From Thomas Sowell:
It is amazing how a simple question can cause a complex lie to collapse like a house of cards. The simple question was asked by Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News Channel, and it was addressed to two Democrats. He asked what has Hillary Clinton ever accomplished.
The two Democrats immediately sidestepped the question and started reciting their talking points in favor of Hillary. But O’Reilly kept coming back to the fact that nothing they were talking about was an accomplishment.
For someone who has spent her entire adult life in politics, including being a Senator and then a Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has nothing to show for all those years — no significant legislation of hers that she got passed in the Senate, and only an unbroken series of international setbacks for the United States during her time as Secretary of State.
Before Barack Obama entered the White House and appointed Mrs. Clinton Secretary of State, Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq had notified their higher ups, stationed in Pakistan, that their cause was lost in Iraq and that there was no point sending more men there.
Hosni Mubarak was in charge in Egypt. He posed no threat to American or Western interests in the Middle East or to Christians within Egypt or to Israel. But the Obama administration threw its weight behind the Muslim Brotherhood, which took over and began terrorizing Christians in Egypt and promoting hostility to Israel.
In Libya next door, the Qaddafi regime had already given up its weapons of mass destruction, after they saw what happened to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But President Obama’s foreign policy, carried out by Secretary of State Clinton, got Qaddafi removed, after which Libya became a terrorist haven where an American ambassador was killed, for the first time in decades.
The rationale for getting rid of Middle East leaders who posed no threat to American interests was that they were undemocratic and their people were restless. But there are no democracies in the Middle East, except for Israel. Moreover, the people were restless in Iran and Syria, and the Obama-Clinton foreign policy did nothing to support those who were trying to overthrow these regimes.
It would be only fair to balance this picture with foreign policy triumphs of the Obama-Clinton team. But there are none. Not in the Middle East, not in Europe, where the Russians have invaded the Crimea, and not in Asia, where both China and North Korea are building up threatening military forces, while the Obama administration has been cutting back on American military forces.
Hillary Clinton became an iconic figure by feeding the media and the left the kind of rhetoric they love. Barack Obama did the same and became president. Neither had any concrete accomplishments besides rhetoric beforehand, and both have had the opposite of accomplishments after taking office.
They have something else in common. They attract the votes of those people who vote for demographic symbolism — “the first black president” to be followed by “the first woman president” — and neither to be criticized, lest you be denounced for racism or sexism.
It is staggering that there are sane adults who can vote for someone to be President of the United States as if they are in school, just voting for “most popular boy” or “most popular girl” — or, worse yet, voting for someone who will give them free stuff.
Whoever holds that office makes decisions involving the life and death of Americans and — especially if Iran gets a nuclear arsenal — the life and death of this nation. It took just two nuclear bombs — neither of them as powerful as those available today — to get a very tough nation like Japan to surrender.
Anyone familiar with World War II battles in the Pacific knows that it was not unusual for 90 percent of the Japanese troops defending Iwo Jima or other islands to fight to the death, even after it was clear that American troops had them beaten.
When people like that surrender after two nuclear bombs, do not imagine that today’s soft Americans — led by the likes of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton — will fight on after New York and Chicago have been reduced to radioactive ashes.
Meanwhile, ISIS and other terrorists are giving us a free demonstration of what surrender would mean. But perhaps we can kick the can down the road, and leave that as a legacy to our children and grandchildren, along with the national debt.
“Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”
— Barack Obama, January 21, 2009
From Yahoo News:
The Obama administration set a record again for censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.
The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn’t find documents and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy.
It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law — but only when it was challenged.
From Jason Riley:
Ferguson, Mo., in 2015 is not Selma, Ala., in 1965. Black people in America today are much more likely to experience racial preferences than racial slights. The violent crime that is driving the black incarceration rate spiked after the civil-rights victories of the 1960s, not before. And if voter-ID laws threaten the black franchise, no one seems to have told the black electorate. According to the Census Bureau, the black voter-turnout rate in 2012 exceeded the white turnout rate, even in states with the strictest voter-ID requirements.
The socioeconomic problems that blacks face today have nothing to do with civil-rights barriers and nearly everything to do with a black subculture that rejects certain attitudes and behaviors that are conducive to upward mobility. Yet Mr. Obama has a political interest—and the civil-rights industry has a vested interest—in pretending that the opposite is true.
“Liberalism in the twenty-first century is, for the most part, a moral manipulation that exaggerates inequity and unfairness in American life in order to justify overreaching public policies and programs,” writes the Hoover Institution’s Shelby Steele in “Shame,” his timely new book on political polarization and race relations in the U.S. This liberalism, he adds, is “not much interested in addressing discrimination case by case; rather, it assumes that all minorities and women are systematically discriminated against so that only government-enforced preferential policies for these groups—across the entire society—can bring us close to equity.”
From Jonah Goldberg:
In the wake of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fairly disastrous press conference at the United Nations on Tuesday, there’s only one conclusion shared by all parties: This was not how it was supposed to go.
