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Democrats say judge Hillary Clinton on her record—so let’s do that

The Democratic convention thus far has centered on the theme of competence—specifically that of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. To that end, we’ve listened to a parade of speakers contrast Clinton’s accomplishments with Donald Trump’s Maury Show approach to governance.

It’s been nothing if not effective. Listening to Bill Clinton recount every wrinkle of his wife’s résumé—from her fight for equality in the prison system to her preschool overhaul in Arkansas—left you wondering if maybe Hillary’s critics have hauled out too much artillery. Judge Hillary on her record, the Clintonoids say, and her record after Tuesday night sounded pretty good.

But that was mere stagecraft, the message Democrats wanted you to hear. And while the aspiring first husband might have talked for almost an hour, it was what he didn’t mention that was so telling.

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For example, Democrats made only passing reference to Hillary’s failed attempt to ram through universal health insurance in 1993, and then only as a prelude to the glorious triumph of Obamacare. Why? Because she made a mess out of a top Democratic priority, assembling a sinister task force that met behind closed doors, chairing it with a close friend, shrouding it in total secrecy. Health industry ads portrayed everyday joes fretting over the bureaucratic sledgehammer being fashioned in Washington. The public quickly soured.

The resulting Hillarycare plan wasn’t just a precursor to Obamacare; it was far more extreme, with price controls, a new payroll tax, and a federal board to oversee the entire industry, in addition to the already-punitive individual mandate that came with Obama’s plan. It was the sort of sweeping, tone-deaf overhaul that could have only been cooked up behind D.C. cordons. Consequently, it went down to defeat, and today even the modest-by-comparison Obamacare remains a liability. Clinton’s efforts proved only that Democratic notions on health insurance are both unpopular and half-baked.

Democrats have also taken a vow of silence on the intervention in Libya undertaken by President Obama, even though he was persuaded to do it by Hillary, then his secretary of state. Here was the most consequential foreign policy decision that “Change Maker” Clinton ever made: military regime change in the heartland of Islamic Africa that saw the U.S. and its allies oust dictator Moammar Gaddafi. “This is Libya’s victory,” Clinton declared afterwards, “and the future belongs to you.”

If by “you,” Clinton meant hordes of vicious militias and the largest ISIS contingent outside of Iraq and Syria, then she’s been vindicated. The terrorist-fueled chaos that resulted after Hillary’s war not only enveloped Libya, but also helped destabilize nearby Tunisia and spark a war in Mali. Incredibly, Clinton still defends this catastrophic unraveling, calling it “smart power at its best.”

She should have known better, having previously voted for the war in Iraq, which yielded a similar outcome. And she should have learned something going forward, rather than clamoring for more American involvement in Syria, as she still does. Democrats claim Clinton as an expert on foreign policy, but where’s the beef? Hoping for a “reset” with Russia, she left amidst the most fraught relations since the Cold War. Hoping for a “pivot to Asia,” she kept our shoes cemented in the Middle East.

RELATED: Don’t believe the DNC hagiography — the Clintons are still corrupt and cynical

Even some of Clinton’s seemingly unimpeachable accomplishments have come with caveats. Take her legislation that funded health treatment for first responders after 9/11. It was a valiant cause, but it was also exorbitantly expensive and Democrats refused to offset spending to pay for it. Republicans who asked for less waste were shouted down.

So when Democrats say Hillary loves to “help people,” they mean “set up impersonal bureaucracies that rob Peter to pay Paul.” And those she hasn’t helped—those she’s callously hindered—always go unmentioned: the White House Travel Office employees she tried to fire and replace with cronies; the victims of Puerto Rican terrorists who were pardoned by Bill Clinton as a likely boon to her New York Hispanic outreach; the women who have alleged that Bill Clinton abused them and Hillary dismissed them.

Having bullet points on your résumé is not the same thing as being an effective and decent public servant. Hillary has her successes, sure, but on the big-picture issues it’s been a lot of flops and misdeeds.

This post is from RareRare. Click here to read the full text

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