Advertisements

Yet Another Clinton Comeback

Unless you’re the politically obsessed sort who reads such publications as The Hill, you might not have noticed that Hillary Clinton has lately been making a comeback. Although we’re usually not inclined to offer any advice to the Democratic Party, we will suggest for the sake of the rest of the country that they nip this in the bud.
Over her long career as First Lady and Senator and Secretary of State and long-presumed First Woman President of the United States, Clinton has never done much good for her party. Her dutiful performance as the wronged but loyal life wife during President Bill Clinton’s various scandals helped him end the hated Reagan-Bush era of Republican administrations, and somehow didn’t affect her reputation as a feminist heroine, but he was still hobbled enough that eight years of yet another Bush ensued. A brief tenure in the Senate seat she carpet-bagged her way into was utterly forgettable, as was the first presidential campaign she lost to a previously obscure Illinois Senator of even shorter tenure, which is more than she could say for her disastrous four years as Secretary of State, and that so weighed her down with accumulated scandals that her long presumed ascension to First Woman President was thwarted. Worse yet, as far any Democrat is concerned, it resulted in President Donald Trump.
The humiliation was such that for the past several months it has forced Clinton into political exile, reportedly wandering the woods around her upstate New York mansion, and all the political attention has been focused on Trump. So far this is working out quite well for the Democrats, with Trump’s approval ratings well underwater in every poll and all the pundits and late night comics and other Democratic partisans reveling in it, and now seems an especially impropitious time for a comeback. The only Democrats that The Hill can find to endorse the idea are the former Democratic officials who once owed their careers to the Clintons and went down with them, such as former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, while pretty much most of otherwise-divided Republican Party is still ready to join in the chants of “lock her up.”
There’s already plenty of Trump fiascos and brewing scandals to keep the partisan press and late comics busy, but that was also true throughout the campaign, and back then all the Clinton fiascos and well-established scandals were enough to at least even things out. The questions about the Clintons in general and the obnoxiousness of Hillary in particular kept the Democrats on the defensive, riled up the vast majority of Republicans enough to swallow their considerable doubts about their own candidate, and with the resulting political equation spread just right across the electoral map it got Trump elected. Since then Trump’s fiascos and brewing scandals have been judged on their own damning merits, rather in the comparison to Clinton’s, and the Democrats would be advised to keep staying the hell out of the way.
Besides, none of the Democrats we know personally or hear in the media have any lingering affection for Clinton, or even for her husband’s once beloved but now derided administration, and they all seem ready to move on to some even further-left agenda they haven’t yet settled on. Given the continuing deep and visceral hatred of pretty much all Republicans, who still have a lingering desire and plausible legal case to “lock her up,” her continued presence in the news only provides a reason to overlook the latest thing Trump has “tweeted” or failed to deliver. By the next election Clinton will be the oldest newly-inaugurated president ever, surpassing the record currently held by Trump, so she hardly seems a viable candidate even by current Democratic standards, and it’s hard to see what good she’ll do as a senior stateswoman of the party.
It’s tough to bow off the public stage, or so we’re told, but it seems the most selfless move for Clinton to make. She could devote the rest of her days to quiet and public service in atonement for her past loud years of self-enrichment, which we’re told can be quite gratifying, and it would do not only the Democrats but also the rest of us a lot of good.

— Bud Norman

Advertisements

Getting Richer By Comparison

There is a certain perverse satisfaction, it must be confessed, in reading about the financial difficulties of the formerly rich and still famous. On a surprisingly regular basis we come across reports of some absurdly well-remunerated athlete or entertainer heading to bankruptcy court with liabilities exceeding assets by so many millions of dollars, and it always makes our penurious state seem more tolerable to know that at least we’re better off than that poor schmuck by so many millions of dollars. Over on the business pages we will often find consolation that our financial position is healthier by billions of dollars than that of iconic corporations, or some large cities, and we sometimes get the impression that we’re wealthier than the entire airline industry.
Not one of these stories has ever produced such an overpowering sense of schadenfreude, however, as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee recently admitting that “We’re in the red.”
The always-entertaining Debbie Wasserman Schultz made the admission in a recent fund-raising e-mail, telling her party’s ever-loyal donors that “The cardinal sin in campaigns is to sit on money — which is why we spent every last penny we had in 2012 (and then some) to make sure the election went our way.” Without specifying how much “then some” is, Wasserman Schultz explains that a failure to go into debt might have resulted in a President Mitt Ryan, Vice President Paul Ryan, and Rep. Allen West, as if these nightmarish outcomes would justify any profligacy. Democrats are notoriously susceptible to the argument that only massive debt can ward off all sorts of catastrophes, so Wasserman Schultz’s frank confession of party’s fiscal irresponsibility probably makes for an effective fund-raising appeal, but she might not realize how much it warms a Republican heart. After all the whining about the insidious influence of corporate money on the elections, and all the pining for the federally-funded election schemes that Barack Obama threw away to win his races, it’s refreshing to hear the Democrats boast about how they won by out-spending the opposition on borrowed money.
In a related development, Wasserman Schultz was also reassuring her party’s faithful that future fund-raising and fund-borrowing efforts won’t be hampered by the formidable competition of Obama’s very own Organizing for Action organization, which is basically his re-election campaign going on forever. Other Democratic poobahs are less sanguine about it, with one DNC member telling the McClatchy syndicate that “There’s only so much money to go around in Democratic circles,” but one wonders about the party bona-fides of anyone who doubts the infinite nature of money.
In what has to be considered a completely unrelated development, the president has reportedly proclaimed April as the month to “teach young people” how to “budget responsibly.” The story went on April Fool’s Day, so at first we were skeptical its veracity, but the White House web site with the proclamation of “National Financial Capability Month” sure looks official. At the very least it looks expensive.

— Bud Norman