3.1.17

HILLARY CLINTON'S GRASSY KNOLL.

Evil cannot be banal!  A troubled man whose ambitions exceed his discipline stays at a stock-chaser job he hates just long enough to get two clean shots with a $20 mail-order rifle at the President of the United States and the Governor of Texas, and far more than fifteen minutes of fame.

The scales of Cosmic Justice must be balanced!  And thus do creative people have the Cuban intelligence service, the anti-Castro Cubans, the CIA, the Mafia, and the Bush family concealing sharpshooters in a copse of bushes, and all of these sharpshooters miss their assigned target, as well as any of the spectators across the street.  Never mind that this copse is downhill and to the right of Abraham Zapruder, and in plain view of the tower operators at Dallas Union Station.

Evil surely cannot be this banal!  A real estate mogul and reality television star runs the most unorthodox of campaigns just long enough to secure the nomination of a major political party and then defeats an opponent with almost as much prior experience in elected office and the diplomatic service as James Buchanan and is elected President of the United States.

The scales of Cosmic Justice must be balanced!  Thus, it must have been the Russian intelligence service, the FBI, the purveyors of Fake News, and the Bush family working together to steal the presidency from Mrs Clinton.  Never mind that she didn't campaign in Wisconsin at all.  Losing skippers blame the boat or the wind.

There is probably a simpler explanation.  The weekend before the election, I went to Cleveland to buy trains, and to check out some presidential buns.  The Chicago Cubs were celebrating a World Series victory, but the Nation's Most Prominent Cub Fan Turned Yankee Fan had campaigning to do.  She had a late afternoon rally in Detroit's Eastern Market, and at the end of the day did an afterset for Jay-Z and Beyoncé in Cleveland.  Had the Indians won, that might have been a heck of a party.  But look at the locations, and the supporting cast.  That's shoring up part of Mr Obama's base, not doing some work with swing voters.  In Detroit, there were more voters recorded than ballots cast.  Never attribute to malice that which can be more easily explained by Common Core math.  Mr Trump carried Ohio relatively easily.  Team Hillary's polling must have suggested they were in more trouble than they thought, and on ABC's "This Week," Donna Brazile noted that the Democrat's ground work around the Steel Belt was inadequate.  Yeah, sending Vox types out to condescend to the yokels works so well.

But Mrs Clinton discovered the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.  As if there is such a thing as a vast conspiracy of any kind, and the only point of agreement among the elements of the Right Wing was the Evil of Communism, and that became moot after the Age of Reagan.  Neither is there consensus on the Right Wing about what is wrong with the Clintons.  Preachy Feminism?  Overweening Faith in Governance by Wise Experts?  Marriage of Convenience?  Never mind that this Vast Conspiracy couldn't agree on the right Regular Person to stop Mr Trump.  Was it Marco Rubio?  Chris Christie?  Jeb Bush?  (And you'd think a conspiracy with that kind of clout could have paid Mr Trump out for attempting to tie Ted Cruz to one of the Cuban plots.)

In Rewriting History, Vincent Bugliosi explains the appeal of conspiracies.  "[People] trying to make some sense out of events that are not to their liking, find that a conspiracy theory they can easily understand or adopt, or which fits a bias of theirs, often explains things well."  Look for the simpler explanation, dear reader.  Many of Mrs Clinton's most loyal voters well might have accepted the notion of a right-wing conspiracy, and thus they'd be more receptive to a new conspiracy theory, rather than consider the possibility of unforced error or dizziness due to success in the campaign.

But there will be time to weigh the evidence, and consider the more plausible hypotheses.  It's still three years to the next Iowa caucus.  Time to dial the presidential stuff back.

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