Politics & Policy

Will Incompetence Save America from President Hillary?

Clinton speaks at a rally in Charlotte, N.C., July 5, 2016. (Reuters photo: Brian Snyder)
What is she supposed to be good at, exactly?

Hillary Clinton is obviously unwell.

We don’t know just how unwell she is because she keeps lying about it. Over the past several weeks, here is the chain of explanation for Hillary’s coughing attacks and frequent absences from the campaign trail: She’s fine; she has allergies; she’s overheated; she’s fine again — see, she even hugged a child!; oops, she had pneumonia; there was a bug that ravaged the Hillary campaign, and she was brave enough to soldier it out; she’s fine.

Also, Hillary informed Americans that she has only fainted “twice that I can recall,” then added, “It is something that has occurred a few times over the course of my life, and I’m aware of it and usually can avoid it.” Bill Clinton then helpfully added on Charlie Rose, “frequently — well, not frequently, rarely — but on more than one occasion, over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing happened to her when she got severely dehydrated.”

If that seems somewhat opaque to you, welcome to the crowd.

In the absence of honest information, conspiracy theories have bloomed: Hillary’s got Parkinson’s disease; she’s suffering from a primary disease and the pneumonia is a secondary infection; she’s traveling with covert nurses and doctors; she’s Patient Zero in a zombie outbreak.

RELATED: Hillary Humiliated Her Flacks with Her Health Deception

But nothing is too implausible now that it’s clear Hillary was lying again. Conspiracy theories cannot flourish without a cover-up. And Hillary’s knee-jerk tendency toward Nixonian cover-ups means that her campaign is plagued with hints of scandal. Even the media, forced into a shotgun marriage with her, now feel uncomfortable with Hillary. Chris Matthews of MSNBC, Hillary acolyte and The Man Who Combs His Hair With His Shoe™, stated that Hillary has a “propensity to release news only when releasing it had grown to be the only option,” and ripped her for her strategy of “rolling disclosure, admitting to the truth only when the truth is out in the public already.” Former top Obama adviser David Axelrod lamented, “It’s not health, it’s stealth, that is the problem that she has to deal with.” Even the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, who spent last week asking whether we could stop talking about Hillary Clinton’s health, now acknowledges that her health is a real issue, criticizing her “obsession with secrecy driven by paranoia of the media.” Cillizza, a Clinton booster, concluded, “Always a lean toward secrecy and obscuring rather than openness and transparency — amid a bevy of poll numbers that show somewhere between 55 percent and 65 percent of the American public do not believe the words ‘honest’ or ‘trustworthy’ apply to her.”

All of this has ramifications beyond the election. Say, for the sake of argument, that Hillary becomes president. Many commentators worry deeply that she’ll be a continuation of Obama’s legacy — an ideologue unchained, free to run roughshod over the Constitution. But the chances of that prediction’s coming true depend not on her radical leftism, but on her competence. She must be good at perverting institutions. She must be skilled at manipulating public opinion. She must be capable of leveraging the public and the media.

She isn’t.

Her one major initiative in American political life, Hillarycare, failed so dramatically that Republicans turned it into a historic congressional revival.

Hillary is far more Jimmy Carter than Barack Obama — she’ll likely be seriously damaging, but there’s a solid shot she won’t be transformative, thanks to her own ineptitude. She’s far-left, to be sure, but she’s awful at the game of politics. Her one major initiative in American political life, Hillarycare, failed so dramatically that Republicans turned it into a historic congressional revival. As a senator, she accomplished nothing. She’s so incompetent that Obama himself took State Department policy out of her hands when she was secretary of state, instead delegating it to various outsiders, including John Kerry. She’s so incompetent that she almost lost in the primaries to a near-octogenarian loonbag socialist.

Moreover, Hillary is likely to enter office with the lowest approval rating of any new president in modern history. The current titleholder is her husband, who began his tenure at around 55 percent. The last time Hillary broke 50 percent in the favorables was September 2014, when she’d been out of the public eye for a long stretch; she hasn’t been in positive territory since April 2015. Americans dislike her, suspect her, and believe she lies to them.

Imagine an unpopular Hillary Clinton entering office on the heels of the media’s beloved first black president, after having barely scraped by the wildly unpopular Donald Trump, amidst scandals ranging from her health cover-up to her private e-mail server. Imagine her facing a Republican House and (possibly) a Republican Senate. Does this sound like a recipe for transformational change?

#related#Now, that doesn’t mean Hillary won’t be dangerous to liberty? She will. She’s a committed leftist, and she’ll have the power of the White House. But Barack Obama was far less transformational in his second term than in his first — and much of his transformational change in his second term came through public-relations mastery on issues like race and immigration. Hillary’s a terrible speaker, a worse interviewer, and a general annoyance to most Americans.

None of this means we should be sanguine about a Clinton presidency; far from it. But it is worth noting that a strong Republican opposition to Hillary Clinton — if Republicans actually found their intestinal fortitude — will likely meet with more success than a mediocre Republican opposition to Barack Obama did.

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