Benghzi, Pay for Play, Email Server, Whitewater, Travelgate, Vince Foster Suicide, and several other faux scandals have been used effectively for the past 30 years or so to tarnish the career of Hillary Clinton. The efforts of the political right started long before her husband was elected President of the United States. I don’t know of any woman in politics who has faced more attacks than this woman. That being said, she has pushed through all of them and stands at the precipice of becoming the first woman President of the United States.
Any woman who aspired to the Presidency of the United States was going to face mountains of attacks, innuendo, and claims basically from the “good ole boys club” of political hacks that will do almost anything, and make almost any type of claim to sidetrack her efforts. Any woman who has moved this close to the Presidency was going to have move forward against enormous odds to get this far. The glass ceiling blocking a woman from the Presidency is a mile thick and more of a challenge than most would attempt to crack. Hillary will be the first to crack that glass, and it may be years before another even attempts it. Considering all that she has gone through to reach this point, why would one even try?
I am not voting for her because she is a woman. I am voting for her because she has withstood years of attacks while doing her best to serve others. You see, I don’t hate her, I admire her.
Long ago before she even met Bill Clinton, very intelligent people in her law school days saw her potential. Some even said she could be one whose intelligence, desire to work tirelessly for the less fortunate, servant heart towards children, and drive, could result in a rise within her political party that no woman had ever attempted.
That being said, there would be forces that would do everything in their power to derail her political career. The attacks began early in her career as she gave up prestigious opportunities in Washington D.C. to marry Bill Clinton and take up residence in the State of Arkansas. You need to understand that moving from the hub of all things political in this country, to live in a politically meaningless Southern State with barely 2 million in population was a risk that few would have taken. However, she loved Bill Clinton deeply and was willing to forego immediate political opportunities to be with him in a region of the country she knew nothing about.
Through his time as Arkansas Attorney General and Arkansas Governor, she was there standing with him as a political partner. He was a brilliant politician. She was a brilliant lawyer. As a team of two, they worked together on issues that they were passionate about and became rising stars in a region of the country that basically, no one paid attention to. At first, the population in Arkansas did not accept this Midwestern woman who did not come from among them. As her service to the people of Arkansas continued, most grew to accept her as someone who cared deeply and worked tirelessly.
Forces from the opposite side of the political spectrum in Arkansas never accepted her as anything but an outsider in much the same way as similar forces in Washington D.C. fought to derail “all things Hillary”. At first there were small skirmishes. Eventually, the attack machine of the right grew into a full-blown industry of individuals looking to subvert her every attempt at service. She was never one of them. In that regard, she was an imposter. She was not qualified because she did not come from that bastion of political power in this country, the East Coast Political Elite. (This is true even though her post-graduate studies occurred at Yale University).
One of the things about her that is troublesome to me is that through all of the battles and wars, she developed a penchant for secrecy. Some see it as her being aloof. Others see it as proof that she is hiding something. Those who know her best, see it as a protective device she developed to survive the bombs that she faced because she was Hillary Clinton. I can’t blame her one bit for the distance she keeps in some cases. However, the distance she keeps, and the privacy she desires has been used against her. To some, it disqualifies her. Most who feel that way add this to their already massive array of weapons that they use to try and destroy her.
Hillary has a significant Methodist background. Throughout her life she has used her belief in God as an anchor and a driving force to do things for the disadvantaged children and adults who do not have equal access to the benefits of being an American citizen. Her spiritual journey has developed in her a desire to do good for as many as she can for as long as she can. I will never understand evangelical hatred for Hillary, and the resulting acceptance of Donald Trump. Any evangelical that thinks that Donald Trump represents their spiritual prerogatives is exhibiting a complete blindness to the reality of who he is, and how he treats individuals. To many evangelicals, Donald represents their interests and Hillary is the Devil incarnate. That being said, I have believed for a long time, that evangelical backing of Donald Trump is an example of ones spiritual beliefs being subverted and overcome by ones political beliefs.
Many on the right side of the political spectrum will argue that her supposed illegal activities and her association with Bill Clinton eliminate her from Presidential consideration. No woman in the history of our country has been accused of so much, and shown to be not responsible so often. It has become a “where’s the beef” issue for me. Where is the proof?
In investigation after investigation, proof of illegal behavior has been soundly rejected. Let me give you some examples.
