From Under the Rubble…The Clintons: Cause and Effect
During his years in the White House, Bill Clinton’s “boiler room” brought damage control to a new level. His serial scandals — their number is legion – elicited a constant symphony of denial — kind of like Ravel’s Bolero. James Carville and Paul Begala – Clinton’s Bolero Brothers — reacted to every allegation with feigned indignation — “Deny, Deny, Deny!!!” Finally, when they were cornered, came the Bolero: “Hey, So what??!! That’s old news!!!”
Like Ravel, it got boring after a while. Our eyes would glaze over. And that was the point.
This sordid ploy was effective, but profoundly destructive. Consider Clinton’s brazen response to his impeachment — he was “protecting the Constitution,” as I recall. That insouciant disdain laid the groundwork for the constitutional depredations that have wracked America’s civic soul ever since. But “Hey, so what??!!”
Clinton is quite popular among ardent feminists. I find that curious, because those last few GOP votes that put the Articles of Impeachment over the top came not because of Bill’s perjury or his philandering, but because of a charge of rape lodged by one Juanita Broaddrick, his former campaign worker in Arkansas.
As the impeachment vote approached, wavering House Republicans were shown certain files on Broaddrick in a classified “bubble room” near the House chamber: they unanimously emerged determined to vote “aye.” Later, after Clinton’s trial in the Senate, I recall Sam Donaldson shocking a White House press conference when he urged the president simply to deny outright Broaddrick’s allegations, once and for all.
Clinton refused, referring Sam to his lawyer, David Kendall. Apparently, the statute of limitations on the alleged rape had expired, but the president was afraid Broaddrick would sue him for defamation if he denied it.
A query: If someone asked you if you were a rapist, would you tell them to call your lawyer? Or, alternately, put them in a suitable condition to call an ambulance?
“Hey, So What? President Clinton Did It.”
Yes, Slick Willie’s lowlife presidency wrought destructive consequences, but a lot of the collateral cultural damage has gone by virtually unnoticed. For instance, a few weeks after he brushed off Donaldson’s question, parents living in my old Arlington, Virginia neighborhood started getting phone calls at home from Margaret McCourt-Dirner, principal of Williamsburg Middle School.
Several 13 and 14 year-olds at the school were regularly engaging in oral sex, the concerned principal revealed to shocked parents. Ho hum? Well, the Washington Post simply called it a “new fad,” but its report added a telling detail. When one mother asked her barely teen-age daughter about it, the youngster shrugged it off. “”What’s the big deal? President Clinton did it,” she said.
Ah, progress. Curiously, Clinton the cad is now a celebrated critic of the GOP’s “War On Women.” Which brings us to his wife, Hillary. As governor, Bill seemed to be waging a war of his own with the First Lady from Arkansas, but power-lust does conquer all. Faithful readers might recall how Hillary made nice with Bill during the broadcast of the 1992 Super Bowl, in a last-ditch effort to salvage his campaign for the presidency.
To put it succinctly, they lied then and they’ve been lying ever since.
“What Difference, At This Point, Does It Make?”
The following brief background might serve to shed some light on Mrs. Clinton’s recent visit to Capitol Hill.
I am three weeks older than Bill Clinton, and three weeks younger than George W. Bush. I am not proud of my generation. Bill grew up in Arkansas listening to country songs extolling the dubious proposition that women want to be lied to. Perhaps some folks want to be lied to so they can keep on lying to themselves. Well, Bill Clinton learned that lesson early on, and suburban-raised, Wellesley-trained Hillary quickly tuned in.
Mrs. Clinton’s performance under questioning about Benghazi has received extensive coverage, but little analysis. While testifying, she was her usual self-congratulatory, evasive self, basking in the ooze of fawning treacle masquerading as “questions” by her acolytes on the panel. But there were critics, and for them the State Department trains its senior diplomats in the fine art of thinking twice before saying nothing.
In that spirit, one of state’s indispensable tools is the practice of histrionics, a term which Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as “theatrical performances; deliberate display of emotion for effect.”
Mrs. Clinton testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Oh, did I just mention the “War on Women”? Please welcome a new war hero: the committee’s Chairman, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), is now under investigation by the FBI for hiring underage female “companions” in the Dominican Republic, the Daily Caller reports.
Well, anything goes when you’re serving the national interest, right?
Histrionics? Or Hysteria?
Moving right along: as a staff member of the Foreign Relations Committee for years, I witnessed hundreds of hours of testimony given by a myriad of diplomats and nominees. The seasoned pro’s are well-trained in their ability to dither, deviate, and filibuster: they know that if they talk until the little red light goes on, the inquisitive senator’s time is up, and a flattering friendly from the other side the aisle will quickly come to their rescue.
Chairman Menendez recognized the looming threat: intensive questioning of Mrs. Clinton might expose the administration’s lies on Benghazi, or induce her to lie again. So Menendez arbitrarily cut each senator’s questioning time in half, reducing the usual ten minutes to five. This overt rescue mission facilitated Madame Secretary’s filibusters and turned the hearing into a high-handed farce.
Hillary is no doubt proud of her performance. As the say in public school, she must feel good about herself. And why shouldn’t she? Other first-class diplomats have successfully dodged a bullet at Foreign Relations, haven’t they?
In diplomacy, histrionics abound, because all the world’s a stage. Seasoned diplomats brag about their well-timed tantrums, feigned anger, even throwing things around to make their point with their foreign counterparts. At the other end of the spectrum are the first-time nominees, often politically-connected donors and supporters unpracticed in the diplomatic arts. It was often my task to coach them on how to deal not only with questions, but with criticism, even hectoring, from hostile senators.
Many were nervous, but none of them stooped to Mrs. Clinton’s level, her pretense of affection for an ambassador whose frantic cables she didn’t bother to read, her tearfully contrived evasions. Judging by her performance, she appears to be a well-traveled workaholic, but she is also clearly incompetent. Her handlers at State (aided, perhaps, by a phone call from Bill) must have told her that, if she should find herself up against the wall, she should avail herself of her gender and indulge in an outburst of feigned maternal emotion to win the day.
Well, she did win with Barbara Boxer, who made a synchronized exit when Hillary got cornered by Senator Rand Paul (who said the obvious – she should have been fired). Ms. Boxer considers such candor unacceptable, because she and Mrs. Clinton are managing partners in the U.S. government’s campaign for worldwide abortion on demand, funded by the American taxpayer. A weakened Hillary weakens the abortion cause: therefore, she must be defended. And, unlike Republicans, Democrats don’t abandon their wounded anyway.
Oh well. Foreign policy aside (after all, what difference, at this point, does it make?) — what has Hillary done for the women’s movement?
She has set the precedent that real professional women must get their jobs through their abusive, influential husbands. When their work demands accountability, they have to break down, wallow in counterfeit emotion, and cry to powerful men for help in order to survive.
Thanks a lot, Hill.
This article, From Under the Rubble…The Clintons: Cause and Effect is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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