Criminal Justice

Why Hillary Clinton Lacks Credibility on Criminal Justice Reform

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee promoted the overincarceration she now condemns.


Columbia University

On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton gave a speech in which she called for "real reforms" to "end the era of mass incarceration." In my latest Forbes column, I explain why Clinton has a credibility problem on this issue:

This week Hillary Clinton delivered what The New York Times called "an impassioned plea to mend the nation's racial fissures and overhaul an 'out-of-balance' criminal justice system." In a speech at Columbia University, the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee noted that "the United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population" but "almost 25 percent of the world's total prison population." The former secretary of state observed that "a significant percentage" of the country's 2 million prison and jail inmates "are low-level offenders." She bemoaned the racially disproportionate impact of America's eagerness to lock people in cages, saying "a third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes." Clinton said this situation cries out for reform. "It's time to change our approach," she declared. "It's time to end the era of mass incarceration."

For critics who have long argued that our criminal justice system puts too many people behind bars for too long, Clinton's words of outrage were welcome. But they were also hard to take seriously given her history on this issue. While condemning overincarceration, she glided over her own role in promoting it and exaggerated her efforts to correct it. She referred only obliquely to the war on drugs, which has played an important role in sending nonviolent offenders to prison. And three decades after the prison population began the dramatic climb that she now considers shameful, Clinton offered almost no specific ideas for reversing it, which makes her look like a dilettante compared to politicians in both major parties who have given the issue serious thought.

Read the whole thing.

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  1. Are these Mad Libs?

    “Why Hillary lacks credibility in _______.”

    1. Everything?

      1. Except cuckolding

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  2. You know, Hillary Clinton is not exactly the comeback kid. Remember how she started out so strong back in 2008? She was inevitable, before she wilted like an old thistle.

    1. She’s like the exact opposite of her husband. Except for the dishonesty and corruption, which is the axis stripper pole around which both swing.

      1. Yeah Bill was dishonest and corrupt but actually a good politician and in the end a pretty good president because he understands people and exhibits empathy (which is also part of what makes him such a good liar). Hillary wouldn’t know empathy if it bit her on the ass

        1. If empathy bit Hillary on the ass, empathy would get rabies, or something and die.

        2. Used car salesmen have all those traits you point out Bill has too, but we don’t think they are great because they use them to sell people crappy cars or bullshit….

          1. Yeah, Clinton was a bad president. But his lust for staying in power was so great that instead of spending six years fighting the resurgent GOP, he basically joined them.

            1. Bill Clinton should thank his lucky stars for Newt Gingrich. If anyone doesn’t recall, he was pretty much on course to be a one-term president when the GOP won Congress. The GOP Congress gave him the triangulation that saved his presidency.

              1. What I find fascinating is how much that sort of thing happens, then the popular historical view tosses the truth out the window.

        3. I think that Bill, like JFK (who the Democrats had convinced themselves he was), is reputed to be a substantially better President than the facts suggest. Not that he was a disaster, mind. But he had a way of putting off stuff that he didn’t feel comfortable with, like dealing with Bin Laden, thta came back to bite us once he was out of office. He and Kennedy were both mediocre Presidents that the Left has (for whatever weird reasons) decided to raise to saintood.

          1. “He and Kennedy were both mediocre Presidents that the Left has (for whatever weird reasons) decided to raise to saintood”

            One got head, one got it in the head.

            And the other candidate is Carter.

      2. It’s hard to not like Bill, I mean the guy is a crooked politician like most, but he’s the sort of guy you would want to drink a beer with.

        Hillary, just the opposite. No personality at all, not likable at all. I’m not sure how so many people can force themselves to like her. But it has to be forced. There’s not a single redeeming thing about the old bag.

        1. It’s hard to not like Bill, I mean the guy is a crooked politician like most, but he’s the sort of guy you would want to drink a beer with.

          That and smoke a cigar while swapping crazy chick stories?

          1. I could do it. Plus we’d make fun of Hillary’s cankles and how she sucks as a politician and is just plain ol fugly.

        2. How the heck are they a couple? Assuming she’s completely heterosexual and the marriage isn’t some sham thing.

          1. they share a lust for power unhindered by ethics or morals.

            1. Makes for a successful marriage, I guess. In hell.

        3. “It’s hard to not like Bill”.

          It’s been impossible for me to like Bill, ever. I recognized his evil immediately and any room he is in would be the last one I’d want to also be in.

          But that’s just me.

        4. I guess I’m picky about who I drink with. I like companions I’m reasonably sure won’t rifle my wallet if I get falling-down.

