During President Clinton’s two terms as president, a right wing witch hunt led by Ken Starr and financed by libertarian billionaires spent years trying to uncover dirt on the president and his wife. They claimed that Clinton’s investment in a development named Whitewater was fraudulent. They claimed that Hillary hid legal records from her time as an attorney at the Rose Law Firm. They claimed that Hillary was at the heart of a “Travelgate” conspiracy that resulted in the death of Vince Foster. Some even accused her of murder.
So after eight years and $70 million, what dastardly deed did special prosecutor Ken Starr uncover? An Oval Office blowjob by White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Oh my! Although not the scandal Starr and his minions wanted, it was enough to embarrass the president and initiate impeachment proceedings after he claimed it didn’t happen.
Unfortunately for Starr and right wingers, it was not enough to have the president removed from office.
Fast forward 15 years and you see the same strategy; the same witch hunt; the same torches and pitchforks…just a different Democratic president.
Since Teapublicans took control of the House in 2011, we have seen Solyndra-gate, Fast & Furious-gate, and Benghazi-gate. Now there is IRS-gate and AP-gate. These are merely second-rate attempts to fire up the right wing echo chamber and energize the conservative base. None of them rises to the status of a real scandal.
But the right wing will keep digging.
After all, that appears to be the only thing they’re really good at…using a combination of money and lies to smear the reputations of their political opponents and to distract the media and voters from the real issues at hand. While voters have been focused on the scandals, few have noticed that Teapublicans have not put forward a single jobs bill; or that they have made no attempt to resolve the nation’s budget impasse; or that they have watered down consumer protections against another financial crash; or that they have secretly passed a bill to protect Monsanto from lawsuits; or that they have cut funding for necessary regulation designed to catch tax cheats, catch Medicare fraud, and keep our food safe; or that they are gearing up for another disastrous fight over the debt ceiling.
It seems that the right wing political strategy is nothing more than a high stakes version of three card Monte.