It is not unusual for political campaigns to make innuendoes indirectly suggesting that someone is immoral, improper, or has done something horribly wrong. It is unusual though, for a campaign’s supporters to blatantly accuse an opponent of the same party of being dishonest, a lying liar, and an evil person who cannot be trusted.
Defaming a candidate of the opposition party is one thing, if it is based on policy proposals or a character flaw borne out of past actions that predict dangerous tendencies. However, to demean a candidate’s character as dishonest and untrustworthy based on innuendo and dishonest proclamations, especially a candidate of the same party is despicable and a typically Republican ploy. It is why the perpetual claims from too many on the “Left” that Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy are beyond reprehensible.
Here is the thing; a fair number of people on the left are unaware of; the lion’s share of what they “think” they know about Hillary Clinton’s reputation “is the result of a quarter century of visceral GOP hatred.” As no small number of pundits and political observers have noted, if a liberal thinks Hillary Clinton is corrupt and dishonest, they are paying Republicans huge dividends for their quarter century of manufactured anti-Clinton talking points; not reality.
As noted in a recent Atlantic article, “no other political figures in American history have spawned the creation of a permanent multi-million-dollar cottage industry devoted to attacking the Clintons.” Now, many on the left have embraced the GOP talking points and are gleeful in doing the heavy lifting for Clinton’s Republican political enemies. Enemies who have “manufactured every kind of conspiratorial scandal under the sun to hang around Hillary’s neck.”
Republicans have always despised former president Bill Clinton, “but Hillary always got the worst of it” because she is a woman and led the 1993 crusade to enact universal healthcare; an historical fact that many on the left refuse to believe and thinks is a lie and one Republicans will never forget.
Even though there is little difference between the two Democratic candidates, there may be valid personal reasons one opposes Hillary Clinton in 2016. But what is happening is that those reasons are increasingly about “the personality that’s been manufactured and sold to the Left by the GOP, not policy issues.”
The reality is that Hillary Clinton was one of the most liberal members of the Senate during her tenure, and it is that history as a progressive crusader that so motivated the GOP, and now the pretend Left, to destroy her character in the first place.
As noted here, many of the conservative, and now the Left’s, attacks on Clinton are the product of “rank institutionalized sexism” focusing on her character they claim is inherently dishonest. The implication is that there is no possible way any woman can achieve anything of note without being dishonest and untrustworthy; except that according to expert “truth seekers,” Hillary Clinton is not dishonest.
For example, the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Politifact” gave Clinton the best truth-telling record of any of the 2016 presidential candidates in either party. She easily crushes Republicans Kasich, Cruz and Trump, and Politifact rates her as more truthful than her Democratic opponent.
In fact, the former executive editor of the New York Times and a renowned investigative journalist who is no friend of Hillary or Bill Clinton, Jill Abramson, penned an op-ed in the Guardian and declared that “Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.” Ms. Abramson is uniquely qualified to assess Clinton’s candidacy and character after spending the past 25 years as an editor and investigative journalist carefully covering “every phony scandal that has enveloped the Clintons.”
Jill Abramson laid out her “yardstick for measuring a politician’s honesty” that includes “investigating connections between money (donations, loans, Super Pac funds, speaking fees, foundation ties) and a candidate’s official actions and lies made in the heat of an election.” Abramson’s conclusion is that “there are no instances of where Hillary Clinton did the bidding of a donor or benefactor.” It is something her opponent cannot truthfully claim, and yet is regarded by those claiming Clinton is dishonest as the epitome of integrity and honesty.
Abramson ends her opinion piece claiming that “Clinton has been mainly constant on the issues” and particularly noted that evolving, or changing positions over the course of time, is not dishonesty or lying. She also said that Clinton’s proclivity to protect her and her family’s privacy contributes to a sense of not being transparent, but that there is a double standard for anyone to insist on her “purity.”
As some Democrats know, both of the Democrats seeking the nomination are decent human beings and fundamentally honest liberal politicians. Still, there is this contention that Hillary Clinton is inherently bad because she is part of “the dreaded establishment” and its shill. Hillary Clinton is no more an establishment shill than any other male politician, and yet she is the only Democrat being assailed as dishonest and untrustworthy by other alleged Democrats. Even her opponent is part of “the establishment” if “establishment” means having to work within the U.S. government’s system of rules and are subject to its bottom line.
Hillary Clinton may not be every “liberal’s” ideal candidate, but she is not “the grotesque self-parody that a quarter-century of Republican ‘vetting’ has reduced her to” for an increasing number of voters calling themselves Democrats. As former congressman Barney Franks opined, “all of the controversies that have dogged Clinton’s entire career are either dirty lies, whole-cloth creations, or convenient manipulations by the GOP.” And now those GOP creations and manipulations are being embraced and propagated by many on the so-called Left; it leaves one to wonder who is really being dishonest and untrustworthy.