A phrase blurted out by Hillary Clinton on the Today show,
shortly after Monicamania began. The conspiracy doesn't exist, but the First Lady's concerns had their basis in fact, as she and her husband have been the victim of many well-funded smear and attack campaigns; WABC gives people like Sean Hannity, Matt Drudge, and Lucianne Goldberg a 50,000-watt megaphone to say damn near anything, no fact-checking allowed. See MSNBC.

Not long ago, I was driving along a state highway in the backwoods of Virginia, a part of the country in which every single traffic sign is riddled with bullet holes from the local teenagers' target practices. The light ahead of me turned red and I pulled up behind a beat-up two-tone pickup truck with a gun rack in the back window and (I swear!) an an old yellow dog riding in the bed. The driver, a fat bearded man in a green John Deere cap, glanced at me, nodded, and spat tobacco out the window. The light turned green; he pulled ahead. As I followed, I noticed a sticker on his rusted back bumper:

Proud Member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

Yes, of course. After all, Hillary's notorious statement was true in part; people were trying to discredit Bill. (There was no conspiracy exactly; "conspiracy" implies a secret attempt to carry out some nefarious deed, but in fact most Republicans expressed their disgust with Slick Willie quite openly (and an attempt to discredit a perjurer hardly qualifies as nefarious)).

I got one for my dad. It's currently in his office, tucked between his dictionary and Great Legislative Achievements of the Clinton Administration, a 100-page book that consists entirely of blank pages. Ain't creative capitalism neat?

(Actually, the company that makes this sticker also sells stickers that say "Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Republican". That's how you know you're in a capitalist country....)

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