“All we need is one more liar.”—Helen Thomas
I knew it, I knew it. I damn well knew it was coming. I’ve been waiting in the tall grass for a while now, on my belly like a big cat, patient, tail twitching as I sniffed the breeze… and then there it was, big as life and twice as ugly. On Tuesday, Donald Trump dredged up the Vince Foster conspiracy theory and threw it against the wall like the rancid viscera of old roadkill, and the “news” media rejoiced.
For those not in the know, Vince Foster was a long-time Clinton family friend who served as Deputy White House Counsel during Bill Clinton’s administration. He suffered from depression brought on by the brutality of the business, and in July of 1993 shot himself to death in Virginia’s Fort Macy Park. In his briefcase was a torn-up resignation letter that was essentially a suicide note. “I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington,” he wrote. “Here ruining people is considered sport.”
The sport was only just beginning. As part of a multifaceted attempt to upend the Clinton administration, elements of the Republican right such as the so-called “Arkansas Project” widely promulgated the conspiracy theory that Foster was murdered. He was having an affair with Hillary. He knew too much. The suicide was staged, the letter a forgery. The gun was placed in his hand after he was shot by a Clinton hit man. The media chowed down on all this like hogs at the trough.
The US Park Police, aided by the FBI, deemed Foster’s death a suicide. Independent Counsel Robert Fiske, with the assistance of a coroner, dropped a detailed 58-page report calling it suicide. Ken Starr folded Foster’s death into his Whitewater investigation and looked into it for three years before calling it suicide. Two separate congressional investigations called it suicide. Vince Foster killed himself in the park, period, closed file. He went to Washington, DC, to serve his country and lasted only six months before the grim reality of US politics became too much for him to endure.
The tragedy of Foster’s death did not deter elements of the right and the media. They dragged his body through the streets for years, a perfect agony for his family and friends, because it was grist for the mill. The Vince Foster conspiracy theory phenomenon stands tall among the more shameful chapters in modern US political history, one of those touchstone moments you can look at now and say, “Here, right here, was when everything really started going to Hell.”
And so, of course, our resident orange ghoul felt the pressing need to dredge it all back up again. It has been 23 years since Foster ate his gun in despair. Every one of the so-called theories regarding his end have been slapped down and stomped, and the only people who still believe them exist in that far-right netherworld where John Birch is a saint and the moon landings were faked… and hey, anything that harms a Clinton has to be good, right? Even if it grossens society and civil discourse beyond recognition.
Barack Obama was born in Kenya. The father of Ted Cruz had a hand in the assassination of John Kennedy. The Clintons had Vince Foster killed. This is what orbits the bowl beneath Donald Trump’s comb-over like feces that won’t flush. He is the presumptive Republican nominee for president, and he is a fool. Worse, he is a cunning fool who knows what buttons to push and when to push them for maximum effect. If he doesn’t win in November, he has still lessened us all.
Trump is a disgrace, and yet somehow he remains idealized within a segment of the US population as the Maximum American, the ideal man, the savior. He is milk gone to curds, a fart in the elevator. That he would reach down through the oozing slime of history to grasp the sad refrain of Vince Foster’s death only reinforces what many already know: He is a ruthless, remorseless wrecker capable of anything. His soul is a vat of pus.
This is, of course, only just beginning. The election is six months away, and the “news” media will have a party every time Trump trots out another Clinton canard from that disgraced era. It is at once appalling and entirely unsurprising. I was waiting for this. What do you expect from a pig besides a grunt.