People Who Live In Glass Houses Shouldn’t Cry SpeechGate
|Everyone deserves to be able to accept whatever amount is offered to them for a speech. The value of the speech is the prerogative of those who wish to draw the speaker to their venue. The speaker owes nothing other than the speech. A savvy speaker cannot be coaxed to give more than the speech in return for the fee. We all know this, and yet a doubt has been pitched at us. Before we allow ourselves to become cynical, maybe we should examine the source of this doubt. Maybe this new cynicism serves a purpose. Or a person.
Bernie wants everyone to think that he has taken some kind of monastic vow of poverty, in which he only accepts money from his fellow humble poor. Why does he do this? He doesn’t want people to think he is beholden to those who have helped him. Why is that a concern for him? Because when he started out in politics, he was helped by conservative Republicans, and found he was compelled to repay favors. Ahhhhhh…. yes, Bernie has a past that isn’t quite so much in line with his myth. Bernie was manipulated, so the only way to avoid that happening again is to refuse to take any money that isn’t a small amount from an individual donor. He doesn’t trust HIMSELF not to be finessed into an obligation.
Now as you can see, that would present a very serious problem when competing with other candidates who can actually handle themselves around those who want something from them. The only solution is to demonize ALL donations outside a very limited parameter, and impose his puritanical austerity on all the other candidates, making sure they feel the scrutiny of the world upon their coffers. This is Bernie’s intimidation tactic. Any substantial donation Hillary accepts will be subjected to rumors and accusations of conflict of interest. He doesn’t even have to offer evidence of a conflict- just the suggestion, whispered to the media, will be furiously trumpeted by his army of feverish zealots, keeping Hillary jumping from one accusation to the next to the next, always on the defensive. The media is fully complicit, ready to spin a rumor into an “investigation”, and failing to prove or retract any tidbit that plays into their lexicon of manufactured Clinton tropes: untrustworthiness, bribery, extravagant living, unexplained deaths, all the way to the Bilderbergs and fabled Illuminati. Quite the playground for a muckraker!
What Bernie didn’t count on was Hillary’s refusal to become secretive in her political dealings. She learned long ago that the best defense against innuendo was a personal sunshine policy. Yes, she pays $600 for a haircut. She’s on TV. That’s what it costs for people in her league. No, she doesn’t drive. Driving isn’t practical for a public figure with a busy schedule who can get a lot done on a tablet in the back seat of a chauffeured car. Yes, she knows people that liberals don’t like and sometimes she is friendly to them, and occasionally they are nice to her. It’s called being a grownup and looking toward the future when she will need to negotiate with many different factions. Hillary’s past is wide open, no rock left unturned. God, how boring. How normal. For fuck’s sake, the woman is a grandmother! You can stop looking for bodies now.
If we had an unbiased media, Bernie’s unnatural obsession with the nonexistent Secret Life of Hillary Clinton would probably begin to draw attention back to him. What is HE hiding that would make him so suspicious of others? The mouse that roared has a spotty academic record. That must sting a little bit. He also has tried to leave behind an embarrassing series of mismanaged personal decisions involving his employment and relationships. His financial adventures point to failure, rather than some kind of ascetic code of honor. All of this could be overlooked, along with his wife’s awkward dealings with the finances of the college from which she was fired. But why tuck all of his personal wealth under his wife’s name? You work for the government, we know your salary. Why pretend to be ignorant of how SuperPACs work? Why pretend to not HAVE them, even as they boast about the ads they are buying? Why the public disdain for large contributions while having fundraisers that ask for $10,000 donations? We see you there, Bernie, basking in the sun on Martha’s Vineyard. We see your emails encouraging donors to make a number of small donations rather than a single large one. And BAM, there it is, the weak link. Suddenly, Bernie collects such a windfall of tiny gifts that the FEC takes notice- how is it possible that a full half of the population of Washington, DC could have donated to his campaign? It’s not possible. You may have the media on your side Bernie, but the FEC is PISSED. And we’re going to stand here with a flashlight and a crowbar to make sure they crack your weird little vault of a hidden life WIDE OPEN.