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Ed Driscoll

The Making of the President

Ron Fournier’s Racialist Rhetoric

March 25th, 2015 - 10:54 am

“Ron Fournier is a columnist for National Journal and a cable news mainstay who served as the Associated Press’ Washington bureau chief for years. In his new opinion-based role, he’s worked to carve out a niche as a ‘pox on both houses’ purveyor of common sense, a detector of BS, a practitioner of intellectual honesty, and Chief of the Civility Police,” Guy Benson writes at Townhall. Except when he’s not. “The Civility Police have an uneven concept of justice, it seems. Or perhaps Fournier simply has a soft spot for vicious insults that reference segregation:”

Would Fournier have thrown up his hands and recommended that opponents of, say, the Fugitive Slave Act abandon their convictions? Fournier didn’t take kindly to such questions, berating his inquisitors for “comparing” Obamacare to an issue like slavery. That’s not what they were doing, of course. They were proving the point that not all laws must be automatically accepted and embraced once they’ve been passed. Obamacare happens to be a law that has never enjoyed the consent of the governed, has violated almost every core pledge made in its marketing campaign, and that continues to harm far more people than it’s helped.  When Sean Davis, a writer for The Federalist, jumped into the discussion with a provocatively-worded rebuttal, an exasperated Fournier went straight for the jugular:

See tweet at top of post. As Benson writes:

Davis, a thirty-something conservative who was born long after this country’s worst racial days, has never breathed a word remotely in support of the rank immorality of racial segregation.  But because he’s on the Right, and segregation is (note the present tense) the Right’s “gig” (never mind the Democrats’ sordid racial history), clubbing Davis with this conversation-ending slander was apparently fair game in Fournier’s mind.

It’s certainly not the first time Ron’s dropped the mask and played the race card.

And note that the day after Fournier dropped his race bomb, a much younger National Journal contributor smeared a scientist as a de facto Holocaust denier and wallowed in a nasty case of Koch Derangement Syndrome. Obviously the newbies there know they can get away with rhetorical murder based on the low behavior of the old pros there, but they’re both disgusting outbursts from representatives of a publication that went all in on the new civility bandwagon in 2011.

Update: Of course, Fournier is far from the only racialist working on the MSM:


“Let’s talk. Let’s chat. The conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided lately, don’t you think?”

Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a trailblazing campaign for the White House on Saturday, a former first lady turned political powerhouse intent on becoming the first female president. “I’m in, and I’m in to win,” she said.

In a videotaped message posted on her Web site, Clinton said she was eager to start a dialogue with voters about challenges she hoped to tackle as president — affordable health care, deficit reduction and bringing the “right” end to the Iraq war.

“I’m not just starting a campaign, though, I’m beginning a conversation with you, with America,” she said. “Let’s talk. Let’s chat. The conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided lately, don’t you think?”

—AP report on launch of Hillary’s first presidential bid, January 21st, 2007.

In a speech in front of a crowd full of journalists at Syracuse University on Monday, Hillary Clinton declared that she had a new hairstyle and would have a new, open relationship with the press along with it — and then didn’t take questions afterwards.

“With a room full of political reporters, I thought to myself, ‘What could possibly go wrong?’” Clinton joked, apparently considering the press busting her for illegal e-mail practices that may have put national security at risk to be something to joke about.

“But I am all about new beginnings,” she added. “A new grandchild, another new hairstyle, a new e-mail account. Why not a new relationship with the press? So here it goes: No more secrecy. No more zone of privacy. After all, what good did that do for me?”

“Hillary Doesn’t Take Questions After Speech Promising Open Relationship with Press,”  Katherine Timpf, NRO, today.

Vote different, to coin a phrase; imagine a candidate who isn’t an Orwellian cypher:

Update: Naturally, Hillary’s stenographers gave her a standing-O (for Orwell) after she refused to answer their questions.


