Election 2016

Election 2016 Pits Crooked Hillary Against Saint Hillary

Crooked Hillary is the one that has been on front pages lately. But none of us are either entirely evil or entirely good, including Clinton-and Donald Trump.

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JIM LO SCALZO/EPA/Newscom

Forget about Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. The most interesting and consequential contest of the presidential campaign—and of the next four or eight years, if Clinton prevails in the election—may just be the one between Crooked Hillary and Saint Hillary.

Just in the past week, a Douglas Band memo exposed the overlap between the Clinton family charity and its for-profit business interests. The FBI director notified Congress that additional Hillary Clinton emails exist on a computer seized in an otherwise unrelated investigation of interstate sexting by former Congressman Anthony Weiner. And it emerged that the Clintons had failed to seek or obtain the building permits required for an extensive renovation on a house they acquired in Chappaqua, N.Y.

Crooked Hillary is the one that has been on front pages.

Give Trump credit for his ability to sense an opponent's vulnerability and encapsulate it in a memorable nickname. "Low energy Jeb." "Little Marco." And "Crooked Hillary."

She is, of course, a character that those of us who lived through the first Clinton presidency remember plenty well. The one who made $100,000 in ten months in 1978 and 1979 trading cattle and hog future contracts. The one whose Rose Law Firm billing records were mysteriously discovered in the White House residence in 1996 after two years in which they had disappeared while congressional investigators had subpoenaed them.

But if Crooked Hillary is in danger of losing the election, or of sabotaging her own chances of a successful presidency if she wins, it's Saint Hillary who is on the verge of winning a historic victory. If you are having a hard time dredging her image up from the depths of your memory, try clicking on the cover of The New York Times magazine from Sunday, May 23, 1993, which featured a striking image of Clinton dressed in pure, angelic, white, a three-strand pearl necklace around her throat.

The Times magazine cover promoted an article by Michael Kelly, who later became the editor of The New Republic and The Atlantic and who died in 2003 covering the Iraq War. Headlined "Saint Hillary," it was an attempt by one of our shrewdest journalists to take seriously the idea of Clinton as a thinker in the tradition of, say, Aristotle, or Leo Strauss, someone who believed in what the magazine's cover line called a "politics of virtue." Wrote Kelly: "She would like people to live in a way that more closely follows the Golden Rule. She would like to do good, on a grand scale, and she would like others to do good as well. She would like to make the world a better place—as she defines better."

The Times article went on, "She favors, as does the President, welfare reform, and she argues that society has extended too freely rights without responsibilities, which has led to a great decline in the standard of behavior. She cites a recent article by Daniel Patrick Moynihan on what the New York Senator called 'defining deviancy down.'"

Reported Kelly: "Mrs. Clinton argues that the concepts of liberalism and conservatism don't really mean anything anymore and that the politics of the New Age is moving beyond ideology." He concluded, "Returning to moral judgment as a basis for governmental policy must inevitably mean curtailing what have come to be regarded as sacrosanct rights and admitting a limit to tolerance."

There's a certain paradox, or at least irony, in Crooked Hillary and Saint Hillary coexisting in the same individual person. This wasn't entirely lost on Kelly, either—"a bit much…unintentionally hilarious," he mused. But ultimately he took Saint Hillary at her word, seriously.

It's easy to be put off by the combination of sleaze and self-righteousness, by the stark juxtaposition of Crooked Hillary and Saint Hillary. But people are more complex than caricatures. Few of us indeed are either entirely evil or entirely good. It's a point Clinton and her supporters might remember in assessing Trump. It's also a point that voters will have to consider as they look at that other name on the presidential ballot: not Crooked Hillary, not Saint Hillary, just Hillary Clinton, her complete complicated human self.

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  1. Ugh, another Trump article. Never talk about Clinton!! So bias!!

    1. You idiot. This is the “Libertarian case for Hillary” article we’ve heard so much about.

      1. I thought it was a myth!

        1. You would think that, Tulpa.

          1. This is the “Libertarian case for Hillary” article we’ve heard so much about.

            I found the article in question so convoluted that I’m sure I mythunderstood most of what was written in it.

  2. I don’t give a shit that no one is all good or all bad. We are choosing a president and presumably a general course direction for our country.

