Doubtless you’ve all heard rumblings that Mount Hillary is poised to spew one last volley of boulders and ashes, fire and brimstone at Donald Trump. The likely time may be today to give the Media a chance to play the tale out for all it’s worth.
Or perhaps their last play is campaign rally jests by Obama, trying to bait the somewhat thin-skinned Trump into losing his temper or making mistake. However, Hillary’s history is on Trump’s side. Let us just hope he takes advantage of the library full of information about her, as well as the firestorm of WikiLeaks coming out.
It always pays to have more than one brand in the fire.
Probably one of the most damning pieces of her history is her early (1977) appointment to the Board of the Legal Services Corporation by then-President Jimmy Carter. A little-noticed and virtually unreported organization which is often confused with the Legal Aid Societies (a much older organization dedicated to providing representation to people unable to afford attorney’s fees, the organization is described in The First Partner: Hillary Rodham Clinton (HarperCollins Publishers, 1999) a biography by Joyce Milton.
Legal Services Corporation is a movement “based on the theory that the American system of justice is inherently corrupt, designed to perpetuate the power of the ruling class. Therefore, in this view, the most effective way to get at the root causes of poverty was to turn the justice system against itself, using court actions to challenge the power of established institutions.
“As long-time legal services executives John A. Dooley and Alan W. Houseman noted in an unpublished history, legal services was a movement whose mission was to ‘redress historic inadequacies in the legal rights of poor people.’ To do this, it was necessary to go beyond what was known in legal services jargon as ‘uninformed demand’ – in other words, the services poor people actually wanted, such as help in avoiding eviction, collecting child support, divorcing abusive husbands, and filing for bankruptcy.
“Legal Services began in the 1960s with a few community-based programs funded primarily by the Ford Foundation. One of the first of these was the New Haven Legal Assistance Association, set up by Jean Cahn, a recent Yale Law graduate, and her husband, Edgar. In 1964, the Cahns persuaded Sargent Shriver to include funding for a legal services agency under the aegis of the Office of Economic Opportunity. Eager to avoid the bad publicity that the AMA had garnered through its opposition to Medicare, the American Bar Association lent its support to the new program, despite the qualms of some of its members.
“In garnering support for the agency, Legal Services supporters invariably stressed the more traditional side of its role in funding groups that would provide direct services to poor people. It was assumed that the agency would also fund some class-action suits, to enforce existing civil rights laws and provide a check on abusive bureaucrats.
“In practice, some of the funded organizations went much further. Radical attorneys discovered new ‘rights’ that no one had previously imagined and used taxpayer money to thwart the will of the voters. A contentious, at times even violent, campaign by California Rural Legal Assistance frustrated Gov. Ronald Reagan’s attempt to change the state’s welfare and Medicaid policies.
“In Missouri, Legal Services lawyers supported rent strikes by tenants in public housing. In New Orleans, they defended a black militant group that engaged in a shoot-out with police. In Camden, N.J. [one of our true ‘garden spots’ – I’ve been there], Legal Services filed suit to halt an urban redevelopment project. These kinds of actions led to complaints that radical lawyers, accountable to no one, were spending public funds to frustrate the work of legally-elected and appointed officials.
“In 1971, the same veto that killed the bill for a comprehensive child-care program advocated by the Children’s Defense Fund, Richard Nixon refused to continue the mandate of the Office of Legal Services, citing ‘abuses which have cost one anti-poverty program after another its public support.’
“The bitter three-year battle that followed saw the firing of OLS Director Terry Lenzner and his replacement by Conservative activist Howard Phillips. After much debate, Congress passed legislation restructuring legal services as a non-profit corporation, comparable to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”
Lenzner would later create his own private detective agency, which Bill and Hillary used to dig up dirt on their adversaries.
“Under Carter, the Legal Services Corporation fared better. Hillary Rodham took over as LSC board chairman during a period when the corporation was expanding its reach. Once confined mainly to urban areas and a few programs serving migrant workers, the network of LSC grantees was extended into virtually every county of the fifty states, as well as the U.S. Territories.
“The corporation’s budget grew apace, rising from $71.5 million in 1976 to $321 million by 1981. Thanks to non-confrontational leadership [meaning no one would hold anyone else accountable] and closer monitoring of grant programs, the LSC had enjoyed a honeymoon from controversy.”
Under Hillary’s chairmanship, “the board affirmed its goal to ‘empower the poor.’ The LSC’s idea of empowerment was to use legal action to expand the welfare rolls and get as many people as possible on food stamps and Social Security disability. The reasoning behind this somewhat cockeyed notion of progress was that the LSC needed to expand its client base to include the working poor, working through the courts to bring about a redistribution of income.
“This goal would be expressed most clearly by Gary Bellow, Executive Director of the Legal Services Institute, in a March 1982 speech entitled, ‘Strategy and Substance for the 80’s,’ which he delivered to a group of Legal Services attorneys and community activists. Bellow stressed that one effective way to ensure continuing support for Legal Services was to ‘increase people’s sense of grievance and entitlement’ – a strange goal,” Milton notes, “for a government agency.”
Or maybe not so strange for an agency that boldly agitated for a socialist government.
No matter how mightily she thunders and rumbles, Mount Hillary is a puny firecracker compared to the Mount Wikileaks volcano exploding behind her, ready to engulf Hillary in a firestorm of misdeeds, lies, corruption, and scandal.