(This article is published in Salon.)
Politicians are often said to be skilled in the art of talking out of both sides of their mouths. This was exemplified in the first 2015 Democratic presidential debate, on the evening of Oct. 13. When asked which enemy he was most proud of, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley boldly declared “the NRA.”
The problem is O’Malley took $40,000 from the NRA in 2012, according to disclosures obtained by The Intercept.
Yet O’Malley is not the only candidate who says one thing and does another.
“I don’t take a back seat to anyone when it comes to progressive experience and progressive commitment,” Hillary Clinton insisted in the debate. “You know, when I left law school, my first job was with the Children’s Defense Fund, and for all the years since, I have been focused on how we’re going to un-stack the deck, and how we’re gonna make it possible for more people to have the experience I had.”
This is true — Clinton not only worked with Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to help American youth; she served as the head of its board.
Later in the debate — amid her hawkish rhetoric — Clinton twice more mentioned her work with CDF, wielding it as an example of her purportedly progressive policies.
The problem with Clinton’s claims, however, is that she betrayed children as First Lady. Under the guise of welfare reform, the Clinton administration worked with Republicans to gut social services, ignoring their own senior officials’ warnings that, by doing so, they would be plunging over a million children into poverty.