This was supposed to be the month Clinton led with her chief selling point: her gender. She had put together a whole “I Am Woman, Hear Me Bore” speaking tour in which women’s issues — particularly the women’s issues that poll well among women who care a lot about women’s issues — would be the main subject.
The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation unveiled a big foofaraw over Hillary’s “No Ceilings” campaign. What a wonderfully convenient theme for Mrs. Clinton’s massive and mysterious foundation, given that smashing the “highest glass ceiling” — i.e., the presidency — is the central rationale of her planned presidential bid. It was just a coincidence that the tax-exempt foundation with her name on it happened to be rolling out a big light show on that very subject during the rollout of her presidential campaign.
It was all carefully scripted, because everything Hillary Clinton does is carefully scripted. Normally, that’s a figurative expression. But with Clinton, when things are carefully scripted, they are literally carefully scripted.
On Monday, Hillary had a “No Ceilings” event at the Clinton Foundation. After her opening remarks, the Associated Press reported, she declined to take any questions. “When she sat down to lead more informal conversations with invited speakers, participants appeared to be reading from teleprompters.”
I’ll give the AP reporters a pass on this odd locution, since they at least conveyed the truth to the reader. But for the record, a dialogue between people on a stage in which they read from teleprompters is not an “informal conversation” — it’s a play.
The trouble for Clinton is that, despite all of her preparation, all of her coordination, the world is going off her script. And for a woman who thinks off-the-cuff speaking is switching from her prepared remarks to her prepared notecards, that’s a scary place.
That is surely why she set up her own private Internet server. Four times at the U.N., Clinton said she had created her “home-brew” e-mail system simply for “convenience.”
“I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal e-mails instead of two,” she said.
Never mind that it’s much easier to set up two e-mail systems on one device than it is to set up a whole dark server hidden from the government. And leave aside that a woman who travels with a very large entourage on non-commercial flights could probably manage two devices.
I’m sure she’s right. She set up the server for convenience — but not the convenience of sparing her the load of an additional four-ounce phone. When you want to hide what you’re doing, a private server is definitely the way to go.
Hillary has only two comfort zones: deep in a bunker or high on a pedestal. Drag her out of the former or knock her off the latter and she’s at sea.
In her very brief press conference Tuesday, she essentially admitted to the transgression she’s been accused of for the past week. She admitted to deleting thousands of e-mails. She turned over the public e-mails she deemed safe to give to the public and kept the rest, saying they were private, anointing herself to be the sole arbiter.
“I fully complied with every rule that I was governed by,” she said. And: “I have no doubt that we have done exactly what we should have done.”
This hints at the attitude that binds her and her husband: the belief that they are governed solely by what they choose to be governed by and what they do is right because they have done it.
The problem for Hillary is she can’t sell it. That’s why she prefers everything to be scripted. For example, Mrs. Clinton needed to tell the public not to ever come looking for any more e-mail from her, including the allegedly private ones she chose not to share. So she claimed they no longer exist.
“At the end, I chose not to keep my private, personal e-mails — e-mails about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends.”
Clinton’s vast marketing division has been toying with rolling her out as the “Grandmother in Chief.” Well, here’s a tip: Grandmothers save that kind of stuff.
From Mark Steyn:
I’ll be talking about today’s Hillary Clinton press conference later tonight with Sean Hannity on Fox News, but it was an amazing performance. Amazingly wooden and unconvincing, of course, but in a sense that was part of its brazenness. Its sheer implausibility underlined her central message: Yeah, and what are you gonna do about it?
Most political figures would be terrified at having to advance this thin a defense in public:
Oh, well. I didn’t have a government email address because I didn’t want to be forced to carry “two devices”. Who’d she get that one from? Bill? “Aw, honey, you know I couldn’t possibly be firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org, and all the rest, because I’d have to have 12 different devices. And, if I had 12 different desktops on the desk, there’d be no room for the intern, would there?”
But apparently it’s easier to set up your own email domain on a personal server at your home than ask a State Dept underling if there’s anybody there who can figure out how to get two email addresses on one “device”. And apparently your reluctance to carry two “devices” trumps anything so footling as the law. And, in any case, you said on camera just two weeks ago that you had an iPhone and a Blackberry.
Hillary announced today that she’d deleted everything other than the 55,000 pages of emails she handed over to the government. And, while 55,000 sounds like a lot, it boils down to fewer than 38 a day for a four-year term. The average person in work has over 120 business-related emails a day. So Hillary’s 55,000 sounds a little on the low side. Happily for her, she handed them over to the feds as print copies only, so Trey Gowdy is going to have to wait until some State Dept minion has scanned them all in in a searchable form before he can enter search terms like “Benghazi”.
The risibilty of these defenses is the point. To reprise one of my favorite Theodore Dalrymple quotes:
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.
That’s why all this stuff is coming out now. If Hillary can get away with something so obviously and uniquely and intentionally wrong, and that compromises national security to boot, and for which she offers nothing but the most laughable explanations, then she will have set the rules for the next 18 months. If she can make the court eunuchs of the media and the Democrats’ own base complicit in this absurd and unconvincing lie, they’re hardly in a position to complain about all the others in the months ahead.