- - Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Painting his critics as racists worked so well for Barack Obama that he prescribes a similarly false-witness strategy for Hillary Clinton in the dying hours of the sordid 2016 presidential campaign. He wants her to paint her critics as sexists and angry men who despise women.

The president told a television interviewer Monday that bias against women “contributed to this notion that somehow she is hiding something.” The interviewer, one Samantha Bee, who calls her program “Full Frontal” (sexist vulgarity to fit the occasion), asked the president what Hillary’s foes might employ as the equivalent to “the birther movement” that questioned the idea that he was born in the United States and hence his constitutional eligibility to serve as president.

“I think the equivalent,” he replied, “will be that ‘she’s tired, she’s moody, she’s being emotional, there’s something about her.’ When men are ambitious, it’s just taken for granted. ‘Well, of course they should be ambitious.’ When women are ambitious, it’s ‘why?’ That theme, I think, will continue throughout her presidency, and it’s contributed to this notion that somehow she’s hiding something.”

The president is entitled to his opinion, ungallant as it is, but we wonder where he has been hiding himself all these years. Perhaps he has not had time to read the newspapers or watch television news accounts, and has not heard about Hillary Clinton and her unbroken trail of corruption from her years in Arkansas forward to the White House and then to Foggy Bottom. Scandal after scandal has marked this trail, from firing most of the White House travel office staff to give their jobs to her friends, to looting the White House of furniture and furnishings on the family’s departure from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

When Hillary acted as “co-president” by virtue of Bill’s famous invitation to “buy one, get one free,” there were IRS audits of their “enemies,” collection of files on other presumed “enemies,” sale of American technology secrets to China through American companies that had donated millions to Clinton causes, the enabling of Bill’s abuse, and worse, of women at the White House, and finally to Benghazi, where her incompetence cost four Americans, including the president’s own ambassador to Libya, their lives.

Now the email scandals, which were offenses first to the president’s own administration, continue to play out with ever-increasing volume and threaten to transform the 2016 election from a Democratic landslide to a remarkable Trump triumph. If President Obama can’t understand why Hillary is reviled and mistrusted by most Americans, he should go into the street (after devising an effective disguise, of course) and ask the first man or women he meets. He’s likely to get an earful.

The rap on America that it was racist to recognize failure in a black president, who had come to office with an outpouring of goodwill for a new president not seen in decades, turned out to be bogus and recognized as a monstrous lie. No president, even a black one, will be immune from criticism, even harsh criticism. Neither will the first woman elected president. The fact that she is a woman is not Hillary’s heavy baggage, but her record as a malefactor who until now has got away with repeated high crimes and misdemeanors.

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