It’s less clear that CNN is any less likely to make the same mistakes the next time a racially charged shooting takes place somewhere in America.  If there is any hope of CNN doing better next time, it comes from something Brian Stelter said midway through the discussion:

The eyewitnesses that didn’t speak to the press, the ones that were intimidated. According to the DOJ, witnesses that didn’t want to come forward, those are the voices we didn’t hear in the news coverage. And that’s a lesson for journalists, that we weren’t hearing every witness’ point of view.

This is an important point but Stelter doesn’t go nearly far enough with it. His statement makes the process of getting accurate information sound passive, as if the eyewitnesses who did and did not come forward did so independent of any outside concern or pressure. But the DOJ report makes clear there was an underlying connection between witness intimidation and bad reporting. Witnesses were already afraid to contradict those who were pushing “Hands up, don’t shoot,”  but the media, CNN included, raised the stakes by amplifying that narrative across the airwaves. In other words, CNN‘s own flawed reporting exacerbated the problem and played a role in suppressing the truth.

“CNN Misses: ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Narrative Suppressed the Truth,” John Sexton, Big Journalism, Saturday.


CNN reporter Sara Ganim agreed with one of Hostin’s conclusions centered on her fear that “Jackie’s” experience might lead other victims of sexual assault to stay quiet about their experiences. When too many women who are victims of sexual assault already refuse to come forward, her concerns are valid and should be shared by everyone. But if “Jackie’s” story makes some alleged assault victims refuse to come forward, who is to blame? The university that stripped fraternities of the right to operate on campus in the wake of this story, only to backtrack when the tale was proven inaccurate? The police, who diligently investigated this assault and found no evidence to back up Rolling Stone’s claims? The reporters and editors who shed their journalistic instincts and reported on this erroneous tale? Or the subject of this supposed assault that caused a lot of undue pain and hardship for some unknown gain?

The only victims in this story were the men who were falsely accused of assault and had their lives turned upside down over nothing. To refuse to acknowledge that “Jackie” caused a lot of people undue trauma is the only thing that remotely constitutes “victim blaming” here.

For most people, the response to today’s press conference by Charlottesville police is to react with sadness over the plight of those young men who had their names besmirched. They endured quite a bit of unnecessary suffering for the sake of a dubious victimization narrative favored by some grossly irresponsible voices in the media. The UVA rape fable reflects poorly on many in the press, and it would be wise of these and other commentators to bury their pride, acknowledge the mistakes, and stop the bleeding.

“Watch: CNN’ers having a hard time coming to terms with implosion of Rolling Stone’s rape story,” Noah Rothman, Hot Air, today.


You stay classy, CNN.

Springtime for Hillary

March 20th, 2015 - 10:56 am

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

CARL REINER: I’d like you to meet the German representative from Nartzi? Narzi? Narzi! From the Narzi Film Company, Herr Adolph Hartler.   Good afternoon, Herr Hartler!

MEL BROOKS: Heil Hartler, how are you?!

* * * * * *

REINER: Sir, you’re wearing your bathing suit, I noticed. And as you scratched your head, I noticed a little “SS” tattooed under your arm. What does that mean?

BROOKS:  Oh, uh, uh, well, wait — oh, that’s the “Simon Says!”

REINER: The what?! The what?!

BROOKS: “Simon Says.” We play that on the beach. I’m the captain of the Simon Says Team und that’s vhere ve get SS from!

REINER: You think it’s worth tattooing on your arm, just to be a Simon Says leader?

BROOKS: Oh, vell, I’m serious about the game, I love it, and so I had myself tattooed Simon Says!

REINER: How did you feel about Stanley Kramer’s motion picture, Judgment at Nuremberg?

BROOKS: Unfair!

REINER: Why did you consider it unfair?

BROOKS: Well, because he didn’t tell the whole truth. Vhat vas the picture about? Really about? A misunderstanding really, wasn’t it? I mean, look: you send people to camp don’t you, in the summer?  We sent a few people to camp! I don’t know what the whole…fuss is about!  Send some nice people to camp. Mostly in the summer!

