Let’s get to the real question about the Clinton donors

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So let’s talk about Bill and Hillary Clinton, their foundation and the donors who have showered that foundation with almost $2 billion in contributions over the years.

Did some of those donors give millions to the foundation in hopes of swaying governmental decisions by the State Department, which Hillary Clinton ran as secretary of state? Clinton’s defenders argue no. As they point out, donors may simply have wanted to support one of the many good causes championed by the foundation. Or maybe the explanation was more mercenary if still legal. Maybe donors saw a business advantage in being seen to have a relationship with a globally popular U.S. president, somebody who is widely respected and well-liked. Bill Clinton was certainly willing to trade on that celebrity, making himself very available as a traveling companion and international door-opener to those who made major contributions to his foundation.

So maybe.

But let’s not be naive. It would be foolish in the extreme to deny that at least some donors to the Clinton Foundation may have been trying to curry favor with someone whom they saw as a critical decision-maker, someone in a position to “help out a friend”. Donations inspired by such a hope almost certainly occurred, and they probably occurred more than once, because that’s how power and money work.

But that’s also where we get to the more serious questions:

Did those donors succeed in swaying governmental decisions? Did their investments pay off? Were they able to buy Hillary’s favor or influence on their behalf?

So far, we have no evidence that they did so, and Peter Schweizer, the author of the book that has fed this controversy, admits that he found no proof of that happening. We have no indication — no testimony, no document trail, not even an anonymous source — suggesting that Hillary Clinton or her staff ever interceded on behalf of a Clinton Foundation donor or pressured for a particular outcome.

In other words, this is typical of both the Clintons and of those obsessed by them. The power couple has never been shy about making money and avidly pursuing business opportunities that come their way, even if it gives their critics ammunition. Likewise, their critics have never been shy about accusing the Clintons of crossing the line into corruption, even if they can’t produce proof of such allegations.

How many times have we seen this? Throughout the ’90s, throughout investigation after investigation, the Clintons’ critics leveled a lot of charges but never produced proof. They produced allegations, innuendo and in some cases pure invention, but they never produced evidence of corruption. Over time, their inability to prove what they felt in their guts to be true grew so frustrating that their allegations grew more and more absurd, and public interest in those allegations eventually waned.

Now, apparently, we can look forward to another whole round of that mess.

But let me suggest a possible silver lining to all this:

If we’re suddenly going to be concerned about big money and politics and how the intersection of the two can create conflicts of interest, I think that’s a hopeful and long overdue development. Because until now, the operative line of the American political system, especially among conservatives, has been that it’s nothing to cause concern. As the Supreme Court reassured us in Citizens United, huge donations and supposedly independent expenditures may buy access to a politician and even that politician’s gratitude, but “ingratiation and access … are not corruption.”

That’s the new philosophy of casino politics. That’s the environment in which our elected leaders operate. So it’s more than a little rich to hear Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and others complain about the possibly corrupting influence of donations to the Clinton Foundation while they busily try to ingratiate themselves with the likes of Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers, Norman Braman and others who may shower them with tens of millions of dollars.

Does the behavior of the Clintons cause me qualms? Yes, it does. Even with no evidence of illegality or corruption, it causes me qualms. But the entire political system these days causes me qualms. The idea that money equals speech causes me qualms. The blatant kissing of rings of potential donors who can singlehandedly break or make a candidate causes me qualms. I don’t think the gratitude of elected officials, Democrat or Republican, ought to be up for sale to the highest bidder, but if you’re going to claim to be fine with that, at least be consistent.

Reader Comments 0

1472 comments
bu2
bu2

So when are the Dems going to get consistent and quit taking money from George Soros?


There's a difference between Soros and the Koch Brothers and accepting money from foreign governments.

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

Most Merkins who bother to vote already know how they'll vote in 2016, at least which party. These scandals du jour are just media noise, they don't change anyone's mind.

JamVet
JamVet

Hey Jumbo.

If there is ever an opening for the person who runs John Hopkins Medical Center I'll let you know!

Processed food causes more cancer than cigarettes i'm pretty sure.  ~Jumboluscious

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Don't know 'bout all that.

But reading posts from doofus libs can cause a youthful mind to turn into mush. Like going to college these days.

JamVet
JamVet

@Philo_Farnsworth 

Like YOU would know about college?
LOLOLOL!!!
I'm surprised that you Milton County geniuses can spell the word...

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

I went to college!

Don't remember much though...

Where's my bong?

LeninTime
LeninTime

@gotalife 

Stop lying about this deal libs and tell the people the truth.

***
What the hell are you talking about?
The deal is being negotiated in total secrecy. We don't know enough about the details to make any judgment about how 'progressive' it is and can't because it's being negotiated behind the backs of the people. 

But what we do know is anything but encouraging. 

The president wants to ram it through Congress with minimal publicity and ability to make changes. 

If it's so progressive, why doesn't he release some of the details to the public?

JamVet
JamVet

Processed food causes more cancer than cigarettes i'm pretty sure.  ~Jimmylascivious

You're pretty sure?

From what?

Your considered and considerable research on this matter?

Your extensive professional experience with carcinogens and human physiology?

You know nothing.

You make stupid stuff up on the fly and then dance...

gotalife
gotalife

"The fact of the matter is that TPP will end up being the most progressive trade agreement in our history," Obama said.


Methinks he learned the lesson of nafta.


Stop lying about this deal libs and tell the people the truth.

gotalife
gotalife

Why are the libs lying about the trade deal?


Donations.


