- - Sunday, August 28, 2016

Politicians will say anything, but when Hillary Clinton took to the microphone last week in Reno to warn against a candidate who believes in paranoid conspiracy theories about the presidency, no one could figure out whether she was talking about Donald Trump or herself.

Mere belief is not enough to persuade most of us. Millions of Americans, for example, believe that Elvis Presley is alive and clerking in a 7-Eleven somewhere in West Gondola, perhaps working nights in the attic on a rewrite of “Blue Suede Shoes.” Hillary promises believers in flying saucers that if elected she will find out exactly what happened in Roswell. She and her credulous friends are sure that that Donald Trump is an active agent of Vladimir Putin, and assisting him in managing the vast right-wing media conspiracy.

When the Donald brought in Stephen Bannon, the executive editor of Breitbart, to join his campaign, all the pieces finally fell into place in the mind of Hillary Clinton, where many strange and weird things grow. She discovered the vast right-wing media conspiracy years ago, and now it turns out that the conspiracy is much bigger than she first thought. It includes Mr. Putin, the Ku Klux Klan and dozens of pundits, correspondents and even bloggers. Now she tells us. The conspiracy is so big the public couldn’t get their heads around it until Hillary explained it again. What happens in Las Vegas may stay in Las Vegas, but her story of a revised vast right-wing media conspiracy was too big to stay in Reno.

Hillary forgot that when she ran for president the first time, in 2008, she and Bubba and her campaign nurtured the rumors that Barack Obama might be a Muslim plant who was born, well, somewhere else. Those rumors found traction in the fever swamps of the internet, but such rumors were as nothing to her current tale that the entire world has joined the racist conspiracy to deny her the presidency.

To prove that the Donald and his fans are a bit nuts, she read headlines from several Breitbart stories to malign both Steve Bannon and Mr. Trump, as if they dreamed them up, wrote them and published them.

If that was fair criticism, what about the stories in the Muslim journal edited by Huma Abedin’s mother, and where Huma herself worked as an editor for more than a decade, that President Bill Clinton ordered the bombing of Iraq to divert attention from his affair with Monica Lewinski, and that the United States, not al Qaeda, did the deed on 9/ll? As Hillary said, attempting to tie Mr. Trump to the Breitbart articles, “I’m not making this up.” Neither are we.

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