Following yesterday’s FBI headlines, James Freeman’s question to Democrats “doesn’t Hillary Clinton embarrass you?” seems even more appropriate:
Donald Trump wears his character flaws on his sleeve. Hillary Clinton seeks to prevent documentation of hers, even when the law requires it. Yet despite her best efforts, facts about Mrs. Clinton that are now public should trouble voters more than any of Mr. Trump’s remarks.
Not that it’s easy for Republicans to appear on a ballot with Mr. Trump, especially since media folk spend days after each controversial remark demanding responses from other GOP candidates. The objective is to force them to endorse or condemn Mr. Trump and suffer the consequences.
Fair enough, but reporters don’t force down-ballot Democrats to take a position on each new Clinton email revelation. The result is wall-to-wall media coverage focused on whether GOP voters can possibly support their candidate. But why should Republicans have all the fun? Democratic voters have every right to be ashamed of their nominee.
We’ll review some of the reasons in a moment, but first let’s consider the importance of party loyalty in this year’s presidential election. In recent polls, Mr. Trump often leads among independents. But he generally trails overall because Mrs. Clinton enjoys stronger support among Democrats than Mr. Trump does among Republicans—or because pollsters don’t believe Republicans will turn out and therefore include many more Democrats than Republicans in their survey samples.
Clearly Mr. Trump needs more Republicans to support him. This could happen if holdout Republicans break his way or if some Democrats decide they can’t stomach another era of Clinton scandals.
History says it will probably have to be the former. Bill Clinton rallied his party and survived an impeachment vote in the 1990s not by disproving the charges against him, but by dedicating himself to partisan goals. Once he agreed to abandon entitlement reform, Democratic support in the Senate was rock solid.
Similarly, at the final debate last week Mrs. Clinton made no effort to embrace centrist policies. She called for higher taxes, expanded entitlements and an activist Supreme Court to impose strict limits on liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Mrs. Clinton is speaking exclusively to the left wing of her party. Mr. Trump, for his part, deviates from many Republicans on trade and immigration but has otherwise embraced a growth agenda of lower taxes and regulatory relief for an economy that sorely needs it.
Beyond policy considerations, voters across the political spectrum should consider what it would mean to ratify Mrs. Clinton’s institutionalization of political corruption. We now know from emails published by WikiLeaks that before Mrs. Clinton formally launched her campaign, she arranged for the king of Morocco to donate $12 million to Clinton Foundation programs.
What’s significant about the Morocco case is that for years the Clintons peddled the fiction that donors write checks simply to support wondrous acts of Clintonian charity. But that cover story isn’t available here. Mrs. Clinton’s trusted aide Huma Abedin put it in writing: The Moroccans agreed to the deal on the condition that Mrs. Clinton would participate at a conference in their country.
Panicked Clinton-campaign aides persuaded Mrs. Clinton to avoid such a trip before launching her candidacy—and the foundation got the king to settle for Bill and Chelsea Clinton. But the record is clear. The king wanted the access, influence and prestige that all strongmen crave from legitimate democracies.
This wasn’t the first time the Clintons satisfied such a desire while collecting megadonations. When it comes to human rights, Kazakhstan’s dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev, makes Morocco’s king look enlightened. In power since 1991 and never freely elected, Mr. Nazarbayev must have enjoyed the sensation of Mr. Clinton endorsing him to lead an international election-monitoring group in 2005.
The Kazakh strongman knows how to return a favor, and he granted valuable mining concessions to Clinton Foundation donors. The donors then built a global uranium powerhouse that was eventually sold to the Russians in a deal that required the 2010 approval of a U.S. government committee that included Mrs. Clinton’s State Department. To put the cherry on this sundae, the Clintons violated their promise to the Obama administration by failing to publicly identify all the foundation donors.
A cache of emails, recently made public via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee, exposes another fiction at the heart of the Clinton Foundation. Clinton aides have long asserted that nobody received preferential treatment from Secretary Clinton’s State Department as a result of foundation donations. Yet emails show the State Department giving special access to “FOBs” (Friends of Bill Clinton) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs) identified by foundation staff.
WikiLeaks has revealed a draft 2011 report on Clinton Foundation governance from the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett law firm. The document notes that the foundation had a conflict-of-interest policy for directors, officers and key employees and a separate conflict-of-interest policy for other employees. “It appears that neither policy has been implemented,” reported the lawyers.
Of course not. Conflict of interest is the Clinton business model. And political influence is the product. That’s how Hillary and Bill managed to gross more than a Rolling Stones tour by delivering speeches. Looking at how successful Mrs. Clinton and her husband were in monetizing her position as secretary of state, why would any voter, of any party, want to see how much revenue she can squeeze from the Oval Office?
Voters who wish to reject the Clintonization of America’s governing institutions have a choice on Nov. 8. They can feel good about themselves by writing in the name of a third-party candidate. Or they can do right by the country by selecting the only person who can stop the Clintons: a very flawed candidate named Donald Trump.