—From the comedy album Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks at the Cannes Film Festival, 1962.

Hillary Clinton wants to send all Americans back to camp because they are not having enough fun.

In another paid speech, Clinton addressed a group of camp counselors Thursday. She lauded the camp experience for teaching important life skills and fostering personal growth.

“As I have gotten older, I have decided we really need camps for adults,” Clinton said.

The former Secretary of State lectured the audience, telling them that Americans need more fun.

“I think we have a huge fun deficit in America,” Clinton said.

Clinton did not explain why she felt Americans were not having fun but it is not difficult to understand her reasoning after going through Clinton’s list of hobbies.

“Her favorite fitness activity, according to her MySpace page, is speed walking. Her hobbies include crossword puzzles, Scrabble and gardening. Organizing her closets is stress relief. Sleeping in until 7 a.m. is her idea of being naughty.”*

“Hillary Clinton Says to Fix The ‘Fun-Deficit’ in America, ‘We Really Need Camps for Adults,’” the Washington Free Beacon, yesterday.

As a normal, sane, red-blooded American, I am, of course, dreading the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency, just as a super-majority of Americans previously were in 2007. As a blogger, journalist, and editor, assuming I don’t wind up in one of Hillary’s reeducation fun camps, I am positively thrilled about covering the insanity that will emerge. The amount of crazy schemes and cover-ups to emerge from Team Hillary will dwarf the Blogosphere, especially since the MSM will be too in the tank to cover most of it.

Update: In case anyone is surprised by Hillary’s latest brainstorm, recall her past attempts at totalitarian spitballing:

Orwell’s was a daddy-dystopia, where the state is abusive and bullying, maintaining its authority through a permanent climate of war and the manufacture of convenient enemies. Huxley’s is a maternal misery, where man is smothered with care, not cruelty. But for all our talk these days about manliness, individualism, and even the ‘nanny state,’ we still don’t have the vocabulary to fight off nice totalitarianism, liberal fascism.

With that distinction in mind, let us revisit It Takes a Village. On page after page, Clinton extols the idea that just about everything is a health issue. Divorce should be treated like a “public health issue” because it creates stress in children. The very basics of parenting are health issues because “how infants are held, touched, fed, spoken to, and gazed at”determines whether our brains can be “hijacked”by our emotions, potentially making us murderously violent. Mrs. Clinton tells us that Janet Reno issued a report which found that gang violence and gun use are the products of people with badly imprinted brains who become “emotionally hijacked”with little provocation. Quoting doctors, friendly activists, social workers, and random real Americans, in chapter after chapter she argues for interventions on behalf of children from literally the moment they are born. Children need “[g]entle, intimate, consistent contact” to reduce stress, which can “create feelings of helplessness that lead to later developmental problems.”Even well-to-do parents need help because after all everyone feels stress, and “we know that babies sense the stress.” It’s fair to say that a state empowered to eliminate parental stress is a state with a Huxleyan mandate. And a state with an extreme mandate must logically go to extremes.

Hence Clinton argues for the diffusion of parental training into every nook and cranny of public life. Here’s one such suggestion: “Videos with scenes of common-sense baby care—how to burp an infant, what to do when soap gets in his eyes, how to make a baby with an earache comfortable—could be running continuously in doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals, motor vehicle offices, or any place where people gather and have to wait.” Imagine if these sorts of ideas were fully implemented at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the passport office, and other places “where people gather and have to wait.”Giant flat screens at the airport pumping breast-feeding advice? The JumboTron at football games? At what point would the Brave New World seem to be heading down the pike?

And in-between Madison Avenue letting its inner Socialist Justice Warrior out to run amok during the commercials of the most recent Super Bowl, and Starbucks unleashing its own crusading socialist evangelism, the off-ramp for Brave New World certainly appears well within sight.

