The Choice We Face In 2016

Clinton v Trump Badges

Having reached Labor Day the presidential election has now officially started. I wish I could say that the months we have already gone through has just been a bad dream and we don’t really have this race between the two worst people in America. There is at least one clear difference between the two, but first the similarity–both have a Foundation scandal.

I’ve already discussed the Clinton Foundation scandals in great detail, including here and here. Between the email and Foundation scandals, Hillary Clinton has been found to have violated policy with regards to using a home server rather than a government email system, failing to turn over any email for archiving which was sent over personal email, destroying over half the email and falsely claiming it was personal, and failed to disclose all donors to the Clinton Foundation as she agreed prior to her confirmation. She unethically made rulings on multiple occasions regarding parties which contributed to the Foundation and/or made unprecedented payments for speeches to Bill Clinton.

Donald Trump has a Foundation scandal of his own. There are far less stories regarding this as there wasn’t the clear conflict of interest of Donald Trump being in a position to sell influence as he was not in the government. Here’s where we have the difference between the two. Instead of selling influence, Donald Trump used his money to buy influence. As The Atlantic points out, he has even admitted it in the past:

“As a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal in July 2015. “As a businessman, I need that.”

Beyond this difference, selling versus buying influence, Clinton and Trump are very much alike. I’ve cited multiple articles from fact checkers showing Clinton lying about her scandals. Trump is sounding a lot like Clinton when he denies any impropriety in a contribution to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi before her office decided not to investigate Trump University in 2013.

Which do you prefer–the crook who sells influence or the scoundrel who buys influence? That’s the choice we face this year.


  1. 1
    Cbunny says:

    We do NOT have to vote for either one! And not voting for eitner one is the only right thing to do!

    Vote third party! It is a vote for goodness, against evil and corruption!

  2. 2
    Patricia Donohue says:

    I drew the candidate I am voting for this election… yeah JILL STEIN and Ajamu BARAKA.  

    Thanks for this article I am sharing it on Facebook.. 🙂 pa

  3. 3
    Bob Munck says:

    Digby: Some members of the press are not just commenting on a reality, they are pushing the theme of two equally unpalatable candidates and it just isn't true. 

    The main problem for Clinton is that people think she is a congenital liar. When asked what it is she lied about most people can't point to anything specific they just know she's dishonest and corrupt. The fact that she's been dogged by political enemies and investigated by special prosecutors, the media and the congress with unlimited budgets and every possible means of getting to the truth and has been exonerated doesn't seem to register. Indeed, the fact-checkers all find her to be more honest than virtually anyone in politics while Donald Trump, by contrast, lies more than he tells the truth.

    In order to understand how this came to be, you have to go back to a column from 1996 in the New York Times by vicious right wing columnist William Safire who first dubbed her a "congenital liar." All the crimes he accused her of committing and lies he insisted she told later proved him to be the liar (or badly misinformed) but it didn't matter. For many reasons, not the least of which was simple sexism, it was set in stone that this feminist, lawyer first lady was devious, calculating and power mad — Madame DeFarge and Evita rolled into one. The political press has filtered their coverage of her through that lens ever since.

    Et tu. 

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    That is a rather nonsensical argument considering the degree to which Clinton’s dishonesty has been documented.

    Just in the recent past both the State Department Inspector General report and the FBI report documented multiple lies by Clinton regarding the email scandal.

    Factcheckers have similarly documented multiple lies from Clinton on this topic and multiple other topics.

    Kevin Drum has been as dishonest as Digby in covering up Clinton’s dishonesty. The chart linked to is especially dishonest. It throws together incorrect facts with lies, acting as if they are one and the same. Making matters worse, it is not valid to throw data together from different fact check articles together like this. Each fact check article is a discrete event and they depend upon which items they happen to check. You cannot come up with a valid comparison between different candidates like this.

    You really do need to study some basic statistics. This is not the first time you have showed such ignorance on the topic in your comments here. Or more likely, you ignore the actual facts and are willing to try to spin anything, no matter how nonsensical for partisan reasons.

  5. 5
    SocraticGadfly says:

    So, Digby's now a semi-sellout at least?

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    A lot of Democratic bloggers are putting partisanship over the facts to defend Clinton. Kevin Drum has been especially bad throughout the scandals. He is either totally oblivious to the facts or has been greatly twisting the facts in writing his defenses of Clinton.

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