Column: Not ready for Hillary
I’m not ready for Hillary Clinton to be nominated for President of the United States yet and neither are many Americans. While she may be the Democratic favorite going into the 2016 primaries, she has her record to answer for before she is given the nod to be the American public’s voice.
Back in April, Hillary said and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, came out of the White House in 2000 “not only dead broke, but in debt” and that “we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses.”
But both Clintons came out of the White House in a great financial position despite Hillary’s ridiculous remarks. President Bill Clinton made $106 million in the decade following his departure from the White House. That figure averages to roughly $10 million a year, putting the Clintons in the 0.01 percent of income earners per year in the country. In addition, Hillary was going to be sworn in as a U.S. Senator when she was leaving the White House, which means her income was $145,100 per year, a figure that puts Hillary alone in the top 10 percent of earners.
Hillary’s blatant disregard for the struggle of millions of working families is an insult to every American. There is nothing wrong with having financial success, especially in the U.S., where we should encourage everyone to reach their maximum wealth potential. But to attempt to garner sympathy from potential voters by lying about one’s financial situation is a level of out-of-touch only Mitt Romney can understand.
Her wealth comments are just the tip of the iceberg in her lackluster record in government. She still hasn’t elaborated on her stance on LGBT rights since she stating she supported gay marriage in 2013, even after supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the 1990’s. Hillary’s only response is that the country has changed and now supports marriage equality. That doesn’t mean she personally believes marriage equality to be the right and just fight, but that it’s politically popular.
In the still changing times of marriage equality, it’s OK for her to change her old position. But she still has to accept responsibility for her actions as first lady and as a U.S. senator. While she was first lady, President Bill Clinton doubled the rate of gay service members being discharged from the military, and his Justice Department advocated that DOMA was constitutional.
Hillary has to answer for that part of her record because it wasn’t that long ago. It wasn’t until a year ago that she came out in support of marriage equality, but she has been silent on the issue ever since. She insists her “record speaks for itself,” but it doesn’t. There are still many questions to be asked, and her simply getting angry when questioned only raises suspicion.
Another controversy Hillary must answer for is the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Unfortunately, this issue has been watered down by the House GOP due to their witch hunt like tactics, but it’s still an issue without answers, and Hillary was one of the key officials in charge during that time.
While the other issues surrounding Benghazi may have been over politicized by the House GOP, there are still plenty of viable questions to ask. The Benghazi attack was the first instance since 1979 that an ambassador was killed while on assignment. That startling fact alone makes the attack on the consulate worth taking the time to investigate.
In addition, after an in-depth investigation, a House report concluded that repeated requests for increased security at the consulate were denied. Secretary Clinton’s office was directly responsible for handling such security details, and if those requests were denied even while supported with actionable intelligence, then she has to answer for failing to provide adequate security to a U.S. consulate.
If Hillary expects to run for president in 2016 and win, then her Benghazi handling is a more than important part of her record to question. If she were to win the presidency, she’d be commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, and how she has handled security related issues in the past is an important issue that must be scrutinized.
To those Democrats who don’t want to talk about Hillary’s gaffes or her actual record: shame on you. The Democratic Party subjected Mitt Romney to a heavy amount of criticism regarding his out-of-touch wealth remarks because Democrats believe income inequality is a huge drag on the economy. To not do the same for a candidate on the Democratic side would be an unprecedented level of hypocrisy, and hurts the party and country more than it does help.
Holding Hillary to a different standard just because she is popular is no excuse. She has a record and has asked the public and media several times to judge her based off of it, so I believe the only sensible way forward should be to take her up on that offer and hold her accountable.