Of all the blatantly false things that Hillary Clinton has said, my favorite has to be when she told a crowd honoring Edmund Hillary—the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest—that her parents had named her after the famous mountaineer. The only problem was that Edmund climbed Everest six years after Hillary was born. Oops.
What makes this story interesting to me is just how pointless this lie was. What exactly was there to gain for Clinton? It seemed almost just like dishonesty for the sake of dishonesty. Maybe practice makes perfect?
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to voters in South Carolina on February 12, 2016 in Denmark, South Carolina. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Whereas Donald Trump has the penchant to say whatever comes to mind and then, since he can’t back down on anything, defend whatever he just said to the grave. Clinton seems much more thoughtful in her deception.
Indeed, the list of her, umm, struggles with the truth, is embarrassingly long. In a very Brian Williams-like manner, she claimed to have landed under sniper fire in Bosnia in 1996 when video footage clearly showed there was no such concern. She flip flopped on gay marriage, which is fine, people change their opinion. But one should probably acknowledge it was a shift. Not so much with Clinton, who had consistently stated she was against gay marriage only to accuse radio host Terry Gross in 2014 of “playing with my words” when asked if she had changed her mind. Again, what is even the advantage of lying in this instance?
Or there was the time that she claimed that the attack in Benghazi was inspired by some stupid YouTube video when leaked emails showed she knew right from the beginning it was a terrorist attack. Or when she claimed to be “dead broke” when the Clintons left the White House or claiming she tried to join the Marines, and on and on.
And then of course there is the whole email scandal (not to mention other alleged scandals like Whitewater and questions regarding the Clinton Foundation selling influence), in which Clinton has repeatedly obfuscated about and deleted some 30,000 supposedly personal emails (although no one was able to verify this, obviously) before turning them over to the State Department in the first place.
And now, a famous Romanian hacker says he successfully (and easily) hacked Clinton’s server in 2013, which contained at least 22 emails dubbed “top secret.” Yes, this does sound similar (albeit much worse) to what got David Petraeus indicted. And it sounds much, much worse than what the Obama Department of Justice prosecuted one unlucky sailor for; namely sending a selfie to his girlfriend that had a sonar screen in the background.
While Clinton seems to be pretty extreme with regards to dishonesty, there’s nothing new about politicians who make lying a habit. But it would seem that for someone running to be the president of the United States, that person would at least have some sort of notable achievement.
Clinton has certainly held some impressive positions, be it senator, secretary of state or even first lady. But the accomplishments seem to be, well, nonexistent. Her record in the Senate doesn’t include anything of note. And before that, not much comes to mind other than Juanita Broaddrick’s allegation that she tried to silence her as well as the other women who have accused her husband of raping them.
As far as her role as secretary of state, it is absolutely bewildering that anyone could think this should be seen as a positive. Indeed, what did she really accomplish other than basically convincing Obama to hand much of Libya over to ISIS on a silver platter by funding rebels that weren’t at all moderate and that we knew at the time had been deeply infiltrated by ISIS in order to overthrow a thuggish, but relatively benign, secular dictator? (See here, here and here.)
And then she tried to do the same thing in Syria.
She calls this “smart power.” But as far as I can tell, “smart power” means funding both sides of a conflict. As one telling headline to an LA Times article makes clear, “In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA.”
Thus, it shouldn’t be hard to figure out why Hillary Clinton has basically devolved her campaign into a festival of pandering. After Bernie Sanders accused her of taking money from Wall Street, her response basically boiled down to (yes I’m paraphrasing), in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a woman and Wall Street gave me money because of 9/11 or something.
I’m quite serious, check out the video for yourself.
At another event, one young Hispanic man told her that “I actually purchased a home six months ago and I can relate because the amount of hoops I had to jump as a 24 year old Hispanic were unprecedented.” Clinton responded, “And I’m telling you, if you were not a Hispanic, you would not have had as many hoops. That has to end.”
Clinton apparently believes she’s omniscient and can know exactly what would have happened had this man been white when he approached the lender whom Clinton doesn’t know with a credit history that Clinton also doesn’t know on a home that Clinton knows nothing about.
Recently, when Trump said, in his typically hyper-impolite manner, that “Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the women's card,” Clinton responded by going full-pander by issuing actual women’s cards because, as she put it, “Women voters are going to decide this election. And what women voters are looking for are candidates who are supporting equal pay, who are fighting for minimum wage, who are talking about paid family leave."
Well let’s see, the wage gap has been completely refuted a ridiculous number of times, there’s no reason the minimum wage is a gendered issue and many companies offer maternity leave despite no government mandate and it’s not like there’s a government mandate for paternity leave. But never let an opportunity to pander go to waste, right?
During this campaign, at one stop she said “I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record of standing up and fighting for progressive values.” At another, she said she “pleads guilty to being kind of moderate and center.”
There is simply no sigh one can make that is long or loud enough to properly respond to this. No matter what you think of Sanders or Trump, you simply can’t do worse than Hillary Clinton.
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