Hillary Clinton, monster? That's up for debate. Here's a certainty, though.
She is a Hypocrite with an intentionally capitalized H.
With the exception of Bill Clinton back in '92 (if I remember correctly), every serious presidential candidate has ponied up his (or, in the case of this year, her) income tax filings.
Barack Obama put his out there months ago. Hillary Clinton has not.
She won't show all of those hardworking folks who are worried about their kids' safe slumber while Hillary works the night shift answering phones at all hours of the night how much money she and Bill made.
We're not just talking about last year, either. She's mum on everything for the last seven or eight years. It's been top secret shit. Either that, or she needs to find an accountant to help the one who managed to work with her on that $5 million dollar campaign loan. Maybe she lost them. Regardless of the reason, she's been stonewalling on her returns for a long time now.
Gay Species put it thusly:
She can answer the telephone at 3 a.m. in a string of pearls, but she cannot operate a photocopy machine? Xerox must be a "monster" that Hillary cannot handle.
Finally, one of her crew has decided that Ms. Solutions will make the info public "around" April 15. That's conveniently after Ohio/Texas Tuesday, but potentially before Pennsylvania. Potentially, I say, because Terry McAuliffe did say "around". Who the hell knows how close one has to get to qualify for "around" status?
THE LIKELY TRUTH ABOUT THE RETURNS
Here's the crazy thing, it probably doesn't matter all that much in the bigger picture. I doubt we're going to learn anything too wild and crazy about the Clintons that we don't already know. Whatever lurks within those income tax statements is unlikely to change anyone's opinions about the monster. Did I just say "monster"? Whoops, I meant Hillary.
Personally, I don't really give all that big of a hoot about the contents of the tax returns. I can also understand why Hillary has probably been reluctant to release them.
They make a lot of money and some of it undoubtedly comes from people that Democrats don't really love. We know that already, but the release party for the returns will undoubtedly result in about 98,982 news stories about Clinton money.
It will also cause millions of "regular folk", the "real Americans" to whom Clinton is targeting her campaign to say, "Holy fuck, these people make ALOT of money. How many god-damned zeroes is that on the end of that number?"
The filing statements she's compelled to provide as a Senator and another statement released as part of the presidential candidacy process gives us a ballpark assessment of the Clinton family fortune. Nonetheless, it will all be treated like NEW news when she turns over the returns.
She still has an ass-load of Wal-Mart stock? Wow, I wonder how those union people will respond to that when they hear about it ad nauseum.
She has BP and Amoco stock? Wasn't she the one who talked about sticking it to big oil? That will be contentious, too.
All of those individual investments, along with money Bill's been making in and from countries who aren't on most Americans' list of favorites (you know, like China, Saudi Arabia, and Ihateamericaland) can only result in negative press for Hillary's campaign.
Some of the criticism will be fair. Much of it will be stupid. I'm guessing none of it will be that important, in the big picture.
So, I can understand why Hillary doesn't want to open up the books for us. I get it. I don't blame here.
WHY IT STILL MATTERS
Even though I think Hillary Clinton is a symptom of a cancer that is slowly killing almost everything good about liberal democracy, I doubt she has anything BIG to hide in those returns. So, why should she subject herself to scrutiny and the inevitable negative attention by releasing the documents so that assholes like me can read them and beat up on her?
Here are a few good reasons...
1. Obama. He released his early and he's been arguing that one of the big problems in America is a lack of transparency in government. Every day Hillary spends hiding her returns merely increases the persuasiveness of his candidacy.
2. Assumption. I'm a reasonable guy. I don't think Hillary's tax returns include massive payouts from the KKK or a write off for a donation to the Suicide Bomber Family Remuneration Fund. Other people, however, aren't so generous. The longer she sits on the documents, the more traction the psychos get on their "she MUST be hiding something" argument. It looks suspicious.
3. Example. I think it's probably a good thing for people to know who's buttering whose bread. That's why this whole "releasing your tax returns" thing has caught on over the years. The governed deserve to know who's paying the governing. Stunts like Hillary's record hiding are a poor precedent. It can be used by those who truly are nefarious to avoid scrutiny in the future.
The advantages of these three reasons SHOULD be enough to neutralize the negative press stories that will follow the release for a few days. Unless she does have something to hide, I suppose. Plus, it would just generally be a good thing to do.
You know who else used to argue that releasing tax records was a good thing to do? A senate candidate named Hillary Clinton. That brings us to the fourth reason she should release the returns ASAP.
