Simon Head is an Oxford scholar whose interests lie in the area of money and politics in the US. About the Clintons? Read on.
Bernie Sanders has been giving Hillary some grief about her financial support and, as columnists point out regularly, Sanders' pot of gold --like that of the most recent winner over Clinton -- comes in large part from individual, small donors.
Sanders’s criticisms coincided with recent reports that the FBI might be expanding its inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s emails to include her ties to big donors while serving as secretary of state. But a larger question concerns how Hillary and Bill Clinton have built their powerful donor machine, and what its existence might mean for Hillary Clinton’s future conduct as American president. ...SimonHead,NYRB
Reading this pushes one immediately back into all the sticky moments the Clinton's have been giving us lefties from the questions about the financing of their first campaign right on through the funding of the Clinton presidential library.
What stands out about what I will call the Clinton System is the scale and complexity of the connections involved, the length of time they have been in operation, the presence of former president Bill Clinton alongside Hillary as an equal partner in the enterprise, and the sheer magnitude of the funds involved. ...SimonHead,NYRB
Part of the problem, of course, is the use of the word "enterprise" for the Clinton treasury. It just smacks of "corporation-driven interests" The magnitude of the corporate/Wall Street banks' share in the Clintons' campaigning really does need to be examined -- though, of course, it's not just about money flowing directly from the tills (ka-ching) but from "folks" who are former tillers of the American corporate world -- people like Bill Gates.
Still, Simon Head adds a reminder that should give us all pause when we come to weighing the pressures on a President Clinton (deux). He writes: "According to a February 2015 analysis of Clinton Foundation funding by The Washington Post, the financial services industry has accounted for the largest single share of the foundation’s corporate donors. Other major donors to the foundation have included US defense and energy corporations and their overseas government clients."
That's where many of us decide we can't support Clinton. We have that "been there, done that" feeling we experienced during the Reagan both Bush administrations. Simon Head goes on to hang out all the Clintons' benefactors in a row, in some detail. The list is pretty horrendous -- particularly for those of us who don't want more wars of choice. I'd like Glass-Steagall back, please. Ditto a polite distance of government from large private financial interests as well as from any others who profit from military action.
I don't think it makes any sense to plead that "Hillary wouldn't play those games." I haven't seen a clear sign of good judgment when the conversation turns to campaign funding. Hillary wants what she wants and will justify what she does to get what she wants.