Has there ever been a more absurd spectacle than Hillary Clinton – a mega-millionaire thanks solely to political connections, who once complained she was “flat broke” after leaving the White House despite owning two mansions, mistress of a shadowy foundation bulging with bags of foreign cash, and a favorite political investment of Wall Street – serving up bargain-basement Democrat class-war boilerplate? She’s more believable when claiming to have dodged sniper fire in Tuzla, or adopting hilariously fake accents to cadge sympathy from ethnic audiences.
On Monday, she whined about excessive CEO pay, even though she makes more money than 90 percent of the CEOs in America, and contributes exactly squat to the economy while doing it. She siphons money out of cash-strapped universities, and collects thinly-disguised influence-purchasing gifts from special interests, by charging them exorbitant fees to deliver canned speeches. Hillary Clinton would, without batting an eye, charge a university $300,000 to give a speech about excessive CEO pay.
On Tuesday, the New York Times wrote about Clinton trying to steal Elizabeth Warren’s populist thunder, while giving Warren a condescending pat on the head and reminding everyone that Hillary Rodham (Lannister) Clinton is the O.G. distaff tribune of Marxist class-war rhetoric in America. She suddenly finds it urgently necessary to make everyone forget decades of pretending to be the same kind of moderate centrist business-friendly technocrat Bill Clinton pretends to be, and reinvent herself as a hammer-and-sickle scourge of the bourgeoisie, at least until the threat of a Warren insurgency in the Democrat primary has passed.
The Times recalled a meeting with economists earlier this year in which, “Mrs. Clinton intensely studied a chart that showed income inequality in the United States,” after which she jabbed an accusing finger at the top category and declared economic revival required a “toppling” of the notorious One Percent.
Hillary Clinton is, of course, firmly ensconced in the upper reaches of that One Percent; some of the people she’s demonizing would love to arrange jobs for their daughters that bring six-figure incomes from media companies in exchange for virtually zero work. But naturally the Clintons don’t need toppling, and neither do any of their deep-pockets supporters. In fact, if you’re rich and you want to avoid getting toppled, you might want to think about slipping some cash the Clintons’ way. That’s how “socialism” works.
Another funny thing about “socialism” is that friends of the regime tend to make boatloads of money, thanks to everything from favorable regulations to gigantic taxpayer subsidies, while everyone outside the circle of power suffers. That’s why Hillary Clinton found herself staring at a chart showing “income inequality” was worse than ever, following some five years of rule by the most left-wing President of the modern era.
But that doesn’t compute under left-wing “populist” dogma, which portrays Big Government as the enemy of Big Business, while viewing the Little People as daffodils that can only flourish when compassionate politicians shower them with the right mix of redistributed water and rhetorical fertilizer. Thus we found Mrs. Clinton expressing bafflement and confusion that small business is struggling under a left-wing populist President who doesn’t understand much about small business, and doesn’t much care for what little he understands.
“I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it,” Clinton said of small-business malaise in the Age of Obama, while on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. “Because people were telling me this as I traveled around the country the last two years, but I didn’t know what they were saying and it turns out that we are not producing as many small businesses as we used to.”
Let me get this straight: for two years, people have been telling her small businesses are hurting under Obama, but she didn’t understand what they were saying… and she thinks she’s qualified to be President?
By the way, this is the same woman who famously dismissed fears that small business would be crushed by her health-care reform scheme by snarling, “I can’t be responsible for every under-capitalized entrepreneur in America.” But now she wants to reinvent herself as the mother goddess of entrepreneurship (which has been suffering for mysterious reasons that surely couldn’t have a thing to do with the policies of the current Democrat president!) when she’s not busy strapping excessively successful people with incorrect politics to the petard of fairness and cutting them down to size. Flourish, my fellow Americans, but don’t flourish too much, lest ye be toppled.
In the topsy-turvy world of liberal populism, filthy-rich politicians who hector hard-working folk while living in the lap of unearned luxury are good, because their brilliant minds and colossal moral stature entitle them to fabulous wealth. They can’t be greedy, because they care so damn much. Similar reasoning is at play when liberal crowds applaud “global warming” crusaders who arrive at rallies in private jets and gigantic luxury yachts. There is something about the liberal mindset that brings the desire to be ruled, a hunger for Great Man and Great Woman fantasies that makes the Left perpetually vulnerable to cults of personality.
They’re also great believers in symbolism, which is how Hillary Clinton becomes a champion of feminism, the veritable avatar of American womanhood, even though her signature achievement is helping her husband get away with the sexual exploitation of a young intern.
Maybe the absurdity and transparent fraudulence of Clinton’s campaign is a feature, not a bug. The more implausible her populist rhetoric, the more her supporters feel the thrill of devotion by making themselves believe it. They’re more interested in punitive politics anyway – as long as they think people they don’t like will be made to suffer, or at least swallow political defeat, they’re content.
The rest of us should be sick and tired of listening to Democrats declare war on law-abiding segments of the American population, especially when the politicians in question are exemplars of the groups they supposedly despise. We don’t need another generalissimo organizing legions of parasitic bureaucracy for battle against what remains of free-thinking private-sector America.
We don’t need another moralist declaring that this fortune is rotten, while that one is clean and pure. We’ve had our fill of smarmy accusations about “unfairness” that lead to conviction and punishment without trial or evidence of wrongdoing. The last thing this tired, overburdened, tense nation needs is another President with a target list of domestic enemies she wants to “topple,” a list that always conveniently excludes her supporters, and herself, no matter how perfectly they might line up with her rhetorical description of the One Percenter devil.