Road Runner (Wile E. Coyote’s nemesis)
The wrothful Gersh Kuntzman has more than two things to say about Hillary Clinton’s latest p.r. push:
I voted for Clinton on Nov. 8 and thought she’d be a good president.
But she lost. And she still wants us to feel bad about that. And, worse, she’s still blaming everyone else.
On Tuesday at the Women for Women conference, she reminded us again what a flawed candidate she was last year — and what a flawed person she has always been….
She … said she would discuss the mistakes she made during the campaign — then declined to mention even one. Instead, she fell back on the usual suspects: The Russians and FBI Director James Comey, who indeed meddled in the election at the last minute.
“If the election had been on Oct. 27, I would be your President,” she said.
Sorry, Simon & Schuster may want Hillary Clinton to write the history, but I’m not about to let her re-write it. No one deserves more blame for the election debacle than Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Let us count the ways:
1. She was, indeed, untrustworthy: Remember her fainting spell at the 9/11 ceremony? Remember how long it took for her to tell the truth? Remember how that reminded every voter in America that Hillary Clinton’s first instinct is to lie? Just like she did when she claimed she had taken sniper fire during a First Lady trip to Bosnia. Just as she did when she said she never sent classified documents over her private email server.
Beyond that, she was too close to the Clinton Foundation, and didn’t have a good answer when the Associated Press reported that donors to the Foundation got an open channel to then-Secretary of State Clinton.
2. She ran a very poor campaign….
[W]hen she called half the country the “basket of deplorables,” it was pretty much over. As Mitt Romney learned four years earlier when he said 47% of the country was “freeloaders,” you’re not the smartest guy in the room if you make a gaffe as dumb as that.
3. She set up a private email server: It’s basic. The only reason to set up a private email server — and delete some of the emails on it — is because you want to hide something from the public. Clinton never provided a good answer to the simple question, “Why would you do that?”
4. Those Goldman-Sachs speeches. You can’t be a prostitute on Wall Street and then go to church on Main Street….
I don’t understand why a publishing firm would give Hillary Clinton millions of dollars to not even admit her mistakes. (Full disclosure: I have three far-more-interesting books that Simon and Schuster can have for a fraction of Clinton’s advance, including “Bad Seeds” (an unpublished novel), “Hitler Would Have Double-Parked” (an unpublished novel) and “Publish My Unpublished Novel” (an unpublished novel). So I don’t see why we can’t make a deal.)…
She got what she deserved: She lost.
Now she needs to shut up and go home. [“Hillary Clinton Shouldn’t Be Writing a Book — She Should Be Drafting a Long Apology to America,” New York Daily News, May 2, 2017]
And as he makes clear elsewhere in the piece, he hates Trump.
Kuntzman omits a great deal. He could have mentioned Madame Rodham Clinton’s
internship at the law firm of Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, a firm was well known for its support of radical causes (two of its four partners were current or former Communist Party members)
conduct as a defense attorney in a child-rape case
mysteriously prescient ability to trade cattle futures
participation in the fraudulent Whitewater land-flipping scheme
involvement in trumped-up, politically based firing of White House travel-office employees (“Travelgate“)
involvement in the illegal procuring of background-check files on persons who had been White House employees during previous GOP administrations (“Filegate“)
enabling of Bill’s sexual predation, and attempt to deflect blame from him by concocting a “vast, right-wing conspiracy,” when the real problem was the truth about Bill
appropriation of gifts that had been made to the White House, not to her personally
solicitation of gifts while running for the Senate
dereliction of duty regarding the protection of the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya
I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can think of at the moment.
It is a depressing commentary on the state of politics in America that such a venal, mendacious, corrupt, destructively ambitious person could have risen as far as Hillary Rodham Clinton rose. I often give thanks to the Framers for inserting the Electoral College between the voters and the presidency.
A good example off Hillary Clinton’s mind at work is given in this post about a new book by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign. Clinton is quoted as saying to an aide, “I know I engender bad reactions from people.” That’s a roundabout way of saying “I irritate people.” But Clinton, unsurprisingly, tries to water down her self-criticism because it’s too hard for her to confront her own defects.
