Stop Hillary? Not With These Mistakes (Or The Wisdom Of Dick Morris)

tags: Hillary Clinton

Expectations that Hillary Rodham Clinton will run for president in 2016 have, predictably enough, revived a variety of attacks promoted by her political adversaries over the past two decades – in particular, the story of the $50 million prosecutorial fiasco known as “Whitewater.” America Rising, the Republican opposition research SuperPAC, has announced already that it plans to inform voters about the “Clinton scandals” of the 1990s, just as the right-wing propaganda machine did then. And they’re already enjoying assistance from certain thinkers on the left who consider the former Secretary of State too moderate politically, notably in a current Harper’s magazine cover essay headlined “STOP HILLARY!”

Assuming that Hillary Clinton indeed runs for president, I expect to write and say more as the 2016 campaign unfolds.  For now, however, my friend and co-author Gene Lyons and I believe it is worth correcting the flagrant errors and misrepresentations set down by Doug Henwood, author of the Harper’s article. (Clinton’s supporters have posted a painstaking rebuttal of Henwood’s dismissive assessment of her career in the U.S. Senate and the State Department.)

While conceding that Whitewater was never quite the “diabolical conspiracy” imagined by Republicans, Henwood insists “it was not nothing” (his emphasis). Yet he never says precisely what he thinks it was, except to imply that it demonstrates Hillary’s bad character and personal dishonesty. With that mindset, the actual history of the ill-fated real-estate investment eludes him again and again.

Henwood grudgingly acknowledges that the Whitewater investment undertaken by the Clintons with James McDougal — who later acquired a small savings-and-loan institution called Madison Guaranty — “seems to have” lost money for them. But while admitting that they were “never convicted of any criminal behavior,” he neglects to mention that they were never even indicted, and that the Resolution Trust Corporation’s three-volume report on Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan – written by a Republican lawyer who had previously been fired as United States Attorney by Bill Clinton — fully exonerated them both on all aspects of the probe.

Instead, he complains that McDougal hired the Rose Law Firm, where Hillary Clinton was a partner, to represent Madison Guaranty, which he says represented a “farcical round robin” of conflicts of interest, because she was the governor’s wife and the state government regulated the S&L industry. He also suggests that Madison Guaranty—not acquired by McDougal until five years after the Whitewater investment was made—financed the deal. But that’s simply wrong; the Clintons’ investment cost the bank nothing...

Read entire article at The National Memo

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