Ethics Hero: Hillary Clinton


The criteria for an Ethics Hero honor here includes doing the ethical thing despite significant countervailing non-ethical considerations, and often at some personal sacrifice. It was Bill Clinton’s duty to be present at Donald Trump’s Inauguration yesterday, but not Hillary’s.  While defeated Presidential candidates usually attend, they sometimes don’t, especially when they feel  particularly aggrieved byt the way the successful campaigns against them were handled. Recent inauguration no-shows include Mitt Romney and Michael Dukakis, both of whom felt, with some justification, that they had been ill-treated on their way to defeat.  Four Presidents didn’t even attend the swearing in of their successors: John Adams (bitter), John Quincy Adams (bitter, and Andrew Jackson hadn’t attended his inauguration, so there!) Andrew Johnson (impeached), and Richard Nixon (persona non grata).

Nobody, especially her supporters, would have blamed Mrs. Clinton if she had passed. However, it was important that she be there, as her presence symbolized acceptance of the result and the orderly transfer of power as much as Barack Obama’s presence did. She came, she was seen, and it was the right thing to do.

It could not have been easy or pleasant. Some in the audience were heard to chant “Lock her up!” when her name was announced. (See: “A Nation of Assholes”) Bill may have embarrassed her by being caught on video seeming to ogle Ivanka Trump. (I wrote a satirical song about Clinton ogling Julie Eisenhower at Nixon’s funeral in 1994, but that was a joke. Good old Bill. ) Jerkish journalists pestered Hillary with the predictable and needless questions: “Madame Secretary, how does it feel to be here today?” and  “How are you feeling, Madame Secretary?” Ann Althouse made me laugh out loud with her comment:

What’s she supposed to say? I’ll say it for her: How the fuck do you think it feels?


18 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Hillary Clinton

    • Ann’s a full-time blogger now, since she’s retired from teaching. I am expecting great things, especially since she seems to have gotten that obsession with drawing rat cartoons out of her system.

  1. I was impressed with her class and fortitude! If only all our politicians and their supporters would understand that how you present yourself means volumes in the respect our institutions are due! I have been waiting to see the media to point it out, but they disappointed me! Until our news people learn not to slant things, they will never understand class. We need to realize that there are things we need from the right and front the left. Just as there is stupidity coming from both sides as well. Thank you Jack for pointing out what I was feeling!

  2. Well, whether or not she grabs the knife again she was classy and I was happy to see her there. I hope she continues to set an example of appropriate conduct for her party. I have to say, I was also happy to see Mr. Carter there. He struck me as the most “presidential” of anyone there. A real gentleman.

  3. I think she came because she still wants to be in the limelight. I have heard that she plans to run for mayor of NYC. There was nothing heroic about this: It was calculated.

    • It might well have been calculated, but her motivation is irrelevant when describing the ethics of her behavior. See, Jack, I am learning.

    • See, this is part of what I mean. Even when you do the right thing, someone here presumes an ulterior motive. And presumes to KNOW. You don’t know.

      • I think the “here” is unfair. Many people, MANY, don’t trust anything the Clintons do, and presume that whatever they do, it is part of their grand scheme to attain power. It isn’t just here, and it isn’t entirely without cause. Exhibit A: The Clinton Foundation. I read someone even claim that Chelsea’s pregnancy was timed to help Hillary run for President. When you lose trust, it’s very hard to get it back.

        I wouldn’t trust Hillary to mail my water bill, but I see no upside politically to going to the inauguration. A lot of her supporters would hold her attendance against her. She is also unlikely to run for mayor of New York. That’s a thankless job and a comedown for her. She is old, tired, and sick. It’s time for compassion, not suspicion.

  4. Give me a break! Hillary a hero? Of any stripe?

    Her attendance at the Inaugural was the very least she could do to help assure the ‘peaceful transfer of power.’

    Has she come out to oppose those who rant and rave and complain that this election did not turn out the way they wanted it to?

    A resounding NO. She has basked in the PR and media condemnations of Trump and the election. To make her a hero because she did the very, very least — as a presumptive leader — she should have done on Inauguration Day is ridiculous.

    Hillary and her camp used every possible means (however misguided) to win her the Presidency, and when that was lost, to question its legitimacy. That she should suddenly become a hero — by any definition — is ascribing to her motivations and behaviors that she has never felt nor exhibited.

    To cite the other losers who have not come to the Inauguration is perhaps an historical footnote, but not demonstrative of her ethical stance. Hillary only lost because her nasty strategies and tactics failed her, despite her use of everything available to her to win. Ethics hero? I don’t think so. Some day Bill Clinton may apologize for the demonization of all the women he abused: will that make him an ethics hero at the 11th hour? Viewed in its totality, Bill Clinton will never or should never be viewed as an ethics hero. And neither should Hillary.

    A poor excuse for being ‘fair and balanced’ here.

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