Yeah, they play that game too cons.

gotalife
gotalife

"Every single one of the critics saying this is a secret deal, or send out e-mails to their fundraising base that they're working to stop a secret deal, could walk over and see the text of the agreement," Obama said. "When I just keep on hearing people repeating this notion that it's secret -- I gotta say, it's dishonest. And it's a little concerning when I see friends of mine resorting to those sort of tactics."


"The notion that corporate America is going to be able to use this provision to eliminate our financial regulations and our food safety regulations and our consumer regulations -- that's just bunk," Obama said. "It's not true."


Bringing it.

JKLtwo
JKLtwo

@Kamchak I wouldn't call you a monkey, but it's accurate.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@gotalife 

Barack Obama is a ruthless agent of capitalism, as much as any Republican could ever be. Maybe more.

JKLtwo
JKLtwo

@LeninTime @gotalife Too funny.  I heard he's going to leave the White House early to enter the NBA draft too...

gotalife
gotalife

@LeninTime  Capitalist :


"The idea that we can shut down globalization, reduce trade … is wrong-headed," Obama said on a conference call. "That horse has left the barn."


We are all in on globalization so now it is time to compete with infrastructure and education.

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

There is no doubt in my mind that Chelsea is Webb Hubbell's kid.

YouLibs
YouLibs

@Jimmyliscious


Ask yer mama about the time she had the fling with the sailor about nine months before you were born,


We had been at sea for so long and she really needed the money.


Tell her I still think $2 was a little steep.

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

@YouLibs @Jimmyliscious Ask yer mama about the time she had the fling with the sailor about nine months before you were born,

Ask your mama about the load that made you. I'll bet she wishes daddy left it on a crusty sock under the bed.

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

Our climate models are WRONG: Global warming has slowed - and recent changes are down to ‘natural variability’, says study...

So let the politicians tax the the power plants, take more out of your pocket, and do nothing tangible to stop climate change. Bend over. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

@JamVet @Jimmyliscious Taxing polluters and making them adhere to the law of the land!

Pss. They pass the costs on to everyone, so the polluters don't get hurt. And where is the proof that reducing the emissions will solve the problem already on hand? (Dumbf@cks)

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

@JamVet @Jimmyliscious Too bad you were not a child in the Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls, NY back in the late 70s...

Agent orange back at ya!

JamVet
JamVet

@Jimmyliscious @JamVet 

Psssst, they pass toxins and carcinogens on to everyone.

Too bad you were not a child in the Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls, NY back in the late 70s...

JamVet
JamVet

@Jimmyliscious @JamVet 

You could have cheered on the poor, persecuted Hooker Chemical and explained how the contract that they signed with the city Of NF which held them forever non-culpable for the cancerous horrors that they buried there was great for the school children and their families in that neighborhood!

Your limited life experiences explain your writing...

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

@JamVet @Jimmyliscious You could have cheered on the poor, persecuted Hooker Chemical and explained how the contract that they signed with the city Of NF which held them forever non-culpable for the cancerous horrors that they buried there was great for the school children and their families in that neighborhood!

So you are implying that the EPA was failing at their job. Were the republicans cutting their funding?

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

@JamVet @Jimmyliscious Also, don't forget, fake con, how your fake con gang tried for fity years to contend that cigarettes don't cause cancer.

Science evolves. Processed food causes more cancer than cigarettes i'm pretty sure.

 

JamVet
JamVet

@Jimmyliscious @JamVet 

Processed food causes more cancer than cigarettes i'm pretty sure. 

You are as staggeringly stupid for writing that as any human being I have ever communicated with, Jimmy.

Seriously.

Absolutely the stupidest.

Kudos.

To call that moronic claim beyond laughable is an insult to the phrase.

No wonder you are a Republican...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3JzbWVDzac

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

@KUTGF @Jimmyliscious Apparently you don't understand Economics 101

Please enlighten. I thought it was the state department sitting on their hands while russia bought access to large quantities of uranium while donations were flooding in to the Clinton foundation, which only spends 15 percent of the money on needy people. 

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

@JamVet @Jimmyliscious You are as staggeringly stupid for writing that as any human being I have ever communicated with, Jimmy.

Nahh, you're just an overly self important activist that probably hates all things now do to your bad experience in the military. So go light your paper rolled joint (while telling yourself there are no carcinogens in that) pick up your menthol smokies (because you hate the tobacco companies for getting you addicted) and go to the local bar and ruin some poor working f@ckers night with your bloviated rantings and opinions. Chow, Meat.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Jimmyliscious Apparently you don't have enough brain capacity even to operate at a troll.  I won't waste my time with explaining something to someone too stupid (based on your idiotic response of nonsense) to comprehend.  I would say a mind is a terrible thing to waste but the presumption that you have a brain has been eliminated by the content of your posts. 

JamVet
JamVet

@Jimmyliscious @JamVet 

Nah, you are the dumbest person that I have ever read for writing that processed foods cause more cancers than cigarettes.

End of story. Period.

Smoke up, numbnuts!


JamVet
JamVet

@Jimmyliscious 

Oh noes!

Taxing polluters and making them adhere to the law of the land!

How unAmerican!

(Dumbarses... )

JamVet
JamVet

@Jimmyliscious @JamVet 

Also, don't forget, fake con, how your fake con gang tried for fity years to contend that cigarettes don't cause cancer.

And your say you respect science?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

@KUTGF @Jimmyliscious  I would say a mind is a terrible thing to waste but the presumption that you have a brain has been eliminated by the content of your posts.

Aww, li'l commie gets his panties in a wad because his dream candidate is a f@cking crook and he has to defend her. My media will beat your media on this one.