Stop It, Hillary: You ARE a Member of the Establishment and You ARE Beholden to Wall Street

By | February 5, 2016

I was discussing my dog with someone the other day and they made a point I had heard before. Dogs intuitively know if someone is good or bad. They will snarl at someone they perceive as bad while running over to get petted and snuggle up to a person they perceive is good. I’m not sure if I wholly buy it as my dog snarl at every man he meets but loves women. Actually, maybe they do…

Regardless, I’m starting to think voters have this sixth sense concerning BS and Hillary reeks of it. The truth is this:

She IS part of the establishment and she IS in the pocket of Wall Street.

Hillary, why not embrace it? You worked for years to become part of the establishment of power in DC, and if it wasn’t that all the rest weren’t just as tainted it wouldn’t be an issue. Also, you had no issue cozying up to Wall Street when they came calling, singing the siren song of cold, hard cash. It’s only when it hurts your poll numbers when you push them away. I’ve seen this sort of before, some sort of attachment issue.

In any case, you had all sorts of fun, laughable lines that we should look at. How about this one at the CNN Town Hall:

“Look, I made speeches to lots of groups,” Clinton explained to Cooper. “I told them what I thought. I answered questions.”

“But did you have to be paid $675,000?” Cooper persisted.

“Well, I don’t know,” Clinton fumbled. “That’s what they offered. You know every secretary of state that I know has done that.”

I want to examine that “every secretary of state that I know has done that,” line. We can actually look at that! Back in 2013, Neon Tommy examined speaking fees of politicians. Before we delve in, let’s think of the value of what some of these people could speak about. Wouldn’t you think a President would draw more than a Secretary of State? I would. Wouldn’t Bush or Powell demand more because, heck, I want to hear about 9/11 (Hillary likes to discuss that) and Hillary was only a Senator then. I think what is most telling in the price tags is the potential for each. I think we should look at this as investing and hoping for a return. So, who demanded the most money? In the list Neon Tommy noted, it was Hillary. Her husband was next at $195,000.

From there, the drop off is steep. George W. Bush, the president during 9/11 was $110,000 but I agree he also sucks at speaking. Colin Powell, was paid between $100,000 to $150,000 a speech. This is a former 4 star general, Secretary of State, the first African-American Joint Chief of Staff, a former National Security Advisor and a Commander of the US Armed Forces. Lots of knowledge there. Compare that to a two term senator, Secretary of State and former First Lady. The biggest difference was potential. She was going to run again. Everyone knew it. And those savvy investors decided to invest into a person many seemed positive would be president. They also gave to others that were seen to be potential presidents. Smart investors diversify.

A newer, and maybe better source, confirms this. In fact, Donald Trump tops that list with $1.5 million per speech. I mean, really? This story, however, reminded me of the controversy surrounding Hillary speaking at UNLV for $225,000. Just a reminder, for those who forgot:

Hillary Clinton is appearing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas this October and her speaking fee – $225,000 – has sparked an outcry that seems to be getting louder.

The fee has led to calls by UNLV students for Clinton to either speak for free or donate the money back to students. Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston has been among those leading the charge against UNLV’s decision.

“You could give scholarships to thousands of students, benefit research on campus, give more students grants for research and studying,” Daniel Waqar, Student Relations Director for the UNLV Student Government told Ralston this week.

” Tuition just went up seventeen percent. It’s gone up a hundred percent over the past decade or so. We think that students could really use this support from the $225,000-and greatly benefit from the scholarships-from the speaking fee, Waqar said.

Indeed, Nevada higher education officials signed off on a plan to hike undergraduate tuition at UNLV by 17 percent (roughly 4 percent a year for the next four years), complicating the optics for Clinton’s payday.

And while looking at this, I came across another story where she was teasing the 2016 run, this from September 2014:

“I’m ba-ack!” With those words, Hillary Clinton announced Sunday her return to Iowa, the state that derailed her last presidential run and will be critical to a second one, if she decides to take the plunge. And almost all of the 7,000 die-hard Democrats here at the Iowa Steak Fry — 2,000 more than expected — seemed ready to welcome her.

It is malarky for her to tell people her speaking fees were her new career and she had no plans to run again. She knew and she used that potential to tweak her fee up to as high as she could. They were buying access to a woman who would be the most powerful politician in the world. She is lying if she says otherwise.

