The same national polls that show Clinton trouncing Trump in electoral votes also have them virtually tied in another category: untrustworthiness.
The Donald earned his rating the old fashioned way. He lies, cheats, steals, exaggerates and does not care one whit about anyone not named Donald J. Trump.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has had a more tortuous path to her untrustworthy rating.
She got it not because she cannot be trusted, but because she has been under constant attack from
the far right since 1992. That’s 24 years of lies, innuendo, gossip, smears and character assassination, all of which have resulted in exactly zero proof of her doing anything even remotely close to the relentless accusations claim.
The attacks on the Clintons have followed the same pattern over the past two decades.
First, some right-wing “investigator” comes up with some horrific scandal. Then the right-wing noise machine whips its audience into a frenzy and accuses the mainstream media of ignoring the story because of liberal bias.
The MSM always takes the bait, reporting the story on page one and burying on page 43, a week later, the conclusion that it was a delusional nothing burger.
Congress helps by investigating the rumors and conspiracies, giving them a veneer of credence and catapulting them back into the mainstream media.
Eight Republican-led House and Senate committees investigated Secretary Clinton’s role in the Benghazi attack, and each found that neither she, the military nor the State Department did anything wrong.
You would think Republicans would have given up, but by perpetuating an unending string of “investigations” they kept Mrs. Clinton’s name in the news associated with a smear.
The email scandal is even more ephemeral. Ask any Republican if he or she is outraged by this “scandal” and the person will fall back onto the fainting couch.
Yet ask them to detail what exactly she did wrong, let alone what crime she committed, and they have nothing, because there is nothing.
The FBI investigated tens of thousands of emails she turned over to the State Department and only found three instances in which information marked confidential was included in an email.
In all three instances the confidential material was far down in the email chain and marked with a small “c” to denote its classification. Nothing in the header, nothing in the subject line.
The personal emails that were deleted were vetted by a team of lawyers, aides and former State Department employees; the Clintons did not personally delete a single email. That’s it, that’s the scandal.
The newest bugaboo that has conservatives sure they finally have something that will bring down the Clintons (it won’t) is the Clinton Foundation.
Secretary of State Clinton met with heads of state, policy makers and influential private citizens who also donated to her charity, but the meetings are part of the job description.
Not a single instance of pay to play or impropriety has been discovered, nor will one. This is because Clinton had no role with the foundation during her term in the State Department.
The Clinton foundation has been rated A+ by charity watchdog groups, better than the Red Cross. It has saved 10 million lives and helped hundreds of millions more.
Clinton’s tax returns show that she does not take a salary and donates millions of her speaking fees to the foundation.
The reason this is even a thing is because the Clinton Foundation is open and transparent about who donates and how much. It is public knowledge.
On the other hand, Trump has not donated a single penny to his foundation since 2008. But if you want a pay-to-play scandal, Trump used foundation money to send a $25,000 bribe to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to quash a lawsuit over Trump University.
And the lawsuit disappeared. The Republican double standard is being put to the test by Trump, but so far it has not cracked.
The Clintons are old hands at countering the ugliest smears possible. There is nothing Trump and the Republican Party can invent that will make an iota of difference, because beneath all the sound and fury is nothing.
The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy will keep throwing stuff, but so far the wall is clean. Nothing has stuck for 24 years.
Kevin Buck is a Santa Clarita resident. “Democratic Voices” runs Tuesdays in The Signal and rotates among several Santa Clarita Valley Democrats.