Column: Yes, just like Trump, Hillary Clinton is a terribly flawed candidate
One of the more frequent complaints about many conservative writers these days, me included, is that we spend too many column inches attacking the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
The common refrain: If you spent half the time and effort you spend assailing Trump on Clinton instead, he’d be winning by a landslide. Hah. Not even writers can work miracles.
Trump’s poor performance on the campaign trail and in the polls is a disaster almost entirely of his making. Pointing out his outrageous statements, pitiful campaign strategy and total lack of a policy platform is a lament of the party’s current state, not an attempt to assist Clinton in what is shaping up to be her inevitable return to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
But it is fair to complain that far more ink is spent blasting Trump than Clinton.
Until Trump’s rise during the primaries, Clinton’s weaknesses were widely celebrated among conservatives and nervously downplayed by her supporters.
A generic GOP ticket repeatedly beat her by significant margins in polls. Ohio Gov. John Kasich was beating her by as much as 12 points in April and May.
In addition to being a horribly uncharismatic bureaucrat with her husband’s penchant for going where the polls tell her, Clinton is plagued with a lifetime of controversies and scandals, some of which continue to unfold. She’s your garden variety corrupt politician.
Yet one would be hard-pressed to find a candidate who is more entrenched, more aloof and more entitled. As conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote, “She and her husband operate as if they are some medieval royal family, above the petty rules and customs that govern the little people.”
This reality was confirmed most recently by the Democratic presidential nominee’s release of her tax returns.
According to the filings, of the more than $1 million she and her husband gave to charity last year, 96 percent went to her family’s foundation — as in the foundation that pays the salaries of her husband and daughter.
The remaining $42,000 went to a nonprofit that organizes a golf tournament with the Clinton Foundation. Not only is that highly incestuous, it doesn’t seem particularly charitable to support the nonprofit organization that pays your bills.
Never mind that the Clinton Foundation is already so fraught with controversy that even The Boston Globe editorialized this week that the organization should start winding down immediately.
“(Clinton) promised to maintain a separation between her official work and the foundation, but recently released emails written by staffers during her State Department tenure make clear that the supposed partition was far from impregnable. … If the Clinton Foundation continues to cash checks from foreign governments and other individuals seeking to ingratiate themselves with a President Hillary Clinton, it would be unacceptable.”
Not only does Clinton seem to believe the rules don’t apply to her, she also apparently thinks the same about objective truths — like the fact that FBI Director James Comey, while failing to indict her, testified before Congress that she lied to the American public about her private server not containing classified emails.
Clinton has continued to insist that Comey’s testimony affirmed her narrative of innocence, a claim Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler quickly debunked. And The Atlantic’s Ron Fournier — far from a conservative pundit — implored “honorable Democrats” to “please, for the sake of the country, tell her: Stop lying.”
Fournier worries that Clinton’s dishonesty will drive independent and undecided voters into Trump’s camp — an equally terrifying fate. That seems unlikely.
After all, as political satirist P.J. O’Rourke, wrote in his unenthusiastic endorsement of Clinton, “(Clinton) is the second-worst thing that could happen to America. “Better the devil you know than the Lord of the Flies on his own 757.”
Cynthia M. Allen is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
(c) 2016 Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Visit Fort Worth Star-Telegram at www.star-telegram.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.