And she also tries to say none of this has changed her votes. This, also, is a lie. Elizabeth Warren, who I trust a hell of a lot more than Hillary, pointed this out in an interview with Bill Moyers:

ELIZABETH WARREN: As Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different. It’s a well-financed industry. You know a lot of people don’t realize that the industry that gave the most money to Washington over the past few years was not the oil industry, was not pharmaceuticals. It was consumer credit products. Those are the people. The credit card companies have been giving money, and they have influence.

BILL MOYERS: And Mrs. Clinton was one of them as senator.

ELIZABETH WARREN: She has taken money from the groups, and more to the point, she worries about them as a constituency.

Please go and watch the whole exchange. It’s enlightening to see how the system really works.

Her other assertion was one concerning her being unable to be part of the establishment because she is a woman running for president. I mean, come one Hillary. You aren’t stupid by any means. You know what the establishment is. If not, Wikipedia actually has an article about it:

The Establishment generally denotes a dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation or organization. The Establishment may be a closed social group which selects its own members (as opposed to selection by merit or election) or specific entrenched elite structures, either in government or in specific institutions.

Her exact words were:

“I’ve got to just jump in here because, honestly, Senator Sanders is the only person who would characterize me a woman running to be the first woman president as exemplifying the establishment,” Clinton said to applause.

Sanders had defined clearly that Hillary had the support of the establishment, listing:

“I will absolutely admit that Secretary Clinton has the support of far more Governors, Senators, Mayors, members of the House,” Sanders said at Thursday’s debate hosted by MSNBC. “She has the entire establishment or almost the entire establishment behind her. That’s a fact. I don’t deny it. I’m pretty proud that we have over a million people who have contributed to our campaign averaging 27 bucks a piece.”

But Hillary, you have worked for years to become part of this group. When the Clintons rose to national fame in 1992 as Bill fought to rise up from Little Rock to DC, he was NOT part of the Establishment. Now, they are the epitome if not the definition of one of the great families.

Clinton.

Bush.

Kennedy.

These names conjure up power and wealth. And let me say they worked hard to get there and get access. Why not embrace it? The media sees it:

The Atlantic:

I don’t think Hillary Clinton is unaware that she’s a part of the establishment. Rather, I think that she was willing to feign offense to deflect from a charge that she knows to be true. “She has the entire establishment or almost the entire establishment behind her,” Sanders declared, and she “does represent the establishment.”

That is absolutely correct. See for yourself.

In all this, she is not alone.

There are politicians aplenty who have played outsized roles in shaping U.S. politics and policy who nevertheless deny that they are, in fact, part of the establishment. In so doing, they avoid grappling with their roles in national failures. That sort of nonsense deserves to be called out.

And the Atlantic rightly points out that Sanders, a long time Senator, is also part of the Establishment. I think the difference is that he, being an independent Senator who has pushed away the money that would probably flow his way considering his success so far in this campaign has helped him to remove that label.

The Washington Post:

The problem with the remark is obvious. Clinton does not merely exemplify the establishment. She and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, are the Democratic Party establishment. We’re in the realm of description, not characterization. That candidate Clinton could deliver her line with a straight face goes to the heart of her trustworthiness problem.

She really believes she can put a line like that over on us?

And The Washington Post again:

There are those who insist that race, gender and any other aspects of identity which are immutable or visible are held in one’s pocket — or somehow cease to exist until such time that individuals elect to pull them out and “play” them like some kind of cultural ace card. These people are, to put it very simply, plain wrong — or, at least, fortunate enough in their own social standing to remain blissfully unaware.

So, Clinton’s fundamental claim that her status as a precedent-setting candidate — the first woman with a real and solid chance at a major party’s presidential nomination — is not the problem here. She is who she is. This is a statement of fact.

The problem is what followed — the “exemplifying the establishment” and the “quite amusing” parts. She all but said that a woman cannot be a part of the establishment.

And this, we must say, is simply false.

But the best evidence comes from what happens when you start making a member of the establishment look bad. They attack you, as an article from the Hill titles “Democratic Establishment Starts to Gang up On Sanders” states:

Democratic lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol are turning their fire on Bernie Sanders as he marches toward a big win in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

Embrace your friends Hillary! They got your back!

My hope is that Elizabeth Warren will finally stand up with Bernie and endorse him. Right now though she is getting peer pressure from other female Democratic ESTABLISHMENT Democrats to endorse Hillary out of obligation to some sisterhood, female ideal. I hope she digs deeper into her progressive values and sees Hillary for what she is. I just can’t see Warren backing someone that she clearly pointed out above is a hypocrite.