Two unfolding stories offer us a revealing glimpse into the extraordinarily malleable morality of the left.
There is the case of Hillary Clinton’s 1975 defense of a child rapist in Arkansas. As you know, defending your client to the best of your ability is what the law demands. And the law is the law. Then there is the case of governor Wisconsin Scott Walker, someone who, though he has never been close to being found guilty (or even formally charged) of any crime, is guilty of wrongdoing by the mere existence of an accusation. Here, the law is irrelevant.
Clinton. Champion of women, slayer of conspiracies, and a woman who as a lawyer once went hard at a 12-year-old rape victim in Arkansas was simply providing an invaluable constitutional service. It was her job.
In the Daily Beast, the now 52-year-old victim says that “Hillary Clinton took me through Hell” — a line that would surely eradicate the political aspirations of any Republican candidate. Man or woman. Of course, the case against Clinton is not a question of whether the accused deserves a competent defense – this, we hope is settled. What it should focus on is whether Clinton deployed some of that unbridled ambition to unethically denigrate and lie about a 12-year-old who was raped.
Here is a snippet from a Glenn Thrush story from 2008 that touches on the matter, gently:
The case offers a glimpse into the way Clinton deals with crisis. Her approach, then and now, was to immerse herself in even unpleasant tasks with a will to win, an attitude captured in one of her favorite aphorisms: “Bloom where you’re planted.”
Ah, bloom where you’re planted. According to the Daily Beast, the victim asserts that Hillary “smeared her and used dishonest tactics to successfully get her attacker off with a light sentence” — even though, she claims, Clinton knew he was guilty. According to Hillary, the 12-year-old was “emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing.” And maybe this was true, maybe not. But it’s long been procedure in campaigns to rummage through the cases of candidates who are former prosecutors and defense lawyers to dredge up unsavory cases. Democrats often go after former Attorneys General for failing to prosecute rapes cases at a rate to their liking, so this seems fair game. The rape story is not about the law, which can all agree is sacrosanct.
I’m no Frank Luntz, but it seems like two words you don’t want attached to you are “criminal” and “scheme” http://t.co/FpIP0euZDo
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) June 20, 2014
Scott Walker, on the other hand, is culpable even if he functioned within the law. Probably because his views are offensive, because anyone who has an email discussion with Karl Rove or a phone conversation with the Koch Brothers is, by default, guilty of crimes against democracy.
As Gabriel Malor explains in detail, the Walker investigation — driven by partisans — is basically dead despite a two-year long secret probe that was unable to make a case worthy of prosecution. Some prosecutor said “criminal scheme” so it’s over.
If that were the case, the Clintons would never have been able to rent out the White House. The reporting on the matter was entirely predictable. Outlets continue to use the present tense to explain the investigation. For the most egregious examples read the Washington Post, New York Times and Jonathan Chait — who mentions the existence of “Republican-appointed judges” three times in one post, but never the partisan nature of the prosecutors. Of course, all of this is meant to cloud the prospects of perhaps the strongest presidential contender available to Republicans. Job done.
But to recap: Child rapists deserve due process. Conservatives governors, not so much.
Follow David Harsanyi on Twitter.