Hillary's book deal OK'd

Sen. Clinton’s book deal was just routinely approved by the Senate Ethics Committee.

What do you think, right-wingers? Did you spend all of your outrage when you were using this as an example of the Clinton’s greed/shamelessness etc., or are you now willing to admit you were wrong again?

I think they’re all sitting in the corner with fingers in their ears going “La la la … I can’t hear you!” until it dies down. Then they can go back on the air with Rush Limbaugh and b*tch about all the lawsuits and scandals of Bill and Hillary, as if they were still proceeding and have merit.

Who is spending any “outrage”?

In that the Ethics Committe is Chaired by a Repubican and 50% of the Committe is Republican, their clearance of the deal indicates a willingness to move the political proccess along.

Who need to admit they were wrong? What is your overwhelming desire to be defensive. I commend the approval of this deal as well as Bush’s refusal to become involved in all the other last minute “shanagins” of the Clintons.

Sure, there are idiots like Burton out there. I believe as time goes on you will see that they have less and less support.

There are alot more important issues that need to be dealt with.

Case in point. Another substanceless smear has been exposed, and you yourself for instance are still listing it with the “last minute ‘shanagins’ [sic] of the Clintons.” (That’s “shenanigans”, btw).

Who mentioned Burton in this thread, btw? And how much more time do you think needs to elapse before his support bottoms out?

In the words of the great sage Ann Landers, “Wake up and smell the coffee.”

Elvis asks: “What do you think, right-wingers?”

I, for one, think Newt Gingrich got a raw deal, being demonized for a book advance that was less than half of HRC’s. I am old enough to remember the fear caused by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Unfortunately, some of today’s liberals have mastererd his methods.

It’s a strange coincidence that one practitioner of liberal McCarthyism is none other than HRC herself. Who can forget her claim that there was nothing between Bill and Monica – that the accusations were the work of a Vast Right Wing Conspiriacy.

Gingrich wasn’t “demonized” for the size of his book deal, just for the appearance of a payoff by Rupert Murdoch. He’d been trying to get FCC approval for purchasing the Fox network, but was tied up by his lack of the required US citizenship. Although the naturalization process takes around 7 years typically for ordinary people, Murdoch got his in just a few weeks after signing the deal with Gingrich. Ol’ Newt is now on Murdoch’s payroll as a Fox commentator.

HRC’s deal was, by comparison, an open bidding process.

As to your next point, I agree the “VRWC” certainly wasn’t all that vast, it certainly was and is right-wing, and I’d call it more of a cabal than a conspiracy.

“McCarthyism” is a term that is used far too loosely. It was best defined as a coordinated campaign to ruin people whose views were unpopular with a powerful group, using any methods necessary, not depending on having any actual facts or reasoned judgment to support it. Ring any bells, people?

Elvis wrote: “HRC’s deal was, by comparison, an open bidding process.”

In fact, both books were sold through open bidding processes. Info on Newt’s book came from my sister, a senior publishing executive in New York, who is as liberal as they come. Even though she hates Newt, she told me that there was no hanky-panky in the price paid for the book. She said that a number of publishers were bidding for Newt’s book because conservative books had been selling well and he was a big name.

Elvis is correct that the buyer of Newt’s book was a big company that might want government favors. However, the buyer of HRC’s book is also a big company that might want government favors. No difference.

The major difference is that the buyer of Newt’s book not only wanted, but GOT, a BIG government favor (the special bill making Murdoch a citizen - Aussies, congrats for ridding yourselves of him).

A lesser difference, which you’re also conveniently overlooking, is the way Gingrich so piously condemned his predecessor, Jim Wright, for doing pretty much exactly the same thing.

Gawd, typing the word “hypocrite” in regards to the GOP right wing is getting tiresome. Can anyone suggest a few good synonyms, or would a macro be just as good?

Wait, I’m confused. You’re still pissed off at Newt for his book deal, and right-wingers can’t get over things?

I’m a pretty far right republican, as things go, and I don’t know that I cared much. In all honesty, had the ethics committee slammed HRC for something, I might have gotten all excited about it, but until then it was senators doing what senators do. While I don’t pretend to speak for the entire party, I’m not alone in this.


Wasn’t the Jim Wright case one where a book that had already been published and didn’t sell was being bought in large numbers by companies as a way to get around the cap on speaking fees? If so, Newt’s deal is far closer to Hillary’s than to Wright’s. The only difference is that Hillary’s publisher hasn’t gotten any noticeable government support yet.