4. Hypocrisy. If she doesn't hand over the goods, she's a complete hypocrite of the worst kind.
WHY THE CLINTON STALL IS ANOTHER PUTRID ACT OF HYPOCRISY
Before Hillary started her run for POTUS, she had to beat a Republican to win a NY senate seat. Remember Rick Lazio? That's the guy Hillary beat.
One of her arguments during the campaign was that Lazio was being a prick for NOT RELEASING HIS TAX RETURNS.
No, really. The same woman who is holding her documents close to the chest jumped Lazio's shit big-time for the very same offense. Sherman, set the wayback machine for the year 2000. Clinton vs. Lazio.
If you showed up for a Lazio campaign event back then, you might run into Tax Man. Tax Man was a Clinton campaign staffer, dressed up like Uncle Sam. He was sent to Lazio events to draw attention to the fact that the Republican candidate was keeping his tax records a secret. That's right, Clinton's campaign actually disrupted an opponent's events with a dude in a fucking costume holding a sign and actually YELLING at Lazio to hand over the IRS forms!
She said that Lazio's failure to engage in full disclosure was "disturbing". Her words.
She once had one of her campaign staff show up at a Lazio function to demand, in person, the release of his tax returns. You see, Hillary was FULLY CONVINCED that candidates should provide voters with this valuable information and was so pissed off at Lazio's refusal to abide by that unspoken rule of good conduct that she dispatched one of her henchmen to emphasize the IMPORTANCE OF RELEASING TAX INFORMATION.
She sent none other than her current communication czar, Howard Wolfson. Wolfson showed up to bug Lazio.
Howard Wolfson? Tax returns? Why does that ring a bell. Oh, I know why... Because of YESTERDAY...
Howard Wolfson, Clinton's guy, was on TV talking about tax returns yesterday. Barack Obama said that Hillary should release her tax records. Obama didn't have a guy dressed in a costume yelling at her or anything, but he did indicate that people might want to take a peek at her 1040. Howard Wolfson handled the official campaign response.
Wolfson's response: "I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president".
Obama asked about Clinton's tax returns and gets compared to Ken Starr. What the fuck does that make Hillary circa 2000, Howie? What's worse than Ken Starr? Maybe a monster?
It seems really weird that Hillary Clinton would pretend like 2000 didn't exist when she's simultaneously reminding us of her 35 years of public life every 20 seconds. But that's Hillary for you. I like this little summation from NewsDay:
Principled people would reason as follows: "Since we made a huge fuss about Lazio's returns in 2000, to be consistent we should be very diligent about being just as transparent as Obama and releasing our own returns this year. Otherwise, we would be behaving like hypocrites."
But that's not what they're doing. So the reasoning is apparently this: "We acted like Lazio's tax returns were a big deal in 2000 because it was in our self-interest to do so, and this year we'll act like our returns aren't a big deal because it's in our self interest to do so. We don't act on principle, and we don't care about being consistent, and we don't care about being hypocritical."
Hillary Clinton replaces principle with convenience. Hypocrisy substitutes for consistency. It's okay to beat the shit out of your enemy for keeping his returns under wraps, but when someone asks you about YOUR returns, it's perfectly reasonable to smear him all to hell? Wow.
Bill in Exile asks:
"So why was it "frankly disturbing" that Lazio refused to release one years worth of tax returns but when HRC refuses to release six years worth, not so much?"
Here's the answer:
Hillary isn't about intellectual honesty, fair play, quality debate, answering the phones at 3 a.m. or doing what's best for the hardworking people of the USA. She's a fighter, but she's fighting for herself. Period.
You can call it anything you'd like. I call it being a monster.
I'd love to see one of the pro-Hillary geniuses who vomit forth praise for The Monster explain to me why this income tax thing is anything short of pure political hypocrisy. Maybe one of the rocket scientist Hillary lovers from Taylor Marsh can explain this whole thing to me. Nah, they're all over Rezko and Power calling Hillary a monster, having forgotten all about Whitewater and ignoring the accuracy of Samantha's comments in the process.
Someone, please... Tell me why it's all good for Howie Wolfson to bug Rick Lazio over tax returns when a comment from Barack transforms him into Kenny Starr?
Apparently, enough heat has been applied to the ass of Senator Clinton that she will reveal her tax documents around April 15. I wouldn't hold my breath.
The horrible irony in all of this is that she's gone out of her way to be a sack of crap on an issue that really isn't THAT big of a deal. Why be a monster hypocrite and a slimeballer on something that is, in the big picture, relatively trivial? Why create character mountains out of personality molehills? The only thing I can come up with involves things like narcissism, self-centeredness and an inability to see or do anything that can't be gnarled and twisted into a bullshit hit and run political point.
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