Like many sick and elderly people, Hillary Clinton’s memory is showing the ravages of the decades. Numerous studies in peer reviewed medical journals have linked poor physical fitness to memory capacity. Suffice it to say, a old crone who falls down at random times and has to be put to down for a nap at 4pm is not a picture of physical fitness. When you combine a poor memory and a natural predilection to lie at the drop of a hat with the pressures of a political campaign, well, then you have the formula for a particularly potent type of political fabulism of the Brian Williams variety.
That Hillary Clinton makes stuff up is not new to anyone. She has claimed to be named after mountaineering legend Sir Edmund Hilary despite the fact that at the time Hillary Clinton was born, Sir Edmund was an obscure New Zealand beekeeper. She has claimed she wanted to be an astronaut and NASA turned her down because she was a girl. She has claimed she tried to become a USMC JAG officer but she was turned now because
she was too ugly of her eyesight. She manufactured immigrant, mill-working grandparents just as surely as Joe Biden manufactured his coal mining family. She has claimed that she came under sniper fire in Bosnia. Her email stories are replete with an Biblical level of fabulism. One gets the feeling that what started off as lies have morphed into the actual truth as far as Hillary Clinton is concerned.
We’ve seen more of this recently. Hillary Clinton, abetted by her catchfart, Joe Conason, manufactured a meeting and a conversation with former secretary of state, Colin Powell, that simply didn’t happen. Now we discover that one of her favorite stump stories that supposedly show her ability to work across the aisle is fake. Let’s stop here for a moment. There is no denying that the first Clinton regime was a low point in American history, though not as low as what we are living through today and what looms in our future. Having said that, there is no denying that Bill Clinton did have great political skills and was able to cobble together coalitions on various issues… if he had to. If you believe Hillary Clinton has the ability to work in a bipartisan manner, you probably believe in leprechauns.
Back to the fake story. Take it away Mother Jones:
As president, Bill Clinton didn’t have many political enemies more dogged than Tom DeLay. The Texas Republican, who served as the House majority whip and was known as “the Hammer,” spent some of his congressional tenure trying to impeach the president for the Monica Lewinsky scandal. But Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been invoking DeLay’s name a lot lately to demonstrate that she can reach across the aisle to work productively with anyone—even Tom DeLay.
It’s a great narrative. As the story goes, Clinton, as first lady, set aside partisan differences to find common ground with DeLay even as he was mercilessly attacking her husband and obstructing his agenda. By the campaign’s telling, the pair first worked together on an adoption bill that became law in 1997 and helped thousands of foster children find loving homes. Clinton has been telling the story on the stump for more than a decade now, but it’s been especially prominent during this presidential campaign, emphasized repeatedly by the candidate and her surrogates, most notably by her husband Bill, who brought it to prime-time TV during his Democratic National Convention speech last month.
This is what Bill Clinton had to say during his stemwinder convention speech:
In 1997, she also teamed with the House minority leader, Tom Delay, who maybe disliked me more than any of Newt Gingrich’s crowd. They worked on a build together to increase adoptions of children out of foster care. She wanted to do it because she knew that Tom, for all of our differences, was an adopted parent and she honored him for doing that. The bill that they worked on was passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority and led to a big increase of children out of foster care, including not infant kids and special needs kids. It made life better, because she is a changemaker. That is what she does.
Back to Mother Jones:
There’s just one problem with the story: It isn’t accurate. Over the years, the tale of Tom and Hillary has grown in mythic proportions, as Bill and others have conflated dates and confused events in a way that makes a better story but vastly overstates the relationship between DeLay and Hillary Clinton. “I don’t remember ever working with her” on that bill, DeLay told Mother Jones. DeLay is no Hillary Clinton fan—earlier this year, he gleefully predicted that she would soon be indicted over her email problems—but his recollection about the foster care work is backed up by legislative and White House records, video archives, and confirmed by several people involved with the bill. The Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Much in these stories is wrong, starting with the fact that DeLay was not an “adoptive parent,” a small but recurring error by the Clintons that nettles him. He was a foster parent to three children, but he never adopted any of them. And these yarns vastly overstate Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the former Republican leader. That’s because while Clinton may have worked on the 1997 adoption bill, DeLay did not. “I remember the bill,” he says. “It wasn’t mine.”
The ASFA was largely crafted by the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee and championed by its lead sponsor, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.). DeLay, who as whip was in charge of vote-counting and arm-twisting for the Republican agenda, was not a member of the committee. (DeLay was one of 31 co-sponsors of the bill in the House.)
On November 19, 1997, when the adoption bill went to the White House for that happy bill signing Bill Clinton invoked on the stump in New Hampshire, DeLay was not in the room. Hillary Clinton, who emceed the signing ceremony, never mentioned him in her speech or long list of acknowledgements. (Watch a video of the event here.)
This is all more than merely Clinton’s reflexive urge to lie for no greater reason than to stay in practice. It is evidence of a doddering old lady who has knocked down the last walls between her shabby and corrupt reality and her rich Walter-Mitty-like fantasy world where she is the hero.