Exit question: Has Hillary nailed down the name for her camps yet? Why not go with a proven winner, such as “Strength Through Joy”?

* Huh — so Hillary’s just a babe in the woods when it comes to knowing about her husband’s ideas of “being naughty,” I guess. And how does “sleeping in until 7:00 am” fit in with promising to be on the job and ready to swing into action when the phone rings at 3:00 AM?

You go, MoDo!

Since open letters to secretive and duplicitous regimes are in fashion, we would like to post an Open Letter to the Leaders of the Clinton Republic of Chappaqua:

It has come to our attention while observing your machinations during your attempted restoration that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our democracy: The importance of preserving historical records and the ill-advised gluttony of an American feminist icon wallowing in regressive Middle Eastern states’ payola.

You should seriously consider these characteristics of our nation as the Campaign-That-Must-Not-Be-Named progresses.

If you, Hillary Rodham Clinton, are willing to cite your mother’s funeral to get sympathy for ill-advisedly deleting 30,000 emails, it just makes us want to sigh: O.K., just take it. If you want it that bad, go ahead and be president and leave us in peace. (Or war, if you have your hawkish way.) You’re still idling on the runway, but we’re already jet-lagged. It’s all so drearily familiar that I know we’re only moments away from James Carville writing a column in David Brock’s Media Matters, headlined, “In Private, Hillary’s Really a Hoot.”

To be fair, assuming Hillary’s sufficiently lubricated, that might be the only true thing Brock would have ever written.

(Via SDA)

Ted Cruz today? No, try Bobby Kennedy in 1968.

That’s how old the left’s doomsday rhetoric is; the actual causes come and go — pollution, acid rain, global cooling, global warming, generic climate change, whatever. The end result is that the world will soon come to end — unless we elect socialist politicians who pretend to be a cross between scientists, mystical clerics and slide rule technocrats. Or as I wrote a couple of years ago, linking to Bobby’s speech in ’68, Carter’s malaise speech a decade later, and Obama’s Dr. Strangelove-esque “science” “czar” John Holdren, “Welcome Back My Friends to the Malaise that Never Ends.”

Regarding Cruz, as Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, “Today’s top story: Three-year-old hears Ted Cruz say that the world is on fire:”

To cleanse the palate, I’m not joking with that headline. Thanks to lefty boredom on a slow news day, the fake outrage over this has propelled it to the toppermost of the poppermost on Memeorandum. (Sample hed via Dave Weigel: “Ted Cruz Shouts Insane Rhetoric At Terrified Little Girl In New Hampshire.”) Which is funny, because the only thing distinguishing Cruz’s line from something you or your three-year-old might hear in a stock Democratic speech about climate change is the hopeful note Cruz sounds at the end. Hopenchange will come and go but melting glaciers are forever. Put away the jumprope and start thinking about boat designs, Janie.

Someday the left will realize that it scaremongers as much as the right does, frequently about much sillier things, but today is not that day.

When does that reckoning ever arrive? With Al Gore muttering lunatics pronouncements such his goal to “Punish Climate-Change Deniers,” while pocketing $100 mil from Big Oil, a little reflection is long overdue.

Nora Ephron, writing at the Huffington Post in April of 2008 noted that she had the ever-so-mildest disagreement with the worldview of Hillary Clinton’s core Democrat voters during the Pennsylvania primary:

This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can’t even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder — after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn’t believe any of those articles.)

To put it bluntly, the next president will be elected by them: the outcome of Tuesday’s primary will depend on whether they go for Hillary or Obama, and the outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain’s temper will be a problem, don’t bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what’s more, they think it’s normal.

If Hillary pulls it out in Pennsylvania, and she could, and if she follows it up in Indiana, she can make a credible case that she deserves to be the candidate; these last primaries will show which of the two Democratic candidates is better at overcoming the bias of a vast chunk of the population that has never in its history had to vote for anyone but a candidate who could have been their father or their brother or their son, and who has never had to think of the president of the United States as anyone other than someone they might have been had circumstances been just slightly different.

