The Clintons have escalated their dishonest smear campaign against Bernie Sanders, including attacks from Bill Clinton which are reminiscent of his racist attacks on Barack Obama eight years ago. Both Bill and Hillary have raised what Truthout calls The Most Disingenuous Attack on Bernie Yet over the vote for the Commodities Futures Modernization Act. Hillary Clinton raised this at the last Democratic debate.
But here’s the thing: Hillary Clinton isn’t telling a true story about Bernie Sanders and his vote for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, or CFMA.
As Robert Scheer has pointed out over at Truthdig, then-Congressman Sanders voted for the CFMA, not because he wanted to, but because he had to.
The CFMA had been shoved into an omnibus spending bill at the last minute as part of a deal between Republicans and President Bill Clinton, and because this was a time when, you know, Congress actually did its job, Sanders bit the bullet and voted for the whole package – CFMA included – to keep the government open.
Only four members of Congress ended up opposing the final spending bill that included the CFMA, and one of them was Ron Paul, who opposed pretty much every spending bill. But that’s just of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how dishonest Clinton was being when she called Bernie out for voting for the CFMA.
Even if Bernie had a good reason to vote for that omnibus spending bill – like preventing a government shutdown – Sanders was angry that he been forced into deregulating Wall Street.
Bill is also attacking Bernie over the data breach with an inaccurate account of the incident, calling it like stealing a car with the keys in the ignition. Bill left out important details such as that it was the Sanders campaign which both reported that the data breach and fired their staff member who was involved. In return, the DNC violated their contract with Sanders, only backing down in response to a lawsuit. Imagine the cover ups which we would be seeing if it was a Clinton staffer involved.
In what was probably his biggest strategic blunder, Bill Clinton jumped on highly exaggerated attacks on Bernie Bros. The attack line, which is reminiscent of the Obama boy attacks of eight years ago, is largely based upon myths spread by the Clinton campaign. While there is no doubt that some Sanders supporters have acted inappropriately on the internet, Sanders has already condemned such acts.
If bad behavior from supporters on the internet was a reason not to vote for a candidate, there are also plenty of cases coming from Clinton supporters, both on line and from more prominent supporters. While hardly a serious argument against Sanders, this resulted in an increase in discussion of Bill Clinton’s predatory behavior towards women. This will haunt the campaign through the general election should Hillary win the nomination. Reuters reports that one of the women who is accusing Clinton of sexual assault is planning to campaign against Clinton.
Meanwhile, Hillary continues to have problems with her speaking fees. At Huffington Post, Les Leopold writes Hillary Not Truthful About Wall Street Speaking Fees.
Hillary is veering from the truth when she suggests her $225,000 per speech fee, paid three times by Goldman Sachs, was “what they offered.”
It was not what they offered — it was what Team Hillary demanded.
A review of her 2014 tax return posted on her website shows that $225,000 was her minimum fee…
Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame and Hillary biographer, commented on CNN that the White House is “horrified that Clinton is blowing up her own campaign.” He said they can’t believe she took the money and didn’t see the ethical problems that would dog her.
It is not credible for her to argue that she took the money because she wasn’t sure she was going to run for president or that she was “dead broke.” She and Bill hauled in $139 million from 2007 to 2014…
The pundits point out that she has created a “perceived” conflict of interest, whether real or imagined. In essence they are saying that there’s nothing inherently wrong with taking the money. It’s not really tainted.
Hillary states that she never changed her vote due to campaign contributions. But evidence is mounting via previous accounts by Elizabeth Warren, that Hillary may have switched her position on bankruptcy laws to please her Wall Street contributors after becoming the Senator New York.
But these attacks miss the most basic question: Is money tainted? Is it blood-money?
Sanders believes it is by arguing that “the business model of Wall Street is fraud.”
There is considerable data to support him.
The most disturbing factor here is that Hillary Clinton really seems to believe that there is nothing unethical about the situation. How can she ever be trusted to work to get money out of politics if she does not recognize the problem and this is how she thinks?
Clinton makes matters worse by refusing to release the transcripts as she previously refused to release the email until forced to. McClatchy points out that Clinton did require that transcripts be kept.
With all the chaos surrounding the Clinton campaign, as well as Clinton losing her lead in the latest national polls from Quinnipiac and Reuters/IPSOS (which may or may not be outliers at this point), Politico reported that Clinton is considering a shake up of her staff. Hillary denied this report, but there is no information as to whether her nose grew during the interview. Regardless, the staff is not the problem. As was also the case eight years ago, the problem is the candidate. Democrats are insane if they want to go into a general campaign with her on top of the ticket.
Update: Bernie Sanders Delivers Clinton A Crushing Loss In New Hampshire