Rightbloggers entered this year’s 9/11 observances, as they have for some time, in a downbeat mood — not so much because of all the dead Americans as because of all the live ones who no longer treat the date as a celebration of the wisdom of their foreign policy.
But when Hillary Clinton took ill and had to leave the Ground Zero ceremonies, they brightened up considerably.
Not all conservatives were morose as 9/11 XV dawned. Former Bush press secretary Ari Fletcher longed to tell millennials what they were missing: “I wish,” he tweeted, “today people, especially young people, could go back in time to feel the gravity of the day.” And if we elect Trump, maybe they can!
But for rightbloggers, at first it was all darkness — for some because 9/11 is a genuinely solemn commemoration of a terrible event, but for others, it seemed, because America had come so far from early 9/11 days, when terrified citizens considered Rudy Giuliani a capable leader rather than a ghoulish Trump flunky, and admired George W. Bush enough to let him con them into a disastrous war in the Middle East.
Americans have since come to think very differently about this and, as I observed on the occasion of the Iraq War’s 10th Anniversary, rightbloggers haven’t taken it well and have gotten a little weird.
At National Review, for example, David French called 9/11 “A Terrible Day in the Eternal War.” Yes, if you thought the Iraq Etcetera War was some temporary dust-up like WWII, you’re fools — why, 9/11 “was nothing more and nothing less than an escalation of a war that began when Muhammad launched his first violent jihad more than a thousand years ago,” said French. Thus, Muslims are “architects of centuries of aggression,” and when they confront our “permanent resolve, war is the result – and there is no end in sight.”
“Johnny Get Your Gun,” it ain’t but, French clearly hoped, if many Americans have gotten used to a declining standard of living, they may adjust to forever-war, too.
Others, like William Teach of Right Wing News, tried to rouse readers with pictures and videos of dead and dying 9/11 victims. This will probably have the same effect as abortion clinic protestors waving bloody fetus photos at patients: making the wavers feel righteous, and the waved-at want to get the hell away from them.
For many of the brethren, this 9/11 was, as in other recent years, also about how much they hated Democrats. National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy complained that Muslim-Americans (in McCarthy’s reading, simply “Muslims”) in Oswego, New York, were “demanding” that the word “Islamic” be removed from the town’s 9/11 memorial. The group thus accused say the story, which has been picked up by other rightbloggers as well (“SICK: Look What Muslims Are Trying to Do to Small Town’s 9/11 Memorial”), is bullshit. But forget it, McCarthy was rolling.
Soon McCarthy was snarling at John Kerry for “steering aid, comfort, and goo-gobs of cash to the jihadist regime in Tehran” and at “apologists of the See No Islam school” such as President Obama and Hillary Clinton. “After 9/11, the American people seemed resolved to defeat jihadist terror,” reminisced McCarthy, but now we’re sending Osama bin Saddam our goo-gobs! Weep, eagle, weep!
Inevitably, the 3,000 dead on 9/11 were written into the Clinton Body Count. John Ziegler took the opportunity to tell us that the original version of the TV movie The Path to 9/11 portrayed “Bill Clinton passing on taking out bin Laden due to fear of political backlash and his vulnerability because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.” This led to a “vicious attack” from thin-skinned Clintonites that succeeded in getting the suits to edit the film, leaving it “castrated” — assuming the very ballsack of the film was that Bill Clinton Made 9/11. “In today’s America, up is down, down is up, right is wrong and wrong is right,” lamented Ziegler.
Hillary was, at first, making 9/11 even worse for rightbloggers. She had, over the weekend, obliged them to litigate her “basket of deplorables” speech to Democratic donors, in which she made the (one would think) uncontroversial and self-evident statement that a lot of followers of longtime birther Trump are racist assholes. (C’mon, even David Duke’s owning it!)
This threw the brethren into a full-body sputter. Some resorted to suggesting that by attacking racists, Clinton had actually attacked large groups of conservative Americans — which says something about how they think of their fellow countrymen and of their own movement.