Hillary’s case is not an attractive one, because what she’ll essentially be saying (and has been saying, although very carefully) is that she can attract more racist white male voters than Obama can. Nonetheless, and as I said, she has a case.

Hey, don’t ask me why Democrats wrote such vitriol about Hillary in 2008, but as with Obama’s own attacks on her back then, it’s worth remembering how badly they dumped on her for being such a flawed candidate.

Unfortunately, Ephron, a mult-italented novelist, screenwriter and director (at least before her racialist crackup in the above post) died in 2012, but I’m sure we’ll have lots more examples of Democrats who trashed Hillary and her supporters in 2008 as bitter clingers, and these days declare

Jonah Goldberg writes that it’s “Hillary All the Way Down,” as she’s getting the old band back together to fight her battles once again:

One of my favorite movie clichés is the bit where the old pros — and maybe one eager rookie — get together for one last job. I’m thinking of movies like The Magnificent Seven, or The Return of the Magnificent Seven, or the first five minutes of the under-appreciated Extreme Prejudice.  The collection of experts at the beginning of The Andromeda Strain is a great variant of the genre and so is the whole “There’s an Animal in Trouble” theme song from the Wonderpets and the first half of The Blues Brothers. But perhaps more apt would be the hunt for, or reuniting of, veteran grifters for a long con, like in The Sting or the Ocean’s Eleven franchise.

Anyway, the ChappaDataQuitIt or E-PotDome story (okay, we’re still looking for a better nickname) reminds me of those kinds of movies. The silent whistle has been blown. The sleepers activated. The old timers have been notified. I like to imagine Lanny Davis right in the middle of a meeting with an African dictator when, suddenly, his assistant hands him a note. All it reads is “Cankles Is Down.” Lanny abruptly terminates the meeting, pushes back a briefcase full of krugerrands, and races to some hellish Third World airport, telling his aide, “Let the Redskins know they’re on their own. The Clintons need me.”

Flash to a canoe on the banks of the bayou. James Carville has just caught a catfish with his bare hands and proceeds to tear apart the wriggling fish, Gollum-like. He eats the entrails first. Then, suddenly, a flare goes off above the tree line. That’s the signal. He throws the bulk of the carcass into the river, where gators churn the water to grab it now that the apex predator has departed. He makes his way to the shoulder of a dirt road where a limousine is waiting to get him to an MSNBC studio as fast as possible. His suit and tie, neatly pressed, are waiting for him along with as many hot towels as he may need to remove the fish viscera.

David Brock slinks out of his leather onesie and races to his command center, bustling with Dorito-dust frosted 20-somethings at computer terminals. “This is a level-one-alpha scenario. Cancel all leave. Turn off all X-boxes . . .”

Sidney Blumenthal, consciously dressed like that French guy in The Matrix, leaves his table-for-one, and heads home to sacrifice some creatures to Baal in preparation.

They’re all coming home.

Save for one. Poor Geraldo Rivera, locked in a reinforced steel cage deep in the bowels of News Corp, is pacing his cell like a  vampire’s familiar ordered to return to his master but unable to. The sounds of his howling, can be heard, ever so faintly, in the background during the O’Reilly Factor. Poor Greg Gutfeld has been tasked with keeping him locked up and is using his cattle prod a bit more than necessary . . .

And scene.

The fact that Team Clinton is relying on the old rat squad once again is vastly more significant than most commentators have suggested. Yes, yes, it’s bad politics. A candidate looking to offer a fresh face forward, figuratively speaking, has no choice but to keep his or her own face (John Kerry notwithstanding). But she surely has plenty of options for who she picks to represent her in public. Mrs. Clinton has millions and millions of dollars at her disposal. She has people placed at the highest reaches of the government and the media. There are over 200 people working, formally or informally, for her as policy advisors already. And yet she chooses to get the old band back together instead.