    Listing out all of the stand-alone reasons that Hillary is not qualified for the office would take all day. And another day for all of the stand-alone reasons that she just plain shouldn’t hold the office. Putting that woman in office would be pure insanity.

  3. a three-strand pearl necklace around her throat

    SugarFree’s not here, man.

  4. “The Times magazine cover promoted an article by Michael Kelly headlined “Saint Hillary.””

    Can’t remember. Was this after she decided riding Slick Willie’s coattails was worth more than acting like a moral agent and telling him to go get another BJ?
    Or was this just Times magazine shilling for Dems?

    1. When has the Times magazine ever NOT shilled for Dems?

  5. “She would like people to live in a way that more closely follows the Golden Rule. She would like to do good, on a grand scale, and she would like others to do good as well. She would like to make the world a better place?as she defines better.”

    It seems someone is confusing saints with statists.

    Saints never intend to use force to make other people abide by their beliefs.

    1. But it’s for your own good

  6. I’m sure Stalin patted his daughter on her cheek and kissed her and sincerely felt full of love.

    I’m sure that while he was in seminary training to be an orthodox priest, Stalin did some good works.

    NEVERTHELESS!

    He was an evil fuck who would have done the world a favor had he killed himself ASAP.

    And that’s the way I feel about crooked Hillary. Hundreds of thousands of people will die because of her hubris. If she is elected that number will double or even treble.

    She doesn’t have to put a gun in her mouth and paint the wall with her brains. She could merely announce she is retiring for reasons of ill hell and withdraw from public life. Completely,

    Like Stalin, she cannot. For she is riding a tiger, and unless she dies astride its shoulders, the moment she gets off is the moment it turns on her and eats her.

    1. Stalin dearly loved his wife who committed suicide. You could plausibly argue that her death is what turned him from an ordinary tyrant to the monster he was. As you say, so what?

      Am I the only one who finds it a bit odd for Reason, after months of one hysterical and over the top criticism of Trump after another suddenly, after the FBI restarts its investigation and it looks like Hillary might be in real trouble, decides that no one is really all bad? Really? Why wasn’t Stoll giving this wise counseling to the reason staff last summer?

    2. … retiring for reasons of ill hell ….

      I like it, tarran, especially given the full context of your post.

  7. “She would like people to live in a way that more closely follows the Golden Rule. She would like to do good, on a grand scale, and she would like others to do good as well. She would like to make the world a better place?as she defines better.”

    This truly is an evil statement if one ponders it.

    Eugenicists thought the same thing actually.

    1. Indeed, Rufus, “as she defines better” says it all.

    2. Do you know who else thought he was making the world better?

      The answer is damn near every monster who’s committed atrocities. That’s not much of a selling point as far as I’m concerned.

      1. When I read that, and other parts of his analysis, I wondered if Michael Kelly chose his words purposely to convey more than one meaning.

      2. Not damn near. No every monster thinks that. People who are just sadists or perverts kill at most a few dozen. People who think they are making a better world kill millions.

    3. Yeah. The more noble the ends, the more hideaous the means that one can rationalize to accomplish it.

      1. Not surprising. To become someone eager to reshape the world using people, first you have to stop thinking of them as people and start thinking of them as simply resources to be used for your ends.

        1. And you have to completely lack humility such that you think you are capable of doing great good if only you had the power. First and foremost you have to be one hell of a narcissist.

    4. Eugenicists thought the same thing actually.

      Eugenicists, communists, nazis, you name it. Evil never thinks of itself as evil.

    5. This sounds to me to be most like Robbespierre and the Reign of Terror. Virtue above all, they will be lead and defined by those virtues, only as Robbespierre could define.

      Saint Robbespierre / Statist Robbespierre / crooked Robbespierre

  8. Ugh. Please let this election end already.

  9. I went sailing yesterday. Obviously, it being NYC, I expected the bulk of my crewmates to be Clinton supporters and the topic of politics to come up. The thing that genuinely struck me, though, was the degree of disconnect between our basic understanding of the world. To hear my crewmates tell it, the economy is doing just swimmingly, there was no connection whatsoever between the policies of Obama/Clinton and the rise of ISIS and Hillary Clinton is just a saintly public servant. Oh, and anyone who supports Trump is either evil, selfish, or ignorant. And the only story in the FBI e-mail reinvestigation is how awful Anthony Weiner is. And these people aren’t imbeciles. They’re educated, accomplished, people. Yet, they were eager to accept things that you would think any reasonably intelligent person would reject as ludicrous.

