by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
I once had a boss who gave me some great advice, not just for managing people but for judging politicians: You forgive mistakes; you punish patterns. Everybody screws up. But if someone won’t learn from his mistakes and try to correct his behavior, then he either doesn’t think it was a mistake, he just doesn’t care, or he thinks you’re a fool. The one indisputable takeaway from Peter Schweizer’s new book, Clinton Cash, is that Bill and Hillary Clinton fit one or all of those descriptions. …
… [T]hough there is no clear proof that Bill Clinton illegally sold access to shady gold-mining interests in Haiti or uranium moguls in Canada, no one this side of longtime Clinton defender Lanny Davis can dispute that the Clintons have acted as if they really just didn’t care how it all looked.
As New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait notes, the “best-case scenario” is that the Clintons have been “disorganized and greedy.”
The Clinton spin on the book is that there’s not a “shred of evidence” of criminal wrongdoing, or as ABC’s George Stephanopoulos helpfully repeated over the weekend, “There’s no smoking gun.” He’s right, but not being a criminal is a remarkably low bar for a politician, even a Clinton.
The standard is that public servants should avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Not only is there three decades of evidence that the Clintons don’t think that standard applies to them, but there’s growing evidence that his biggest supporters are happy to play the fool — again.