Graves Registry: The remains of the vase


This just in: A former Secret Service agent during the Clinton administration has revealed in a tell-all book that he might have seen the shards that might possibly have once been a vase that Hillary might have thrown at Bill while the couple lived in the White House. I know that the previous sentence included the word "might" no less than three times, but the disclosure by another marginally-positioned opportunist was all that was required to send right wing pundits into spasms of ecstasy. (I think the general standard adhered to by Limbaugh, Coulter et al is that six mights in a news story casts its accuracy into some doubt, but I might be wrong about that.)

I'm not sure why this particular revelation, even if it is true, is being hawked as a game changer as far as Mrs. Clinton's presidential bid. (Benghazi, e-mails, broken vase?) Given what we now know about her husband's rather loose interpretation of the perimeters of marriage, Bill was probably fortunate that she didn't lob a bust of Lincoln at him.

The orchestrated outrage over Mrs. Clinton's possible demonstration of temper over one of Bill's lapses is downright laughable when it is contrasted with her opponent's record for pitching epic temper tantrums and a marital history that makes Bill Clinton look like a rock of fidelity.

A recent front-page story in the New York Times recounted Donald Trump's association with Roy Cohn, the infamous attorney who verbally bludgeoned people suspected of being Communist sympathizers during the McCarthy era, one of the darkest and most dangerous periods in American history. Having a mentor like Roy Cohn to stoke Trump's unbridled ego was a little like a serial killer getting tips on how not to get caught from Jack the Ripper. You just can't ask for better advise! (Cohn was finally disbarred for "flagrant ethical violations" in 1986.)

Evidently choosing to ignore the fact that Trump's major accomplishment thus far had been inheriting a fortune, Cohn envisioned a limitless future for him. He represented Trump in the early 1970s after the government filed a lawsuit charging that Mr. Trump repeatedly violated the Fair Housing Act by deliberately refusing to rent properties to African Americans and other minority groups in Manhattan. Trump lost the case and the court ordered his organization to submit lists of vacancies in Trump properties to the New York Urban League, a civil rights group. Three years later, Trump was back in court for violating the terms of the agreement. (Giving rise to serious doubts nearly half a century later as to Trump's contention that there is no soul on earth less tainted with the stain of bigotry than his own.)

Cohn also was determined that his golden boy didn't put any assets at risk when Trump married his first wife in 1977. The future Ivana Trump was so upset by Cohn's insistence that she forfeit anything that her husband had given her during the course of their marriage should it end in divorce that Trump relented, later characterizing the heartless maneuver as "just one of those Roy Cohn numbers."

Now on his third wife -- who potentially will be the country's first supermodel First Lady – Trump is hard at work doing one of those Donald Trump numbers on America. After a promising start, it isn't going all that well, but then Roy Cohn's protégé has never had to maintain a con this big for this long.

While Republicans in the United States were discreetly manning the lifeboats, their inevitable nominee was presiding over the grand opening of one of his disgustingly lavish golf courses in Scotland and boasting once again about his powers of prediction (he knew England would vote to leave the European Union and will even make some big money on it.)

The most conspicuous evacuee from the sinking ship was Washington Post columnist George Will, a conservative icon who correctly branded Trump a "bloviating ignoramus" when he first expressed presidential aspirations. "After Trump went after the 'Mexican' judge from northern Indiana and (House Speaker) Paul Ryan endorsed him, I decided that in fact this was not my party anymore," Will told Fox News.

Of course it isn't, Mr. Will. It's Donald Trump's party. And the prospect really puts possibly throwing a vase into perspective, doesn't it.

— Alden Graves is a regular Banner columnist.

The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bennington Banner.


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