Littwin: Trump invokes Vince Foster suicide conspiracy
Fair and Unbalanced
Congratulations if you had Vince Foster on your Donald Trump fantasy-league team. It was a bold pick, but when it comes to the Donald, you know that going bold is the only way that points toward victory.
I mean, did you really think Trump was going to suddenly become more, uh, presidential? Have you already forgotten that on the day Trump virtually clinched the GOP nomination, he was flogging the idea that Ted Cruz’s father was somehow linked to the Kennedy assassination?
There’s no limit on crazy in this campaign, no limit on conspiracy theories, no Mexicans who aren’t potential rapists, no refugees who aren’t potential terrorists, no Muslims who aren’t celebrating 9/11, no vaccinations that couldn’t lead to autism, no pillow that couldn’t have killed Antonin Scalia.
People keep asking what it is about America that Trump has plugged into, but it should be clear by now: His upcoming nomination is the ultimate (or we can hope) victory for talk radio and all the contaminated media it has spawned. Where’s Chris Christie to order a quarantine when you need him?
Anyone could have guessed that it wouldn’t take Trump long to turn the campaign away from stopping Muslims at the border — is anyone still keeping count of the refugee terrorists? — and make it into a Bill-Cinton-cigar-chomping-’90s-nostagia tour, even though, technically, the Big Dog isn’t the one running for president. So, you’d have been a fool not to have picked Clinton accusers Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey on your team. Trump said he had no choice — and, gosh, you can see his point, since the Clinton campaign keeps bringing up the long list of ugly things he has said about or done to women.
The only surprise is that this glance backward to the ’90s has happened so quickly. It is still May, and the election, I fear, is not until November.
Ah, the ’90s, those days when hypocrites roamed the land, when Republican leaders — you remember, the child molester and his gang of serial adulterers — were tossing around impeachment papers, when Ken Starr, who has been silent about sex scandals at the college over which he now presides, was giving us, uh, blow by blow and when the Big Dog was being defended by — yes — the short-fingered vulgarian who said at the time, and I quote, that Clinton was being slammed “over something that was totally unimportant.”
Of course, Trump being Trump, even back then, he didn’t stop there. He said that the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal wouldn’t have been so bad if Clinton had been messing around with really classy women like JFK did with Marilyn or like the Donald did with whoever was on the list that day.
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker offers up this memory-lane interview with Trump by Chris Matthews, who long ago asked him if he ever thought about running for president.
Trump: “Can you imagine how controversial that’d be? You think about him with the women. How about me with the women? Can you imagine?”
Well, no, we couldn’t. Now, yes, we have to.
And so Vince Foster.
This was always crazy-time stuff. It emerged around the time of the video being hawked by Jerry Falwell that accused Clinton of possibly murdering various people. Foster kills himself on a park bench, and it’s a terrible tragedy for his family and close friends, who include both of the Clintons. And so naturally, the Clintons were accused in the far spaces of loony land — spaces that still exist on the Internet and in Trump’s campaign offices at Trump Towers — of killing Foster.
(In some versions, Foster and Hillary were lovers, and, of course, he worked at the Rose Law Firm, and if it wasn’t the Clintons who killed him, who would it be — Cruz’s father?)
For you kids out there, this was before Twitter, before Facebook, back when cable TV news was in its infancy, but still it was possible for rumors to spread, if slightly more slowly, into every corner of this great country, especially if you were Trump and did a “John Miller” by pretending to be your own PR man.
If you were alive back then, you’d know, I guess, that there were four GOP investigations into the matter — that’s no Benghazi number, but still — all of which found that poor Foster had committed suicide.
What’s different, of course, is that the person now spreading the rumors is the presumptive Republican nominee for president.
Of course it’s the same presumptive nominee who was a leader in the birther movement and who sent investigating agents to Hawaii, who, he said, “cannot believe what they’re finding.” Many of us cannot believe it, either, since Trump has never actually said what they found.
And Foster? How did this come up? Trump brought it up, although he says he hates to because, you know. He said the whole thing was “very serious” and that the circumstances were “very fishy.”
“He had intimate knowledge of what was going on,” Trump said of Foster. “He knew everything that was going on, and then all of a sudden he committed suicide. … I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair.”
Trump may not think it’s fair, but, on the other hand, he’s running even in the polls with Hillary Clinton, Democrats are freaking, and if it comes to that, it’ll be a while longer before Foster, or any of us, is at peace.
Mike Littwin runs Sundays in The Aspen Times. A former columnist for the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post, he currently writes for ColoradoIndependent.com.