This is something that's been bothering me all election cycle. Polls consistently rate Hillary as untrustworthy
, and even exit polls among Dems say that Bernie is more trustworthy. However, these same people are VOTING for her, in droves.
How can democratic voters ignore the striped past of Hillary? How can they ignore the even worse past of Bill? Do you really think he's going to be content in a "First Lady" role? I'm only 33, but I can easily remember the Whitewater incident, Operation Infinite Reach, Lewinsky et al, etc.
I have only seen ONE article from the MSM this election cycle about this topic, from the Atlantic: LINK
I could understand where younger voters may be unaware of the history, but Hillary's support is largely from the older 40+ voting bloc, which should have no trouble remembering many of these incidents (links primarily go to Wikipedia overviews of each incident): In (mostly) chronological order: 1978-1979: Cattle Futures scandal
- In 1978 and 1979, lawyer and First Lady of Arkansas Hillary Rodham engaged in a series of trades of cattle futures contracts, based on advice from a personal friend who was, at the time, a top legal adviser to Tyson Foods Inc. Her initial $1,000 investment had generated nearly $100,000 when she stopped trading after ten months.
In 1994, after Hillary Rodham Clinton had become First Lady of the United States, the trading became the subject of considerable controversy regarding the likelihood of such a spectacular rate of return, possible conflict of interest, and allegations of disguised bribery, allegations that Clinton strongly denied. There were no official investigations of the trading and Clinton was never charged with any wrongdoing.
In a Fall 1994 paper for the Journal of Economics and Finance, economists from the University of North Florida and Auburn University investigated the odds of gaining a hundred-fold return in the cattle futures market during the period in question. Using a model that was stated to give the hypothetical investor the benefit of the doubt, they concluded that the odds of such a return happening were at best 1 in 31 trillion. April 25th, 1978 - 1999: The alleged rape of Juanita Broaddrick and subsequent coverup(s). 1992 - 2000:
The Whitewater Controversy
. David Hale, the source of criminal allegations against the Clintons, claimed in November 1993 that as governor of Arkansas, Clinton had pressured him into providing an illegal $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, the Clintons' partner in the Whitewater land deal.
A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation did result in convictions against the McDougals for their role in the Whitewater project; and Bill Clinton's successor as governor, Jim Guy Tucker, was convicted of fraud and sentenced to four years of probation for his role in the matter. Susan McDougal later served 18 months in prison for contempt of court for refusing to answer questions relating to Whitewater. The Clintons themselves were never prosecuted, after three separate inquiries found insufficient evidence to prosecute them related to the land deal, and McDougal (as well as others convicted through Whitewater) was granted a pardon by President Clinton before he left office.
The term Whitewater is also sometimes used to include other controversies from the Bill Clinton administration, especially those such as Travelgate, Filegate, and the circumstances surrounding Vince Foster's death, that were investigated by the Whitewater independent counsel. Kenneth Starr's successor as Independent Counsel, Robert Ray, released a report in September 2000 that stated "This office determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that either President or Mrs. Clinton knowingly participated in any criminal conduct."
Ray nonetheless criticized the White House in a statement regarding the release of the report, saying delays in the production of evidence and "unmeritorious litigation" by the president's lawyers severely impeded the investigation's progress, leading to a total cost of nearly $60 million. Ray's report effectively closed the Whitewater investigation. The length, expense, and results of the Whitewater investigations turned the public against the Office of the Independent Counsel; even Kenneth Starr was opposed. In particular, Democrats portrayed Whitewater as a political witch-hunt, much as Republicans had at the end of the 1980s Iran-Contra investigations. As such, the Independent Counsel law expired in 1999. 1992
- Gennifer Flowers
comes forward, claiming a 12-year relationship with Bill. She produced recorded phone conversations which the administration discredited as being doctored. She later sues both Clintons and their involved aides in a defamation suit, claiming they orchestrated a campaign to discredit her. May 1993 - 2000: Travelgate
, followed by the suicide of her friend and staffer Vince Foster
. Hillary allegedly instigated the firings of seven White House travel office employees, ostensibly to replace them with a contract to a company the Clintons had personal ties to.
