Thursday, March 03, 2016

the clintons and wall street...,


counterpunch |  For twenty four years the Clintons have orchestrated a conjugal relationship with Wall Street, to the immense financial benefit of both parties.   They have accepted from the New York banks $68.72 million in campaign contributions for their six political races, and $8.85 million more in speaking fees.  The banks have earned hundreds of billions of dollars in practices that were once prohibited—until the Clinton Administration legalized them.

The extraordinary ambition displayed in the careers of Bill and Hillary Clinton defies description.  They have spent much of their adult lives soliciting money from others for their own benefit.  A 2014 story in Time magazine said this:
“Few in American history have collected and benefited from so much money in so many ways over such a long period of time…the Clintons have attracted at least $1.4 billion in contributions…” Washington Post a year later doubles the amount to $3 billion.
Ruthless ambition put Bill Clinton into the White House twice, sent Hillary Clinton twice to the Senate, and now has her poised on the cusp of the American presidency.  It also made the Clintons one of the wealthiest couples in the nation.

Hillary Clinton’s net worth is forty five million dollars; Bill Clinton’s is eighty million. Measured by family wealth, this puts the couple in the top 1% of American households by a factor of 16 ($7.88 million is the threshold).

The Clintons’ ambition is reinforced by arrogance.  Their behavior in the Monica Lewinsky affair is only the most glaring example.  Sexual frivolities while holding office are scarcely unusual, having spiced the lives of public figures for centuries, but if the dalliance is exposed, the scarlet official typically resigns in shame and scuttles into obscurity.  Recall Gary Hart or John Edwards in modern times.  But the Clintons rejected that time-honored code of decency.  In the glare of public scorn they besmirched the office of the Presidency by barricading themselves in the White House, shamelessly arrogant.

That performance pales, however, compared to the Clintons’ self-serving transformation of the Democratic Party, from the champion of working people to the lapdog of Wall Street—and of corporate America in general.  Cleverly the Clintons still pander to the traditional constituency, but in serving its new clientele the transformed party abandoned the less fortunate strata of American society, especially the communities of color.