If your only argument in the Gingrich case is post hoc ergo propter hoc, then you need to wait until post hoc to declare that Hillary’s case isn’t analogous. Actually, I don’t really find the evidence against Gingrich all that compelling. He was offering a book. It was bid on. A large publishing company, whose owner could reasonably be expected to support conservative political books, and who had important legislation in Congress, won. The legislation was approved by Congress. Coincidences, yeah. Nothing that couldn’t be explained just as well without assuming dishonest intents.

At some point in the next six years the publisher of Hillary’s book will stand to gain from certain Congressional actions. Quite likely, they will end up benefitting. That sort of thing happens often. Someone’s gonna jump to conclusions, though, and I’d bet that no matter what, Elvis will defend Hillary (about which he’d probably be right), while still not seeing any parallel to Newt.

Personally, I wouldn’t buy a book by either of them, but have no moral objection to either’s actions.

As always, a bit of revisionism on all sides:

barker, there was a hell of a lot of conservative yelling and screaming back when the book deal was announced. Just as one little example, search for “hillary” and “publisher” or “book” on Google (or, hell, probably on this board).

Elvis, the Wright business was very different - he was using his book to get around honorarium limits. Newt was politically stupid - someone who made his career going after Wright on royalties should have been very aware that people were not going to make the distinction between his deal and Wright’s. But he wasn’t unethical.

Bashere, scroll back and see who brought Newt up. Turns out to be this december character back on Post #4, and s/he was trying to use the case as vindication.

Waterj, I’ll recognize a parallel when it’s pointed out. Hasn’t happened yet. I’m also impressed by your faith in coincidences - can you grant that there’s a hoc and a post hoc at least?

SuaSponte, you can always identify differences if you use a comb with fine enough teeth. You don’t have to go too deep to identify hypocrisy about corruption, whatever the specific details of the case. Not to defend Wright, but you can’t condemn him for his ethics without also condemning Gingrich, right?

Absolutely wrong, Elvis. Here’s what happened in each instance.

Wright - At the time, the House of Representatives had a limit on how much outside money a representative could earn as honorarium, but no corresponding limit on how much a representative could earn in royalties.
Wright had a book out that couldn’t be sold for toilet paper.
In order to allow Wright to exceed the limit on honorarium, Wright had the businesses and groups who wanted to have him speak make bulk purchases of his book. As these groups wouldn’t have made these purchases otherwise, Wright was enriched beyond what the House ethics rules allowed him to otherwise be.

Gingrich - Gingrich had a book. He engaged in an open bidding process to determine who would be its publisher. Murdoch won. Murdoch also wanted to become a U.S. citizen via a private bill. People complained, and Gingrich decided to take no advance on the book, receiving only those royalties the book actually generated. After Gingrich backed away from the advance, the Murdoch bill still passed. There was no quid pro quo.

This isn’t a “fine-tooth comb” distinction. Wright was actively engaged in a plan to evade House rules through false sales of his book. Gingrich was selling a book. Big difference.


Sorry to be so late replying; been away for awhile.

This is just one of many sites accessible in seconds by searching a few keywords like “Gingrich”, “Murdoch”, and “book” that undermine one’s confidence that there was no pro between the quid and the quo.

This is worth a read, too.

Upon review, the only error I’ll own up to is the timing of Murdoch’s citizenship deal, which did get on the fast track. Seems that happened in 1985, after a different round of schmoozing/donations etc., well before the Gingrich book deal.

One has to have more faith in coincidences and the basic personal honesty of Newt Gingrich than I do to maintain such confidence. To prop up a belief in Gingrich’s integrity, you have to take his word for being ignorant of any connection between HarperCollins and Murdoch (who is now his employer, remember). That’s just too hard for me to believe, sorry. Granted, there was no ruling by the House Ethics Committee ruling against their new Speaker on this specific issue, but they couldn’t avoid it later on that bogus college class case. If Gingrich was proven corrupt and hypocritical on that instance, how can you maintain your faith that he was pure and honest on the Murdoch deal?

Bear in mind while you’re at it that a bidding process that appears to be “open” may not be, if the price stays within a level that one of the bidders is willing to pay. He still has a reasonable belief of favorable consideration on other matters, the more so the higher the bidding gets.

A more general comment: If there’s one thing that the Get Clinton For Something Crusade has reminded us of, it’s that the people doing the loudest, most pious condemning of someone else’s behavior are most likely to have done the same thing, or worse, themselves. Other examples are the number of adulterers in Congress who have so loudly condemned Clinton’s adultery, even though their own cases are worse by the very standards they themselves profess.

For a more detailed discussion of that last point, read Sinclair Lewis’ Elmer Gantry.

Fair enough?