Hillary Clinton gradually came under scrutiny for allegedly having played a central role in the firings and making false statements about her role in it. "[Hillary] Clinton, upon learning of [Vince] Foster's death, at least realized its connection to [the] Travelgate scandal, and perhaps to the Whitewater matter, and dispatched her trusted lieutenants to contain any potential embarrassment or political damage."
(Independent Counsel) Ray's full 243-page report was unsealed and made public on October 18, 2000, three weeks before the Senatorial election. It confirmed that neither Hillary Clinton nor David Watkins would be indicted. It included some new detail, including a somewhat unsubstantiated claim from a friend of Watkins saying that the First Lady had told Watkins to "fire the sons of bitches." Ray cited eight separate conversations between the First Lady and senior staff and concluded: "Mrs. Clinton’s input into the process was significant, if not the significant factor influencing the pace of events in the Travel Office firings and the ultimate decision to fire the employees."
Moreover, Ray determined Hillary Clinton had given "factually false" testimony when questioned by the GAO, the Independent Counsel, and Congress about the travel office firings, but reiterated that "the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that she knew her statements were false or understood that they may have prompted the firings. (note: I am not alleging that the death of Vince Foster is mysterious). 1993-1997 - Healthcare Gate
. In 1997, federal judge Royce Lamberth levied $286,000 in sanctions against Bill Clinton’s administration for “running amok” in a “cover-up” of Hillary Clinton’s health-care task force. The scandal began when deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster made contradictory assertions about the first lady’s job status, in an attempt to keep the work of the task force secret.
The First Lady's role in the secret proceedings of the Health Care Task Force also sparked litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in relation to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) which requires openness in government. The Clinton White House argued that the Recommendation Clause in Article II of the U.S. Constitution would make it unconstitutional to apply the procedural requirements of FACA to Mrs. Clinton's participation in the meetings of the Task Force. Some constitutional experts argued to the court that such a legal theory was not supported by the text, history, or structure of the Constitution.
Ultimately, Hillary Clinton won the litigation in June 1993, when the D.C. Circuit ruled narrowly that the First Lady of the United States could be deemed a government official (and not a mere private citizen) for the purpose of not having to comply with the procedural requirements of FACA. Also in February 1993, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with several other groups, filed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and Donna Shalala over closed-door meetings related to the health care plan.
The AAPS sued to gain access to the list of members of the task force. In 1997, Judge Royce C. Lamberth found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded $285,864 to the AAPS for legal costs; Lamberth also harshly criticized the Clinton administration and Clinton aide Ira Magaziner in his ruling. Subsequently, a federal appeals court overturned in 1999 the award and the initial findings on the basis that Magaziner and the administration had not acted in bad faith. May 6, 1994 -
Sexual harassment suit by Paula Jones (Jones v. Clinton
) and subsequent appeal by Clinton to Supreme Court (Clinton v. Jones
). The Supreme Court's ruling in Clinton v. Jones led to the District Court's hearing of Jones v. Clinton, which led to the Lewinsky scandal, when Clinton was asked under oath about other workplace relationships, which led to charges of perjury and obstruction of justice and the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
As as result, he faced the following administrative sanctions in lieu of a criminal proceeding: (1) President Clinton’s admission of providing false testimony that was knowingly misleading, evasive, and prejudicial to the administration of justice before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas; (2) his acknowledgement that his conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Arkansas Supreme Court; (3) the five-year suspension of his license to practice law and $25,000 fine imposed on him by the Circuit Court of Pulaski County, Arkansas; (4) the civil contempt penalty of more than $900,000 imposed on President Clinton by the federal court for violating its orders; (5) the payment of more than $850,000 in settlement to Paula Jones; (6) the express finding by the federal court that President Clinton had engaged in contemptuous conduct; and (7) the substantial public condemnation of President Clinton arising from his impeachment. 1995-2006
- The Barrett report
into Clinton's potential abuses of the DOJ and IRS as tools against citizens. 120 pages were redacted by court order before its release. 1995
: Documents uncovered by Congressional investigators, lawsuits and an Independent Counsel showed evidence that political contributions and pressure from lobbyists from rival tribes caused Bruce Babbitt to overrule staff recommendations and deny the casino application. President Clinton supported Bruce Babbitt in his overruling regional Interior officials. Records from the Interior Department showed that the office of Harold Ickes, then Pres Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff, did in fact contact Babbitt's aides about the Hudson project. 1998
- Lewinsky Scandal
and subsequent failed impeachment
. 1998: Commercegate
- allegations Clintons were involved in scheme to sell seats on planes during trade missions in exchange for large $50,000+ donations. Sec. Commerce Ron Brown died in a plane crash in Croatia before the investigation could interview him. (note: I am NOT alleging that his death is mysterious.) Aug. 20, 1998
-Al Shifa pharmaceutical factory bombing, Sudan
. Beyond the death and injuries from the bombing, estimated tens of thousands died from lack of anti-malarials the factory produced before it was destroyed. Bombing was based on a soil sample that contained a precursor to a nerve gas agent in proximity to the factory.
