I am from New Jersey, and we know our corruption. The whole state is lousy with it from the top down: greedy and amoral politicians, organized crime of multiple ethnicities, and crooked trade unions; Jersey has everything, much in the same way that New Jersey also has sales, income, and property tax. It’s also a million below for three months out of the year, and yet people still live there.
Usually it’s good stuff, too: we had governor named Jim McGreevey, and he had a First Lady named Mrs. McGreevey, but he also had a First Secret Boyfriend named Israeli Beefcake. Now, if Mrs. McGreevey knew about Israeli Beefcake (and vice versa), then that’s none of my business: this is America, and the Constitution protects Freedom of Freakiness.
Of course, Mrs. McG knew nothing about it, which is a problem. And, you know: he was the governor. Bad publicity, sure, but here was the real problem: the governor had named Israeli Beefcake his Homeland Security Advisor, which is a paid position overseen by the legislature, so it’s tragilarious that he thought this bullshit wouldn’t be noticed. He was forced to resign; during his speech, he affirmed his sexuality by identifying as “a gay-American,” which some thought brave, but most everyone found sad and oddly-phrased.
Newark was controlled for decades by a thief named Sharpe James, who got thrown in jail and kept right on causing trouble. Mayors from the hilly horse county in the far north of the state to the city councils of South Jersey’s beach towns have been locked up. Remember Abscam? That was Jersey. A few years ago, three or four dozen state representatives, mayors, businessmen, and Hasidic rabbis got arrested for a conspiracy that started out with simple bid-rigging and escalated to black market organ sales. (Not kidding.)
Our current governor Chris Christie, who was named by Stan Lee, is about to be indicted for shutting down (partially) the George Washington Bridge in retaliation for the mayor of Fort Lee withholding his endorsement. This makes Christie somewhat of an outlier: almost all New Jersey politicians that go to jail do so because of money; fewer do so because of sex or drugs or general depravity; almost no one fucks themselves this hard solely for purposes of the ego.
Which brings me to Hillary Clinton, whom I have been told is crooked. She has been under investigation since I’ve met her, and collects congressional subpoenas like parking tickets. The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (which she named herself, thereby giving her own enemy power, in a gnomic reading) has been digging through her garbage like Rock Nerds outside Dylan’s apartment for 25 years. Evidence of a crime–an actual crime worthy of indictment–would make the career of any journalist who discovered it, or any lawyer who brought the case. Don’t believe me? Kenneth Starr is still getting work. (And still a shitstain of a mammal.)
But not one charge. Not one indictment. No official censure (okay, Bill got one, but that was bullshit). No grand jury returned a true bill, because none was ever empaneled. Nothing.
So you might say that Hillary is dying of diphtheria, or that she’s too liberal, or that she’s too conservative; maybe you just don’t like her. Fine, these are all (well, two) acceptable arguments. But when she’s called corrupt–and especially when that thought is nestled within the abhorrent “They’re both crooks,” false equivalence–I don’t understand it.
Most of the time, smoke is due to fire. Other times, someone is blowing it up your ass.