Tuesday, May 03, 2016


Donald Trump broke bread yesterday with an old smear merchant acquaintance:
[Trump] and two aides sat down at a table for lunch with author Edward Klein, perhaps best known for his series of bombshell books spreading rumors and innuendo, much of it discredited, about the Clintons.

... Klein, who rode to and from the restaurant in the same vehicle as Trump in a Secret Service motorcade, said he is following Trump around for a couple of days to gather material for a new book. But the visit with Klein comes as Trump promises to debut new attacks on the stump about the Clintons.
You remember Klein, author of many Clinton-bashing books, including The Truth About Hillary. In his review of that one, conservative humorist Joe Queenan wrote the following:
... it sleazily intimates that Hillary Clinton is a lying, scheming, smelly, left-leaning lesbian and a non-maternal parent who consorts with lawyers who defend mobbed-up unions and bears a striking character resemblance to both Richard Nixon and Madonna, and who tacitly approved of her husband's rape of a young woman at a time when Mrs. Clinton may or may not have been bathing, washing her hair or shaving her underarms, while hanging out with short-haired women from the sapphic charnel house Wellesley College.
Klein claimed in that book that Chelsea Clinton was conceived as a result of marital rape, an assertion that was too much even for Sean Hannity, who questioned it in a 2005 interview with Klein.

As Oliver Willis notes, "Klein says he has known Trump for 35 years and has "met with him on numerous occasions, talked to him on the phone countless times, traveled with him, and written two lengthy magazine cover stories about him." He adds, 'I believe I understand him better than most people outside his immediate family.'" Trump provided a back-cover blurb for Klein's 2012 book The Amateur.

Klein is obsessed with Hillary Clinton's health -- he says he has "dizzy spells" and gets "blinding headaches," and may even have multiple sclerosis. This is odd because, according to Klein, she's also vigorous enough to knock all the items off the desk of anyone who angers her, something she apparently does on a regular basis:
Clinton has a habit of violently clearing off desks in fits of rage. An unnamed "Foreign Service Officer" tells Klein that "after a telephone argument with President Obama, she took her right arm and cleared off her small working desk, sending pictures, glasses, everything crashing to the floor."

A few chapters later, Clinton does the same thing to her husband's desk....
Trump will probably work a lot of this into his campaign rhetoric. And the alleged lesbianism. And maybe the alleged rape. And almost certainly Bill Clinton's relationship with wealthy convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a subject Klein writes about a lot.

Oh, and Benghazi, of course. A small problem here is that the initial focus on an anti-Muslim YouTube video -- which right-wingers consider the worst cover-up in American history -- was, according to Klein, President Obama's idea, not Hillary Clinton's. Klein, she bill Clinton wanted her to resign on principle, because the cover-up was so horrible. I'm not sure how Trump (and Klein) will square that with the "Crooked Hillary" meme, but maybe Klein will change his story once he realizes that the old story is no longer damaging enough. (It wouldn't be the first time.)

We know that Trump will spread the most absurd gossip on the campaign trail because he's spreading this story about Ted Cruz's father now:
Trump also began to say that the elder Cruz was with Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy, before he shot JFK. The National Enquirer alleged that Rafael Cruz is pictured with the assassin handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963....

“What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death — before the shooting. It’s horrible,” Trump said.
As I explained last month, this story is nuts. But Trump is out there using it.

And when Trump does start quoting Klein, here's a top media figure who'll be right there backing him up:

I'm not looking forward to all this.


AllieG said...

Halperin hates Clinton worse than Klein does. But the book could sell 10 million copies and it wouldn't matter because nobody is opening, let alone buying it who wasn't going to vote Republican anyway.

mlbxxxxxx said...

It's going to be like a wormhole has opened connected to the '90s. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that we will have to relive all that if Hillary is the nominee. Won't be any better if Bernie pulls off his miracle -- just a wormhole to a different hellscape. Conservatives are so tiresome.

jsrtheta said...

Oh, I'm looking forward to it. Trump has proven helpless against the lure of truly batshit crazy conspiracy theories, and this gift will come at about the right time. Because if he actually spouts Klein's nonsense in a two-person race, it will get that much more attention, and produce questions he may ignore (he usually does, or just answers different ones), but will still get enough press to make rational people (and yes, they do vote, especially when terrified) realize what a supreme idiot he is.

He has thus far gotten a pass from the gutless media about his birtherism, and even his theory of Hillary's "criminality." Recognizing the fact that he has been able to lie thus far with impunity and remain unaccountable for what, if indulged in by mere common folk, would be rank libel per se, as it gets down to a two-person race, I think enough of our somnolent press will rouse itself to open at least one eye and say, "What the fuck??"

This could be great.

Never Ben Better said...

There's plenty of disgusting sexism in those lines of attack, plenty to get even more women even more pissed off and determined to show that asshole Trump what they think of him.

jsrtheta said...

Never Ben Better, I think it goes much farther than that. I just posted elsewhere on this topic. Consider, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination has accused an opponent's father of being connected to the murder of a previous president. He wasn't JAQing off - he stated it as fact.

And the response? "Oh, that Donald, what a caution!" And, "Well, Cruz is getting desperate if he lets this get to him this badly." Consider that in any other context, the entire country - not just his opponents, not just the media - the entire country would land on Trump with a fury. He would effectively be banished from the public stage. I mean, seriously people, even this is not enough to provoke outrage and disgust with Trump? Are you shitting me?

I can only hope that more of the same, which we can expect with Klein's influence, will tip the whole mess over.

If it doesn't, we deserve him. Because we - all of us - will have shown we deserve no better.

Feud Turgidson said...

Another argument for Al Franken as Veep. His evisceration of Ed Klein on his old Air America show is a classic - still up on YouTube for all to enjoy.

KenRight said...

"in another context...." the country would land on Trump with a fury.

Here is the context. Clinton played a chief role in bringing jihad anarchy to Libya. Maybe Trump won't focus on that because Americans don't really care, no more than they care about the Iraq War Hillary voted for bringing jihad anarchy to Iraq.
Hillary is also complicit in destabilizing (too sanitary a term of course) Syria which without Putin's intervention would be even worse off than it is now. No "outrage and disgust" about that either from Clinton voters.
That's what "imperial fever" will do to you.

Do Americans "deserve better" than Vietnam era polarization and whatever ensues from a contest between a shoot from the hip populist and another dynastic imperialist with a failed foreign policy record?

jsrtheta said...

KenRight: Oh look, there goes the point...

jsrtheta said...

Feud Turgidson: That's all well and good, but not what I'm talking about.