- Whitewater – millions of dollars spent, uncovering of secrecy revealed, political stains deeply imbedded into her persona, and nothing close to illegal ever discovered. In fact, innocence revealed in spite of years of attack. Unfortunately innocence revealed has not done a thing to remove the stain. The Clinton’s lost money in their Whitewater investments. Charges for this fiasco involved them making money on illegal activity. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Yet, there are still individuals who point out that this issue shows a pattern of behavior that indicates criminality. (Or at least is consistent with it). The Whitewater scandal was nothing more than political bullshit. Hurling that bullshit towards them resulted in political stains. Investigation after investigation was shown to be nothing more than attempts to tarnish political careers and keep them from rising to the point where they are now. In that respect, the political right succeeded in creating political stains, but have done nothing to impede political careers.
- Vince Foster Suicide – Vince Foster was a childhood friend of Bill Clinton. He became a brilliant lawyer in Arkansas working with the Rose Law Firm. When Hillary moved to Arkansas she was eventually hired by that firm. Hillary was the first woman lawyer ever hired at Rose. As such she encountered opposition from the “good ole boys” club within the firm, and others within Arkansas. One needs to realize that Arkansas was not the hotbed of progressive thought during this time. Hillary, Vince Foster, and Web Hubbell became close friends and Foster and Hubbell steered Hillary through the maze that she faced as the firms first woman lawyer. Foster followed the Clinton’s to Washington, leaving the region of the country that he loved to serve in the Clinton Whitehouse. Foster was a “fish out of water”. He was a brilliant lawyer who endured incredible attacks from the Washington and National press. Over time he began suffering from a deep depression, largely brought on by the attacks from the political right side of the press who basically spent a decade trying become the next Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein. One day, he closed his briefcase, walked to a park and killed himself. From the time of his suicide on, the scandal machine of the right and the political press, looking to uncover another “Watergate-style” scandal attributed Fosters suicide to any number of issues involving the Clintons. Even the infamous Rush Limbaugh (aka Flush Slimebaugh) spent on air time claiming that Foster was killed by someone and his body dumped in the park where he was found. Innuendo about an affair with Hillary surfaced. It was sickening. In the end, the Clintons were absolved of all the ridiculous claims. It turned out that Foster suffered from a deep depression that resulted in his taking his life. Even in death, the attacks from the right did not stop. Conspiracy theorists today still make the claims that the Clintons were somehow involved. In truth, a man, loved and trusted by the Clinton’s killed himself. End of story.
- Benghazi – Benghazi is a tragedy. It is an embarrassment. It is a stain on the soul of America. The actual events are heartbreaking. The buck stops with Hillary Clinton, just as the buck stops with George Bush regarding the events of September 11th in New York City and the Pentagon. Political leaders in positions of power have huge responsibilities. That being said, the claims from the political right regarding Hillary’s responsibilities have been proven by at least seven investigations to be false. She did not order the military to stand down. That was an immediate lie propagated by those looking to take political advantage of the murder of Americans. While the causes were somewhat unclear during the initial evaluations of the events, early attributions of causes do not in any way create some kind of legal liability. Individuals who work in the Department of State are in constant danger as they serve our country in foreign lands. Our State Department personnel have been being murdered for a century. This was no different. However, no one is pointing a finger at the Republicans in Congress who refused to increase State Department funding for protection of State Department personnel. No one is saying much about the fact that the company that was hired to guard the embassy in Benghazi was never qualified and only chosen because limited funds were available. Requests for increased funding for the State Department fell on deaf ears even when such requests were made by Condelezza Rice and Colin Powell when they served in the same position as Secretary of State. If Congress refused prior requests, they certainly were not going to approve request from the Devil herself. No funds, limited protection, dead State Department personnel. That being said, the attack in Benghazi was nothing new. During the George W. Bush Presidency, 66 Americans died at U.S. State department facilities. During that time, there were 20 instances of terrorist attacks that killed at least one person in U.S. Embassies, Consulates and against traveling diplomatic personnel. Benghazi was a heartbreaking event for the country and especially for State Department personnel. One has to ask why the Benghazi attack resulted in at least 7 investigations and no similar events that occurred during the Bush Administration were ever investigated. Nothing defines the political right’s hatred for “All Things Clinton” more than the fact that she has been accused of every possible crime with millions of tax dollars being spent in an effort to keep her from the Presidency. The Benghazi investigations, once again, proved no more liability for Clinton than they would have discovered had they investigated any of the Bush-era attacks in an effort to destroy the sitting Secretary of State. Members of the committee responsible for the latest investigation admitted during the investigation that it was purely a political witch-hunt designed to ruin Hillary’s chances of becoming President. That is not to in any way diminish the deaths of those who were killed. That being said, when she is elected on Tuesday, the money, the time, and the effort will once again fail to derail a remarkable career.
