Joseph Cotto, 4/21/2015 [Archive]

Hillary Voters Should Remember the 'B' Word

By Joseph Cotto

Things are looking up for Hillary Clinton.

Her daughter, Chelsea, recently went through a high-profile pregnancy and gave birth to a celebration fit for major royalty. Bill has long-since reinvented himself as a human rights crusader and political science guru. The days of Monica Lewinsky are now a faded memory.

All of this made for a great prelude to Hillary's long-in-the-works presidential run. President Obama's unpopularity seems to have cast no shadow on her public image, even though she served as his secretary of state for several years. One can say that she stepped off the train just in the nick of time.

The only thing which might be going against Clinton is her role in the Benghazi attack. "Might" is the principal word here.

Most Americans probably don't remember much about what happened in Benghazi. Even though the attack took place in mid-to-late 2012, it is old news to all but right-of-center voters.

Our Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans died when Islamist militants attacked the U.S. consulate. The area was known to be dangerous prior to the siege, and help was requested, but did not come. Just why remains a mystery, and probably will forever.

Because Clinton was in charge of American diplomacy, she was rightly blamed for the security breach. However, this doesn't amount to much in the long run. Increasingly, voters could care less about a candidate's history or qualifications for public office.

Instead, they seek out personal benefits, namely public assistance, and vote accordingly. Should Clinton manage convincingly to promise enough voters whatever it is they are seeking, she will probably win.

If another politician crawls out of the woodwork to lay out even more lavish promises, then she is all but certain to lose. This is a far-fetched scenario, though. Hillary and Bill have constructed a ironclad political apparatus which unites various public and private sector interests. Needless to mention, it can generate colossal sums of money.

Even an upstart progressive in sync with the whims of Democratic base voters is unlikely to mount a serious challenge. This hypothetical leftist firebrand would be washed away in waves of Clinton Machine capital. Current primary rivals to Hillary, like former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, seem more interested in face time for future races than wholeheartedly seeking to defeat her.

In time, possibilities for the Republican nomination now performing well against Hillary will feel her machine's might. By the time Clinton and her star donors are through with whoever wins the GOP nod, this unfortunate individual will be considered Todd Akin, George W. Bush, and Mitt Romney rolled into one.

Unlike in past years, however, appeals to cultural warfare will be mere insurance behind a policy of doling out welfare dollars to various constituencies. Still, class conflict and culture war may merge at one point or another.

The Obama reelection campaign's 'Julia' — a theoretical single mother-to-be who supports the President because he wishes to afford her lavish public assistance measures — stands as a blueprint of what might be.

There is no valid reason why Hillary can't merge her husband's 1990s corporatism with present-day quasi-socialism. She has ample opportunity, keen intelligence, and boatloads of cash. What more could be asked for?

In addition, more Americans than ever are on some kind of welfare. The Democratic Party is our nation's most powerful advocate of taxpayer-funded wealth redistribution. Any nominee on its presidential ballot is primed for, at minimum, 40 to 45 percent of the popular vote.

This is what it all comes down to, and nothing more. The American Dream, for all too many, is just another government handout.

What does Benghazi have to do with that?


Copyright 2015 Joseph Cotto, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joseph Cotto is a historical and social journalist, and writes about politics, economics and social issues. Email him at

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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