THE CLINTON RULES: A CASE STUDY. Atrios details the case of Wayne Dumond--a convicted rapist who was released under heavy pressure from governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and subsequently raped and murdered at least one and probably two women. As Atrios says, this wouldn't necessarily be a massive black stain on Huckabee's record -- as long as we don't keep everyone in jail forever, such tragedies are inevitable -- except that the pressure in this case came from paranoid fantasizing about Bill Clinton. I was particularly amazed to see this article in the Voice, which is very representative of writing about Clinton "scandals":

DuMond had been accused of raping a Clinton cousin in 1984 and was hog-tied and castrated before he even went to trial.

He used to be enraged about it, especially when the cracker sheriff, who was a pal of the rape victim's father, scooped up DuMond's balls, put them in a jar, and showed them off.

"They were mine. Those were my testicles," DuMond told a sickened courtroom in 1988. "He didn't have no right to take them and he didn't have no right to show them around and he didn't have no right to flush them down the toilet."

This is yet another Clinton saga of genitalia that fell into the wrong hands.

Ha-ha! See, Bill Clinton got a blow job, so clearly he was somehow responsible for reprehensible vigilante tactics (spruced up with an unsubstantiated story from a convicted violent felon taken at face value) used against a rapist. This kind of idiocy, though, is basically how most stories about phony Clinton pseudo-scandals from Whitewater on down proceeded: find some distant (or imagined) Clinton relationship to someone who knew someone who did something bad in Arkansas, find some lurid details, and suggest that one or both Clintons were behind everything without any actual evidence or causal logic. (See, for example, the stories about Mena discussed in the country's most prominent conservative op-ed pages.) And while many of these stories had their origin with GOP operatives and wingnut hacks, they also spread throughout the media, including ostensibly lefty alt-weeklies and the mainstream press. The Whitewater non-scandal was pushed obsessively by the New York Times, and MSNBC would happily invite you on to discuss your unsubstantiated claims that Bill Clinton personally killed several people. About the Clintons, you can say anything based on nothing in the most prestigious media forums.

--Scott Lemieux

You may also like