A Grain Of Saul: It's Not Hillary's Fault

Here's an expression you don't hear very often.

A Grain of Saul is a weekly column that digs into some of the biggest issues we face as a nation and as an international community in search of reliable data, realistic solutions, and — most importantly — hope.

Say it with me now: it's not Hillary Clinton's fault.

I know, I know, it's not an expression you hear very often. In fact, for the last few decades, almost everything seems like Hillary Clinton's fault.



As Bustle noted, it started as early as the 1990s, when then-president Bill and Hillary Clinton were accused of firing staffers from the White House travel office so they could hire their own personal friends for the job. The Clintons maintained the firings were legitimate, citing issues of financial record keeping. Nevertheless, an independent investigation was launched with a congressional panel and special prosecutors (sound familiar?). Hillary and Bill were never found guilty.

And so it began.

Not long after, in 1993, Hillary was accused of actual murder. Yes, that's right: the Vince Foster conspiracy, which — thanks to Donald Trump Jr. — reared its ugly head again during the 2016 election. The conspiracy claims Hillary organized a hit on Foster — a White House lawyer — because he discovered evidence of corruption in the Clinton administration. Multiple investigations ruled his death a suicide, and Foster's sister wrote in The Washington Post that she knew of his depression and was disgusted by the conspiracy theories. 

It wouldn't be the last time she was accused of killing someone, either: she's been blamed for the death of an Iranian scientist, for organizing a hit on former DNC staffer Seth Rich, for a terrorist attack in Nice, France, and for the combat death of Captain Humayun Khan

Hillary was blamed for Bill's infidelity. She was, in mind-boggling fashion, blamed for Harvey Weinstein, a Democratic donor, allegedly raping women. She was accused of rape herself in the Pizzagate conspiracy, which alleged she ran a child sex ring. She was blamed after Melania Trump plagiarized a speech from Michelle Obama for pointing out that Melania had plagiarized. She was blamed when Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former Congressman, and husband to a Clinton aide, was convicted for sexting a teenager. She was blamed for starting the Birther conspiracy, which alleged that former President Barack Obama was not American, by President Donald Trump. 

Trump, of course, perpetuated that conspiracy for over five years. His claim that Hillary started it was repeatedly and unequivocally debunked. 

Hillary was blamed for terrorist attacks in the United States that happened when she wasn't working for the U.S. government. She was blamed for the Russian plane crash that happened in Egypt. She was blamed for hundreds of Nigerian girls going missing. She was accused of founding ISIS. She was blamed for NAFTA, a trade agreement her husband signed. She was blamed for the United States tax code laws not changing while she was a senator. She was blamed for the firebombing of a North Carolina GOP office. She was blamed for violence at a Trump campaign rally that she condemned. Seven months after Trump was elected, the GOP Twitter account blamed Hillary for Republicans not having a health care plan (yes, you read that correctly). A few weeks later, Trump blamed her for North Korea having nuclear weapons

Perhaps most famously, she was blamed for four lives being lost in Benghazi, Libya, despite costly investigations that lasted longer than the ones into Sept. 11, the assassination of JFK and Peal Harbor yielding exactly zero evidence of any wrongdoing on her part. 

During a debate with Trump in 2016, Clinton famously snarked, "I have a feeling that by the end of the evening, I will be blamed for everything that's ever happened."

"Why not?" Trump responded.

And he's right: why not? Why not blame someone else for everything? Why not scapegoat a defeated political opponent when you know so much of the country loathes her? Clearly, it's an effective strategy.

This week, as Trump's former campaign manager was indicted by the FBI and another foreign policy advisor pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents, Trump responded by asking, "But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus??????"

Apparently, Trump's biggest fans in conservative media took notice. They've been running story after story and segment after segment blaming Hillary for giving Russia "20 percent of our uranium" when she was secretary of state. The story is one of the most laughably untrue things Clinton has been blamed for (never mind the fact it's a 5-year-old story), but it didn't stop conservative media heads from latching on. Fox News, Breitbart, The Daily Caller — they've all paraded out stories "investigating" the deal and doing their best to distract from the historical investigations currently heating up around their president of choice. 

It got so bad that in the last week Fox News pundit Jeanne Pirro called for Hillary to be "locked up," Sean Hannity referred to her as "President Clinton" and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski twice made reference to the "Clinton administration."

Yes, Hillary is now being accused of actually being the president. 

The phenomenon hasn't gone unnoticed. Plenty of nicknames have been made about Clinton's most obsessive haters over the years. It's not just that she's a Clinton, though. Our society tends to enjoy blaming women and our politicians tend to enjoy blaming their opponents. 

I get it, too. I once wrote that I "despised" Hillary, though I eventually took it back and wrote a column endorsing her for president. While none of them are listed in this story, there are also legitimate things she may be to blame for — Donna Brazille's tell-all in Politico this morning is one of them. But even that, the story of Hillary's DNC takeover, will fall solely on her shoulders when it took a laundry list of bad actors to make it happen.

It's well past time Americans, liberals, conservatives, and the president stopped making a scapegoat of Hillary Clinton and started taking ownership over their own mistakes. 

The president's team is not in legal hot water because of Hillary Clinton, they're there because of their own actions. Harvey Weinstein's serial predatory nature has nothing to do with Hillary, nor do terrorist attacks abroad or Anthony Weiner's sexting or Melania Trump deciding to lift passages from a Michelle Obama speech.  

Those mistakes, those tragedies, those faults, are on the people who created them. Any deflection to Hillary isn't just a sign of weakness, it's a sign of dishonesty. We'd be well off to stop this pattern and start looking inward to fix the things around us. And the process begins with this one simple sentence: It's not Hillary Clinton's fault.

Say it with me now.

For more, you can follow @Ike_Saul on Twitter.

Cover photo: Shutterstock / JStone

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