Politics & Policy

Hillary Redux Can Cause Acid Reflux

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Not being Tammy Wynette. Cattle futures, Red Bone, back-allocating trades. Madison Guaranty. Requested destruction of Madison files at the Rose Law Firm. Whitewater land development. Delinquent Whitewater tax filings. Resolution Trust Corporation criminal referral. Rose Law Firm shenanigans. Bimbo eruptions. Cookie recipes. FDIC inspector-general reports that Hillary “deceived” federal regulators. Travel Office: improper firings, false accusations, lies, cover-ups. Unethical behavior on the Watergate committee. “More ecstatic modes of living.” Alinsky disciple. Clerked for Communist lawyer. Defended child rapist, joked about it. Fulminations about a vast right-wing conspiracy.

“Vacuum Rose law files.” The Lippo Group and its principals and offshoots in the 1980s. Lippo Group in the 1990s. Lippo Group via visa waivers in 2010. John Huang. Charlie Trie. Coffee klatches. Rifling through, and hiding, poor Vince Foster’s files. Missing billing records. Snooping through FBI background checks, or at least surrounding herself with people who did. Improperly secret meetings on health-care reform. Secret desire for a government single-payer system, despite public denials. Profiting from short-sales of pharmaceuticals even as she attacked the pharmaceutical industry. Slandering (Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony toon”), and perhaps worse, the women with whom her husband had sexual relations.

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Brokering pardons. Brokering more pardons. Pardon for Marc Rich. Pardon for Puerto Rican terrorists.

Making off with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of White House furnishings. From a Washington Post editorial in 2001, after its editors saw the itemized list of the nearly $200,000 in donated china, furniture, and gifts the Clintons hauled out of the White House: “The list demonstrates again the Clintons’ defining characteristic: They have no capacity for embarrassment. Words like shabby and tawdry come to mind. They don’t begin to do it justice.”

Claiming to have been “dead broke” when leaving the White House. Clinton Library donations. Clinton Foundation donations from foreign governments. Many millions in speaking fees, some of them highly questionable.

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Improper use of a home server and home e-mail account for all State Department business. Multiple absurd justifications — easily disprovable — for doing so. Improper a) failure to sign an “exit form” when she left the State Department or b) false attestation that she had turned over all records. Improperly unrigorous search system to determine which e-records were relevant. Improperly setting herself up as the arbiter of which e-mail records were relevant. Improper refusal to turn over actual e-mails (rather than hard-to-search paper copies) of records she deemed relevant. Highly improper destruction of home e-mail records, apparently after Congress had asked her to turn over her e-mails.

Failure to provide adequate security in Benghazi, despite multiple requests from the ambassador. Multiple prevarications about what happened in Benghazi. Asking, about what actually happened in Benghazi, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Disdain for the Secret Service agents who protect her. Disdainful treatment, bordering on abusive, of White House staff. Horrible temper. Horrible language.

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Horribly inconsequential Senate career, with few if any real accomplishments to claim. Horrible record as secretary of state, with U.S. interests and diplomatic strength retreating just about everywhere, and with few if any real accomplishments to boast. (Perhaps not even a single “tangible achievement.”) Horrible “reset” with Russia. And truly horrifying, metastasizing results from various interventions and non-interventions in the Middle East, Africa, and south-central Asia . . . 

Do we really want more of this?

#related#As Hillary Clinton announces another run for the presidency, all the past scandals, controversies, and failures come rushing back to mind, all as a great, big, noxious stew. All of those items listed in those first seven or eight paragraphs above are ineradicable parts of Mrs. Clinton’s legacy. As can happen in a stew, not everything in it is readily identifiable: Most of the examples are Hillary’s work; a very few of them combine facts with old speculations, unprovable but also not disprovable; some of them were technically the work of Clinton aides or associates rather than of the former first lady herself. All of them, however, seem to bubble up from the same cauldron of ideological leftism, rampant dishonesty, desperate lust for pecuniary advantage, disdain for the rules that apply to others, and voracious ambition unwedded to any discernible principle other than, occasionally, that of “we know best.”

Do we really want to go through all this again? And by “all this,” I don’t mean a rehash of these past imbroglios (although that will come as well), but rather the apparently unavoidable predilection of Mrs. Clinton to cut any corner, grab any perk, wield any bludgeon, bend any rule, and punish any adversary while in pursuit of power and wealth. These controversies follow her not because she is unlucky, not because she has enemies, not because she has a scoundrel of a husband, but because she personally lacks ethics, judgment – and, frankly, competence.

Do Americans really want someone as president whose main route to popularity was being a victim of her husband’s serial infidelities? Someone whose Senate career was nearly a blank slate? Someone who has been hectoring us for a full quarter-century, eager to tell us how to live while she herself won’t live by the rules that apply to the rest of us?

This is a toxic brew. Surely there are enough of us who, rather than wishing Hillary Clinton were president, instead wish that she would just go away.

— Quin Hillyer is a contributing editor for National Review Online. Follow him on Twitter: @QuinHillyer.


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