The National Rifle Association (NRA) held its annual leadership forum in Nashville Friday, giving executive vice president Wayne LaPierre an opportunity to feed his rapacious, gun-worshiping Hilary Clinton haters a tasty meal of venomous rhetoric aimed at the likely Democratic nominee for president. (Clinton officially announced her candidacy two days later on Sunday).
LaPierre warned that the former First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State "will not bring a new dawn of promise and new opportunity" but rather "a permanent darkness of deceit and despair, forced upon the American people to endure."
And in what is sure to become the right-wing rallying cry, to be echoed relentlessly between now and the 2016 election, the nation's chief gunslinger went on to list a litany of "gates" in which the Clintons have been involved:
"Whitewater-gate,' 'Cattle-gate,' 'Gennifer Flowers-gate,' 'Nanny-gate,' 'Lincoln bedroom-gate,' 'Travel-gate,' 'Trooper-gate,' 'File-gate,' 'Paula Jones-gate,' 'Vince Foster-gate', 'Helicopter-gate,' 'White House Coffee-gate,' 'Web Hubbell Hush Money-gate,' 'Pardon-gate,' 'Illegal Gift-Gate,' 'Monica-gate,' 'Benghazi-gate,' 'Email-gate,' 'Wiped Server-gate," LaPierre smugly barked. "Hillary Clinton has more 'gates' than a South Texas cattle ranch, and Americans know it."
What's most contemptible in LaPierre's vitriolic rant is that it lists several of Bill Clinton's mistresses, including Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky, as if his marital indiscretions are a negative reflection on Hillary's character; reasons why she's ill-equipped to be president. But since when is being cheated on a character flaw? What does Bill's philandering have to do with Hillary's ability to serve?
Most offensive in LaPierre's insensitive, ignorant diatribe is that in these instances Hillary Clinton was the victim. Since when do we ridicule and punish victims for the actions of those who violate them? In LaPierre's bizarre "guns don't kill people" alternate universe, Hillary's victimhood is no less a target of his bullets -- real or symbolic -- than a helpless deer or a school full of children.
Following the tragic Sandy Hook school killings in December 2012 LaPierre said: "If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained -- armed -- good guy." So why should we expect any more logic or rational, practical thinking from the guy who thinks the solution to our gun problem is to have Wild West-style shootouts in elementary schools?
To be sure, all's fair in politics, especially in what is sure to be a highly polarized, contentious race between Clinton and whatever ideologically backward candidate the Republican Party nominates. So if LaPierre wants to challenge Hillary Clinton's involvement in the Benghazi attack, her Senate record or her email decisions during and after her term as Secretary of State, that's fair game. But attacking her for being the victim in a humiliatingly public marital crisis is incredibly misguided and an unconscionable disrespect not just to Hillary Clinton, but to women and victims everywhere.