Quote of the Day:
“Younger women know a female will become president in their lifetime; many of them don’t think it has to be or even should be Hillary.”
–John Fund quoting an unidentified guest at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
I am not a fan of identity politics, but if I were, right about now I’d be asking: Is Mrs. Clinton the most suitable candidate for the honor of being the nation’s first female president.
With women making up half the population, is it just possible that there are other possibilities, if not in 2016 in 2020?
There is an intense cynicism about Mrs. Clinton running as the hope of women after she has tamped down any chance that a woman will challenge her for her party’s nomination. There is also a cynicism about the ethics of the Clintons and their traditional way of combating accusations of ethical lapses (which is smearing other people, currently Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer). Bret Stephens captures the breathtaking cynicism of Camp Clinton this and wonders if it will spread to the rest of the country this morning in the Wall Street Journal.
Recently I wrote a column about Hillary Clinton’s method of lying: bald deceit sold to liberals with a wink-and-nod as the price of advancing a progressive agenda in this bigoted country of ours. Several readers wrote me to object that the mendacity I ascribed to Mrs. Clinton applied equally to Republicans.
Maybe. But what was striking about these critics is that none of them bothered to rebut the point that Mrs. Clinton is a habitual liar who treats truthfulness in politics the way a calorie-counting diner might treat hollandaise sauce on steak: to be kept strictly on the side or dribbled on in measured doses. Her lying has become as much a given in the liberal mind as Bill Clinton’s womanizing: He does his thing, she does hers.
Get over it.
All of which means that Mrs. Clinton’s presidential bid is an exercise in—and a referendum on—cynicism, partly hers but mainly ours. Democrats who nominate Mrs. Clinton will transform their party into the party of cynics; an America that elects Mrs. Clinton as its president will do so as a nation of cynics. Is that how we see, or what we want for, ourselves?
This is what the 2016 election is about. You know already that if Mrs. Clinton runs for president as an Elizabeth Warren-style populist she won’t mean a word of it, any more than she would mean it if she ran as a ’90s-style New Democrat or a ’70s-style social reformer. The real Hillary, we are asked to believe, is large and contains multitudes.
In other words, she’s singing a Song of Herself. She will say, do, and be pretty much anything to get elected. And the rest of us are supposed to fall in line because we prefer our politics to be transactional not principled, our politicians to be opportunists not idealists, and our national creed to be “do what you gotta do” not “upon this rock.” This is what might be called the Clinton Bargain: You can always count on their self-interest trumping other considerations, so you never have to fear that they can’t be bought.
Stephens says that the only question is who is doing the buying. We’ve already learned about a deal that put money in the Clinton coffers but gave control of twenty percent of the United States uranium to a company now controlled by Russia. If the officials who signed off on this deal weren’t influenced by personal financial considerations, it is even more flabbergasting that they made this deal that is harmful to American interests.