Friday, March 25, 2011

Unpacking the crazy: Larry Klayman's Clinton Birther/Assassination Theory

There's right-wing stories that you should pay attention to because Fox News or chain emails or Brietbart will inject them into the mainstream. There's right-wing stories that you can safely ignore because they are so preposterously stupid as to be self-refuting. And then there's Larry Klayman.

Klayman is the founder of Judicial Watch, an organization of legal trolls which spent the 90s suing the Clinton Administration eighteen times and even, amusingly, Dick Cheney's notorious energy task force. So lawsuit happy was he that he sued Judicial Watch itself, ending up in a long legal battle with them after he left the organization. He's also columnist for that wretched internet hive of scum and villainy called World Net Daily.

Klayman's writings are almost certainly worth ignoring if one is looking originality or someone grappling with ideas of some weight, or any ideas at all really. But they can be taken a good representation of the wingnut zeitgeist, and if nothing else it's always an amusing intellectual exercise to unpack the crazy contained within one of his columns.

Case in point is this recent contribution to the wingnut gutters of the internet, where Klayman breathlessly informs his readers of the latest nefarious secrets and schemes of that femme fatale, Hillary Clinton. (Don't worry if you don't want to give WND any clicks or expose yourself to that kind of nuttery, I'll tell you everything you need to know here.) Amusingly, he even calls her a "femme fatale" in the piece, helpfully informing his slower and less literate readers (i.e., all of them) that it is a "French expression". For a dash of added classiness, he even seasons his article with some French language phrases, leading one to imagine a beret-wearing Klayman sitting in some Left Bank bar with a cigarette listlessly dangling from his mouth.

But before we get the lastest news, Klayman recycles a bunch of two-decade old conspiracy theories about Clinton. He hits all the notes, packing them into a couple of paragraphs: Vince Foster, John Huang, Bill Clinton's promiscuity, a masculine Hillary feminizing men, backhanded praise of her ruthlessness, the Clinton "death toll", etc. Then he moves on to Obama, "Barack Hussein Obama", of course, even as he only refers to the Secretary of State as "Hillary". The usual suspects have been rounded up: Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, and Bill Ayers. Some new memes have been thrown in: Obama has been dithering on ESPN, supports the Muslim Brotherhood, won't act on Libya (soon to be, I'm sure, replaced Newt Gingrich-style by complaints about his actions in Libya) and Iran. He even works in a sales pitch for his book, the charmingly-titled Whores. "C'est la vie," Monsieur Klayman might sigh.

Finally, finally, Klayman saunters to the sensational revelation: Hillary's plot to run for president in 2012 by assassinating Obama. He reveals it not as a stunning new development, but mentions it as if you already knew, and to Klayman's readers, it's already a matter of faith. This isn't a surprise, as many of his geriatric readers spent the 90s devouring myths about the Clinton "body count", concern trolling over lists of "victims" headed by clinically depressed Vince Foster, and buying conspiracy videotapes hawked by Jerry Fallwell. So of course Hillary plans to kill Obama! Hillary's reputation as a murder of suicide and plane crash victims is so well established that Klayman writes "In 2011, it may be passé for Hillary to get rid of people by having them disappear." He doesn't explain that passé is a "French expression" or why Hillary didn't knock Obama off the first time she ran for president, or back in 2004 when he first burst onto the national stage and became a threat to her ambitions.

But if we paused to examine such logical flaws, we couldn't get to the next revelation: Hillary's embrace of Birtherism. Apparently she's on the trail of the fake birth certificates again, and tells us the whole Birther conspiracy theory isn't a result of wingnuts like him relentlessly attempting to de-legitimize the citizenship of an African-American, but Hillary's relentless ambition, an altar upon which all sins can be laid, apparently. Birtherism, not assassination, will be the weapon Hillary chooses from her arsenal to knock off Obama. Why not assassination, since the Clintons are apparently so effective and practiced at it? Why employ Bitherism now? Why not in 2008 or earlier? I guess that mythical long-form birth certificate is pretty illusive.

So what foundation of pseudofact is this house of conjecture built upon? Klayman claims that this revelation comes from "sources close to Hillary". Seriously? This may be the most far-fetched assertion in the piece. We are supposed to believe that Klayman, who is no Bob Woodward or Seymour Hersh, has cultivated sources in Hillary's camp, a group he build an entire career out of attacking and blaming for everything from the black plague to the cancellation of Firefly. Perhaps the lives of many Bothans were lost to bring Klayman this crucial information. Perhaps some disgruntled Clinton flunkie was forced into a gay marriage or to have an abortion thanks to Obama's imposition of Sharia law and has formed a heroic fifth column inside the administration.

We have no time to digest this world-shattering news before Klayman winds up his column. And you can't conclude a column of wingnut cliches without the de rigueur quoting of a bon mot from Saint Reagan, this time by way of Bachman Turner Overdrive: "You ain't seen nothing yet!"

Mot juste, Monsieur Klayman! Au revoir!

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