EDITORIAL: Arrogance and deceit

How fitting during this Looney Tunes election campaign that voters Sunday night were treated to the extraordinary spectacle of Hillary Clinton — Hillary Clinton! — excoriating Donald Trump as unfit for the presidency because of crude and crass comments he made about women 11 years ago.

Forgive the length of the following excerpt from a 2008 essay in Slate by the late, great Christopher Hitchens. It provides the proper prism through which to evaluate Mrs. Clinton’s selective aversion to the degradation of the female persuasion.

“What do you have to forget or overlook in order to desire that this dysfunctional clan once more occupies the White House and is again in a position to rent the Lincoln Bedroom to campaign donors and to employ the Oval Office as a massage parlor?” Mr. Hitchens writes. “You have to be able to forget, first, what happened to those who complained, or who told the truth, last time. It’s often said, by people trying to show how grown-up and unshocked they are, that all Clinton did to get himself impeached was lie about sex. That’s not really true. What he actually lied about, in the perjury that also got him disbarred, was the women. And what this involved was a steady campaign of defamation, backed up by private dicks (you should excuse the expression) and salaried government employees, against women who I believe were telling the truth. … Yet one constantly reads that both Clintons, including the female who helped intensify the slanders against her mistreated sisters, are excellent on women’s ‘issues.’ ”

Just a week before the second debate, The New York Times presented a tepid piece confirming the obvious about Mrs. Clinton’s behavior in the wake of her husband’s many indiscretions two decades ago. The woman now trying to parlay Mr. Trump’s adolescent banter into a ticket to the White House sanctioned the smearing and destruction of women who came forward against her husband.

“Women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Mr. Clinton would become targets of digging and discrediting — tactics that women’s rights advocates frequently denounce,” The Times reported.

Do not mistake: Donald Trump deserves the harsh condemnation he has endured in response to the video released days ago on which he is heard bragging about how his wealth enables him to take sexual advantage of women. Voters can judge the issue for themselves. But it’s also worth noting that if every private comment is to be resurrected for public scrutiny, no human can ever be safe from the preening mob’s hollow shame and scorn.

And for Hillary Clinton to even broach the subject is the height of hypocrisy, arrogance and deceit.

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