Sunday, December 20, 2009

"You’re the last person who can give us the president, and you’re going to give him to us."

Dan Savage, SLOG: I thought I'd lost my capacity to be outraged by the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. Nope.
A former director of the Secret Service said Friday that the F.B.I. had engaged in an “abuse of power” by trying to pressure him to “give us the president” during the investigation of President Bill Clinton’s interactions with Monica Lewinsky a decade ago. The official, Lewis C. Merletti, who headed the former president’s protective detail and later became the agency’s director, said in an interview that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had grilled him just days before Mr. Clinton left office in a last-ditch effort to prove that his agents had covered up and even facilitated extramarital flings.... “They said to me, ‘You’re the last person who can give us the president, and you’re going to give him to us,’ ” Mr. Merletti recalled. He called it “disgraceful” and said of the F.B.I., “They became involved in a political game, and in the end they tarnished themselves beyond belief.” ... The F.B.I. special agent who interrogated him, Jennifer Gant, could not be reached Friday but was quoted in the book saying she could not recall making the accusations Mr. Merletti recounted.

"Could not recall" = "That's exactly what happened otherwise I would deny it, right? But I can't because I could wind up being subpoenaed and having to testify about this shit and there are probably documents out there somewhere that prove I said exactly what this guy says I said—because that is what I said—and I don't want to go to jail."

The investigation and impeachment of Bill Clinton was a coup attempt that failed and the plotters were so infuriated by their failure to remove Clinton from office that they wanted to jail him after he left office. (Read the story.) I wish I could say, "Shit, that was a crazy time!" and turn the page. But the batshit right is attempting to do the same thing to Barack Obama that it did to Bill Clinton. Only this time instead of runaway special prosecutors and conspiracy theories about ancient land deals we've got batshit cable news hosts and conspiracy theories about Kenyan birth certificates. The goal is the same: delegitimize the sitting Democratic president and remove him from office. Only this time they're not going to go the impeachment route—because, hey, that didn't work last time, right? So this time they're cranking up the lunatics on the far-right fringe with bullshit about death panels, pulling the plug on granny, killing Republicans, and creeping socialism in the hopes that some sufficiently outraged/deranged "patriot" will take it upon himself to murder the president.

And if the right succeeds in "removing" the current president from office:

Let's pause to contemplate the riots that will break out all across the country if these hateful douchebags succeed in getting the president killed. Most of the riots will take place in urban areas—in areas that support the president—and most of the people who get hurt or killed are going to be liberals and Democrats and progressives and people of color. That's probably part of the plan. None of the suburban mega-churches or shithole exurbs from which most of this dangerous rhetoric emanates will be put to the torch. But if the can-no-longer-be-described-as-unthinkable actually happens—if they succeed in getting the president killed—rioters in New York City will find that Fox News HQ is rather conveniently located. Please make a note of it.

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