Hillary Clinton had a gaffe-filled, staggeringly bad week last week. It started with her politicizing Nancy Reagan’s funeral and ended with more explosive allegations that her informal adviser Sidney Blumenthal had directly cut and pasted classified intelligence into an unsecured personal e-mail account. But you wouldn’t know it from media campaign coverage, which has been far more occupied with the GOP primary and the escalation of violent incidents at rallies.
While attending Nancy Reagan’s funeral, Hillary praised the work of the former first lady and that of her husband’s administration for dealing with the nation’s AIDS epidemic in the ’80s. For those not in the know or too young to remember, praising the Reagan administration’s response to that crisis is a benchmark no-no for Hillary’s Bernie-infatuated restless Democratic base who are teetering on writing in an alternative name to Clinton’s or staying home altogether this fall. Liberal media backed her into a corner, and she retreated from her statement, even penning a blog post at Medium begging for forgiveness from her unwashed masses. Hillary managed to make an awkward mess out of a final tribute to a conservative icon, but, once again, it’s not something that drew much attention. Why is that?
At a Democratic Townhall hosted by CNN, while addressing the future of climate change and fossil fuels, Hillary waded into infamous Obama territory by proudly declaring that during her presidency, she’s going to put “a lot of coal miners out of business.” It was an astonishing declaration from a debate stage that should have had the cable-news networks, which played Romney’s “I like to fire people” line on loop for weeks, frothing at the mouth.
And in typical Hillary fashion, she managed to make the week worse while answering a question about her actions in Libya as secretary of state. In front of a live MSNBC audience, she gave an answer on the (failed) state of Libya that sounded as if it could have been directly lifted from George W. Bush’s pronouncements on Iraq:
Is Libya perfect? It isn’t. But did they have two elections that were free and fair where they voted for moderates. Yes, they did. So you know, changing from a dictator who has hollowed out your country to something resembling a functioning state and even hopefully more of a democratic one doesn’t happen overnight, and we’ve got to continue to support the Libyan people, to give them a chance, because otherwise you see what has happened in Syria, with the consequences of millions of people flooding out of Syria, with more than 250,000 people killed, with terrorist groups like ISIS taking up almost — huge blocks of territory, as big as some of the states in that area.
But it was what came at the end of that defense that caught the eye of conservatives and lit up social media. Clinton made what perhaps is the blunder of the entire election season, proclaiming that not a single American was lost in Libya during its transition. That’s certainly news to the families of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. Maybe it’s trauma, the fog of war, or plain incompetence that caused Mrs. Clinton to block out her memory of standing in front of four flag-draped coffins.
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Hillary didn’t have to retract or defend her desire to render thousands of coal jobs extinct or her inexplicable amnesia regarding a terror attack on 9/11/2012 because there was no pressure from her left, including network media. But that’s who those people are, and covering for their own is to be expected. She will not have to defend these positions or comments unless forced to do so by someone outside of the mainstream network media.
What was unexpected, however, was that the likely GOP nominee let Hillary’s bad week slide in favor of throwing temper tantrums about various journalists and newspapers and his own party.
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Trump has made exactly zero statements, either on stage, on social media, or in call-in interviews about any of these substantial gaffes by Hillary Clinton. If the GOP front-runner won’t criticize her for threatening to put a large swathe of voters, likely Trump voters, out of business, then what incentive is there for the Sunday-morning shows to address this? If Donald Trump can’t bring himself to mention or tweet about Clinton’s Libya pothole, why would Meet the Press or CNN?This is what happens when a presidential candidate gets his information exclusively from “the shows,” as he said on Meet the Press. These are the same shows that remain all too happy to let Hillary coast past a week’s worth of gaffes that would mortally wound most campaigns. Does Trump even know about Hillary’s words? We don’t know because they didn’t involve Trump. He has preoccupied himself with whatever happens to be on television at the time he is tweeting. In doing so, he has let Hillary Clinton off the hook for an embarrassing week. (By the way, Mr. Trump, her Twitter handle is @HillaryClinton.)
Our media is all too happy to broadcast fists flying at Trump rallies, and Trump, being the useful tool that he is, is all too happy to let them do it, as long as the topic is Trump and not the most beatable Democratic candidate in a generation.
If Hillary is to be held accountable for her actions as secretary of state and her disturbing proclamations about this nation’s economy, Trump has to be the one to do it. As of yet, he has shown zero willingness to do so.
— Stephen L. Miller publishes The Wilderness, where he writes on viral politics and social media. Follow him on Twitter @redsteeze.