In “WikiHillary for President” The Moustache of Wisdom says hackers exposed Clinton as a smart politician with a vision and a pragmatic approach to getting things done. Mr. Bruni, in “Trump in a Bikini,” says he relentlessly scrutinizes others. Let’s conduct various examinations of him. Here’s TMOW:
Thank God for WikiLeaks.
I confess, I was starting to wonder about what the real Hillary Clinton — the one you never get to see behind closed doors — really stood for. But now that, thanks to WikiLeaks, I’ve had a chance to peruse her speeches to Goldman Sachs and other banks, I am more convinced than ever she can be the president America needs today.
Seriously, those speeches are great! They show someone with a vision, a pragmatic approach to getting things done and a healthy instinct for balancing the need to strengthen our social safety nets with unleashing America’s business class to create the growth required to sustain social programs.
So thank you, Vladimir Putin, for revealing how Hillary really hopes to govern. I just wish more of that Hillary were campaigning right now and building a mandate for what she really believes.
WikiHillary? I’m with her.
Why? Let’s start with what WikiLeaks says she said at Brazil’s Banco Itaú event in May 2013: “I think we have to have a concerted plan to increase trade … and we have to resist protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade.”
She also said, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
That’s music to my ears. A hemisphere where nations are trading with one another, and where more people can collaborate and interact for work, study, tourism and commerce, is a region that is likely to be growing more prosperous with fewer conflicts, especially if more of that growth is based on clean energy.
Compare our hemisphere, or the European Union, or the Asian trading nations with, say, the Middle East — where the flow of trade, tourism, knowledge and labor among nations has long been restricted — and the case for Hillary’s vision becomes obvious.
The way Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have made trade and globalization dirty words is ridiculous. Globalization and trade have helped to bring more people out of poverty in the last 50 years than at any other time in history.
Do we need to make adjustments so the minority of the U.S. population that is hurt by freer trade and movements of labor is compensated and better protected? You bet we do. That’s called fixing a problem — not throwing out a whole system that we know from a long historical record contributes on balance to economic growth, competitiveness and more open societies.
In a speech to a Morgan Stanley group on April 18, 2013, WikiHillary praised the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan, which included reforming the tax code to increase investment and entrepreneurship and raising certain taxes and trimming some spending and entitlements to make them more sustainable.
The ultimate shape of that grand bargain could take many forms, she said, but Hillary stressed behind closed doors: “Simpson-Bowles … put forth the right framework. Namely, we have to restrain spending, we have to have adequate revenues and we have to incentivize growth. It’s a three-part formula.”
She is right. We’ll never get out of this economic rut, and protect future generations, unless the business and social sectors, Democrats and Republicans, all give and get something — and that’s exactly where WikiHillary was coming from.
In an October 2013 speech for Goldman Sachs, Clinton seemed to suggest the need to review the regulations imposed on banks by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was passed in 2010. Her idea was not to get rid of all of the rules but rather to make sure they were not imposing needless burdens that limited lending to small businesses and start-ups.
As Clinton put it, “More thought has to be given to the process and transactions and regulations so that we don’t kill or maim what works, but we concentrate on the most effective way of moving forward with the brainpower and the financial power that exists here.” Again, exactly right.
You can also find WikiHillary, or her aides, musing about a “carbon tax” and whether or not to come out in favor of it, as Sanders did. She chose not to now, probably to avoid being saddled by Republicans with calling for a new tax in the general election campaign, but I am confident she’d make pricing carbon part of her climate policy.
When I read WikiHillary, I hear a smart, pragmatic, center-left politician who will be inclined to work with both the business community and Republicans to keep America tilted toward trade expansion, entrepreneurship and global integration, while redoubling efforts to cushion workers from the downsides of these policies.
I’m just sorry that campaign Hillary felt she could not speak like WikiHillary to build a proper mandate for President Hillary. She would have gained respect for daring to speak the truth to her own constituency — and demonstrating leadership — not lost votes.
Nonetheless, thanks to WikiLeaks, I am reassured that she has the right balance of instincts on the issues I care about most. So, again, thank you, Putin, for exposing that Hillary. She could make a pretty good president for these times.
