Saturday, May 09, 2015

If the appearance of wrong-doing were the point, we'd throw them all out

By Richard Barry

This week has brought the long awaited and dramatically overhyped publication of Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich — a title that reads like a negative campaign ad!

First, let me state my conclusion: Comparing known and undisputed facts with the innuendo-laced suggestion that the book reveals Bill and/or Hillary Clinton performed even one wrongful act leads me to conclude that this project is a politically motivated con.
And this:
Clinton Cash proved two things we already knew: that Bill and Hillary Clinton raise a lot of money, and that Hillary Clinton was secretary of State. What Schweizer-as-Holmes fails to prove, and House Republicans-as-Javert have failed to prove throughout their inquisitions against Clinton, is that anything wrong was done.
Any suggestion that this book proves even one act of wrongdoing is an outright con. It does not.

Yes, there is a lot of money in politics among both Republicans and Democrats. The existence of these massive sums doesn't prove malfeasance, though it certainly should make us nervous. We should, absolutely, investigate any instances in which there might be a direct quid pro quo. 

The Koch brothers are very wealthy. They will make large sums of money available to certain Republican candidates. If there is ever a hint that this money is used to buy political favours, I hope there will be a thorough investigation. 

I don't like the relationship of extreme wealth to politics any more than any other small "d" democrat should, but it is now the lay of the land. Suggesting that Hillary and Bill Clinton are playing by a different set of rules with absolutely no proof is just a partisan game. 

Even Schweizer, as Budowsky notes, admits that "there is a need to begin more investigations to see whether any wrongful acts were committed, which he admits his own investigation failed to prove." So, yes, Budowsky concludes, "Everything discussed in the book should be objectively reported by serious media, including the fact that it proves no wrongdoing."


Money buys all kinds of things in politics that I wish did not exist, like privileged access to decision-makers. As there does not appear to be a smoking gun or,  as I call it, a direct quid pro quo in the Clinton case, let's move on, even as we recognize that all sides are likely influenced by the money they receive in all sorts of ways that are not per se "non-illegal."

I suspect anyone who could imagine voting for Hillary Clinton already has, and those who could never imagine doing so never will.

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  • So basically, the book is arguing that we should relentlessly dig into Hillary Clinton's affairs because the Republicans just know there is something there. We've been through this before.

    On the other hand, I'm tired of the standard being quid pro quo. There is so much corruption that is destroying our democracy that falls far below that bar. But it is wrong to focus on the Clintons -- especially when the Koch brothers are spending $900 million on this election. They are businessmen. They know they are buying something with the money.

    By Blogger Frank Moraes, at 1:31 PM  

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