Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine blasted Hillary Clinton's ethics. Of course, being a Hillary supporter he must have realized he went too far so he also bizarrely slammed people who dare to criticize Hillary. Finally he ends up worrying that her corrupt image could harm her in the election or even beyond. Yes, it is a real rollercoaster ride so let us join Chait in his initial blast mode as you can tell from the title of his article, Hillary Clinton’s Ethics Problems Are Worse Than She Understands:
...She has a reputation for venality — the merits of which we can set aside momentarily — that forces her to a higher ethical standard. Her inadequate response to the conflicts of interest inherent in the Clinton Foundation show that she is not meeting that standard, and has not fully grasped the severity of her reputational problem.
The purpose of the Clinton Foundation is to leverage Clinton fame into charitable donations. That purpose has important positive effects — shaking loose donations for AIDS prevention and training African farmers and other worthy causes. But it also has the unavoidable side effect of giving rich people a way to curry favor with a powerful elected official. The Clinton Foundation has announced that, should Hillary Clinton win, it will stop accepting donations from corporations or foreign entities, which mitigates the problem without dispelling it altogether. Wealthy individuals, or corporations passing their money through foundations, can still use Clinton Foundation grants as chits.
Ultimately, there is no way around this problem without closing down the Clinton Foundation altogether. Passing off management of the foundation to non-relatives or other third parties doesn’t do the trick, either. If the Clinton Foundation is not leveraging the Clinton name, it has no purpose.
Now Chait shifts gears and excuses her with the weird rationale that, hey, the Clintons are no more corrupt than is normal for politicians:
The reality is that their venality is rather ordinary. There’s a reason the term politician is synonymous with lying, calculation, and ambition — these are common qualities for politicians. The Clintons are common politicians, motivated in general by a desire to implement policy changes they think will make the world a better place, but not immune to trimming and getting rich in the process. None of their behavior is disqualifying, given the number of elected officials, presidents included, who have done the same. Neither does it justify it.
See, their corruption is entirely within the norm for politicians. Yeah, they are getting rich in the process but don't they all? Oh, and if you dare criticize her lack of ethics then you are being unfair. Or so Chait strangely argues:
It is unfair for Hillary Clinton that her skeptics, many of them sexist, imagine her as a figure of unique malevolence and corruption. But politicians have to deal with unfair circumstances rather than wish them away.
So, um, Jonathan, is it unfair to accuse Hillary of only pretending to oppose the TPP as you yourself claimed last October?
And as we reach the end of Jonathan Chait's bizarro rollercoaster ride he again worries about Hillary's ethics...but only as to how they will affect the election and beyond.
The risk that Clinton’s tainted image will defeat her is small but real enough to merit concern. The much larger risk is that her lax approach to rule-following and ethical conflicts will sink her presidency.
Keep rubbing those worry beads, Jonathan, until the next WikiLeaks release. Hee! Hee!