Well, they held another one of them Democrat type debates the other night, the Three Stooges on stage dis-agreeing and dat-agreeing about how to turn hard-earned money from some into easy money for others. It was all very progressive, with the womanly man being polite to the manly woman and the manly man flexing his pectorals in a show of emasculated masculinity. I blame it all on those Koch brothers, who feminized the Brawny man in 2004.
My daughter, the high school junior poring over her civics assignment, offered me fifty words to characterize the debate. I needed just two: “Boneless contention.”
The Democrats have a primary race befitting a 74-year-old man and a 69-year-old lady; Bernie shuffles while Hillary waddles. He is a doctrinaire socialist crusading against Big Business (a doctrine a day keeps Apple away?) and she is a hippie Progressive striking back at The Man. To find any daylight between those personas, you have to squint your eyes into slits.
She has plenty of money, of course, but that is all good honest corruption money, untainted by capitalism. It is evil, you see, to buy something for five dollars and sell it for ten dollars, because you are making your customer give you more so they can get less. But if you take a million-dollar kickback on a three-million-dollar government contract, you actually give your customer more than you got yourself! This is known in socialist circles as virtue.
Bernie, by contrast, has never mastered the art of politics for fun and profit. Other than all the Ben and Jerry’s he can eat, he has only the requisite perquisites of the Senate, which may account for his lingering sense of the unfairness of our system. He needs to take a tutorial from Harry Reid on how to get rich while in office. The one thing he and I agree upon is his contention that Obamacare has not gone far enough. I too would like to see it go very very far.
Either way it is history in the making, whether we get the First Lady as first woman or the irreligious Jew as first non-Christian. Which comes to show that history does not always repeat itself, although politicians repeat themselves all the time. At the end of the day, this duel between the crackpot and the fusspot grates on the nerves, exercising all those twinge and cringe muscles.
But the one part of history that is definitely repeating itself is Hillary Clinton parachuting in from the 1990s to make America grate again. We all recall the late William Safire’s column two decades ago, dubbing her a “congenital liar.” The inside baseball is that he actually wrote “congenital lawyer” but some dunderhead copy editor at the New York Times was impervious to wit and thought himself skilled at correction.
Speaking of correctional facility — and lore enforcement — Mrs. Clinton is facing some scrutiny by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI always gets its man, but may well miss its woman. The lawyer/liar is back from the ’90s but her hogwash is much more rancid by now. Reporters used to get a kick out of her evasions, including her famous Grand Jury appearance when she was anxious to help but simply “could not recall” a blessed thing. But she is past the sell-by date of cute, and if you cannot recall at her age, the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s.
The Clinton brand is chilling in its simplicity: never tell a truth where a lie will do. This is a disregard for truth, not in the modern sense of not caring, but in the archaic sense of disrespecting. There is an active rejection of truth as a currency for political transactions. After all, there is a “tell” of sorts when people accustomed to truthfulness suddenly veer into falsification. Some flinch, a blink of an eye or twitch of a lip. Safer just to treat the political realm as theater, where the standard for what you say is what works, rather than what is.
The best index to the Hillary persona is her lie to Sir Edmund Hillary, when she told him she had been named for him out of respect for his climbing Everest. Some curious reporter did the math and found she was six when Sir Edmund did his climb. Then she backtracked and piled a new falsehood upon the initial one, as we have discussed elsewhere.
The key observation here is this. Put yourself in her place. You meet Sir Edmund and you want to impress him. Still, he may be a hero in New Zealand but he cannot help you in America. Do you need to lie? Nah. Tell him you are impressed with his accomplishments and you are proud to carry his name.
Wouldn’t that get you whatever you needed from this encounter? So why stretch the truth at all, with nothing to gain? Understand that and you understand the Clintons. If you can’t, don’t feel bad. It is a ’90s kind of thing; in the 20-teens it just makes America grate again. Honesty, after all, is the best police.
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