By John David Dyche
Polls are finally reflecting what anyone who has been paying attention has known since the early 1990s. Hillary Clinton is dishonest and untrustworthy.
Her dissembling about cattle futures and law firm billing records in that era were previews of her lying about Benghazi and her personal e-mail server in this one.
Democrats long overlooked this obvious defect in Clinton’s character for two main reasons. She is a Clinton and she is a woman.
Being a Clinton means big money and political power. The allures of these twin temptations are irresistible to liberals who live by the principle that their ends justify almost any means.
Being female is a big deal to Democrats who embrace double standards even as they pay lip service to equality. For them symbolism trumps substance and gestures are more important than outcomes.
It is almost sickening to watch the so obviously insincere Clinton try to avoid the consequences she deserves for doing government business on a private e-mail server in the first place and then deleting messages she – and she alone – deemed “personal” from it.
Of her e-mail evasions Clinton now unbelievably says, “I am sorry that this has been confusing to people.” But her problem is not that the public is confused, but that it understands very clearly what she was up to.
The current Democratic alternative to Clinton is a 73 year-old socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Who would have believed that the party would lurch even further left after Barack Obama has presided over perhaps the most liberal administration in American history?
Democrats who realize that the party is in a desperate situation now pin their hopes on 72 year-old Vice President Joe Biden as a potential savior. Yes, a gaffe-prone plagiarist with a tendency to get too familiar with women is the Democratic hope for the future.
Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb, the most sensible prospect among declared Democrats, can get no traction. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley may be right about how the party is limiting debates to protect Clinton, but may also be even more liberal than Sanders.
Democrats are busily purging from their history and dinners past presidential greats Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, whom they rightly honored for centuries. The party’s current crop of presidential contenders may be the weakest since Old Hickory was on the scene.
Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will have to deal with the consequences of Obama’s maniacal effort to put the finishing touches on his largely successful project to fundamentally change America.
With each passing day he uses executive power to assert more governmental control over private business.
As Obama takes still more selfies in Alaska our rising rivals in China, Russia, Iran, and the Islamic State take advantage of American weakness under his non-leadership. None of Clinton, Sanders, or Biden advocates any real course correction.
While there is way too little debate in the Democratic Party the Republicans may have too much. The best thing Democrats have going for them now is the prospect of a conservative crack-up among Republican riven by everything from Trumpism and immigration to Kentucky’s law-defying would-be Christian martyr, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.
The Trump part of the crisis on the right was clarified, and indeed electrified, in a brilliant recent column by Jonah Goldberg for National Review Online titled, “No Movement That Embraces Trump Can Call Itself Conservative.” You can, and should, read it here.
Writes Goldberg in a piece that could be the conservative moment’s Common Sense and make him its Thomas Paine: “If I sound dismayed, it’s only because I am. Conservatives have spent more than 60 years arguing that ideas and character matter. That is the conservative movement I joined and dedicated my professional life to. And now, in a moment of passion, many of my comrades-in-arms are throwing it all away in a fit of pique. Because 'Trump fights!’”
The immigration part of the Republican identity crisis was until recently mainly about Mexicans in America. Now, as a consequence of Obama’s failed non-policy in Syria, it also involves the tide of migrants washing up on Europe’s shores to escape barbarism in a Middle East more or less abandoned by Obama (but admittedly with the backing of some Republicans).
The Kim Davis drama has divided Republicans into competing camps. The responsible one insists upon compliance with even unpopular laws while supporting reasonable accommodations of religious belief.
The irresponsible one demagogues the issue for political gain and urges a dangerous course of defiance.
But for all the in-fighting on the Right, Florida Senator and GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio is still right. “The Democrats can’t even come up with one good candidate and we have six or seven – that’s a good thing.”
Republicans are at least debating real issues. Democrats are in dire straits and may have to choose from among a liar, a socialist, and a weird uncle.
(John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney and a political commentator for WDRB.com. His e-mail is email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jddyche.)
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