Also see Operation Infinite Reach
. The missile strikes during the operation (including the factory bombing) had the effect of strengthening Al-Quaeda in the region. Following the attacks, the ruling Taliban reneged on its promise given to Saudi intelligence chief Turki al-Faisal to hand over bin Laden, and the regime instead strengthened its ties with Bin Laden. Maulana Sami ul-Haq, leader of the Pakistani Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) party, concurred that the strikes "turned Osama bin Laden, an ordinary man, into a hero." A 1999 report prepared by Sandia National Laboratories stated that bin Laden "appeared to many as an underdog standing firm in the face of bullying aggression," and added that the missile strikes "provoked a new round of terrorist bombing plots." These plots included the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.
Also see Operation Desert Fox
in 1998, where Clinton bombed Iraq on the pretense that Iraq forced out UN weapons inspectors (who had actually been told to withdraw by the US). Additionally see the US participation in the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1998
. All of these operations have been criticized by detractors as being a ploy to distract from the Lewinsky scandal. September 11, 1998: The Starr report
is released. It covers improprieties ranging from Whitewater to Travelgate. 1999-2001
: In addition to some earlier pardons, Bill pardoned 450 people on his last day in office. Pardons included his brother, Puerto Rican terrorists, Henry Cisneros (see the Barrett Report), and several people who made $$ payments to Hillary's brothers and/or the Clinton Foundation in exchange for clemency.
This also includes the Hasidic Pardons
, which were alleged to be a kick back in exchange for votes for Hillary during her Senate run. Most controversial was probably the pardon to Marc Rich, a federal fugitive wanted on counts of tax evasion, fraud, and connections to the Iran hostage crisis. Rich’s pardon was among Clinton’s last-day sprint, and came under much scrutiny after it was found that Rich’s first wife, Denise, had contributed $450,000 to the foundation for the Clinton Presidential Library and $100,000 to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign. August 12, 2000:
The Gala Hollywood Farewell Salute to President Clinton
AKA the Hollywood Fundraiser
. Hillary Clinton's former finance director, David Rosen, was indicted on January 7, 2005 on campaign finance charges related to a fund-raising event produced by Peter F. Paul.
Paul, a convicted drug dealer who would soon after be convicted on stock fraud charges after being extradited from Brazil, stated that he spent $1.2 million to produce the August 12, 2000 Hollywood Gala Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton event, which was both a tribute to honor President Clinton and a fundraiser for the First Lady's 2000 Senate campaign. The Justice Department indictment charged Rosen with filing false reports with the Federal Election Commission by reporting only $400,000 in contributions. 2001: White House furniture
and items appropriated by the Clintons, and gifts totaling $190,000 accepted by Hillary from the period 1992-200. They later returned the items and paid for $85,000 of the gifts received in the year 2000, after the concerns had been brought to light. Since I limited my list to mostly the presidential years, these are just a partial list of all the scandals and lies that the pair have been caught in over the years. Some I have purposely left out because while the scandal occurred during their watch, there's nothing that ties them as being remotely at fault (example: Chinagate - the theft of US nuclear warhead plans by China operatives).
Hopefully, most voters will remember fairly recent events like Benghazi, "coming under sniper fire" in Bosnia, claiming to be "broke" when they left the White House, the email scandal(s), speaking fees, donations to the Clinton foundation and possible State Department quid pro quos, etc.
The question I originally posit remains. Faced with all of the mounted evidence that the Clintons can't be trusted, WHY do people continue to vote for Hillary?
