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The Cynics in the Mirror

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Bret Stephens writes in The Wall Street Journal, Hillary’s Cynical Song of Self

excerpts:

Cynicism is the great temptation of modern life. We become cynics because we desperately don’t want to be moralists, and because earnestness is boring, and because skepticism is a hard and elusive thing to master. American education, by and large, has become an education in cynicism: Our Founders were rank hypocrites. Our institutions are tools of elite coercion. Our economy perpetuates privilege. Our justice system is racist. Our foreign policy is rapacious. Cynicism gives us the comfort of knowing we won’t be fooled again because we never believed in anything in the first place. We may not be born disabused and disenchanted, but we get there very quickly.

This is the America that the Clintons seek to enlist in their latest presidential quest. I suspect many Democrats would jump at an opportunity not to participate in the exercise—it’s why they bolted for Barack Obama in 2008—and would welcome a credible primary challenger. (Run, Liz, Run!) But they will go along with it, mostly because liberals have demonized the Republican Party to the point that they have lost the capacity for self-disgust. Anything—anyone—to save America from a conservative judicial appointment.

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Pernicous Hypocrisy in Political Fundraising

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Victor Davis Hanson writes in the National Review, Moral Schizophrenics

excerpts:

But Ms. Clinton’s public ethics are loud and clear: She damns the effects of private money in polluting politics; she is furious about Wall Street profit-making; she is worried about the compensation of the struggling middle class. Indeed, so concerned is Hillary Clinton about the pernicious role of big money and the easy ability of our elites to make huge profits without traditional sweat and toil that she might well have to lecture her own son-in-law, who manages a multimillion-dollar hedge fund. Or better yet, Ms. Clinton’s advisers might warn her that in order to stop the pernicious role of big money in politics, she may be forced to top Barack Obama’s record fund-raising and rake in an anticipated $2.5 billion for the 2016 election.

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ACA Flim Flam

From The Wall Street Journal Cliff Asness writes In Praising ObamaCare, They Bury It

Excerpts:

That more people would be insured was never in dispute. If you mandate that people buy something, penalize them if they don’t and give it away to some, more people will end up with it. The proper response to this is: Duh.

The real question is how many of those covered by ObamaCare were previously uninsured, how increased coverage is translating into more or better health care, and at what cost this comes both to public finances and personal liberties—all compared with what other alternatives? That is the stuff for serious debate.

Five years ago, opponents of ObamaCare focused on many questions. Can the government force people to buy a good or service? If ObamaCare is constitutional, is there anything the government cannot force citizens to do? Will government intrusion into the health-care market raise or lower the long-term quality of care? What will it do to innovation? Is the Rube-Goldberg structure of ObamaCare the right—or even a reasonable—way to go about this? Should we pass laws first, read them second and force the courts and agencies to fix the problems? The real issues are principles and long-term effects, not “voilà!” proof that allows one side, either side, to say “we win!” based on shoddy logic.

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Exploiting Government

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from the Wall Street Journal, Clinton Cronyism

excerpts:

For those who have followed the Clintons, this is the latest chapter in an old story. Only weeks ago we learned how foreign governments made donations to the family foundation while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State. Even her son-in-law is taking to the family way of doing business, with his hedge fund now benefitting from big investments by the Wall Street friends of Bill and Hillary.

Then again, is anyone really surprised? This is the same woman who as first lady of Arkansas managed to turn a $1,000 investment in cattle futures into $100,000 over 10 months with an assist from some friends.

Liberals like Mrs. Clinton typically berate tea partiers and conservatives for denigrating government. But if American trust in government is at historic lows, this may have something to do with the sight of a Beltway where people become fabulously wealthy not by bringing some superior product or service to market but by cashing in on their political connections.

The Clintons didn’t invent crony capitalism. But when it comes to exploiting government for private gain, nobody does it better.

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Hillary’s Icarus Moment

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Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal, Hillary Seems Tired, Not Hungry.

Excerpt:

Everyone knows what the scandal is. She didn’t want a paper trail of her decisions and actions as secretary of state. She didn’t want to be questioned about them, ever. So she didn’t join the government’s paper-trail system, in this case the State Department’s official email system, which retains and archives records. She built her own private system and got to keep complete control of everything she’d done or written. She no doubt assumed no one outside would ask and no one inside would insist—she’s Hillary, don’t mess with her.

She knew the story might blow but maybe it wouldn’t, worth the chance considering the payoff: secrecy. If what she did became public she’d deal with it then. When this week she was forced to, she stonewalled: “The server will remain private.”

Is it outrageous? Of course. Those are U.S. government documents she concealed and destroyed. The press is not covering for her and hard questions are being asked because everyone knows what the story is. It speaks of who she is and how she will govern. Everyone knows it.

HKO

Perhaps this is her McCarthy moment. Perhaps it is her Icarus moment.