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December 15th, 2017

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The coming deluge on Hillary's parade

Wesley Pruden

By Wesley Pruden

Published Sept. 11, 2015

 The coming deluge on Hillary's parade

Drip, drip, drip. Anyone can see that the lady's coiffure is damp and her shoes need attention, but she's not yet soaking wet. So when does the drip, drip, drip become the deluge? Maybe sooner than later.

Hillary Clinton still has the money, the name recognition, the big donors, the party mules and good poll numbers in the places where they should do her the greatest good. But first there's Iowa, where she's trailing Bernie Sanders by a point, and New Hampshire, where's she's tanking. Her momentum has faded in the wake of a miserable summer that promises to get worse in autumn. It's a long time between now and next year, but once momentum — "the big mo'" as George Bush the Elder called it — is lost it's difficult to get it back.

On the other hand, we've seen this movie before. Several times. Hillary and Bubba have a remarkable gift for survival in the face of catastrophe, and impending doom always seems to come with a brass lining. She and Bubba have had more close calls than Indiana Jones. Theirs is the longest-running soap opera since the invention of the vacuum tube made radio possible. Al Jolson's vaudeville act didn't have the staying power of the Clinton Goodtime Hour. Bubba's bedroom adventures and Hillary's throwing arm — Dizzy Dean and Walter Johnson would have envied such muscular talent — have been entertaining us since long before there was a bridge to the new century.

But every act has its day, and eventually it's time to leave 'em laughing before the cheers succumb in sorrow. Enough is enough. The end of Clinton World is not yet, but a discerning eye can see the end of their world from here. Hillary and her man, now playing an unaccustomed second banana, are not yet on the ropes, but she's hitting the smelling salts like a drunk reaching for another bottle of Thunderbird. She might take consolation in the incontrovertible fact that no one else could have lasted this long after exposure after exposure of such celebrated greed, graft and gift for plunder.

She could take comfort for a while in the knowledge that the email scandal was not seen as a scandal anywhere beyond the Beltway. Why should playing fast and loose with the nation's classified secrets worry anyone? Maybe the North Koreans or the Russians wouldn't hack into them, anyway. Not many people know how their computers and email servers work, but everybody understands lies, little ones and white ones and big black ones. The public finally gets it that it's going to continue to be just one darn thing after another. The Democratic establishment finally gets it that for the Republicans, Hillary is the gift that just keeps on giving.

Hillary insists that she didn't do anything wrong — mistakes were made and all that, but she didn't really do anything everybody else doesn't do — but now the man who set up and maintains her infamous email server, one Bryan Pagliano, is negotiating the terms under which he's willing to talk to Congress. He won't talk unless he gets immunity from prosecution, but prosecution for what is not clear, if nobody did anything wrong. Everything sounds vaguely jail-y, like so much of what the Clintons and the people around them do.

It's enough to make a girl want to throw a lamp at somebody. She threw one at Barack Obama this week, vowing to sustain a "robust military commitment" in the Persian Gulf, even threatening to go to war to deal with the damage that Mr. Obama's deal with the mullahs in Tehran invites in the Middle East. "We will act," she said, with the clear implication that she thinks Mr. Obama won't. She dispatched an aide to tell reporters after her speech at the Brookings Institution that she didn't really say what she said. Her rebuke was not intended as a rebuke. Desperation drives the desperate to say desperate things, and she's still smarting over the president's encouraging Joe Biden to get into the presidential race.

She made what some call an apology for her email server in an interview with ABC News. She conceded that what she did "was a mistake." She did not sound contrite. The "apology," if that's what it was, left more questions than it answered. A big question, still unanswered, is whether she bothered to ask the State Department lawyers whether she could do what no other government official of her pay grade had ever done, or did she decide that since the Clintons make up their own rules it was OK for her to do as she pleased.

She dare not look back now. Several someones are gaining on her.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

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