Now here’s Mr. Bruni:
Is it too late for Hillary Clinton to surrender to Donald Trump’s demand that she take a drug test before this last presidential debate?
I think she should — if he agrees to a few tests of his own. He can choose any three of the following:
CITIZENSHIP TEST This is what the immigrants he feels so warm and fuzzy about must master to become full-fledged Americans and, for example, vote in presidential elections against the likes of Trump.
But would he himself pass one?
He’d surely be able to say who the current speaker of the House of Representatives is, given that he spends much of his time sticking pins in his personal Paul Ryan voodoo doll.
But the exact count of voting representatives in the House? That’s also on the test.
We could give him hints: your number of wives plus 432. The amount of federal income taxes you paid in 1995 plus 435.
The test has questions about the dynamics of the federal government and the contents of the Constitution. Neither is Trump’s strong suit.
He demonstrated staggering ignorance of what the judiciary branch does with an emphatic reference to a “bill” that several federal judges had “signed.” He seems to believe that the president can jail a political foe, hire and fire generals at will, and command the military to break the law.
He’s clueless about free speech. He threatened to sue Ted Cruz for showing a video of his actual, undisputed pro-abortion comments from the past. After the conservative journalist Rich Lowry assessed his candidacy unkindly, Trump suggested that the Federal Communications Commission fine him.
The history portion of the exam could be trickiest of all. To the question of who Susan B. Anthony is, the answer is not: “A total liar. Never happened. Look at her. She would not be my first choice.”
HEARING TEST The conventional wisdom is that Trump refuses to listen to his advisers. Maybe he just can’t make out what they’re saying. Perhaps it’s an excess of hair spray in the ear canals.
CREDIT CHECK His businesses have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy six times. He has a thoroughly documented habit of stiffing vendors. He and his companies have been defendants in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Does he qualify for so much as a Discover card with a $50 limit?
RORSCHACH Imagine the fun. Trump is shown an inkblot that looks to most people like a melting pumpkin.
“You’re using my picture without my consent. My lawyers will be in touch about a licensing fee.”
Trump is shown an inkblot that resembles a misshapen crab.
“It’s an illegal immigrant disguised as a crustacean.”
DRIVING TEST What are the chances that he cedes the right of way to anyone, ever?
MINNESOTA MULTIPHASIC PERSONALITY INVENTORY This psychological profile makes assessments about such traits as paranoia (check!), hypomania (check!) and more.
Interpreted by the right psychiatrist, it might help tell us what ails Trump in addition to arrested development (he and Billy Bush were essentially “teenage boys,” Melania just told Anderson Cooper, in her husband’s defense) and a plague of malfunctioning microphones.
Is his case a classic one of narcissistic personality disorder? Does he fit the criteria for borderline personality disorder, which can include outbursts, obsessions and a primitive ego structure?
Or is it something more esoteric? I’m no Freud and I’m no longer Jung, but I detect a mix of auditory hallucinations (he experiences wild applause even when there isn’t any), erotomania (the delusional certainty that other people lust for you) and rosiephobia (a pathological fear of mouthy female talk-show hosts).
VISION TEST Are cataracts the explanation for looking in the mirror and seeing a desirable hairstyle?
SAT Highfalutin vocabulary doesn’t factor quite as prominently into this test as it once did, but a command of language remains bigly essential. Mar-a-Lago, we have a problem.
PRESIDENTIAL FITNESS TEST If only this were as comprehensive as its name suggests. It’s what grade-school students were once required to do: situps, pull-ups and such in front of censorious, fat-shaming peers.
Donning swimwear instead of his mercifully roomy suits, Trump can perform this for an audience of all the beauty-pageant contestants he has ever barged in on. They’ll get to see, in the man who actually regaled his supporters with a derisive appraisal of Clinton’s backside, what all those cheeseburgers have wrought.
EKG There has been no evidence to date that he has a heart. Confirmation would be nice.
LIE-DETECTOR TEST Preferably during the debate. I imagine smoke billowing from the overtaxed wires before the whole contraption bursts into flames.