Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Linda Tripp

I have been listening to the Slow Burn podcast. I don't really recommend it, it is surprisingly shallow and uninformative (or maybe a better way to put it is narrowly informative, see below), but I have some small personal connection to this season's topic, the Lewinsky scandal, having grown up in Arkansas, and I find it somewhat entertaining.

Anyway I listened to the episode on Linda Tripp last night. Tripp, you will recall, was a... I guess you would have to say friend of Monica Lewinsky at a time when both women worked at the Pentagon.

There are two key things to know about Tripp, beyond the fact (which everyone knows) that she taped her phone conversations with Lewinsky in an attempt to collect dirt on Bill Clinton. First, before any of that happened, before she even knew Lewinsky, Tripp went to Tony Snow, a Fox News pundit who had worked with her in the Bush White House, expressing a desire to spill the beans on Bill Clinton. He in turn directed Tripp to a conservative publisher.

But of course she had no beans to spill at first, since she hadn't even met Lewinsky. That's the context for her cultivation of the friendship. Tripp was in the market for something that would bring Clinton down.

The other thing about Tripp is that she claims that she was afraid that the Clintons would have her and Lewinsky murdered. In other words, she was in the deep end of the pool in terms of right-wing nuttiness and paranoia. I say deep end, but this kind of shit was actually pretty mainstream in the Republican Party.

I don't have much of a point here beyond observing that paranoid lunacy has been a mainstay of Republican politics for a long time, pre-dating Trump's political career, and it not infrequently delivers huge gifts to the conservatives (obviously there's the Lewinsky scandal, but fascination with Benghazi ultimately led to investigations that morphed into the Hillary Clinton email scandal). This doesn't mean I want a mirror image of it on the left... that is the opposite of what I want. But it's galling to see it pay such handsome dividends for its cynical purveyors.


Blogger Alan said...


12:28 PM  

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