Why? There are many possible answers, but the only plausible one is that a Clinton only trusts Clinton loyalists. This fits everything we know about the Clintons. And it speaks volumes about the thickness of her bubble.

It’s Hillary All the Way Down

But it also speaks even louder about what kind of president she would be. If you want to know what Hillary Clinton would be like as president, you’re seeing it right now. There is no other Hillary. This is her.

And some old hands in the media are more than willing to volunteer for one last round-up:

“Obama blasted Hillary’s secrecy in 2007,” the Weekly Standard reminds readers this week:

As the White House claims that it was caught off-guard by the Clinton email scandal, or that President Obama didn’t realize that his emails to hdr22@clintonemail.com weren’t landing on State Department servers, it would be good to remind them: you told us so.

Because in 2007, then-Senator Obama loudly criticized then-Senator Clinton for her failure to turn over government documents — not State Department emails, but thousands of pages of White House documents held by the Clinton Presidential Library and National Archives, for which President Clinton had instructed archivists not to release to documents until 2012.

The Clintons released the documents eventually, but only after a protracted delay. In the meantime, Hillary’s responses to criticism then sounded all too much like her responses to criticism today: she blamed the delay on government bureaucracy; she disclaimed any ability to expedite the process; and she said that she really wanted those slow bureaucrats to disclose the documents soon.

Today, President Obama is doing all he can to avoid the issue. But in October 2007, he was practically jumping at the chance to shine a spotlight on it. So much so that when Tim Russert raised the issue at a Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, Obama raised his hand and eagerly criticized not just that specific controversy but also the broader problems that the controversy portended.

Hillary’s intense need for secrecy does sound pretty darn Orwellian, doesn’t it, Barry? A reminder that when it comes to Hillary, we should “vote different,” if given the chance:

Update: And speaking of fun flashbacks!


I wonder if Podesta had a vodka bottle or two thrown at him this week.

Still Not Ready for Her Closeup

March 13th, 2015 - 3:52 pm

Hillary Clinton as Norma Desmond in 2008, portrayed by actress Lisa Donovan (aka Lisa Nova) as part of the left’s goal, as Keith Olberman suggested back in May of that year on MSNBC, to find “Somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out.” That was a project in which the left invested a considerable amount of effort in both a coordinated and freelanced fashion right from the very beginning of the 2008 presidential cycle, and which is proving remarkably useful yet again.

As we saw earlier this week, Hillary’s still not ready for close-up, despite having six years to analyze what went wrong. But then, sometimes there’s no amount of self-improvement that can fix a badly flawed retail politician, no matter how badly she wants the job. The Sunset Boulevard analogy works here as well; had Hillary thought out her performance on Wednesday more carefully — and adopted the cornpone “awe shucks, y’all, whoops!” style that her husband so often employed in the 1990s, she might have either gotten away with it, or at least bought herself some time with a media that’s just dying to cut her some slack. Instead, as Ed Morrissey wrote today at Hot Air, “Gallup data shows Hillary favorability [ratings] plummeting”:

Clinton could have defused the issue, or at least mitigated it somewhat, by offering a self-deprecating apology for having imposed standards on others that she didn’t follow for herself, and a pledge to allow an independent authority to vet her e-mail system. Instead, Clinton offered a haughty and imperious sneer to legitimate questions about her actions as a public figure, along with a message that might be most politely translated as pound sand.

At least for the moment, though, the Clinton playbook from the 1990s isn’t working. Her performance in the presser has been widely panned in the media, even with the attack dogs baying.  The New York Daily News headline read “YOU’VE GOT FAIL,” while The New York Post’s read “DELETER OF THE FREE WORLD.” USA Today declared itself “troubled” over Clinton’s “penchant for secrecy.” The Washington Post quipped, “The circus is back in town.”

It’s not the circus. It’s a pretender to American royalty, demanding her coronation, and this is exactly what we can expect if Democrats are foolish enough to nominate her in 2016.

