Just a shade over 24 hours after 129 people were slaughtered in Paris by terrorists, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took the debate stage in Iowa and utterly disgraced herself in a way that would have been shocking were it not so utterly mundane a phenomenon in modern US politics. One of her opponents, Bernie Sanders, tagged her with the millions of dollars in campaign contributions she has received from the very Wall Street financial firms that burned down the US economy some years ago. Sanders essentially said those firms expect a return on their investment, and he was exactly right.
Secretary Clinton bristled. "Wait a minute," she replied, "he has basically used his answer to impugn my integrity. Let's be frank here." Rather than be frank, however, Clinton went completely sideways and claimed that she takes barrels of corrupt Wall Street cash because 9/11 happened, or something. I've been watching political debates of all kinds since God wore short pants, and this ranked right up there with the most vile, disingenuous, sneaky, low-road slippery debate statements I have ever heard.
You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, I am very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent. So I - I represented New York. And I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy. And it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.
So, let me get this straight. Because Clinton has a lot of women who donate to her campaign, and because two airliners obliterated the World Trade Center in an attack that had people jumping to their deaths out of 100-story windows on live television, her acceptance of millions in dirty money has something to do with being good for the economy, and because it is a "rebuke" to the terrorists.
On a peaceful sunny day, invoking 9/11 as a means of misdirecting a legitimate critique of the company she keeps, and of the expectations those friends have for the checks they write, would be grossly inappropriate. When she dropped that line, Parisians were still hosing blood off the sidewalks, sweeping up the broken glass and trying to identify the dead. The people in the US she seeks to represent - most specifically New Yorkers, who were shaken by the Paris attack and whom she invoked so passionately - were used by her to score some debate points. Her invocation of 9/11 was not some verbal oops; it was a deliberate waving of the bloody shirt at a time when the nation and the world were still reeling from the events of the day before.
A number of commentators have compared Secretary Clinton's 9/11 debate comment to the 2008 campaign tactics of Rudy Giuliani, who 9/11 couldn't go 9/11 to the men's room 9/11 without 9/11 invoking 9/11 9/11 like a verbal hiccup 9/11. That tactic worked about as well as the wax wings Icarus used when he flew too close to the sun. It was grotesque then, and is grotesque now, but doing so on the doorstep of a massacre puts Clinton into a whole other category.
In baseball, when a player pulls some punk move - headhunting with a fastball, cleat-spiking during a slide, failing to run out a pop fly - the game has a universal retort: "That's bush league." Bush league is precisely where candidate Clinton has parked herself ... and that's "Bush" with a capital "B."
Ahmed Chalabi, the Iranian spy who served as the "source" for the wildly false WMD claims about Iraq which led to the war, dropped dead of a heart attack a couple of weeks ago, leading to yet another round of nonsense from the fully complicit "news" media about What It All Means.
This is What It All Means:
Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney and the rest of that noxious cabal used the false intelligence provided by Chalabi to intimidate and terrify the nation into war, fulfilling a conquest dream they had been cuddling since Nixon was chased from office. They, by way of a useful fool named George W. Bush and with the full compliance of the media, deliberately employed the September 11 attacks against the US people as a means of getting their war, and the financial/political payday it came to be. It was a crime, as-yet unpunished, and Hillary Clinton voted for it.
That she would pivot a question about her questionable campaign financing into a self-serving harangue about 9/11, one day after the Paris catastrophe, is an act of verbal violence beyond moral repair. Know this: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest created ISIS, which I shall henceforth refer to as Daesh, by way of that war. They got their war by using 9/11 against their own people at a time when those people were feeling most vulnerable. People are feeling vulnerable again after Paris, and Hillary Clinton used 9/11 one scant day after the bloodletting to get Bernie Sanders off her back, and to lay a brick to the topic, because she does not like talking about her friends in low places.
People who will say anything to win office are truly frightening, and truly dangerous. Welcome to the Bush league, candidate Clinton. You just graduated.