        5. …but he’s the sort of guy you would want to drink a beer with.

          I guess you’re okay. As long as you don’t let him around your wife.

          1. Or daughters…

            1. Or dog. Or cat. And I doubt he’d much appreciate that story about the goldfish getting out….

  3. My one question about all these hacks now talking about criminal justice reform.

    I want to know why none of them were talking about it before Rand Paul made it an issue?

    Rand is leading these Democrats around like a bunch of lost little puppies. It’s pathetic and none of them are sincere at all.

    1. Earlier, reading the story about the change in Texas law regarding body cavity searches requiring warrants, I thought, that (example) should be something Rand takes and runs with.

      He should pull out a dozen examples of (mostly women) having their asses and vaginas violated on the side of a dirty public road and start racking up some femi-points.

  4. So, Hillary Clinton rank hypocrisy example number 9,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999.

    Business as usual.

    1. All I care about is whether they carry out my will.

  5. I’m thinking the first reason is that she lacks credibility in EVERYTHING.

    I mean can anyone find any instance where Hillary can be shown to have actually told the truth?

    1. When she said she wants perpetual war and wants to deal arms to terrorists, that was believable. Oh, wait, she didn’t actually come right out and say that, but if she did, that would be believable.

      1. Here’s another:

        Hillary: I’m an unpologetic drug warrior and necon war monger.

        See how believable that is? She should say that so as to get an air of honesty about her.

      2. If Shrillary went on record that the moonwas NOT made of green cheese, I would want a second opinion.

  6. “a third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes.”

    Actually, given the nasty combination of about a trillion laws and deranged cops/prosecutors, I’d say about 100%* of all Americans face the prospect of prison every fucking day.

    *Excluding Hillary Clinton of course.

  7. As the by far most visibly corrupt presidential candidate since Richard Nixon, Hillary Clinton lacks credibility because she is Hillary Clinton.

    It is the one accomplishment in her political career that she is solely responsible for.

    1. I beg your pardon. In what way is Nixon even withing shouting distance of Shrillary for corruption? Granted, he had the gall to think he could get away with the kind of political spying and persecution of his enemies that the Left had winked at under JFK and LBJ. But I haven’t read anywhere credible that he collected bribes for government action. So he’s at most half as corrupt, and probably less.

      Mind you, I loathed Nixon when he was President, and have not changed my mind since. Miserable, unctious, lying, Big Government establishment RINO that he was.


      But he was nowhere near as corrupt as President Bubba, his lovely wife Shrillery, or the Jug Eared Wonder currently infesting the White House.

  8. Doesn’t Hillary lack credibility in about every subject other than marrying well and using that to make herself powerful and rich at whatever the cost? Oh yeah, and feeling entitled to shit. This woman sets the bar for feeling entitled.

  9. My gf is a Billary fan. I should dump her for it, but that’s beside the point. I told her about a month ago that Hillary would jump on this bandwagon and that she would be lying and that Libertarians, not democrat politicians, have been at the front of this issue for years. I guess I can tell her I-told-you-so; but I’m sure she won’t change her mind about Billary…

    1. Did you tell your GF about how Hillary takes donations from countries that stone women to death?

      1. Why bother?

        I’m serious. Most states aren’t swing states; Hillary will win in MA regardless of how my GF votes. In Texas, she has no fucking chance. So you burn goodwill changing her mind about a politician to no effect.

        OTOH, if you live in a swing state, she’s going to be bombarded by these messages anyway. And, she’ll probably be turned off by the whole argument and having you bring it up will just pollute your relationship rather than opening her eyes.

        1. THIS ^^^ We got into one political argument one time. She brought it up, of course, it was the topic of abortion. She told me she is pro-life, totally, but she would never “tell another person what to do with their body.” I lost my shit. I got so mad I left the room. She has never brought up politics with me since, and apologized for doing so. lol

          Not that it was a victory of debate or anything. And all it would do is pollute the relationship.

          1. I argue with my wife all of the time about politics. She doesn’t like to talk about it much. But I’m winning little battles here and there. At least one day a week now she’s a libertarian before she cycles back through the SoCon and Soclialist states.

  10. I do want to that Hillary for bringing an obsolete joke back into play:

    What do you get when you cross a lying lawyer with a crooked politician?

    A daughter named Chelsea.

  11. Why Hillary Clinton Lacks Credibility On Criminal Justice Reform

  12. So what? This is democracy, in which our elected officials are practically commanded to follow the polls. They’re not supposed to do what they want or believe, but what their voters want. If the voters change their minds, the politicians are supposed to follow suit.

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