I wonder if Hillary Clinton considered the ironies involved in giving Al Franken credit for fighting the “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” in her endorsement yesterday in Minnesota.  After all, when Hillary trotted out that paranoid fantasy, she meant it as a defense against her husband in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  When Bill Clinton later admitted he lied when he denied an affair with the White House intern, didn’t that turn the VRWC into something of a joke?

Of course, she is campaigning for a comedian:

Stepping back into the campaign spotlight, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) came to Minnesota tonight to urge the election of comedian-commentator-candidate Al Franken to the Senate.

“Al Franken was taking on the vast right-wing conspiracy before other people even admitted it existed,” she told a crowd of 2,000 supporters on the University of Minnesota campus, urging them to give her rival, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, a filibuster-proof margin in the Senate. “Al Franken, with your help, can be our 60th vote.” …

“Sure, he’s been a comedian, and occasionally he’s even been funny,” she joked.

Franken faced a controversy even within his own party this year after opponents discovered that the former talk-show host had written sexually-degrading “satires” of women and Asians in the past, including a piece for Playboy entitled “Porn-O-Rama”.  It’s yet another layer to the irony of using the VRWC argument for Franken.  Bill’s fling with Lewinsky was particularly tawdry, with tales of cigars and oral sex in the trappings of the Oval Office, and would have probably been fodder for a similar Franken satire under other circumstances.

In any event, I doubt that reminding Iron Range workers of the Lewinsky affair will help Franken much, although her HillPAC money won’t hurt.  It’s a strange blast from the past for Hillary to indulge on behalf of the foul-mouthed, R-rated provocateur the Democrats have backed for the US Senate.  What’s the message supposed to be: “I was duped, and you should vote for another dupe”?