She’s far from alone in that respect. Self-delusion is a common trait, especially among politicians, who seem to be especially allergic to truth. But self-delusion is a counterproductive trait. It’s an essential ingredient in failure because it sets a person on an unsustainable course. Failure occurs at many levels, including the highest levels of American politics.
Hillary wouldn’t have made it to dogcatcher if she hadn’t married Bill and leveraged her position to carpetbag her way into the Senate. Look what happened to her in 2008 against a rival (Obama) who was more skilled at presenting himself to the public (though obviously a narcissist to those who weren’t beguiled by his rhetoric or smitten with the feel-good notion of electing America’s first semi-black president).
How did Hillary get the nomination in 2016? By being married to Bill and lining up her party’s big-wigs to support her as the “inevitable” candidate and, most important, a female one. (I expect that in 2020 there will be a big push in the Democrat Party to nominate an openly homosexual candidate for vice president, if not for president.)
Despite Clinton’s high-level backing — coupled with her (obviously contrived) leftward lurch and the political correctness of her gender — her march to the Democrat nomination was almost halted again by a sincere-sounding leftist.
I believe that she lost the general election because of her tone-deafness, which makes her uncannily able to irritate other people. Knowing that the presidency is won in the electoral college, not in the national popular vote, and knowing that the outcome in States with large blocs of blue-collar voters could swing the election to Trump — but secure in her self-delusional arrogance — she referred to Trump supporters as “deplorables.”
Talk about engendering bad reactions. And she didn’t have to do it; she was safely ahead in the polls at that point. She had nothing to gain — the effete elite were safely locked up — and a lot to lose. But she couldn’t help herself because she gave too little thought to her effect on others.
Know thyself. Very old advice that remains good advice.
I’ve updated “Election 2016.” It includes a plausible scenario for an electoral-college victory by Trump.
Whatever you do tomorrow, if you haven’t already voted, get out there and do it — if you want Clinton to lose, that is. Don’t let Operation Demoralize get to you. The mainstream media will play up Clinton’s lead in the polls (the ones that show her in the lead) until the last vote has been cast on the West Coast. It’s nothing more than legalized election-rigging. Don’t allow it to succeed. Vote!
See the latest edition of “Election 2016” for more recent polling data and trend analyses. The news keeps getting better (for now, at least).
UPDATED 10/25/16 – 4:30 PM CT
Just after I spotted an interesting twist in the statistics underlying my post “Election 2016,” I noted a spate of related items; for example:
Scott Adams, “The Bully Party,” Scott Adams’ Blog, October 25, 2016
Arnold Cusmarlu, “Trump ‘87% Certain’ to Win in November,” American Thinker, October 25, 2016
Jonathan Easley, “War Over Polls Intensifies” (URL tag: are-the-polls-skewed-against-trump), The Hill, October 25, 2016
Steven Hayward, “Michael Moore Voting for Trump?” Power Line, October 25, 2016
Jeffrey Lord, “Hillary: Queen of Corruption,” The American Spectator, October 25, 2016
Greg Richards, “Rigging the Election: James O’Keefe’s Third Video,” American Thinker, October 25, 2016
Andrew Grant White, “November 8: Trump +5,” American Thinker, October 25, 2016
It all adds up to this: There’s a good possibility that between now and election day — when most votes are cast despite early voting — growing realization of the corrupt, thuggish, big-spending, authoritarian, and anti-American character of a Clinton regime will turn the tide and lead to a victory by Donald Trump.
As I’ve said many times, the only thing worse than a Trump victory would be a Clinton victory.
Now for the twist that I spotted. There’s a glimmer of hope in the RealClearPolitics (RCP) “poll of polls,” which I adjust so that the various polling results are dated properly. Since October 9, the date of the second Trump-Clinton debate, there’s been a noticeable trend away from Clinton; thus:
The trend line points to a slight edge for Trump by election day, November 8. It’s too soon to take this forecast to the bank, but I’ll update it frequently — and keep my fingers crossed.
