Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
At the lowest point in the second presidential debate Hillary Clinton tried to blame her compulsive lying on Abraham Lincoln. Not the real Lincoln, but the fictional version depicted in the Spielberg movie.
“She lied. Now she's blaming the lie on the late great Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said in exasperation. “Honest Abe never lied.”
The only thing Hillary and Lincoln have in common is Illinois.
If Hillary had been looking for wisdom from Lincoln, she might have started with the famous quote often attributed to him. “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” It’s been a while since Hillary has been able to fool anybody.
The majority of the country holds an unfavorable view of her. Even in a blue state like California, 53 percent of the voters have an unfavorable view of the woman they are most likely going to end up voting for. It’s not just that Hillary is a liar and a crook. Plenty of politicians are. It’s that her dishonesty and corruption are so blatant as to be insulting to the intelligence of even the dimmest voter.
Hillary’s lies come apart within 5 minutes of being told. And yet nothing is ever her fault. Previously she had blamed her rogue email operation on Colin Powell. Now she decided to blame her lies on Lincoln.
By the second debate, the topic was no longer who should be president, but who should be in jail. Both candidates were clear that their opponent was utterly unfit to hold office.
Trump was the clearest of all about it. “Because you'd be in jail,” he said. “If I win, I'm going to instruct the attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” he promised.
Jail is where Hillary belongs. Her stained sheet of crimes goes back quite a few decades by now.
And her campaign has done more to demonstrate the widespread networks of establishment corruption than a thousand investigations could have ever managed to do. From the Clinton Foundation to the media, her base of support is as rotten as she is. And just as ruthless and determined.
There she was stumbling around on stage, haggard and still laughing her horrifying brittle laugh and reciting canned applause lines in the hope that someone would cheer. And to complete the pairing, Martha Raddatz was there as her doppelganger, berating Trump the way that Hillary would have liked to if she weren’t still delusional enough to think someone out there might still be fooled by her current act.
That’s why the Clinton campaign and its extensive network of media allies want to make the campaign about anything and everything but Hillary. Including an old tape. “What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women. What he thinks about women. What he does to women,” Hillary hectored.
We all know what her husband thinks about women and does to women. We also know what Hillary did to her husband’s victims. They appeared together with Trump at a press conference before the debate.
We also know what Hillary Clinton did to Kathy Shelton, a 12-year-old girl who had been raped and beaten into a coma by her client. Hillary accused that child of fantasizing and making it all up.
There is a tape of Hillary laughing about the case.
But we also know, in the macro, what Hillary and her allies have done to America. And what they intend to do to it. They were outraged when Trump talked about illegal alien rapists. But how many women were sexually assaulted and even murdered by the “undocumented” migrants whom Hillary and her political party shelter in sanctuary cities and want to protect with a national amnesty?
How many will be assaulted by the Syrian Muslim migrants whom Hillary wants to bring to America, the way that thousands of women in Germany have been assaulted by the violent Muslim mobs?
Trump made the case at the debate that Hillary isn’t just a bad person, but that her policies will destroy this country. “To solve the problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name. She won't say the name,” he said of Islamic terrorism.
“Obamacare is a disaster, you know it, we all know it,” he said, plainly and definitively.
He ridiculed Hillary’s classified email pretenses, “She didn't know what the letter C meant on a document.” He dismissed her lies about trying to protect emails about yoga classes and her daughter’s wedding.
And most of all he made it obvious that the media was in Hillary’s corner. Once again the moderators debated him. Once again they repeatedly interrupted him and bent the rules in Hillary’s favor.
Hillary is convinced that rigging the debates will help her. But she’s forgotten that the biggest reason she is disliked is because she is the privileged beneficiary of a rigged system. Americans have a soft spot for rogue corrupt politicians. But they loathe and abhor corrupt insiders who brandish their fake virtue.
The people around Hillary have convinced her that she can only win by making her opponent as unlikable as possible while striving for a false cheerfulness about the whole thing. But all this does, as it did at the debate, is remind everyone of why they hate her.
Hillary is here because of a combination of her last name and dirty deals. In better times, the people might be more tolerant of such corruption. But when millions are out of work and see no hope in the future, there is much less tolerance for a politician who represents the rigged insider game.
The same reasons that explain why Hillary was on stage also explain why she isn’t in prison. And no one is fooled by any of it. That is why Hillary Clinton is loathed even by her own voters.
From Whitewater to the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton got away with everything. But unlike the FBI, the public can’t be threatened or bought. And that is what Hillary and her allies are truly afraid of.
Tonight at the debate, Donald Trump made the case for why Hillary is unfit for office and fit only for prison. It was a simple case. It’s a case that even most Hillary voters are familiar with.
Because the time when Hillary could fool even some of the people has passed.
But there is an even more relevant quote, from the real Lincoln, rather than Spielberg’s fraudulent one. It is a quote that the Clintons and their ilk ought to ponder with the greatest of caution and care.
“The people… are the rightful masters… not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it,” Lincoln had said. It is this question that is at the center of the election.
The one thing that both sides can now agree on is that the other is utterly unfit. It will soon be the choice of the people that will determine whether Hillary will be in the White House or the big house.