Norma Desmond meets Richard Nixon in a Mao-inspired pantsuit.

(By the way, I would suggest those on the right start archiving this stuff ASAP via Download Helper and similar applets, so that the left’s memory hole isn’t permanent. QED.)

Update: Perhaps Hillary’s pondering the fiery ending to Kiss Me Deadly right now:

More: Glenn Hillary is “badass” Thrush swings into action to defend Norma:


Noonan: Hillary Seems Tired, Not Hungry

March 13th, 2015 - 10:26 am

“This wasn’t high-class spin. These were not respectable dodges,” Noonan writes (begging the question, if Hillary’s spin was better, would Noonan be onboard with her, as she was with Obama in the fall of 2008?)

They didn’t make you grudgingly tip your hat at a gift for duplicity. I could almost feel an army of oppo people of both parties saying, “You can do better than that, Hillary!”

This wasn’t the work of a national, high-grade political response team, it was the thrown-together mess of someone who knew she was guilty of self-serving actions, who didn’t herself believe what she was saying, who didn’t think the press would swallow it, and who didn’t appear to care.

She didn’t look hungry for the battle, she looked tired of the battle.

Everyone knows what the scandal is. She didn’t want a paper trail of her decisions and actions as secretary of state. She didn’t want to be questioned about them, ever. So she didn’t join the government’s paper-trail system, in this case the State Department’s official email system, which retains and archives records. She built her own private system and got to keep complete control of everything she’d done or written. She no doubt assumed no one outside would ask and no one inside would insist—she’s Hillary, don’t mess with her.

She knew the story might blow but maybe it wouldn’t, worth the chance considering the payoff: secrecy. If what she did became public she’d deal with it then. When this week she was forced to, she stonewalled: “The server will remain private.”

Is it outrageous? Of course. Those are U.S. government documents she concealed and destroyed. The press is not covering for her and hard questions are being asked because everyone knows what the story is. It speaks of who she is and how she will govern. Everyone knows it.

She knows it too.

At the news conference she seemed like a 20th-century figure in a 21st-century world. Her critics complain it’s the 1990s returning but it isn’t, it’s only the dark side of the 90s without the era’s peace and prosperity.

Of course — if Hillary advocated the policies that Clinton governed with (at least after Hillarycare and gun control ushered in the GOP Congress in 1994), the far left Warren-Obama wing of the party would crucify her.

As for Hillary being “a 20th-century figure in a 21st-century world,” this brilliantly executed Photoshop from the I Own the World blog nails it, although even there, it’s difficult, based on her tenure at State, to see her playing geopolitics on the same level:


NBC Anchorwoman: Leave Hillary Alone!

March 11th, 2015 - 1:32 pm

“Maddow: Media idiots don’t ‘know how to talk about’ the Clintons,” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

“There are some analogs for the rest of us in mortal life* in terms of thinking about Hillary Clinton,” Maddow said after noting that, just like Hillary, MSNBC made her carry two devices in 2009 in order to be able to access her work and personal email accounts. “But the political truth of it is that there is no analog in mortal life to Hillary Clinton as a political being.”

* * * * * * *

“Seeing the scrum this week, and a lot of the stupidity in the coverage around this issue, I worry about whether we’re going to be well-served by a Beltway press corps that doesn’t know how to talk about either Bill or Hillary Clinton without treading into real nonsense,” she closed.

You hear that, members of the political press? Even after more than two decades, you don’t know how to talk about the Clintons without sounding like conspiratorial fools. Rachel Maddow would like to provide some tips for you so that you can more effectively do your jobs in her eyes.

Maybe Maddow failed to recall that she indulged in some bizarre theorizing of her own when she suggested that Christie ordered the GWB lane closures due to an arcane fight with the legislature over Supreme Court nominees. Perhaps she forgot that even Bill Maher admonished her for being admittedly “unapologetically” “obsessed” with the bridge scandal that went precisely nowhere.