Here’s what’s happening with some other indicators that I’m tracking. (You can read about them at “Election 2016.”)
The Reuters poll has been moving toward Trump, while the USC/LA Times has been moving toward Clinton, producing a slight trend toward Trump in the average of the two polls. The RCP 4-way poll has been moving toward Trump since October 14, while the IBD/TIPP poll has begun to move toward Clinton. All in all, it looks like a tightening of the poll results as election day approaches, with a pro-Trump undercurrent, as shown in the first graph.
Originally published as “Stroke?” on 09/18/16
UPDATED 09/20/16 & 09/21/16
Not long ago I listed some potentially election-changing events. Among them: Hillary Clinton might suffer a stroke. This video of Clinton’s reaction to the bombing in NYC, this discussion of the symptoms and causes of stroke, and the medical histories of Clinton’s parents lead me to suspect that she suffered one on September 11 when she collapsed after abruptly leaving a 9/11 memorial ceremony.
Either that or she’s heavily medicated because of another medical problem that’s more serious than the pneumonia that she supposedly had or has. What medical problem might that be? There’s been a lot of speculation about Parkinson’s disease, which is another credible explanation of Clinton’s behavior.
Photo taken 09/19/16. No comment necessary:
Thomas Lifson wonders about Hillary’s intermittent exotropia (uncoordinated eyeball movement), which is a particular form of strabismus. It could be a symptom of Graves’ disease. But, given the severe concussion Hillary incurred four years ago, trauma-related strabisumus seems most likely:
Many things and/or events can cause a strabismus. They include genetics, inappropriate development of the “fusion center” of the brain, problems with the controlled center of the brain, injuries to muscles or nerves or other problems involving the muscles or nerves. Surprisingly, most cases of strabismus are not a result of a muscle problem, but are due to the control system — the brain.
What other health problems might have caused the fall that led to the concussion, or have resulted from the concussion? Parkinson’s disease is one possibility, of course.
I don’t expect a complete and candid answer from Hillary or her camp.
Anyone who follows this blog knows that I’m not a fan of Donald Trump. The only thing worse than a Trump victory in November would be a Clinton victory. But the brouhaha over Trump’s response to Khizr Khan’s speech at the DNC last week overlooks the vital truth that Khan’s speech was a load of propagandistic hogwash.
For the benefit of those of you who’ve been vacationing on Mars, Khizr Khan’s son was a U.S. Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The point of bringing Khan before the DNC was to point up Trump’s supposed anti-Muslim views. Whether or not Trump is anti-Muslim is beyond my ken, but he is anti-terorist — which is something I find hard to discern in the rhetoric of Democrats, who can’t bring themselves to associate Islam and terrorism.
It is anti-terrorism that animated Trump’s suggestion that there should be no further immigration by Muslims. Such a ban would do no more to prevent terrorist acts, given the numbers of terror-prone Muslims (and others) already in the United States, than a no-gun zone will do to prevent mass shootings by a psychopath. Nevertheless, I understand and appreciate the sentiment behind Trump’s proposal, even though it was a fatuous one that could only draw accusations of xenophobia.
And so it did, both in Hillary Clinton’s recorded introduction to Khan’s brief speech and in Khan’s brief speech itself. Without further ado, here’s the full text:
First, our thoughts and prayers are with our veterans and those who serve today. Tonight, we are honored to stand here as the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, and as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.
Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy — that with hard work and the goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams. Our son, Humayun, had dreams of being a military lawyer. But he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save his fellow soldiers.
Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son “the best of America.” If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities — women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words “liberty” and “equal protection of law.”
Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
We can’t solve our problems by building walls and sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our next president.
Khan wraps himself in the flag that draped his son’s coffin. But the tragic death of his son is irrelevant to the issue at hand. It gives Khan no authority to speak about efforts to combat terrorism.
