Michael Arnovitz writes (“Thinking About Hillary — A Plea for Reason”):
. . .the claim that Hillary is innately dishonest is simply accepted as a given. It is an accusation and conviction so ingrained in the conversation about her that any attempt to even question it is often met with shock. And yet here’s the thing: it’s not actually true. Politifact, the Pulitzer prize-winning fact-checking project, determined for example that Hillary was actually the most truthful candidate (of either Party) in the 2016 election season. And in general Politifact has determined that Hillary is more honest than most (but not all) politicians they have tracked over the years.
Also instructive is Jill Abramson’s recent piece in the Guardian. Abramson, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal as well as former Executive Editor of the New York Times, had this to say about Hillary’s honesty: “As an editor I’ve launched investigations into her business dealings, her fundraising, her foundation and her marriage. As a reporter my stories stretch back to Whitewater. I’m not a favorite in Hillaryland. That makes what I want to say next surprising. Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.”
. . .In January of 1996, while Whitewater investigations were underway but unfinished, conservative writer William Safire wrote a scathing and now-famous essay about Hillary Clinton entitled, “Blizzard of Lies”.
. . . I am no political historian, but as far as I can tell this short essay was the birth of the “Hillary is a Liar” meme. Now to be clear, most conservatives already strongly disliked her. They had been upset with her for some time because she had refused to play the traditional First Lady role. And they were horrified by her attempt to champion Universal Health coverage. But if you look for the actual reasons people didn’t like her back at that time, you won’t see ongoing accusations of her being “crooked” or a “liar”. Instead, the most common opinion seemed to be that she was a self-righteous leftist who considered anyone with other views to be morally inferior. In short, the prevailing anti-Hillary accusation was not that she was unrelentingly dishonest, but that she was just intolerably smug.
After the Safire piece however, this all changed. Republicans, who learned from Nixon never to let a good propaganda opportunity pass if they could help it, repeated the accusations of mendacity non-stop to anyone who would broadcast or print them. And if you doubt the staying power of Safire’s piece, type the phrase “congenital liar” into a Google search along with “Hillary Clinton” and see what happens. To this day, that exact phrase is still proudly used by many on the right. This, even though Safire was eventually proven wrong about everything he had written. And despite the fact that he stated himself that he would have to “eat crow” if she were ever cleared, Safire never apologized or even acknowledged his many errors once that happened. Because as we all know, swift-boating means never having to say you’re sorry. . . .
☞ Ironically, to those who say Hillary is dishonest, the truth doesn’t matter.
There’s much more to the piece than this, so if you are anti-Hillary but have an open mind . . . or pro-Hillary but wish you liked her better . . . or a huge Hillary fan but need help persuading others . . . read the whole thing.
Have a great, long, patriotic weekend. It’s okay to recognize that the previous eight Clinton years were a time of peace and all-boats-rising prosperity. It’s okay to recognize that the last seven-and-a-half Obama years brought us back from the brink of depression and would have had us truly soaring if the Republican Congress had not blocked the jobs act that would have put millions to work revitalizing our infrastructure, had not blocked the minimum wage hike that would have decreased reliance on government welfare while increasing consumption, had not blocked the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration reform that economists agreed would have boosted our economy still further.
It’s okay to hold leaders like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and, yes, for sure, Hillary Clinton — none of them perfect, but each of them awesomely talented, their entire lives dedicated to making a better, fairer, more sustainable world — in the highest regard. It’s not fashionable, but it’s okay. And — especially when you grade them on a curve with folks like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, and (preposterously) Donald Trump — it’s spot on.