If you think Karl Rove’s attack on Hillary Clinton’s health was mendacious, just read the arguments prominent conservatives are using to defend him.
“Rove is right,” declares National Review Editor Rich Lowry, writing in Politico. “His basic points are unassailable—the state of Clinton’s health will play into her decision whether or not to run, she will have to be completely open about the 2012 episode and all of this will be filtered through the fact that she will be 69 if elected and 77 if she serves two terms.
Sounds reasonable, except that those weren’t Rove’s “basic points” at all. Had he merely said that Clinton will take health into account in deciding whether to run or that she’ll have to be open about her health history, the press would have yawned. What Rove actually did was imply that Hillary is mentally impaired. “Thirty days in the hospital?” he said, according to the New York Post. “And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.” Rove hasn’t denied the quote. What he’s done is indignantly deny using the phrase “brain damage,” a phrase the Post never claimed he’d used in the first place.