Preface: I’m not going to bother pointing out the obvious about Trump and his supporters, nor harp on the fact that the man used both “fuck” and “pussy” in recent speeches. Nothing has changed regarding the national embarrassment of his ugly candidacy, nor the utter idiocy of anyone who would be willing to have him by the face of the United States of America. If there are any readers here who support him, they have the good sense to sit silently in the Ethics Alarms cellar with Justice Scalia’s metaphorical bag over their heads. This post remains the verdict on Trump here. It’s five months old, and nothing has changed. Please circulate it to your dumbest friends.
Most of the Ethics Alarms posts about Hillary Clinton’s atrocious ethics and untrustworthy character have focused on her influence peddling, her conflicts of interest, her hypocrisy and her dishonesty. I keep hearing and reading desperate Democrats nonetheless rationalizing their supporting Clinton because of her alleged competence. We are seeing, right now, how she responds to adversity, stress, competition and crisis. What we are seeing isn’t competence by any definition. Hillary is showing the nation that under pressure and in crisis, she becomes angry, stonewalls, jettisons principle and ethics, and makes panicky, ill-considered statements and decisions, and defaults to “the ends justify the means.”
Exhibit #1: The Wall Street Speeches Defense.
We won’t know unless they turn up, but it’s pretty clear to everyone—isn’t it?— why Clinton’s $600,000 speeches to Go9ldman Sachs are a problem, and why she hasn’t turned over the transcripts. Companies don’t pay that kind of money to have their employees told that they are evil and their business is a blight on humanity. They do pay money to curry favor with a woman then assumed to be on an unstoppable path to the White House. The Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza connected the dots…
“My guess is that in the speeches, Clinton acknowledges her various friends and acquaintances at Goldman Sachs (and other Wall Street firms) and praises them for the work they are doing. “You guys get a bad rap but . . .” Yes, it’s standard-issue small talk. But it could look really, really bad in the context of the campaign. Imagine a transcript of Clinton speaking to some big bank or investment firm, thanking a litany of people she’s “been friends with forever” and praising the broader enterprise for “all you do.”
Of course. Cilizza minimizes it, saying that it “would look bad,” but in fact it is bad. Hillary can’t make the sweeping statements she has (in order to imitate Sanders) about how she will be tough on Wall Street villains, when she not only accepted huge speaking fees from the same people she says she will fight, but also fawned all over them when they were face to face. Already one attendee of a Goldman Sachs speech has supported Cilizza’s thesis. Maybe he’s wrong, and there’s exactly one way to find out. A confident, honest, competent and transparent leader would release the speeches, and explain the discrepancy between what she told the Wall Streeters then and what she says now, being ready and to answer the obvious question, “If you’ll lie to them, why wouldn’t you lie to us?”
Instead, Clinton sent her #1 surrogate,Bill, to make the hilarious accusation that Sanders was hypocritical to attack her Wall Street speaking fees. After all, Bill told one New Hampshire audience this week, Sanders, has given paid speeches too! This is the level of respect with which President Clinton, the female one, would treat the public. In 2013, Sanders received speaking fees totaling $1,500, which he donated to charity as required by federal law. In 2014, he got $1,850 for paid speeches. Hillary Clinton made and kept over $21 million during the same time period.
A competent President has to be able to spin better than this. That aside, this shows us that a Clinton Administration would be, if possible, even less transparent than the current one.
Exhibit #2: Race-baiting and Division
Before her new Hampshire wipeout, Clinton appealed directly to gender bias, claiming repeatedly that electing a woman President—even a lying, untrustworthy one—was enough reason to support her. She stood smiling as Madeleine directly called for women to choose Clinton based on gender, or risk ending up in “a special place in Hell.” Now that she’s heading to a primary in South Carolina, where African-Americans make up the majority of the voters, she will directly appeal to race-hatred and anti-police sentiments in the black community by campaigning with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner to focus on “systematic racism, criminal justice reform, voting rights and gun violence.”
I have recently written about Sabrina Fulton’s unethical use by the Clinton Campaign.Trayvon Martin’s death has no legitimate connection to race, systematic racism, justice reform, or gun violence, and using the late teenager’s mother deliberately appeals to a false, race-huckster-driven “narrative” that can only harm race relations. Never mind: if it can help Hillary win, she’ll burn down the country in order to save it.
Race? No evidence was ever found to indicate that Martin’s death was race related or motivated by racism. Systematic racism? The only racism in the incident was that Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, was unethically charged and forced to stand trial because he was a “white Hispanic.” Criminal justice reform? Yes, those who wanted Zimmerman to be deprived of his liberty based on a weak case would eliminate the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard for criminal conviction. Hillary, by using Martin’s mother, lends her support for mob justice. Gun violence? The only way gun regulations could have saved Martin would be if guns were banned and confiscated. In that case, of course, Martin would have seriously injured Zimmerman, or worse.
The exploitation of Martin’s mother is cynical, incoherent, irresponsible and incompetent.
Garner’s case is also widely misrepresented in the press and in the black community. He did not die from being choked to death. Again, there is no indication at all that race was a motive or a factor. It was an incident of a negligent and excessive police response to someone resisting arrest for a minor offense, in which police did not correctly consider the individual’s special health risks, such as being massively obese. His case shows that grand juries are often reluctant to charge police officers when no malice is indicated, but no clear “criminal justice reforms” are suggested by the incident. A gun wasn’t involved, either.
Clinton is deliberately pandering to a dangerous rise in racial distrust and anger in the black community. This is her response to finding herself in danger of losing the nomination to a Socialist crackpot who would have been left in the dust by any respectable candidate.
What are we learning? We are learning that when the going gets tough, Hillary Clinton gets irresponsible, panicked, angry and foolish. The evidence of her handling of her campaign so far shows no leadership or crisis management skills.
Good to know.