Cheap Seats 2016
What's Behind the Curtain - 02/03/16
By Rich Trzupek
Greetings once more from sunny Qatar. As you read this, I will be entering my fourth consecutive week of captivity, er, I mean, temporary residence for work purposes. I wish I could brag about how warm and beautiful it is right now, but the truth is that Qatar has largely been cold and rainy this time around. Yesterday the temperature dropped into the forties, which is almost unheard of in these parts.
Fortunately, being a Chicago native, forty-some degrees is positively balmy. For some of the locals it was something near to apocalypse. It snowed in parts of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as well. Not a lot, but it’s still pretty dang weird.
Not nearly as dang weird as what’s going on in the Presidential sweepstakes back home though. I thought the election of 1992 would qualify as the most bizarre that I would ever witness, but this is something else again, on both sides of the aisle.
I don’t ordinarily indulge in conspiracy theories, as traditionally delightful an American pastime as that is, but every rule has an exception and this is mine. When everybody and their brother – living, dead or in-vitro – filed to run for President on the Republican ticket, it was natural to wonder what the hell was going on. Making a run for the White House is neither cheap nor easy, so not that many people who could be serious contenders tend to file.
Yet, people came out of the woodwork to toss their hats in the ring. Did you know that Jim Gilmore filed to run for the GOP nomination? Did you know he is still running? To paraphrase Will Ferrell, it’s like everyone’s been taking crazy pills.
On the Democrat side, you had a couple of forlorn hopes run, including Martin O’Malley who is apparently somehow in the race, perhaps hoping that everybody figures out that his initials spell “MOM” and that will have some kind of subliminal effect. Nothing unusual about the forlorn hopes in either party.
But then there’s Bernie Sanders, the only current US Senator currently alive who scientists suspect shares a substantial part of his genetic code with Krusty the Klown. He’s not even a Democrat. He’s a socialist. An independent socialist. And, if Hillary ends up having to drop out the race, Bernie has a very legitimate chance of becoming the Democrat candidate for the highest office in the land.
I’m not sure if Eugene V. Debs (look him up people) is rolling over in his grave or exchanging high-fives with Karl Marx, but surely this bizarre development has gotten his post-mortem attention.
Like most right-thinking Americans I long believed that the coronation of Hillary I after the 2016 election was a foregone conclusion. The nation has lurched to the left in recent years and Hillary has accumulated a huge war chest from both liberal fans and corporate pals who understand the value of being on the Clintons’ good side.
Why in the world would anyone, much less everyone, want to run against that?
The only answer I could come up with the explained that flood of GOP candidates (plus crazy Uncle Bernie) was that they must be pretty damn sure that there’s no way Hillary will get to run. But what force this side of Divine Vengeance is powerful enough to stop her from running? The only plausible answer seemed, and still seems to be, the US justice system.
That of course is a ridiculous answer. The Clintons have successfully dodged the law better than any American outlaws since Butch and Sundance. Could there be insiders who knew something we didn’t and who passed their knowledge along to the GOP?
Doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch any longer. Hillary’s e-mail tale is coming apart at the seams. The initial story of “I didn’t keep any classified information on my home server” morphed into “I didn’t keep any information marked classified at the time on my home server”. Now we find that the State Department is refusing to turn over certain e-mails stored on her home server, because they are so damn secret that divulging their contents would jeopardize national security.
As improbable as it seems that the FBI would conduct a criminal investigation of Clinton, that is in fact happening. It seems even more improbable that the Obama Justice Department would pursue an FBI recommendation to indict her, but I’m not so sure of anything any longer.
Hillary seems to be a bit further out on the ledge she has created with each passing week. I would no longer be surprised to find out that a number of insiders knew about the precipitous fall to come all along.