By the same token, also irrelevant are Khan’s various “arguments”:
He is — he says — a loyal and patriotic Muslim-American. So what? There are evidently a lot of Muslims — American and non-American — who are neither loyal nor patriotic, and who would (and have) killed Americans in the name of their religion.
He claims to be an immigrant who came to this country empty-handed, and who shares in and contributes to its “blessings.” So what? A lot of people come to this country, and some of them share in and contribute to its “blessings” but then turn around and kill or try to kill Americans.
His son gave his life in the service of his country. And for that, his son should be honored, and has been honored. But what does that have to do with terrorism?
Ah, here it is. If Trump had his way, Khan’s son (and Khan) wouldn’t have come to America. By the same token, neither would have the perpetrators of the World Trade Center bombing (1993), the Brooklyn Bridge shooting (1994), the killings at the Empire State Building (1997), the New York terror attack (2000), the fire-bombing of a synagogue in Ithaca (2000), the massive attacks of September 11, 2001, the Los Angeles Airport shooting (2002), the Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle (2006), the Arkansas recruiting office shooting (2009), the Fort Hood shooting (2009), the Boston Marathon bombing (2013), the Chattanooga shootings (2015), the San Bernardino attack (2015), or the Orlando nightclub shooting (2016). It’s true that there have been many other acts of violence during the same span of time, but some acts of violence would nevertheless have been prevented had Muslims not been allowed to enter the United States.
Now comes the Constitution, which is like the flag and the Declaration of Independence in its emotional appeal. In fact, the Constitution doesn’t guarantee anyone the right to immigrate. Immigration policy is a matter for Congress to decide. “Equal protection of the law[s]” applies to “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States,” not to persons who wish to enter the United States and perhaps become citizens. “Liberty” is nowhere defined in the Constitution; it’s mentioned in the Preamble (which isn’t part of the Constitution), and twice elsewhere, in connection with due process of law. “Liberty” doesn’t encompass the right of an alien to enter the United States.
And it’s back to the dead who gave their lives for the United States and now lie in Arlington Cemetery (and other national cemeteries). Yes, there are all (or many) faiths, genders, and ethnicities among those dead. But their dying has nothing to do with whether Muslims should be allowed to enter the United States. In fact, there would be many fewer dead had Muslims not been allowed to enter, had terrorist attacks not ensued from their entry, and had the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not followed from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Whether or not Trump has sacrificed anything is beside the point. Neither has Hillary Clinton, by Khan’s standard. Yet, he ends by endorsing her because Americans will “grow stronger together” when she becomes president. Whatever that means.
And Khan to the contrary notwithstanding, Donald Trump is a piker when it comes to “building walls and sowing division.” Barack Obama has been doing it, metaphorically and actually, by rabble-rousing about “the rich”; destroying America’s health-care system; rewarding indolence with extended welfare payments, food stamps, and health insurance for slackers; stirring racial tension and fostering cop-killings by defending black thugs as “victims” and leveling blanket accusations of racism against cops; jerking the armed forces around with his on-again-off-again policies in Iraq and Afghanistan; caviling before Putin; failing to confront Chinese assertiveness; conspiring in the emasculation of the armed forces despite the obvious ambitions of Russia and China; signing (and ignoring) a treaty that will allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons; slighting Israel, America’s only true ally in the Middle East; slighting other true allies in Eastern Europe; pushing same-sex “marriage” and gender neutrality as if thousand of years of tradition and biological facts mean nothing; and leveling the power of the central government against religious liberty.
As I said, Trump’s anti-Muslim immigration policy is fatuous. And Trump, as usual, responded to Khan with bluster and name-calling when he should have responded with facts and logic.
But that doesn’t excuse Khan’s own fatuousness or Clinton’s exploitation of his son’s death.
It’s time for principled conservatives — whose number doesn’t seem to include Senator McCain, Governor Pence, and other mealy-mouthed Republicans — to go on the attack and quit retreating in the face of the enemy. That enemy is Hillary Clinton (and other so-called progressives), whose cynical use of Khan is in keeping with her cynical political career — the foundation of which is her partnership with a sexual predator.
