Earlier this month, Hilary Clinton, having picked up a virus on one of her many overseas trips, became dehydrated, fainted, fell, hit her head, and suffered a concussion. That caused her to postpone her scheduled testimony on the Benghazi pseudo-scandal.

While Clinton was still at home on an IV drip to treat her dehydration, The usual right-wing suspects – John Bolton, Charles Krauthammer (a physician before he became a full-time character assassin), Glenn Reynolds, Sean Hannity, Monica (“Creepy”) Crowley, Allen West – joined in charging her with faking the concussion to avoid testifying, and the Murdoch pseudo-news empire tirelessly repeated their baseless charges about “Benghazi Flu.”

Secretary Clinton was hospitalized after follow-up exams disclosed a blood clot “stemming from” the concussion. Not clear how dangerous the situation is. She’s being treated with anti-coagulants.

So far, not a peep of apology from any of her traducers. One widely-read right-wing blogger chided the State Department for inadequate “people skills” after the Department corrected a false story about the Clintons partying in the Caribbean. The Fox News story on the latest development drops all the previous charges down the Memory Hole. Reynolds links to the blood-clot story, but not to his earlier, widely-linked half-witticism: “Help, I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Testify about Benghazi,” with its disgusting reference to Clinton’s concussion as having “addled her pate,” nor his equally heartless post later. I guess in Tennessee being a Real Man means making fun of sick people.

I know there’s some sentiment among readers that we should stick to our wonkery and remain above partisan warfare. But unless we deal with the meta-problem of the well-financed, fanatical, unprincipled, unpatriotic, and downright mean fringe movement that has succeeded in taking over one of our two political parties and creating a media echo-chamber that isolates not only is ignorant followers but also its leaders from consensus reality, we won’t be able to deal with any of the actual problems.

UPDATE Ann Althouse apparently agrees with me that she is grossly over-placed at Wisconsin and is applying for a job at Tennessee. See, because the press release deoesn’t specify the site of the blood clot, it’s all part of A Conspiracy So Vast….

And yes, her lunatic ravings draw a link from Instapundit.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.