The Way of the Grifter: What Hillary Clinton can Teach Us

The Way of the Grifter: What Hillary Clinton can Teach Us January 22, 2016
The Grifter can sap the  life out of anyone.
The Grifter can sap the life out of anyone.

The Clintons are amazing. They have somehow grown very, very rich through public service. Other politicians have done well by doing badly, but the Clintons are in a league of their own. As the second most disliked politician running for President  according to polls, one wonders why Clinton needs to keep on keeping on.

The answer is: that is what grifters do. A grifter swindles you, but a good grifter can get you to thank them for taking your money. Grifters are not just thieves, but parasites. They generally hijack another person’s accomplishments and use them for personal enrichment. Clinton was married to a President and parlayed this role into a lackluster Senate career, a failed bid for President, a disastrous term as Secretary of State, and now another run where despite having the field cleared for her, is still struggling.

She is not a very good communicator, campaigner, or manager.

If you are nodding so far, then stop. Think about it. Like any other part of society, Christian organizations are loaded with grifters. Nothing is so successful that a grifter cannot bleed it dry in a few years. No organization is so robust, that a grifter cannot leave it ravaged in less than a decade.

Clinton has lived the Way of the Grifter on such a large scale we can recognize the signs from her life. Let us not bemoan the grifters in public life and fail to see them in private life. What is the Way of the Clinton?

The grifter rides the ideas or accomplishments of someone else to power.

The really good grifter (like HRC) can somehow manage to turn the “Clinton administration” into a joint presidency, even though she was not . . . President. Sometimes this is direct, as in being given your job by Daddy, but often it is indirect. The grifter is always a huge name dropper. He or she is the protégé of everyone. Every famous person (especially if safely dead) is their best friend. They were Timothy to one hundred Pauls or in the case of HRC, Paul to one hundred Timothys.

The very good grifter like HRC can make you feel bad for challenging what everyone knows: she is the most qualified candidate ever. Don’t think about the qualifications of even a fairly minor President like John Adams or all the jobs held by George HW Bush. Clinton is the most qualified person ever . . . and she can name drop those pundits who agree.

Another form of grifter will hijack a good thing, a church or ministry, to turn it into his or her personal till.

The grifter is brutal to subordinates.

The grifter will be charming at first and is always flattering to people they need. HRC can raise money with the rich and famous. The “little people” had better not get in her way. The Christian grifter will scream at a subordinate or take a low level employee to task for almost nothing.

I knew a grifter in California (not at any place I worked) who lost her mind to an aide over the color of a Sharpie.

Because so much of the grifter (credentials, accomplishments) are puffery or fakery, the grifter gets very angry at any lesser being who might expose them. The very good grifter like HRC can make you feel bad for her failures or take the color of the Sharpie seriously, because you just let down the very person this country needs.

The grifter is constantly remaking themselves.

HRC reprograms herself for the political climate. When liberal Democrats were losing, she was a moderate pulling the party to the middle. She opposed gay marriage and loved guns. Now that the Party has gone to the left, she is moving to the left. We have a new, new Hillary Rodham Clinton. HRC can be who we need her to be.

Just keep those cards and letters coming,

The Christian grifter can do this with issues. Are folks worried about abortion? They are now a “leader” in the prolife cause. Are gay rights a hot button? They will start a ministry on that front. The accomplished grifter can change on a room to room basis. HRC, the master, has a Southern accent in the South and loses it an airplane ride away.

The grifter loves building a long list of accomplishments or certifications without doing much with them.

McDonalds used to put up signs in our neighborhood saying that they had sold a jillion burgers. Who knows? It sounded good. HRC simply states she was awesome: law student, lawyer, First Lady, activist, Senator, and Secretary of State. What did she do? What does she want to do?

The one thing is certain: she has ended up richer at the end of it.

The Christian grifter always has an endless resume and description of what they have done. These will always be highly detailed. We know every moment of the life of HRC and so it is with the Christian grifter. When traveling with my Dad, I once heard a pastor describe to the penny, what his church building was worth. He had a stat for every aspect of his ministry and a gilded piano.

The grifter will attack others for the very things she is doing.

HRC has amassed great wealth in public service. She starts attacking the “rich” and though she takes money from the most established players in American, she attacks the establishment. She accuses Sanders of being too “unsteady” to be left in charge of foreign policy, because the policy she supervised in places like Libya went . . .badly.  You can know what a grifter is doing by what she attacks.

Aren’t we all tired of Christian grifters obsessed with sin “x” who turn out to commit sin “x?” This is an old routine.

The grifter will break the rules, but go through four techniques if confronted: denial, attack, minimization, move on.

A terrible thing happens to women who are sexually harassed. The harasser and his enablers accuse her of being “a slut or a nut.” HRC used the “slut and nut” defense for her husband. This was wrong. When confronted with the harm Bill was doing women, HRC denied it (despite his pattern of behavior in the past). When she could no longer deny it, she attacked those bringing it up. “We may be bad,” she would say, “but you are the same or worse.” When that failed, HRC would point out that nobody was murdered.

It was only sexual harassment. Why make a federal case of it?

Finally, if a few months (or a year) pass, she can say: “Why not move one? Why are you so harsh and judgmental?” Meanwhile, the most the grifter ever has said is: “Mistakes were made.”

This is most effective in the church. David Barton lies about history and about his own career. He puffs and he names drops. If confronted, he first denies. When his error is obvious, he then attacks the accuser (“Liberal!”). When this will not stick on some, he then minimizes (“some errors”) and then can finally ask plaintively why truth seekers like Warren Throckmorton are “obsessed” with his past.

Done correctly, the Christian grifter can go from place to place with scarcely a beat, huffing and puffing, and blowing down all around him.

HRC is unfit to be President of the United States. Even against two very weak candidates, she can hardly pull a majority in national polls in her own party. Yet HRC will continue to grift and grind out the cash, because that is all Bill and Hillary know to do. That’s politics and they are not the only ones. The GOP has her own grifters.

The pity, the real crime, is that the church does too. Let’s take the log out of our eye, before we are so sure that HRC is “the worst.”


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