NY Times: Calling Hillary Fundamentally Dishonest Is A Bogus Narrative Or Something

The NY Times’s Nicholas Kristoff is Very Upset that people refer to Hillary as dishonest. Also, crooked, a shyster, un-trustworthy, poor character, and “belongs in jail”. And here’s here to set you big meanies straight

Is Hillary Clinton Dishonest?

But Clinton’s big challenge is the trust issue: The share of voters who have negative feelings toward her has soared from 25 percent in early 2013 to 56 percent today, and a reason for that is that they distrust her. Only a bit more than one-third of American voters regard Clinton as “honest and trustworthy.”

Indeed, when Gallup asks Americans to say the first word that comes to mind when they hear “Hillary Clinton,” the most common response can be summed up as “dishonest/liar/don’t trust her/poor character.” Another common category is “criminal/crooked/thief/belongs in jail.”

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All this is, I think, a mistaken narrative.

Do tell.

One of the perils of journalism is the human brain’s penchant for sorting information into narratives. Even false narratives can take on a life of their own because there is always information arriving that can confirm a narrative.

Huh. So, it’s all in our brains. Kristoff makes sure to tell us this for many, many paragraphs.

One basic test of a politician’s honesty is whether that person tells the truth when on the campaign trail, and by that standard Clinton does well. PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking site, calculates that of the Clinton statements it has examined, 50 percent are either true or mostly true.

So, 50% are either false or mostly false. If your friend, child, spouse, parent, boss, etc, told you a whopper 50% of the time, would you deem them dishonest? How about if they lied to you just 30% of the time? And many of the lies were about big things? Would you trust them? But, Kristoff, in the next paragraph, claims she is honest “by politician standards”. That’s more an indictment of the political class than saying Hillary is honest.

Kristoff attempts to shift Hillary’s Wall Street speaking fees from being dishonest to “just nuts”. If a person is telling everyone they are going to Do Something about some group, then getting paid huge sums to give speeches to them, would you find that dishonest? And then all these groups then lobby that person and seemingly get perks from the State Department?

Then there are the State Department emails, which are the subject of an F.B.I. investigation. What was she thinking in using a private email server? Why on earth would she do such a stupid thing?

Clinton is thin-skinned, private, controlling, wounded by attacks on her and utterly distrustful of the news media. Where Bill Clinton charms, she stews. My bet is that she and her staff wanted to prevent her emails from becoming public through Freedom of Information Act requests.

If she was doing it for that reason, that would still be….dishonest, would it not? Crooked? Poor character? Criminal? Kristoff is doing a piss poor job in attempting to make sure everyone knows that calling Hillary dishonest is just wrong.

Clinton’s private email server may have been penetrated by the Russians, though we don’t know that. But we do know that the official State Department nonclassified email system was indeed penetrated by the Russians, along with the White House unclassified email system.

The bottom line: If she had followed the rules and used her official email address, Vladimir Putin might actually have had a leg up on reading her correspondence.

That’s cute, but, it is also an argument that would not be accepted by any federal agency which found a high ranking private sector corporate officer using an outside email system to avoid federal record keeping laws. We’re also talking about the non-classified system, which wouldn’t be used to transmit the highly classified information found on her server. Nor the stonewalling from Hillary and her people for a long, long time.

So as we head toward the general election showdown, by all means denounce Hillary Clinton’s judgment and policy positions, but let’s focus on the real issues. She’s not a saint but a politician, and to me this notion that she’s fundamentally dishonest is a bogus narrative.

When a Democrat yammers on about focusing on “real issues”, you know this is an attempt to deflect from how bad the discussed issue is for them. If we want to focus on her judgement, though, Kristoff has just told us that it was rather pathetic. Poor. Nuts, even. Not much of a defense or endorsement.

Furthermore, should we accept this kind of judgement and policy from someone just because they are a politician? Should we not demand better, like following the rules, regulations, and laws that apply to everyone else? And that they should not lie to the general public while telling the truth to close compatriots?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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