EDIT: Just a note, I've been a left-leaning Independent my whole adult life. I was a teen in the 90s and at the time like most of the public I had a high opinion of the Clintons (he peaked at like 60-70% approval during the impeachment hearings). This isn't a petty attempt from the right to discredit her. I am hoping this thread will produce some intelligent debate.
In fact, many of these investigations didn't originate from the right, but from within the White House itself-- several of the items on the list were investigated at the order of Janet Reno or other officials in the Clinton administration.
EDIT x2 As of about an hour after I posted this, it has 27 points (65% upvoted) and 54 comments. This topic clearly struck a nerve for many (for various reasons) and I'm very happy to see the dialogue coming from all sides on this.
EDIT: Electric Boogaloo An interesting point brought up in PM that I thought I'd share my thoughts on here:
I think a lot of people have very little idea of how federal investigations or independent commissions work. To be honest, that's not all their fault-- these investigations sometimes go on for years, are mired in lawsuits and countersuits, and by time the report comes out people are so fatigued of hearing about it that they can't bother to actually investigate what the (usually huge) reports contain.
If the conclusion of the report was that there wasn't enough evidence to convict, then there won't be a recommendation to prosecute. Why-- more time, money, and resources wasted on what may be a losing cause. This doesn't mean that some/most of the allegations don't have substantiation. But people don't seem to get that.
I purposefully left out the Republican hatchet-jobs and crazy conspiracies. If you want some fun reading of tabloid level tinfoil hat stuff, break out the popcorn and check out the nutso archives of Sam Smith. (I'm not in any way endorsing this guy or the crap he's published over the years. The guy is grade-a level crazy.)
EDIT 4: Fixed formatting per aphexmandelbrot 's suggestion. Bullet points and line breaks don't play nicely.
I just received a voter information pamphlet in the mail which touts a new Mobile Voting Unit, a polling place in a large RV. It will drive to a different location every day in the two weeks before to Election Day. Linda Stover, the Bernalillo County Clerk, calls it "a historic move to increase voter participation."
"The mission for having a mobile voter unit is to have higher participation and higher voter turnout," Stover said
. Except, of the 13 destinations the Mobile Voting Unit will visit, 10 of them are senior living facilities
, including luxury/high-cost facilities where residents must be mobile (not wheelchair- or bedbound) as a condition of living there. One more (NM Veterans' Memorial Park) is effectively a senior day facility. The other two are Los Ranchos and Civic Plaza.
So, in this "historic move to expand voter participation," Bernco is spending almost all of the Mobile Voting Unit's resources to directly target the demographic with the highest voter participation. By targeting so many luxury facilities where the wealthy residents are likely to be white, they are also effectively targeting the racial demographic with highest voter participation.
Does this smell like bad faith to anyone else? They know a mobile voting station would benefit young people the most
. Why not "expand voter participation" for a day at somewhere like UNMH, where there are hundreds of employees working long hours at low-paying jobs who might find it difficult to vote? They couldn't spend a day at CNM, which is attended by thousands of nontraditional students who are also juggling jobs and families? Coronado Mall for a day? Nope. Luxury living facilities for wealthy retirees are a more worthwhile use of the County's "get out the vote" resources.
Let's take a look at some of the luxury facilities where the Mobile Voting Unit will be spending an entire day: Palmilla Senior Living
lists Cottonwood Mall, Farm and Table, Summer Concert Series, the Museum of Natural History, the Balloon Fiesta, and Old Town Plaza among the excursions on offer to residents. There are two early voting polling places located 2.1 miles away from the facility, a seven minute drive to either one. Each nearby polling place is open all day in the two weeks leading up to Election Day. Here's
a photo of La Vida Llena
residents enjoying a Polynesian cocktail party. There is an early voting polling place 1.4 miles away from the facility, a three minute drive, which will be open all day for the two weeks leading up to Election Day.
The nearest early voting polling place to Paloma Landing
is 1.3 miles from the facility, a four minute drive. In the two weeks leading up to the election, Paloma Landing could offer dozens of bus excursions to the polling place without conflicting with the other weekly bus excursions to Target, Sandia Casino, restaurants, and twice weekly excursions to Walmart. They have offered bus trips to the polls every year up til now.
Are these destinations really the best use of Bernalillo County's "get out the vote" resources? Does County Clerk Linda Stover seriously believe that these wealthy seniors would otherwise not be able to vote if Bernco did not deliver a voting RV directly to their door?
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