    1. I have a ton of friends in Washington just like that. You have to remember these people read the New York Times and watch the network news every day and think that makes them informed. If all you knew was what the Times told you, you would think a lot of crazy shit too.

      1. Perhaps. Or maybe causality works the other way. If all I knew was what the Times told me, at some point, I’d go out and seek different information. Honestly, you could hear the need for reaffirmation from one another in their tone. And that probably explains why they only read the Times or the Post (for your DC friends). They read them because they confirm what they want to hear.

        1. You would think so. But doing that would require admitting that you are not just ill informed but questioning your entire world view. If you base your self esteem on your politics, and most liberals do that, looking elsewhere is something most people find too hard to do.

      2. John, I have a prog buddy who asked me what is wrong with Hillary. My response was “haven’t you been paying attention for the last 25 years.”

        1. My neighbor thinks Obamacare is working and to the extent it’s not it is still better than what we had before. When he told me that I almost came unglued. I had to just walk away. What do you say to that? Where do you even begin?

          1. What do you say to that? Where do you even begin?

            Tell him to get his paycheck and benefits summary from 5 years ago and compare it to the present.

  10. What’s this magical beast named Saint Hillary? I don’t think it’s ever been spotted in the wild.

    1. Patron Saint of Bribery and Lying. Mostly utilized in 3rd world countries.

  11. I just remember she backed cookies & spoke w whatever accent the occasion seemed to encourage.

    1. I thought she famously said that she was NOT someone that bakes cookies.

      And that may be one of the few points in her favor. I can imagine any cookies she baked would taste like crap. She’d use whatever ingredients someone paid her enough to throw in there, regardless of the consequences. I’m talking melamine in baby food/pet food type of crap ingredients.

  12. Saint Hillary?

    Oh, right. She’s the patron saint of warmongering, isn’t she?
    Or maybe she’s the patron saint of statist authoritarians and corrupt officials?

  13. “Returning to moral judgment as a basis for governmental policy must inevitably mean curtailing what have come to be regarded as sacrosanct rights and admitting a limit to tolerance.”

    Which is why it must be stopped.

    1. Is that Stoll or Hillary talking?

      1. I thought it was Kelly

  14. Seriously, is there a real libertarian site I can read each day instead of this so-called one?

    1. Some decent articles

      https://fee.org

    2. You could sample these. I was looking at a decent one last night. Don’t recall name. Prolly still up on my desktop. I’ll post if I get on there later.

      http://libertarianpapers.org/t…..-websites/

    3. I would care to know the answer to this as well.

  15. Look, how about a compromise, keep Crooked Hillary out of the White House, and prosecute her for any wrongdoing she committed, and then keep and eye out for Saint Hillary and offer her the Presidency.

  16. she argues that society has extended too freely rights without responsibilities…

    Returning to moral judgment as a basis for governmental policy must inevitably mean curtailing what have come to be regarded as sacrosanct rights…

    Fuck off, Saint Slaver Hillary.

  17. The NYT article was fantastic. really made me think. 2 things stood out.

    Her failing is a common one; that trans-formative virtue can be imposed by will. it fails due to the sacrifice reqBest exemplified by politicians and other powerful /popular people telling us we need to cut back on pollution while taking helicopters to and from the event. Do as I say, not as I do only goes so far.

  18. The NYT article was fantastic. really made me think. 2 things stood out.

    Her failing is a common one; that trans-formative virtue can be imposed by will. it fails due to the sacrifice reqBest exemplified by politicians and other powerful /popular people telling us we need to cut back on pollution while taking helicopters to and from the event. Do as I say, not as I do only goes so far.

  19. The other idea that occurred to me is the idea of trying to create an ideal society; liberals attacked the church, but it was to take the power of judging right-and-wrong. Instead it got away from them. Politicians as moral authorities is a hard sell.

  20. I remember way back when it was crazy to think that the election was rigged.

    Now House Republicans, the FBI, and the KGB are rigging our democracy.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  21. This article is one of the most pointless I’ve ever seen Reason print. And they employ Robby so that’s a pretty low fucking bar.

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