I didn’t vote for Clinton last spring and though I will vote for her in November, to my mind she is too hawkish by far, we had eight years of the Clintons already, etc., etc. I am one of millions of Bernie-ites who is voting against Trump rather than for Clinton. But come on. Her having pneumonia is not a scandal, not by a long shot.
I’m not saying that it was a good idea for her to keep all her commitments and stand out in the sun on Sunday, but I do know what I did when I got pneumonia. First, I didn’t go to the doctor for days, even though I was exhausted and miserable and had a sixth sense that something really serious was wrong with me. I wasn’t running for president but we had just moved, we were trying to organize our house and get our kids back on their routine, and I needed to finish The New Hate and deliver it to Pantheon on schedule. When I finally did go to the doctor, I waited for four hours and was too impatient to go to a different facility and wait again to get an x-ray (which turned out to be a big mistake as the pneumonia was more serious than the doctor realized).
Haters and conspiracists are flooding the Internet with long-distance diagnoses (obviously the pneumonia was caused by her Parkinsons, deep-vein thrombosis, concussion, etc.). Obviously. Not just haters, but smart, sober-minded pundits are clucking that it isn’t the disease but the “coverup” that is the problem, a la Whitewater, e-mail-gate, and so on.
So let’s do a thought experiment and imagine that she had announced that she was ill on Friday and canceled all her appearances as her doctor suggested. What would we have heard? That she is too old, too fragile, and too female to be president. That she is a drama queen, trying to upstage the 911 anniversary. That the “pneumonia” is a false flag, raised to divert attention from her “basket of deplorables” gaffe or perhaps to preemptively gain sympathy in advance of a terrible new revelation about Benghazi. That the pneumonia isn’t pneumonia at all and that she should bow out for Bernie or Biden. In other words, all the things that are being said anyway. And what would have happened if Trump had collapsed on Sunday? People would have admired his stoicism and marveled at his incredible energy and determination. Full stop.