More to the point, I won't
I utterly refuse to imagine that a competent, prepared, eminently decent career public servant would do any of the despicable, foolish, or downright cruel things that our current fumblefuck authoritarian scofflaw of a president has done.
I have zero inclination to engage in a hypothetical with no purpose beyond making the already excruciatingly obvious point that the Republican Party is comprised of a nauseating collection of unprincipled hypocrites who will abide all manner of thunderous villainy from Donald Trump, but would have spent their every waking moment trying to destroy Hillary Clinton.
I don't need to indulge the painting of invented corruption in order to know, with certainty, that the Republicans are vicious wielders of ugly double standards.
Instead of asking me, over and over, to imagine some funhouse mirror alternate reality in which Clinton would engage in the same calamitous malice as the current occupant of the Oval Office, I invite petitioners instead to imagine this:
A country in which there was no Muslim ban, nor even repeated attempts to enact one;
in which twenty million people or so weren't in danger of losing their healthcare access;
in which DREAMers weren't being deported;
in which the Justice Department weren't being run by a racist miscreant;
in which the EPA, the Department of Education, the Energy Department, and virtually every other federal agency weren't being run by people whose primary qualification was a willingness to destroy the very departments they've chosen to lead;
in which LGBTQ rights and protections were not being rolled back but expanded;
in which the Mexico City policy had not been rescinded and the Hyde Amendment was finally in danger of going away forever;
in which most of us would never have been obliged to learn the name Neil Gorsuch;
in which the president had shaken Angela Merkel's hand;
in which investigations into Russian interference in the election, and ongoing attempts to destabilize our democratic institutions, were taken seriously;
in which taxpayers hadn't spent millions and millions of dollars funding weekend trips to a private and insecure getaway;
in which the president wasn't using the office to enhance their personal wealth;
in which any question we had about the president's income could be easily accessed, because four decades of their taxes were available online;
in which there had been no grievous disclosure of classified information to a foreign adversary;
in which the president was surrounded by competent people who were qualified for their positions and weren't as out of their depth as a dog doing particle physics;
in which we had communicated to little girls that they could be president someday, rather than that we're okay with powerful men sexually assaulting them;
in which we weren't spending every waking moment in a panic about what treacherous or imperiling fuckery will come next;
in which so many things, after only 118 days, would be different. Better.
Imagine that, even if it breaks your heart. It breaks mine into a thousand pieces. But what breaks my heart even harder is the relentless request that I imagine Hillary Clinton being a corrupt president that she never would have been.[Photo: Michael Davidson for Hillary for America.]
I voted for her because of the president she would have been, and I won't disrespect her—or my support of
her—by imagining that she would have been something else, something lesser.
I will not imagine if Clinton were like Donald Trump. Never.
And if you need, for whatever reason, to engage in an alt-timeline thought experiment to make the point that the Republicans are shameless and unscrupulous frauds, whose sanctimony is outmatched only by their insincerity, then try this on for size: Imagine if Congressional Republicans treated Donald Trump the way they treated Barack Obama.
We don't have to imagine
that. We can remember it.
Remember the way these reprehensible scoundrels actually treated
one of this nation's most principled and ethical leaders. Remember how they hounded and disrespected him; how they obstructed his agenda. Remember how they denied him an appointment to the Supreme Court, and the ability to fill more than 100 federal court vacancies. Remember how they treated members of his Cabinet, including Hillary Clinton.
Remember how they said, again and again, that he was a danger to his nation.
President Obama had fewer scandals in eight years than Trump has had in his first 118 days. And they treated him like garbage for every minute of those eight years.
Imagine if they held Trump to the same standards to which they held Obama, with the critical difference that Trump actually warrants that scrutiny.
I neither want nor need to imagine that Hillary Clinton would have been a corrupt president—because I know
that the Republicans are a corrupt party.
I'm not interested in talking hypotheticals. I'm interested in talking about that observable fact.