Despite all the media hype, that’s still an open question. The red carpet to the White House has practically been unfurled right in front of her feet. The independent Super PAC Ready for Hillary is running a grassroots bus tour around the country. Talking heads continually reference her as a top-tier candidate. The lack of any recognizable Democrat challengers also gives Hillary an open shot at the Oval Office.
From here, it looks like smooth sailing for the former First Lady except for one thing: public adoration. In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Hillary has only a 44% approval rating. This is down from 69% when she left her post at the State Department in 2013.
The reason for this drop in esteem is the number of recent mishaps on the tour for her new book “Hard Choices.” Instead of coming off as a personable champion of the middle class, Ms. Clinton appears elitist and supercilious to the unwashed masses. The draconian restrictions for getting her John Hancock alone reek of a sense of royalty. And there are the various gaffes since starting her grand procession through bookstores. First, in an interview with Diane Sawyer she claimed to be “dead-broke” when her and Bill left the White House. Then she attempted to clarify by stating they weren’t that “well-off.”
After fleecing taxpayers out of millions of dollars for eight years, the idea that the Clintons were facing destitution is as believable as Justin Bieber finding God. Presidents cultivate connections while in office to guarantee lifetime revenue upon leaving. A steady stream of six figure speaking fees could keep any family living comfortably. But that didn’t stop Hillary’s woe-is-me, farcical attempt at appealing to the everyman.
With such a cloud of pompousness surrounding her, how in the world could self-identifying liberals endorse someone with lucrative ties to Goldman Sachs? The answer is that most progressive voters don’t care much for principle or scruples. Politics is their means to give themselves goodies and special treatment.
The sellout to the Clinton dynasty is obvious if you look at her rapid change on the most pressing issue of the century: gay marriage. If you listen to the average lefty, the fight for marriage “equality” is akin to the civil rights struggle, accept without the siccing of dogs on peaceful marchers. In their view, it’s a moralistic struggle with the winds of history at their back.
The only issue is that Hillary, who stands ready to inherit the tiara of progressivism, didn’t believe in gay nuptials until just last year. When recently asked about her egalitarian awakening in an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, she was quick to deny her change of heart was due to political practicality. Gross pressed hard to see if Clinton could maintain her composure and her original story. In true conniving form, Hillary batted down each question while calling it “flat out wrong” to assert that she’s in favor of gay marriage for “political reasons.” As the old saying goes, you should never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied, and you should only believe a Clinton’s sincerity when there is no chance for political advantage involved.
Andrew Sullivan also brings attention to the fact that Hillary passively approved of anti-gay legislation under her husband’s presidency. While Mr. Clinton was in office, the federal government saw fit to disenfranchise gay members in the armed services, ban certain travel for people with HIV, and encode the Defense of Marriage Act – a federal non-recognition of same-sex marriages – into law. If any Republican pushed for that kind of legislation today, the gay mafia would have themselves a couple of scalps. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf asks the million dollar question:
“Would the subset of Democrats who thought 2008 opposition to gay marriage should prevent a man from becoming CEO in 2013 really support the 2015 presidential campaign of a woman who openly opposed gay marriage until last year?”
The answer is, again, of course! However Democrat voters feel about gay marriage is irrelevant to having Team Jackass come out on top. The right to marriage may be an easily accessible truncheon with which to bash conservatives, but it’s not something any progressive will die on the hill for.
The same goes for Hillary’s stint as a lawyer and her one-time defense of a rape suspect. The Washington Free Beacon recently brought attention to audio files detailing how Hillary belittled the testimony of a 12-year-old girl while exonerating Thomas Alfred Taylor, who stood accused of raping her. Clinton later admitted that she knew Taylor was guilty, but her job as an attorney required her to give the best “legal defense possible.”
Just imagine: if any far-right politician were running for office with this kind of history, the shrill social media warriors at Salon.com and Huffington Post would have an aneurysm. But since future Queen Hillary Rodham did the dirty deed, all is forgiven. Writing at the radical femi-dominance outlet Jezebel, Erin Gloria Ryan actually offers a defense of Clinton by claiming that career-wise, she “was in a pretty awful spot.” Ryan even implies the justice system was too sexist to be just, and that any right-winger would be much worse in Hillary’s heels anyway. So while her actions might be worthy of criticism, misogynist patriarchy is always the real villain.
Anything to ensure Hillary gets as much support as possible come November 2016.
Ever since Marx’s inane and contradictory theories on wealth and privilege, the left has been intellectually bankrupt. Victimology is über alles. Political parties stir up what Irving Kristol correctly called “unappeasable indignation” to win elections. Hillary is going to bank on the left’s envious rage to court their votes – even as she governs as a corporatist Antoinette. There’s little doubt she’ll cash in big.
Clinton ends her insufferably boring new memoir by declaring, “The time for another hard choice will come soon enough.” Liberal voters, despite their bellyaching, won’t have a tough choice to make at the polls. Should the former first lady’s name be at the top of the ballot, they’ll punch it faster than you can say “Monica.” In the end, politics is a team sport where nobody wins but the political class. The little people cast their vote, thinking it brings change and relief. Mencken had the average voter horde nailed when he called it a “mob” that’s “incapable of weighing ideas” and “whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion.”
These are the people who will vote in droves for Hillary Clinton. They’ll hold their nose and vote for the donkey candidate because they know of no other option.
James E. Miller is editor-in-chief of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada.
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