Doug Smith: Character matters after all

25 Apr

doug smith

Doug Smith: Author, historian and regular contributor to Free State Patriot.


The phrase “character matters” was batted about some years ago.  It was also widely discounted by the Clintonphiles when it came to the Clintons.  Odd that a DUI 20 years previous to an election was a major character flaw for Bush, but peccadilloes in office, ( Literally, in office: The Oval Office) were excused as a private matter when it came to The Clinton ( Like The McGregor, but with less kilts and more charm.)

One of the most iconic pronouncements of the 20th century, and one that typifies the Clinton approach to ethics, truth, and behavior came from the lips of Bill, The Clinton.

I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.


And later,

I did, indeed have an inappropriate relationship with Miss Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, they were not correct.

Don’t these guys just make you love lawyers? As long as no one specifically asked if he engaged in the particular act, at a particular time, in a particular place, his lies and evasions were, to his way of thinking, ok – until they were not. Perhaps they should have had a divorce lawyer question him, or a psychiatrist.

But all the Clintonese parsing of words aside, when Bill Clinton answered under oath, the question “Did you have sexual relations with her?” with a flat “No.”, it was a lie.

When he famously uttered the Miss Lewinsky pronouncement to all of America, it was a lie – Period.

But Bill was charming (so was Charles Manson), handsome, and popular. The economy was good. No active wars were underway.

So, did the character of the Clintons (Hillary has the same relationship with the truth as Bill, her gravy train, but without the charm) matter? The Arkansas Supreme Court, to their credit, felt that a lawyer perjuring himself was a bad thing and disbarred him. The judgement of many supporters, and the Senate, at the time was, no, not so much.

So, does it matter, the character of those we entrust with power over our lives and our country?

Hillary  would have us believe at one time she  picked up the Wall Street Journal one day, said, Hmm, cattle is going up, and plopped down $ 1,000 bucks, and made a neat return of $100,000, good day’s work.

Except, the odds of that happening at millions to one.

Hillary’s investment was made by a trader tied to Tyson foods, not by her.

Her investment was 60,000 in the red at one point, and she was not required to put up more to cover the loss, as were other investors, who lost their shirts.


If Hillary, and he, had played by the rules, she would have lost the 1,000, and more.

Her investor was disciplined by the Chicago Mercantile Board for the practice of “straddling”, i.e. waiting till the winners and losers are known then allocating the trades, in short picking the winners and losers after the trades are done. That is like making a bet in poker after the other guy shows his cards. It is fraudulent. (He lost his license to trade for a year over the practice.)

Gradually, bit by bit, the Clinton White House revealed the truth of the trades, that it was not Hillary, that it was in fact guided by the trader tied to Tyson Foods. But as is their wont, they released the truth only when caught, and bit by bit, so that no one notices.

Tyson Foods was in turn the beneficiary of millions in favors from the state of Arkansas, under Clinton.  Governor Clinton refused to enforce his own clean up rulings against them at a chicken plant, which caused many residents to sicken, and the Governor to declare it a disaster area, forcing (surprise!  ) the State, and not Tyson, to clean it up.  When allegations surfaced of envelopes of cash from Tyson arriving at the Governor’s mansion for the Clintons, a special prosecutor sought to investigate the apparent quid pro quo. But by now, it was 1994.  Attorney General Janet Reno, now President Clinton’s appointee, refused his request to investigate, and the allegations reported by Time were never pursued.

Chelsea Clinton (net worth 15 million) said, a few years ago, “I guess I got this from my parents. We have just never cared about money.”


But in fact, for the Clintons, it is all about money. Power, to be sure, but power as a means to get money. They like the Park Avenue lifestyle, the private jets, hobnobbing with the rich and famous.

And the record shows they will do anything, say anything, break any rule, to get it.

With a 20 year pattern of such behaviors, underscored in present revelations by the Clintons going back to amend their taxes to include millions in donations from foreigners that they just “ forgot” to report, and forgot to pay taxes on, it is increasingly the question must be asked “ Can we trust  Clinton?”

Even as allegations of impropriety surface with the Clintons receiving money from foreign interests with business before the State Department while Hillary was Secretary of State, supporters are rushing to say

“There is no evidence that those millions had any impact on her decisions as Secretary.”  Huh? So in other words, someone gave her millions, and she made a ruling in their favor, but there is no proof she would not have ruled the same way even without the money.

Seriously? That is the story they are going with?

Now, just by way of perspective, let us consider this.  A week after President Obama was inaugurated, President Bush, Treasury Secretary Paulson, and Energy Secretary Bodman, got to look at their holdings for the first time since taking office. In the case of President Bush, he placed all his wealth into a blind trust with Northern Trust in 1999, when he began running for President. None of these men, all millionaires, received any information, nor were able to see where their money was invested, by the terms of the blind trust, until it was removed from the trust, after they left office. In this way, they avoid the appearance of impropriety in their decisions. They don’t know if their money is in oil, or real estate, or Uranium.  So their decisions cannot be influenced by what will do those good financially, but on what they think is right. That is a sound approach.

So we might start out with this question.  Why didn’t the Clintons recuse themselves from the Clinton Foundation, and take no money, or salary, or free travel from them, and meet with no donors, and not be made aware of the donors, during the time when Hillary was Secretary of State.  Henry Paulson did, and he was worth far more than the Clinton Foundation.

And again now, why don’t the Clintons take that action now that Hillary is a candidate for President, so she can avoid the appearance of impropriety as she runs for the highest office in the land? After all, Bush did. And he lost money in the 2008 collapse.


After all, we don’t want the appearance that our leaders are for sale.  Except, of course, if they are.

Now, many people like Bill Clinton. He is a likable guy. A scoundrel, but a likable guy. I might enjoy grilling hamburgers with him, but would I trust him with my wallet?

But Hillary?  That one has me puzzled.  Some people seem to worship her as a political icon of the Left. But why? She is NOT likable, as is her husband. She is not accomplished.  Everything she has been involved in has been tainted with failure, disaster, and scandal.  She is, to say the least, ethically challenged. Somehow she has wrapped herself in the mantel of “First Woman President.”

But let us follow that to its logical conclusion. Support Hillary, because only she can be the 1st Woman President. Really? So, even discounting her failures and her questionable ethics, are the feminists seriously telling us that of all the women out there, of all the smart, accomplished, personable women who have been on the national scene, there is only one that might win the Presidency? If that is true, what an indictment on feminism and on women. Really? One? That is all you’ve got for 100 years since Susan B Anthony?


Character? Yes, it does matter.  Condi Rice would make a fine President. As would Nicki Halley. As would Carly Fiorina. As would, were she still living, the former Ambassador to Britain, Shirley Temple Black.  These are 3 fine choices from the conservative side of the spectrum.  Again, my liberal friends, are you really saying that among all the liberal women on the national scene, all you have is one? It is not, nor has it ever been, Hillary or no woman President.

Character matters. As the latest revelations, and Clinton scrambling to revise the lies toward truth as they are caught, to pay taxes they evaded to set the record straight, (any ideas what would have happened if Mitt Romney, or you, or me, had REALLY evaded our taxes for 5 years?) continue to unfold, we need to get past the tunnel vision of Hillary because….Hillary.

Ironically, Hillary Rodham was involved for a time in efforts to remove Richard Nixon for his dishonesty and deception.  Now, after a lifetime of showing herself to be so very much like him, she wants his old job.

It is time to take a hard look at the actions, words, deceits, and record of this person and ask seriously, Will having her as our President be a good thing?

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