For example, Roger L. Simon at PJ Media said, “In the real (non-Hillary) world, these ‘deplorables’ would be called the American middle class…” He further asserted that “I have spent a considerable amount of time recently among these so-called ‘deplorables,’ aka, in movie parlance, ‘flyover people.’ I can report observing absolutely no misogyny, racism, homophobia, or even Islamophobia…” As proof, Simon told us he met a black usher who was voting for Trump. “He added that last fact in a low voice, looking over his shoulder,” reported Simon. “It was an act of bravery for him” — maybe the New Black Panthers were listening.
Better still was Kurt Schlichter, a.k.a. the Wildman, who tweeted a picture of headstones at Arlington Cemetery and asked, “So Hillary, I’m confused. Are you saying 50% of these belong in your #BasketOfDeplorables or only 25%?” One could see the wispy forms of these dead servicemembers rising from their slumbers like Casper the Fighting Ghost, crying, “We cast our absentee ballots from beyond the grave for Donald Trump and Milo Yiannopoulos” — if one were nuts.
Things went on like this till the memorial ceremonies at the World Trade Center in New York, where Hillary Clinton felt faint and left partway through; a videographer caught her stumbling as she climbed into the van that took her away. Though she showed up later looking healthy, the event gave rightbloggers a burst of adrenaline — at last, a 9/11 they could really enjoy! — and led to a revival of rightblogger Routine 12 for this campaign, Hitlery Is Dying.
“Shocking Video of Hillary Fainting After Leaving 9/11 Ceremony” cried Rick Moran of PJ Media. “How much longer does the campaign think they’ll be able to depend on a pliant press to hide her infirmity — whatever it is?” Why, it could have been anything: It could be a long time standing in a heavy bullet-proof vest — or maybe it’s a defibrillator vest, which makes much more sense.
Clinton was “DRAGGED INTO VAN,” hollered breitbart.com. “A source told [reporter Betsy] Woodruff that Clinton lost a shoe…” The phrase “medical episode” appeared in their dispatch nine times, though no doctor’s report was cited.
Clinton’s people said she was overheated, but “it isn’t a particularly hot day in New York City today,” analyzed Rich Lowry at National Review; “in fact, it is gorgeous.”
An invigorated David French shook off his Eternal War doldrums, declared “We Can’t View the Hillary Clinton Fainting Video in Isolation,” and commenced to lawyering: “While it is certainly true that healthy people do sometimes faint, it is also foolish to simply assume that a person who faints on a moderately warm day is healthy.” And since “simply put, we can’t believe a single word that she says — absent independent verification,” said French, America must have her health records. After all, we already have Trump’s records — okay, a ridiculous note from a weirdo doctor, but don’t forget Trump is to be judged by beginners-slope standards.
Finally, Clinton’s doctor came out and announced she was dehydrated and had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday — or, as Twitchy put it, “Hillary Clinton has blamed her collapse at the 9/11 memorial today on complications from pneumonia — which she kept hidden from America…”
“On the heels of the Left’s campaign to purge all dissent and defame anybody that dared speak ill of the Democratic nominee’s health,” intoned Joshua Yasmeh at the Daily Wire, “Hillary Clinton’s own doctor has admitted in a statement that Hillary was actually diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday.” The overheating claim Yasmeh called a “bizarre excuse,” because “nobody else in Hillary’s immediate vicinity suffered from any sort of heat-related fainting spells,” and most New Yorkers have pneumonia, I guess.
I should be more charitable; Yasmeh, like so many of his comrades, was just trying to wring a little more joy from what had been a wonderful dying-Hillary 9/11. You know how it is with holidays. Now they’ll have to wait till Columbus Day, when they’ll probably claim Clinton is siding with indigenous peoples over good European-Americans. And that’s weeks away. No wonder they’re so grumpy!
[Editor’s note: A previous version of this column suggested that a comment made by Joshua Yasmeh related to Clinton’s pneumonia diagnosis, when it really related to her campaign’s “overheating” explanation. The Voice regrets the error.]