Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Pardon me while I go Rush-Limbaugh here for a moment.
I'm going to sound like a rabid right-winger. But Hillary is making me do it.
Is she really only suffering from pneumonia?
Let's parse this out, because like many in the media are already saying - both liberals and conservatives - Hillary's collapse into her security van on Sunday in Lower Manhattan reveals more about her and her campaign than a mere illness.
Okay, so she had a cough that wouldn't go away. Last Friday, she went to her doctor in Westchester County, and the doc said she had pneumonia. So that evening, she went anyway to a fundraiser (like either she or Donald Trump need the money) in which Barbara Streisand was present, and she called "half" of Trump's fans a "basket of deplorables."
Then on Sunday, she went to the 15th anniversary observance of the 9-11 attack at New York's World Trade Center. It was humid and warm, yet Clinton was wearing a fitted pantsuit with a multi-layered blouse, complete with a closed-necked tie-thing that draped down the front. Nothing loose, no exposed skin around the neck or décolletage; no attempt at dressing to accommodate the potential for a reaction to the weather, especially since it was an outdoor event.
Indeed, Hillary had her sunglasses on, fully expecting to be outdoors in the sun. Or were those not merely sunglasses, as many have questioned, but special anti-seizure glasses, coated with that trendy blue glaze to minimize the intensity of light?
So, even if she does have pneumonia, is that the extent of her diagnosis? What about epilepsy? Some have openly wondered about Parkinson's, or even early-onset Alzheimer's?
Clinton's camp says she's fiercely private when it comes to her physical health. That's the main reason she didn't tell folks about last Friday's pneumonia diagnosis. But does a fiercely private person let the tabloids diagnose her erratic behavior for the court of public opinion to dissect, like I'm doing right now? If she doesn't have epilepsy, or Parkinson's, or early-onset Alzheimer's, what's the harm to her privacy in flatly denying it? Even if you're lying the littlest bit? Shucks, we're used to the Clinton lies. Unless they figure that lying about this won't stop our tongues from wagging anyway.
Clinton's camp says they'll release more information about her health in the coming days... as if they're waiting for another diagnosis to be confirmed, or more tests to come back from the lab, or her PR machine to come up with a better way to spin whatever bad news is in her medical chart. But information vacuums aren't friendly to politicians like Hillary, since again, we all know her penchant for lying. A lack of information generally means her people haven't yet determined which lie will work the best.
But how stupid do they think we are?
Hey: It's no secret. We know Clinton is no spring chicken. Both she and Trump are retirement age. When Hillary's husband ran for the presidency, political pundits raved about how young he was; George W. Bush, Al Gore, and Barak Obama were also in their 40's when they vied for the White House. Maybe America's voters aren't ready for old people to reclaim the Oval Office, but now that the race is between two aging helmet-hair, died-hair sunset-facing grandparents, what difference would it really make to admit that with age comes a greater susceptibility to physical ailments? Especially one like pneumonia, an illness that is fairly common and easily treatable?
Treatable with basic resources like rest and liquids.
Now, granted, if you were running for the United States presidency, with less than two months until election day, would you take off for two weeks and sleep through your recovery? The presidency appears to have been Hillary's sole ambition ever since we voters came to know her back in the 1990's. This has been her purpose in life; the key reason she stuck with Bill through the Monica fiasco; the balm soothing her indignity of being Secretary of State under a president who, as a fellow candidate, she couldn't stand. Her very being seems to be boiling down to this imminent election. So it's understandable that she would ignore her doctor's recommendations, and soldier through this illness like it was nothing.
The apparent lack of liquids, however, is another puzzling aspect of Sunday's bizarre episode. What's the harm in carrying a bottle of water to an outdoor event? Or why didn't any of her aides have water in those big tote bags they hang off their shoulders? While they were waiting for the van to arrive, why didn't any of the people holding Clinton upright give her a sip of water, if she was struggling with the heat? Instead, it sure looks like everybody is fully aware of what else is going on: Their boss was having another epileptic seizure, and the last way you want to treat such a seizure is by trying to give the patient some water, which could make them gag or choke.
So what would be the big deal if Clinton has epilepsy anyway? Is there anything about epilepsy that would make a person unfit to be president? Does a president need to be 100% seizure-free during their entire term? Sure, there's the specter of that ominous call in the middle of the night, with those folks at NORAD waiting to hit the red button. But even if there is something about epilepsy that makes its victims unfit for the presidency, and Hillary's got it, isn't she being the biggest horses' patoot of them all by trying to cover it up? Is getting back into the White House really worth so much personal deception?
It's easy to imagine Donald Trump, if he loses, simply shrugging his shoulders and huffing, "well, being president would have really put a drag on my business. A really, really profitable business, I might add. Now I can go back to making money."
Yet for Hillary, the presidency is what's driving her. And something tells me that even if it drives her into an early grave, then she'll have considered it worthwhile. At least Bill and Chelsea should be able to parlay that into even more money for their own family business.
Despite all that I believe is wrong with Hillary's politics, I personally hold no animosity towards her, and I hope she doesn't have anything seriously wrong with her physically. I wish her good health and a robust constitution, even if it does mean she'd then be in better shape to act on her bad politics.
But it's a lot harder to wish somebody well when you suspect they're playing you along, especially as they're seeking to hold an office that demands an incredible amount of physical stamina.
Then again, to paraphrase her notoriously sly husband, maybe "it depends on what your definition of the word 'pneumonia' is."