- - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Suddenly, Democrats across America are asking themselves today, “Ugh, do we really want to do THIS for the next two years? Again?”

Hillary Rodham Clinton, who political pundits for months — years even — have deemed the de facto Democratic presidential nominee, has plunged into a pair of downright Clintonian scandals that threaten to dash her hopes to win the White House in 2016.

“This is real, and this is serious,” said an official in the Democratic Party, who asked to go unnamed. “She’s been untouchable for years — popularity numbers through the roof — but this, uh, this is, well, this is bad.”

Hard on the heels of reports that the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, with assets of nearly $250 million, took massive donations from foreign governments while she was secretary of state, explosive news emerged that nation’s former top diplomat slot did not have a government e-mail account and used her personal account instead.

But wait, there’s more: She has her own Internet server — in her house. Her Web domain is registered to one Eric Hoteham — who may or may not exist. The registrant for her domain was Perfect Privacy — a company that specializes in hiding an owner’s identity.

Supporters have leapt to her defense. They say the foundation’s donations, from countries like Qatar and Algeria, aren’t illegal because she isn’t officially a presidential candidate yet. And they argue that using a private email account — when federal law requires government accountability and transparency — isn’t “technically illegal.”

“The State Department said yesterday that the emails were regularly preserved,” declared David Brock, founder of Media Matters, a liberal group that staunchly supports Hillary. He even demanded that The New York Times retract the blockbuster story.

But the saga continues to explode in the media — mainstream media, even, The New York Times, CNN, ABC News. And for good reason: The revelations that Mrs. Clinton created an email address — [email protected] — on her own private server just days before being confirmed as secretary of state resurrect the endless scandals that have hounded Bill and Hillary Clinton since the 1980s.

A brief recount: The Whitewater real estate debacle; the vanishing Rose Law Firm billing records in Little Rock, Arkansas; the fortuitous fortune she made in cattle futures; the mysterious death of Vince Foster; the Riadys; Johnny Chung; Benghazi. Of course, hubby Bubba continues to be mired in scandal, just recently popping up as a player in the whole Pedophile Island depravity (see Wikipedia for deets). And that’s just the highlights.

The simultaneous scandals are reminders to Democrats what it means to live in Clinton World. For the Clintons, the rules that apply to everyone else just don’t apply to them. Hillary knew full well her emails would be governed by federal law. In 2000, she actually joked: “Why would I want to do email as much as I’ve been investigated”?

Yet as in the case of Benghazi, when she falsely claimed four Americans in Libya were killed by terrorists because of a YouTube video, the Clinton defense is always — as she furiously spat during a congressional hearing a year later — “What difference at this point does it make?” The Clinton Way: Shoot first, obfuscate later.

And her scandals once again remind the moderate American voter that the Clintons embody the very worst of the hard-core left. For the liberal fringe, the ends justify the means, always. “Look, we’re doing what’s right, even though the evil Republicans disagree, so what difference does it make how we get there?” That mindset comes from the top.

More, the calculated move makes clear the one driving force for the Clintons: politics. Already, Team Clinton is busy spinning the details, questioning facts, setting up a defense that will depend on the letter of the law — like when President Clinton pondered what the meaning of “is” is.

Still, the whole unseemly mess has, for Democrats, brought to the forefront the prospect of undergoing a two-year Clinton political campaign and thoughts of what four, or even eight, years of Clinton rule would mean.

Dick Harpootlian, a popular power broker in the Democratic Party, said Wednesday that the scandals bode ill.

“There’s always another shoe to drop with Hillary,” he told The Washington Post. “Do we nominate her not knowing what’s in those e-mails? If the e-mails were just her and her family and friends canoodling about fashion and what they’re going to do next week, that’s one thing. But the fact that she’s already turned e-mails to the Benghazi committee because she was doing official business on it means she’s going to die by 1,000 cuts on this one.”

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @josephcurl.

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