* * *
Clarice Feldman, “Who Is Khizr Khan, the Father of a Fallen U.S. Soldier?” American Thinker, August 1, 2016
Geoffrey P. Hunt, “Hillary’s Cynical Manipulation of Captain Khan’s Sacrifice,” American Thinker, August 2, 2016
J. Marsolo, “Khizr Khan Has No Shame,” American Thinker, August 2, 2016
William Murchison, “The Khan Con and Other Modern Discontents,” The American Spectator, August 2, 2016
“Fairness” usually is invoked when a person or group seeks special treatment — unfairness, in other words. Here’s what’s unfair:
Making Johnny share his toys with Billy when Johnny is having a perfectly good time playing by himself.
If Billy wants to be treated fairly, he should bring his own toys and refuse to share them with Johnny. Then they can bargain about which toys to play with jointly and which toys to trade, either temporarily or permanently.
Refusing to let Abby into college because a less-qualified candidate happens to have darker skin than Abby, and there aren’t “enough” darker-skinned students.
If only there were more darker-skinned students, college authorities say, they would feel more secure and mingle with white students, thus giving the white students a broader “life experience.” How many more darker-skinned students? Well, there’s no magic number, the college must continue to prefer less-qualified darker-skinned students over white ones until mingling magically occurs. In any event, mingling is unlikely to be fostered by raising the dark-to-white ratio, though when the ratio gets large enough a certain kind of mingling will occur: Mobs of dark students will start to give the white ones some “life experience” by attacking them.
Taking money from Jack and giving it to Joe because Joe doesn’t earn “enough.”
Joe doesn’t earn much money, relative to Jack, for one or more of several reasons: Joe is dumber, lazier, less well-educated, less well-connected, or less lucky. But Jack didn’t cause Joe’s dumbness, laziness, lack of education, lack of connections, or unluckiness. Why is it “fair” to penalize Jack for things that aren’t his fault? Because everyone “deserves” a certain minimum standard of living? Who says so, a bunch of politicians who know that there are a lot of votes to be gained by spreading Jack’s money around? Jesus Christ was big on charity, but when government takes money from Jack and gives it to Joe, it’s not charity — it’s legalized theft.
Changing the definition of marriage because homosexuals want to be “married.”
For thousands of years it has been understood that marriage is a bonding of male to female. This definition seldom was so well understood and accepted that it was unnecessary to make it explicit until it came under attack. The attackers then claimed that it was “hateful” to make the definition explicit, and that persons of the same sex ought to be able to wed each other. So it’s “hateful” to defend a principle? Isn’t it therefore hateful to call someone hateful in defense of the principle that same-sex couples should be able to wed, even though the idea is relatively new and defies an understood definition of marriage that’s thousands of years old? In fact, it’s fair to call the shrill proponents of same-sex marriage hateful.
Allowing anyone who claims to “be” a female to use restrooms designated for women.
Do you know how to tell a female from a male? You don’t? Then you’d better ask your Mommy or Daddy to explain it to you — again. Do you claim to believe that a person’s sex is what that person says it is, even if the outward evidence contradicts that person’s claim? Perhaps, then, you will believe me when I say that I am God and will smite you for being such a ninny. Oh, you don’t believe me? Then why should you believe the tall, bearded fellow with a deep voice who barges into the “ladies” room and insists that he’s really a woman? Why does your judgment fail you in such cases? Because it’s only “fair” to the bearded guy to believe his story? But what if it isn’t “fair” to the real females who want privacy from prying male-like persons when they go into the “ladies” room? You’re not being fair, you’re just sticking it to “the system” because it gives you a thrill. As fads go, swallowing the transgender line makes as much sense as swallowing goldfish.
That is unfair because, as the Director of the FBI admitted, almost anyone other than Mrs. Clinton (or another highly placed politician) would be prosecuted.
