November 17, 2016

Causes of the disaster: The Clinton myth

Sam Smith

Next to the Trump con job that won him the election, one of the greatest myths in American politics  has been the presumed popularity of the Clintons. The Clinton myth was propelled by a Democratic establishment that thought having an Arkansas guy who went to Oxford was about as good as you could get.

When you look at the actual facts, however, a different story comes to the surface. For example, in 1992 Clinton won with only 43% of the vote. If Ross Perot hadn’t been the race it almost certainly would have gone to Bush. In 1996 he did a bit better but still won the approval of less than half of the American voters.

As I wrote back the nineties:
  • Bill Clinton got 43.9% of the vote in 1992, while Michael Dukakis - the victim of another myth as the purportedly worst possible sort of candidate – had gotten 45% in his run. Clinton won a majority in only Arkansas and DC. In only 12 other states was he able to get ever 45%. Dukakis, meanwhile, got over 50% in 11 states and got over 45% in 12 others.

  • Here's what happened to the Democrats under Clinton:

    • GOP seats gained in House after Clinton became president: 48
    • GOP seats gained in Senate after Clinton became president: 8
    • GOP governorships gained after Clinton became president: 11
    • GOP state legislative seats gained since Clinton became president: 1,254 as of 1998
    • State legislatures taken over by GOP after Clinton became president: 9
    • Democrat officeholders who have become Republicans since Clinton became president: 439 as of 1998. Republican officeholders who became Democrats: 3

  • According to the 2000 exit polls:

    • 60% of voters disapproved of Clinton as a person
    • 59% -including some who approved of him - disliked him
    • 68% said he would go down in the history books for his scandals rather than for his leadership
15% of those who had voted for Clinton in 1996 voted for Bush in 2000. In short, Clinton was a far more negative factor to the Democrats in the 2000 race than was Nader. The Washington media, which coddled Clinton from the moment he started running, continued to propagate a myth about his utility that bares little resemblance to the facts.

The figures for Hillary Clinton also raised questions as why supposedly clever politicians thought she was the answer. As Gallup reported before the Democratic convention, “Hillary Clinton's image is at its lowest point in the 24 years of her national career, with 38% of Americans viewing her favorably and 57% unfavorably. Americans' most positive view of Clinton, 67% favorable, came in December 1998. Before last year, her lowest favorable ratings since she became well-known had been 43% in January 1996 and 44% in March 2001.

Part of the problem was that the media failed to report much of the real story about either of the Clintons. Those who reported otherwise were “haters” and anything negative could be ignored.

As a result, liberals who just read pro-Clinton media had little idea of the actual story of the family. For example, I’m still surprised by how few know how deeply Arkansas was into the drug trade when Clinton was governor. It was a place where a drug pilot said he loved to land. When a reporter asked why he gave the example of landing in a field and his pickup being a state trooper in a marked car.

Or check out these HRC facts which never got wide reporting:

FIRST FIRST LADY to come under criminal investigation

FIRST FIRST LADY to almost be indicted according to one of the special prosecutors

NUMBER of Hillary Clinton fundraisers or major backers convicted of, or pleading no contest to, crimes: 9

NUMBER OF TIMES that Hillary Clinton, providing testimony to Congress, said that she didn't remember, didn't know, or something similar: 250

NUMBER OF CLOSE BUSINESS partners of Hillary Clinton who ended up in prison: 3. The Clintons' two partners in Whitewater were convicted of 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy. Hillary Clinton's partner and mentor at the Rose law firm, Webster Hubbell, pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud and tax evasion charges, including defrauding former clients and former partners out of more than $480,000. Hillary Clinton was mentioned 35 times in the indictment.

IN THE 1980s, Hillary Clinton made a $44,000 profit on a $2,000 investment in a cellular phone franchise deal that took advantage of the FCC's preference for locals, minorities and women. The franchise was almost immediately flipped to the cellular giant, McCaw.

HILLARY CLINTON AND HER HUSBAND set up a resort land scam known as Whitewater in which the unwitting bought third rate property 50 miles from the nearest grocery store and, thanks to the sleazy financing, about half the purchasers, many of them seniors, lost their property.

IN 1993 HILLARY CLINTON and David Watkins moved to oust the White House travel office in favor of World Wide Travel, Clinton's source of $1 million in fly-now-pay-later campaign trips that essentially financed the last stages of the campaign without the bother of reporting a de facto contribution. The White House fired seven long-term employees for alleged mismanagement and kickbacks. The director, Billy Dale, charged with embezzlement, was acquitted in less than two hours by the jury.

TWO MONTHS after commencing the Whitewater scheme, Hillary Clinton invested $1,000 in cattle futures. Within a few days she had a $5,000 profit. Before bailing out she earns nearly $100,000 on her investment. Many years later, several economists will calculate that the chances of earning such returns legally were one in 250 million.

IN 1996, Hillary Clinton's Rose law firm billing records, sought for two years by congressional investigators and the special prosecutor were found in the back room of the personal residence at the White House. Clinton said she had no idea how they got there.

DRUG DEALER Jorge Cabrera gave enough to the Democrats to have his picture taken with both Hillary Clinton and Al Gore. Cabrera was arrested in January 1996 inside a cigar warehouse in Dade County, where more than 500 pounds of cocaine had been hidden. He and several accomplices were charged with having smuggled 3,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States through the Keys

IN 2000, Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign returned $22,000 in soft money to a businesswoman linked to a Democratic campaign contribution from a drug smuggler in Havana.

IN AUGUST 2000, Hillary Clinton held a huge Hollywood fundraiser for her Senate campaign. It was very successful. The only problem was that, by a long shot, she didn't report all the money contributed: $800K by the US government's ultimate count in a settlement and $2 million according to the key contributor and convicted con Peter Paul. This is, in election law, the moral equivalent of not reporting a similar amount on your income tax. It is a form of fraud. Hillary Clinton's defense is that she didn't know about it

Despite all this, I endorsed Clinton in this race because I considered it a choice of battlefields, not candidates, and I wanted to preserve the Supreme Court, Medicare, Social Security, and food stamps (just for beginners). But I couldn’t believe that professional politicians had been so dumb to nominate for president as risky a candidate as Hillary Clinton. 

The denial of the true Clinton story by Democrats has been extremely costly and is a major reason we are new faced with Donald Trump.


Anonymous said...

I always read your stuff on the 'progressive'side.While I don't obviously agree with some of your stances,I respect you for being coherent and principled---as this piece I think exemplifies that coherence.I too,am at a loss as to how the Clintons were given the latitude to wreck the Democratic party as long as the verbal palaver was palatable.One might wonder if the GOP in its current state would even exist in its form without them.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, how'd we forget about all that. Why didn't that get mentioned? Because it was too late and the heads of the Democratic party had already made up their minds. Such a bad move - will they learn?

Bill Bolivia said...

Thanks, Sam, for repeating your long list of Clintons' malfeasances and the resulting damage to the nation. Your endorsement--however luke-warm--of the Hillary candidacy had many of us wondering.


Anonymous said...

We have also been told that Hillary is extremely intelligent.
I'm starting to doubt that.
This election appeared to be trump working his tail off to get her elected.
It was like giving her the answers to a test and she still flunked.
I wouldn't be surprised if trump actually voted for her. I voted for Stein
and I felt clean afterwards, haven't felt that good since I voted for Perot.
I am quite cynical that the dems will learn anything from this disaster, I
hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

"bears"--Shoddy writing and/or lack of editing undermine(s) your credibility. --wam

Anonymous said...


Agree TOTALLY! HUBRIS to the MAX was/is still at work. Sad.