Confident of victory in the presidential race, Democrats are now fretting about whether Hillary Clinton will have an “illegitimacy” problem when she assumes office. Charles Blow of the New York Times is the latest leftist to express this concern.
He writes: “One of the great ironies of this election is that America’s first female president may be viewed by many as the country’s most invalid president, hanging under the specter of suspicion, mistrust and illegitimacy.” Why this is “ironic” escapes me, but Blow is right that Clinton will assume office under a cloud of suspicion, mistrust and illegitimacy.
The well has been poisoned.
Blow sees two sources of the poison: (1) complaints by her opponents, not just Donald Trump but also Bernie Sander, that the system is rigged in her favor and (2) “unflattering bits of information that have come to light from an illegal hack.”
The truth is that Hillary Clinton poisoned her own well. Long before WikiLeaks and back when Trump was attacking Republicans, not Clinton, the public decided that she is dishonest. Nearly two-thirds of the electorate viewed her as a liar. As the campaign progressed, this view was frequently confirmed, including by the director of the Obama FBI.
A person with numbers like that, if she somehow becomes president, will do so “under the specter of suspicion, mistrust and illegitimacy.”
Blow’s column descends from fallacy — that outside forces are responsible for distrust of Clinton — to idiocy — that Clinton’s gender is at the root of the “illegitimacy” problem. He finds it “unprecedented” that someone as exceptionally qualified as Clinton would enter the White House under a cloud. I guess he wasn’t around for Richard Nixon, a more honest, less corrupt version of Hillary.
The presumption is that a new president gets a honeymoon period. But when the new president has a track record of 20 years (Nixon) or more (Hillary), you can’t pretend you don’t know what you’re going to get.
Hillary Clinton’s character isn’t going to change. She isn’t going to become more honest or less corrupt. She isn’t going to become more respectful of processes that stand in the way of what she wants.
Thus, to use Blow’s sophomoric turn of phrase, Clinton’s “first” (first woman to become U.S. president) will be “met with. . .frost” and should be. There should be no honeymoon period, and no “acceptance,” except in a narrow technical sense, of her presidency.