Having served as First Lady, U.S. senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has a formidable resume to run for president. She's got a pretty invulnerable lead not just on her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders but on the GOP field as well, with betting markets giving her three-to-one odds or better to beat all rivals and win next November's election.
And yet, she is arguably not just the worst candidate in this current cycle but for many cycles. Whether you're right-wing or left-wing; care about the economy, foreign policy, or free speech; or just want a forward-looking politician, Hillary is just god-awful.
Which is, I argue in a new Daily Beast column, one more reason to hate Donald Trump: He's distracting the country from really grappling with just how catastrophically terrible Clinton is.
Let's forget for the moment the bizarre but disturbing character flaws such as Clinton's unwillingness to acknowledge that she used a ghostwriter while writing best-sellers and weekly newspaper columns that were published everywhere for years but read by exactly nobody. Or her lying about being shot at in Bosnia. Or her WTF bringing up Bobby Kennedy's assasination while discussing scenarios where she could beat Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary. We all have bad days, after all, and who hasn't embroidered a little bit about who we were named after, how broke we were after leaving the White House, and whether our daughter was jogging near the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001?
She is "reflexively opprossive" when it comes to the economy (she's a cronyist who bailed out Wall Street, banks, and auto companies and has proposed a new infrastructure bank that will function as yet one more taxpayer-funded slush fund), foreign policy (her record at State is one of unparalleled failures, yet she still argues that the "reset" with Russia "worked" and that Libya is a great example of "smart power"), and civil liberties (she still digs The Patriot Act, wants to neuter encryption, and is all in favor of limiting political speech in the name of "campaign-finance reform").
It's true that Donald Trump has been a uniquely stupid and reprehensible candidate. But a candidate despised by so much of the electorate can't possibly win. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, can, and probably will, so for the love of god, can we not forget about her unique brand of awfulness as we all bash The Donald?
Yes, yes, politics is the art of the possible and the "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Deez Nuts" t-shirts aren't going to get us very far. . But if South Park has taught usanything over the years, it's that the choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich isn't the sort of choice for which we should settle. If we want to get serious about just how awful the 2016 election is going to be and start demanding better choices, we've got to start looking past the candidate who wants Bill Gates (of all people) to close up the internet and look at the candidate who wants actual internet companies to start doing the government's bidding.