Republican William Howard Taft lost his bid for re-election in 1912 to Democrat Woodrow Wilson , thanks to the candidacy of former Republican president Theodore Roosevelt, who ran on the Progressive ticket. Because of TR’s entry into the race, Taft won only 23 percent of the popular vote (he took 52 percent in the election of 1908), against Wilson’s 42 percent and TR’s 35 percent. Taft’s reverse coattails helped the GOP lose ground in the House and Senate. The GOP, which had won 41 percent of House seats in the election of 1910, dropped to 31 percent in 1912. And in the Senate the GOP went from 54 percent to 46 percent.
The next big loser was Democrat James Cox, who took only 34 of the popular vote in 1920, while Republican Warren G. Harding took 60 percent. With Harding’s big win, the GOP ran its House majority from 55 percent to 69 percent, and its Senate majority from 51 percent to 61 percent.
Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt won re-election in 1936 with 61 percent of the popular vote. FDR’s Republican opponent, Alfred Landon, won only 37 percent. The GOP’s share of House seats dropped from 24 percent to 20 percent. In the Senate, the GOP went from 26 percent to 17 percent. Both results are low-water marks for Republican representation in Congress.
Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson duplicated FDR’s feat by winning in 1968 with 61 percent of the popular vote. Republican Barry Goldwater garnered only 38 percent. The GOP’s shares of House and Senate dropped by 8 percentage points (from 40 percent to 32 percent) and 2 percentage points (from 34 percent to 32 percent).
Republican Richard Nixon won re-election in 1972, taking 61 percent of the popular vote to Democrat George McGovern’s 38 percent. Nixon’s win led to a mild GOP resurgence in the House, from 41 percent to 44 percent. But the GOP lost ground in the Senate, dropping from 45 percent to 43 percent.
The most recent election that resembled a landslide victory was in 1984, when Republican Ronald Reagan won re-election with 59 percent of the popular vote. Democrat Walter Mondale managed 41 percent. Reagan’s big win helped the GOP increase its share of House seats from 38 percent to 42 percent. But the Senate went the other way, with the GOP share dropping from 55 percent to 53 percent.
It seems that ticket-splitting has become more usual. And that’s a good thing if, as expected, Donald Trump loses to Hillary Clinton in November. It doesn’t seem, as of now, that Trump will be a loser on the scale of Taft, et al., but a loser nonetheless (in two meanings of loser). The only thing that will keep Trump from joining the really big losers is the identity of his opponent, who in saner times would already be in jail — with her husband.
There’s still hope that the Republican convention will yield a nominee other than Trump, but that’s a faint hope at this point.
The presidential candidates have been at it (name-calling) for months. It’s my turn now.
Trump’s dissing of his opponents and ideas that are disagreeable to him is refreshing, though I sample it through the filter of the written word. I am repelled by Trump’s appearance, manners, and mannerisms. His mouth often assumes a circular shape, the significance of which I leave to the dirty-minded among you.
In the spirit of equal opportunity, I can honestly say that Hillary is repulsive, too. She reminds me of a grounded parade float. And she’s so obviously honest and sincere that she’s sure to become a saint (in the church of holy baloney). It would serve Hillary right if she goes to jail for mishandling of classified material while Bill continues to roam free despite his mishandling of women.
Bernie Sanders reminds me of a former neighbor who proclaimed himself a Marxist (despite his upscale abode). He’s an ignoramus who sees the economy as a zero-sum game, when in fact it’s a cooperative enterprise that (generally) rewards people for the value of their contributions. (I’m confess that I can’t find any value in the contributions of Lady Gaga, rap singers, and most contemporary “entertainers.”) But Bernie wouldn’t know anything about that because, like Hillary, he hasn’t actually worked for a living in decades. He has a soft spot in his heart for those who feed at the public trough because he’s one of them. It’s surprising that Bernie doesn’t attract a larger share of the black vote. I guess that’s because Hillary is married to the first black president.
Put Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in a blender and you might get one formidable candidate, someone with brains and likability. As it is, Cruz and Rubio seem destined to finish second and third to Trump in most of the primary races, which means that Trump may lock up the GOP nomination before the convention.
