Nobody with so much as a passing understanding of the Clintons’ complicated relationship with the truth will be surprised to see history being rewritten on live television. But, this broader tendency notwithstanding, there was something extraordinary about Hillary’s tone. Her husband, she told Sawyer, “had to make double the money because of, obviously, taxes.” I daresay he did. But so does everyone else who earns good money — and he would presumably have had to make even more if Clinton had her way. Why, pray, does Clinton consider this to be an imposition?
We talk often of “entitlement” these days. For once, we have a genuine example of it. Rather than seeing her sumptuous lifestyle as the happy consequence of her considerable income, Clinton appears to believe that she is all but required to maintain a certain standard of living — whether or not she has the funds to enable it. This, it should not be lost on anybody, is precisely how embarrassed British aristocrats behave. Even in penury they are unable to escape the pregnant title of “Lord” or “Viscount” — nor the expectations that go with them — and, in order to live up to their stations and maintain the habits of their class, they are required to beg, borrow, or steal. Thus is “Can I pay for it?” subjugated to “Do I want it?” Thus is the cart put before the horses, the stables, the chauffeur, the shooting parties, the butler, the dinner parties, the tweed wardrobe, and the yacht. Downsizing for a while is, naturally, quite out of the question. “Do they know who I am?”