06.20.2014 1

The faux populism of Hillary Clinton

hillary-dead_brokeBy David Bozeman

The idea that Bill and Hillary Clinton were broke at the end of his presidency is so patently absurd that her fake emoting is far more damaging to her reputation than any outrage from the right.  In fact, the pertinent question here is not what anyone in particular thinks of Mrs. Clinton but rather what Mrs. Clinton thinks of us.  In other words, does she really think we’re that stupid?

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign thus far has been a patchwork of liberal clichés:  the plight of women, the plight of the middle class, etc. If President Obama’s freefall continues, look for her to separate herself from the current administration, posing as an advocate for the average American against the big-government excesses of the past eight years.  Every candidate, particularly in an open presidential election, wants to be the citizen outsider, the modern-day equivalent of the Jimmy Stewart character in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  She thinks you’ll buy it.

The late Barbara Olson (who was lost on one of the four jetliners on 9/11) chronicled in alarming detail the gaudy, self-serving excesses of the Clintons upon their departure from the White House.  The Final Days, published in 2001, bears a second look, in its revelations of pardons for sale, the solicitation of gifts and thousands of pages of quasi-dictatorial executive orders.

Power hungry politicians and presidents are by no means new, but their behavior, as recounted by Olson and others, reveals a brand of narcissism that is as low class as it is corrupt (and don’t forget earlier reports that they sought tax deductions for donated undergarments).  Still, these people are not just buying power and its trimmings, they want desperately to be the coolest kids on campus, even if cool means paycheck-to-paycheck subsistence.  How they are perceived is as important to them as any tangible trappings of power.

Mrs. Clinton, who claims she and the President were broke, received, among numerous other gifts, a china set from director Steven Spielberg worth nearly $5,000.  In the waning days of their administration, a minor scandal erupted over gifts not declared on official disclosure — gifts not only accepted but solicited. All this on top of a multi-million dollar book deal and an upcoming term in the U.S. Senate.

Even their own supporters expressed disgust.  Clandestine scandal is one thing — this was bottom of the barrel and in-your-face.  Predictably, the earth-shattering events of the last thirteen years have dissolved the late-administration Clinton scandals into the mists of time.  Some of her detractors are now — surprise — her biggest defenders.  Forgiven and forgotten.

The most notorious scandal of that era, however, touches Mrs. Clinton and could well come back to haunt her.  Pardongate, as it was known, concerned controversial pardons issued either for financial gain, political advantage or both.  Terrorists of the FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberty), a Puerto Rican separatist group responsible for over one hundred bombings over about ten years, particularly in New York, were among the beneficiaries.  Supposedly to gain favor with the state’s large Puerto Rican community before her Senate run, such a brazen abuse of power does not bode well for the image of a middle class outsider speaking truth to power.

One could go on with the dubious public and private choices of the Clintons, but as she maneuvers her way around the political spectrum, voters might want to ask where Mrs. Clinton has been when the people have really needed her.  After millions of Americans lost their health insurance policies, Majority Leader Harry Reid stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and basically called them liars.  Who was there to defend these Americans?  Not Mrs. Clinton.  She, of that debacle known as Hillarycare, was nowhere to be heard.  As we again hear rumblings of cap-and- trade regulations that would (in the President’s own words) “necessarily” cause energy prices to skyrocket, where is Mrs. Clinton?

The right to leadership is earned by deeds, not by manipulating public opinion.  If she expects anyone to believe she is a middle class outsider, she has little faith in the people she intends to govern.

A modern-day Mr. Smith (or Mrs. Smith)?  Not likely, she takes her cues from Saul Alinsky’s handbook, not a Frank Capra film!

David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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