- Email Server – I will not say that I am happy with the fact that Hillary decided to use a personal email server. It was dumb. It was short-sighted. It was ignorant. Just as dumb, short-sighted, and ignorant as similar efforts by Colin Powell. I understand that there may be differences between the type of servers and the protection they provide (or don’t provide). However, the claims made by the right regarding this are, once again, far outreaching the facts as we know them. The “email scandal” has received more cable news coverage than all policy issues combined. The following quote from Matthew Yglesias’ November 4th article on the Vox.com website sums up the email server issue. “ Clinton broke no laws according to the FBI itself. Her setup gave her no power to evade federal transparency laws beyond what anyone who has a personal email account of any kind has. Her stated explanation for her conduct is entirely believable, fits the facts perfectly, and is entirely plausible to anyone who doesn’t simply start with the assumption that she’s guilty of something.” Deleting 33 thousand emails did not break the law and in fact was part of her attempts to meet the demands made upon her. She was ordered to turn over any work related emails. She had her lawyers go through each email and delete the ones that were not work related. She then turned over all work related emails. This of course does not assuage those that always start with the assumption that she is guilty of something. For me, and obviously for the FBI, her actions did not reach the level of behavior that can be considered criminal. The comparison between the top-secret information on this server and that of others who have been thrown in jail for “similar” behavior doesn’t hold water and you know it doesn’t. If the FBI says they found no evidence of criminal intent, they found no evidence of intent that would be considered a crime. It was not her shining moment. However, it never reached the level of action that disqualifies her for me. Others obviously have a different opinion, and they have the right, just as I have the right not to let this dumb event disqualify her.
- The Clinton Foundation – This is a remarkable group of people who work world-wide to do nothing but good for less fortunate populations. Their goals are remarkable. Their efforts are to be commended. There has been no evidence of pay-for-play in any investigation that has occurred to this point. This however, has not prevented Trump or his paid surrogates to make outrageous claims about the foundation and the way the Clintons operate it. However, Trump surrogates consistently make outrageous claims about the Clintons pocketing huge sums of money and selling access. Those claims are nothing more than the failing, flailing efforts of a political operation that is about to be put out of business by the American people. The contrast between the efforts and goals of the Clinton Foundation and the Trump Foundation is remarkable. There is no comparison and most of us find it amusing that charges are brought forward by individuals who represent a man who spends $20,000 of Trump Foundation funds for a painting of himself to be hung in one of his properties. I guess it would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad.
- Bill Clinton Affairs – Does anyone else on this planet find it troublesome that a man who has divorced two women, and had a very public affair during at least one of the marriages, attacks Hillary for making the decision to stay with her husband after the Monica Lewinski affair was revealed? Donald Trump attacking a woman who forgave the husband that she loves deeply is the epitome of hypocrisy. The ignorance of such an attack is more proof that Donald Trump has an ignorant side in him that can’t be overcome with 3 AM tweets and hats that say “Make America Great Again.” He is, quite probably, “The Most Disgusting Man In The World”.
This one is pretty long but I felt the topic deserved the time. I live in Nevada, one of the “Swing States” in the Tuesday election. Living in California for all those years tended to make my vote somewhat unimportant because of the nature of the electorate there. I wouldn’t want to be a Republican voting in California any more than I would want to be a Democrat voting in Kansas. My vote in Nevada is made important by the fact that whoever wants to become President pretty much must win the vote here. I take my votes more seriously now than I used to just because of that fact. At this point, I can predict with fairly high certainty that Clinton is going to win in Nevada. Democrats have a large advantage in registered voters in Clark County and throughout the State. Early voting tends to favor Democrats and this year 57,000 individuals voted on the last day of early voting. I will not be surprised if at least 50% of the votes tallied in Nevada were early votes. All of my family voted early. Now we sit back and watch, nervously awaiting the election results.
While I am not happy with some things about Hillary Clinton, I find no truth in the statement that neither candidate is qualified. One is qualified and one is not. In fact, Hillary can be considered one of the most qualified individuals every to run for President of the United States. The vast majority of complaints about Hillary come from extreme right-wing and are nothing more than efforts to eliminate her and are recognized as such by a significant number of American voters. I have listed many reasons why I will not support Donald Trump. This blog post is about one more of those reasons. I don’t hate Hillary Clinton.
I have one more post that will be posted on Monday. It is my number one reason for not supporting Donald Trump. It is not a reason that most Hillary supporters even recognize. But to me, it is more important than all others combined. I look forward to putting it together and sharing it with you on Monday.