Hillary Clinton wants to have it both ways. She wants voters to support her because they’d like a rerun of her husband’s presidency (today remembered as an era of relative peace and prosperity), but she doesn’t want to have to answer for her husband’s personal conduct and character.
Yet Bill Clinton’s treatment of women — and the many other scandals and ethical lapses that plagued his presidency and now post-presidency — are a legitimate and important issue for voters to consider. Hillary Clinton wants to dismiss all such questions as dirty, tabloid politics meant to distract voters from real issues. Yet the Clinton scandals, both his and hers, speak to the candidate’s character and to what voters could expect from a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Bill Clinton isn’t just a serial adulterer and Hillary the long-suffering wife. His myriad affairs involved women in his employment, creating situations that clearly met the standard definition of creating a hostile work environment.
He lied to his wife and the American public about his affairs. He also lied to the lawyers taking his testimony for a sexual harassment lawsuit. That isn’t just a personal matter, but a legal one. Bill Clinton didn’t want to have to live under the laws that govern the rest of the American people. He wanted to be able to sign tough sexual harassment laws and claim to be women’s champion, but didn’t want to actually have to follow those rules himself.
Hillary Clinton wants to enjoy similar double standards. She wants the public to applaud her as a feminist trailblazer and believe her tweets about the need to believe all women who say they were sexual assaulted. Apparently, it didn’t even occur to her that the public would notice the disconnect between her vacuous sloganeering and her very public, personal life. She meant, of course, that women should be believed when they accuse men of sexual assault — except for all those bimbos who say they were mistreated by her Bill.
The Clinton’s belief that the laws are for the little people — not elites like them — doesn’t just pertain to the arena of sexual harassment and the treatment of women.
This is also the core scandal of Hillary Clinton’s email system. Sure, she signed the forms pledging to follow the laws and protocols for handling classified materials and record keeping as secretary of state, but she didn’t think anyone would really expect her — Madame Secretary and the former First Lady! — to comply.
Undoubtedly, she wouldn’t hesitate to punish any State Department minion or other government bureaucrat who similarly broke the rules. Yet she appears amazed, annoyed even, that anyone would think that she should also have to bother with such grating encumbrances.
She doesn’t believe she should have to respond to requests for information from Congress or take seriously the possibility that a foreign government might have hacked her unsecured private server and uncovered national secrets, putting people’s lives at risk.
Hillary Clinton also wants the American people to buy the lines in her campaign speeches about cracking down on Wall Street and corporate cronyism. She expects the media and voters not to ask any questions about the millions of dollars showered on her family personally by bankers and corporate heads, let alone by foreign governments. Americans are expected to trust that her family isn’t influenced by mere matters of fortune.
Undoubtedly, Hillary Clinton thinks the federal government needs vast new powers to crack down on other people’s businesses and temper the role that greed, influence and money play in society. But don’t foolishly expect that she and her family would be subject to the same laws and restrictions.
American voters are rightly fed up with a government system that appears rigged to benefit politically connected elites at the expense of average citizens. The Clintons want voters to believe that they are the cure to such a system, rather than one of its chief architects and beneficiaries. Voters should see through this and recognize the fundamental dishonesty and elitism that infects both Hillary and her husband, and would make for an unappealing president.