It seems that election 2016 won’t come down to a choice between the lesser of two evils — not with Trump and Hillary as the choices. Not that it really matters to me. I live in Texas, where almost any Republican (even Trump) is bound to win. So I look forward to election day, when it’s likely to be warm and sunny in my part of Texas (the central part). I’ll probably spend the day outside, doing something useful like cutting brush.
This is my 9/11 post, a day early. For my remembrance of 9/11, go here.
I reluctantly watched George W. Bush’s post-9/11 speech before a joint session of Congress. I say “reluctantly” because I cannot abide the posturing, pomposity, and wrong-headedness that are the usual ingredients of political speeches — even speeches that follow events like the attack on Pearl Harbor and the atrocities of 9/11. (Churchill’s rallying speeches during World War II are another thing: masterworks of inspirational oratory.)
In any event, Bush’s performance was creditable (thanks, no doubt, to his writers and ample preparation). And I found nothing to fault in what he said, inasmuch as I am a libertarian hawk. The vigorous and evidently sincere applause that greeted Bush’s applause lines — applause that arose from Democrats as well as Republicans — seemed to confirm the prevailing view that Americans (or their political leaders, at least) were defiantly united in the fight against terrorism.
But I noted then, and have never forgotten, the behavior of Hillary Clinton, who was a freshman senator. Some of Clinton’s behavior is captured in this video clip, from 11:44 to 12: 14. The segment opens with Bush saying
Terror unanswered can not only bring down buildings, it can threaten the stability of legitimate governments. And you know what, we’re not going to allow it.
The assemblage then rises in applause. The camera zooms to Hillary Clinton, who seems aware of it and stares at the camera briefly while applauding tepidly. (Compare her self-centered reaction with that of the noted camera-hog Chuck Shumer, who is standing next to her, applauding vigorously, and looking toward Bush.) Clinton then turns away from the camera and, while still applauding tepidly, directs a smirk at someone near her. I also noted — but cannot readily find on video — similar behavior, include eye-rolling, at the conclusion of Bush’s speech.
Clinton — as a veteran political campaigner who knew that her behavior would draw attention — was sending a clear signal of her reluctance to support Bush because … because why? Because he had an opportunity for leadership that her husband had squandered through his lame responses to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the downing of U.S. helicopters in Somalia, and the bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa? Because Bush was a Republican who had won the presidency after great controversy? Because she resented not being at the center of attention after having been there for eight years, as an influential FLOTUS?
Yes Clinton was “hawkish” on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But I will always suspect that her hawkishness was, in part, a kind of atonement for her public display of disdain for George W. Bush on an occasion when such a display was inappropriate. No president should be given leave to do as he will, for any reason, but neither should his unexceptionable remarks on a solemn occasion be mocked.
Regardless of Clinton’s later stances, her behavior on January 20, 2011, signaled that the war on terror would become a partisan feast for Democrats and head-in-the clouds pseudo-libertarians. And it became just that.
It comes from Rebecca Traister’s article in today’s NYT, “What Would Hillary Clinton Have Done?“:
There simply was never going to be a liberal messiah whose powers could transcend the limits set by a democracy this packed with regressive obstructionists.
Democracy is good only if everyone agrees with you. That seems to be a common view among leftists.
FDR and Fascism
Fascism with a “Friendly” Face
Democracy and Liberty
Parsing Political Philosophy
Is Statism Inevitable?
Utilitarianism, “Liberalism,” and Omniscience
Utilitarianism vs. Liberty
Are We All Fascists Now?
Fascism and the Future of America
The Indivisibility of Economic and Social Liberty
Beware of Libertarian Paternalists
The Mind of a Paternalist
Accountants of the Soul
The Psychologist Who Played God
Rawls Meets Bentham
Is Liberty Possible?
Down with “We”
The Divine Right of the Majority
An Encounter with a Marxist
Our Enemy, the State
The Left’s Agenda
The Left and Its Delusions