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October 22nd, 2017

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Anti-Hillary Dems: Why aren't there any?

Fred Barnes

By Fred Barnes

Published August 31, 2016

 Anti-Hillary Dems: Why aren't there any?

Hillary Clinton has built-in advantages in the presidential race. The media's liberal bias that benefits her campaign has been on display for months. After her coast-to-coast fundraising whirl last week, Clinton's war chest is overflowing. She "is pushing the boundaries of fundraising further than any presidential nominee ever has," Evan Halper wrote in the Los Angeles Times. She is also backed by Barack Obama, the sitting president. Okay, Obama may hurt more than he helps in some ways, but he's good for fundraising.

That's not all. Clinton has other advantages that have largely escaped the media's focus. She is blanketed by scandals involving her emails, the Clinton Foundation, her chronic lying, and her husband's years of womanizing. And that's not the full list. Yet Democrats tolerate all of it without complaint, handwringing, or second thoughts. In polls, 90 percent or more of Democratic voters back her.

This represents a degree of party unity that Donald Trump can only dream about. He faces a revolt among Republicans who promise not to vote for him under any circumstances. An unknown number intend to vote

for Clinton.

The result: A united Democratic party has Clinton's back while rebellious Republicans torment Trump. And the dissidents are not a silent minority. They not only attack Trump, they go after Republicans and anyone else who endorses Trump or speaks positively about his candidacy.

We can debate whether anti-Trump Republicans are guided wisely by a moral compass. But Democrats? A large majority of them lack any moral benchmarks at all when it comes to Hil­lary Clinton. In TV appearances, when asked about her scandalous behavior, Democratic talking heads tend to ignore the question or change the subject as quickly as possible.

Consider how Democrats have responded in polls. Did donations to the Clinton Foundation "influence" Clinton's actions as secretary of state? Only 22 percent of Democrats said yes in a Rasmussen poll. Did her private email system create a "major problem"? Only a quarter of Democrats agree it did in a Morning Consult survey.

Has she been honest in talking about the State Department's role in Ben­ghazi? This time, roughly 30 percent of Democrats told Fox News pollsters she hadn't been. Should Clinton have been prosecuted for jeopardizing the secrecy of national security information in her non-secure emails? Thirty-one percent of Democrats said she should have in a Washington Post/ABC News poll.

Was her handling of emails related to what she would do as president? Two-thirds of Democrats said no in a Post/ABC survey. More basically, is Clinton trustworthy? Some 66 percent of Democrats believe she is, according to a Rasmussen poll.

Sorry for belaboring this point, but these poll numbers go a long way toward explaining why Bernie Sanders didn't attack Clinton on her lying, private email servers, exposure of classified information, and corruption in general. He knew such an assault on Clinton would backfire. Feminists, the Clinton machine, and liberal interest groups-indeed, a large majority of Democrats-would turn against him, not her.

The same may be true for Vice President Joe Biden. He surely understood what it would have required to take the nomination away from Clinton. He would have had to raise all her scandals and focus on them. Even then, he might lose. And if he did win, he would have been stuck in the same sad situation as Trump: the nominee of a divided party.

Why have no prominent Democrats said they're troubled by Clinton's moral and ethical lapses? Either they're afraid of confronting her, given that she's regarded as the Democrat with the best chance of winning the presidential election, or they simply think her moral and ethical lapses don't amount to much. Either way, they have been profiles in moral timidity.

Victor Davis Hanson has raised a related issue involving Trump and Clinton. He noted that 50 former national security and foreign affairs officials in Republican administrations released a letter declaring Trump unfit to be president. They said he lacked the experience and all the traits required of a president. The letter was widely circulated.

Hanson asked this in a column: "Is there a like group of past Democratic wise men and women who can commensurately 'police their own' and so warn us about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton?"

For "unlike Trump," Hanson wrote, "Clinton already has an actual political record as a former U.S. senator and secretary of state." But "no such letter will ever be published," Hanson said.

"Why?" He answered his own question. "Hillary Clinton is a fixture of the foreign policy establishment and thus is considered exempt from being judged empirically on her serial deceit and her disastrous foreign policy record," Hanson wrote. "In the world of elite Washington, crude bluster from an uncouth outsider like Trump is deemed more hazardous than the prevarication, dishonesty and incompetence of a familiar insider."

Frank Cannon of the American Principles Project has cited a separate group of GOP dissidents-70 former RNC officials, House members, and senators-who oppose Trump and urged all RNC financial resources be shifted to House and Senate races. This group too has no Democratic equivalent.

"They publicly bicker about Trump's foot-in-mouth disease," Cannon said. "But the terrible things that Hillary Clinton actually does, and will continue to do as president, should be of far more concern to Republicans. . . . Any effort made to oppose Trump will help drive margins for Hillary Clinton and, by extension, help the Democrats win crucial down-ballot races."

There's still another advantage for Clinton, one that's unexpected. The press demands candidates be available for questioning, and no presidential candidate has ever been more available than Trump or more talkative. Clinton, in contrast, shuns the media and treats reporters like pests.

She keeps a low profile while raising money at $50,000-a-person dinners. Trump makes news every day. Guess who wins as the media favorite? An easy question if there ever was one.

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Fred Barnes is Executive Editor at the Weekly Standard.

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