary Clinton, and those in their orbit gleefully play their roles. When you find something that works, you stick with it.
And it has worked.
In any fair society, where justice was truly blind and laws applied to everyone equally, Bill Clinton would have been removed from office for committing perjury while president. He didn’t forget or “mis-remember.” He wasn’t unsure of the meaning of the word “is.” He flat-out lied, several times, to cover his own ass.
A mere mortal, a regular American, would’ve faced fines and prison; Bill Clinton finished his term, raked in hundreds of millions of dollars and is poised to move back into the scene of one of his many crimes.
But the Clinton playbook wasn’t deployed only during the Monica Lewinsky scandal; it was the standard operating procedure for every Clinton scandal.
Travelgate, FBI Filegate, Whitewater, raising campaign money from Chinese monks and businessmen with communist government ties, etc., etc. The response was always by the book.
Those who dared seek the truth were turned into history’s greatest monsters. Their “sin” was to seek the truth about a Clinton, even if it exonerated them. Considering the obstruction and recriminations they faced, it’s no wonder the truth never did exonerate them. And the obstruction they faced said all there was to say about the possibility of exoneration.
Parents don’t lock a cabinet drawer because there’s nothing in it.
But Hillary Clinton has a problem – the playbook doesn’t have time to work this time, and it’s all she knows.
When the FBI announced 11 days before election day it had reopened the criminal investigation into her secret, non-secured email server, the Clinton machine snapped into action. Director Comey was attacked, his motives questioned, his integrity smeared. The entire FBI was smeared.
But there’s a problem for the Clintons – there isn’t enough time, even with help from their media allies, for it to work.
Memories of Democrats, including Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, praising Comey are fresh in the minds of too many people. YouTube has videos. Facebook lets you share them. You can’t “massage the truth” through media indoctrination when everyone has their own news channel. At least not in 11 days.
Perhaps the most telling part of this whole affair is just how powerless Hillary Clinton is to break from the script. There was literally nothing she or any of her supporters could do or say to change the facts surrounding the FBI’s announcement. No combination of words, no allegations levied or foul cried against the bureau was going to put that toothpaste back in the tube. Yet she couldn’t help herself.
All Hillary had to do was acknowledge this was happening, say she had no idea why but was confident in her innocence and had faith in Comey and the FBI to get it right, and this story would have faded.
The sustained attacks, conspiracy theories and cries of unfairness from her and her campaign breathe new life into this story on an hourly basis. Innocent people proclaim their innocence; they don’t declare themselves victims…
Whether this latest revelation will be a deal breaker is impossible to know, but it does expose that the Clintons are, were, and always will be the Clintons.