We are living in desperate political times and The New York Times is
partially responsible. On Sunday, Oct. 22, in the year of the Lord
2000, the Times editorial page could hold back no longer. Faced with
Hillary Clinton's falling poll numbers, the dark print screamed out:
"Hillary Clinton for the Senate."
No surprise, really. The Times editorial page simply cannot abide
any politician who is not enamored of big government and liberal
causes. But listen to the wisdom of Times editorial page editor Howell
Raines as he painfully lays out his endorsement of Hillary Clinton:
"Her health care task force failed to deliver the promised reform. The
investigative literature of Whitewater and related scandals is replete
with evidence that Mrs. Clinton has a lamentable tendency to treat
political opponents as enemies. She has clearly been less than
truthful in her comments to investigators and too eager to follow
President Clinton's method of peddling access for campaign donations.
Her fondness for stonewalling in response to legitimate questions about
financial matters or legislative matters contributed to the bad ethical
reputation of the Clinton administration. ...
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"We believe, however, that Mrs. Clinton is capable of growing beyond
the ethical legacies of her Arkansas and White House years."
Are you kidding? This is just sad and embarrassing. For a
prestigious newspaper like The New York Times to endorse a candidate it
freely admits is dishonest and ineffective in the hope that she "grows
beyond" her past actions is mystifying to say the least. And it's not
like Mrs. Clinton is running against Dracula or somebody. In its
endorsement of Hillary, the Times praises her opponent Rick Lazio: "On
housing, banking laws and the environment, he has taken positions far
friendlier to working people ... than those espoused by his party's
Senate majority leader, Trent Lott."
In the end, Mr. Raines concluded that Congressman Lazio "would be
hobbled by (Republican) party ideology and discipline." But in truth
it is Mr. Raines who is hobbled and blinded by ideology.
There is no question that Hillary Clinton is not an entirely honest
individual. There is no question that she has used her power as first
lady to keep the press away from her and to campaign with the taxpayers'
money; something no other candidate can do. According to government
investigators, she has consistently lied under oath and sold access to
the White House in return for campaign money. These are undeniable
facts and they add up to a woman who has subverted the free-election
system. She uses her Secret Service bodyguard to prevent media
questioning, has flown to campaign events aboard Air Force jets, and has
raised money by offering accommodations at the White House --
accommodations that the taxpayers fund and that most of us would like to
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Yet Howell Raines and millions of other New Yorkers want this woman
to be a senator. This sends a chilling message, which is that you can
be dishonest and sneaky and vindictive and ruthless -- but if you agree
with my ideological position, I'll endorse you.
What kind of country embraces that philosophy? What kind of people
will accept dishonesty from their public servants? This isn't about
liberalism or conservatism, this is about holding powerful people
accountable for what they actually do.
Last week on "The O'Reilly Factor," I said that whomever was elected
president would be OK. I like both Gore and Bush. They are decent
men. I believe they both are sincere in that they love their country
and believe their political philosophies are the way to go. Although
nobody's perfect, the presidential candidates are basically honest guys
(although Gore should come clean about the campaign finance shenanigans)
who have a record of achievement.
Hillary Clinton and her husband are not honest, and Mrs. Clinton has
no record of achievement. She gives speeches written for her by
high-priced pens-for-hire. She did not write her book and she has never
succeeded in any policy try. So why would anybody on earth endorse her
for any political office?
As I said at the top of this column. Despite all our affluence, we
are indeed living in desperate times. And Hillary Clinton is the
poster-child for that statement.