Wow, at least Al Gore waited until after the Democrats lost before springing the conservative media bias spin, which is what Maddow’s bizarre dissembling strongly resembles. (And given that she’s described herself as “someone who’s roughly to the left of Mao.” she’s very likely one of those people who thinks the New York Times and NPR lean so far to the right they’re anarchic libertarians.)

Plus I like the references to “the rest of us in mortal life.” So Hillary is God? I thought Obama was God — and I don’t recall Obama or his immediate circle treating Hillary so worshipfully in 2007 and 2008:

And that first salvo from the Obama campaign treated Hillary with kid gloves compared to how she was described a year later in Obama’s Chicago church:

Father Pfleger’s May 2008 rant in Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, “the Obama family church,” as the Chicago Sun-Times noted (until — poof!it wasn’t) and Maddow’s worshipful praise of Hillary are reminders that, “There Is No Such Thing as a Secular Politics,” as Seth Mandel writes at Commentary, “Liberalism, especially in the age of Obama, is a deeply religious movement.”

Bill Clinton could seem like a Southern televangelist (in more ways than one…) with his “I feel your pain” Elmer Gantry routine. Obama could make a similar shtick work on the pulpit in 2008; Hillary is a deeply flawed retail front woman for a party that treats politics like a religion.

Of course, there’s always feminism for Hillary to fall back on. And speaking of which, as Charles Hurt asks in the Washington Times, “Are we ready for 10 more years of wrath from the eternal Woman Scorned?”

Update: Maddow’s use of the word “analog” and Hillary does seam appropriate though:

Hillary in the Bunker

March 11th, 2015 - 11:14 am

Hugh Hewitt overcomes the PTSD elements of Hillary’s press conference and asks “Did this help or hurt her impending candidacy?”

The fact of the matter is this is not about sex, which many people think is inconsequential, this is about matters of national policy and security.  This scandal, unlike Bill’s scandal, is consequential to the nation not just personal.  Not to mention it comes with Benghazi in the background, and with issues surrounding the Clinton Foundation very much active at the moment.  This has to matter.

At the moment, media on both sides of the aisle seem to be piling on.  That is a measure of how consequential this, in fact, is.  But this will also be ancient history by the time the campaign actually gets rolling.

Sean Trende notes that the biggest political problem for Hillary here is that it has revealed that her game has not improved since 2008.  If anything, I think it has worsened.  Said Trende, “There were signals that she was putting together the sort of larger-than-life, untouchable campaign that Obama put together in 2008 (and to a lesser extent, 2012).”  Now, rather than a bad imitation of Bill, she is a bad imitation of Obama, and the public is just confused.

Put simply, managing scandal requires a candidate, or president, that is larger than life in some fashion.  Bill Clinton’s sexual conquests are a part of his mystique, at least for enough voters to win.  Obama’s imperial nature is likewise part of an aura of inevitability about the man that many people buy into.  But that kind of stuff does not rub off.  Hillary is a larger-than-life media/political presence, but it is derived.  None of us would have a clue who she is if Bill had not been elected POTUS.  Unless she can find her own larger-than-life political magic, which she did not find in this presser, something is going to eventually catch up with her.

This did not help her candidacy.

Mark Steyn adds:

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.

But that was written before this shoe dropped: “The Associated Press sues the State Department over Hillary’s emails,” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

The Department of Justice might just want to revive its practice of monitoring the communications of Associated Press journalists after today. On Wednesday morning, the AP filed a lawsuit against the State Department for failing to provide access to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s electronic communications records and related emails under the Freedom of Information Act.

The international news organization filed suit Wednesday morning in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The legal action comes after repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have gone unfulfilled. They include one request AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013.

The requests target materials related to the potential presidential candidate’s public and private calendars, correspondence involving longtime aides, and Clinton-related emails about the Osama bin Laden raid and National Security Agency surveillance practices.

“After careful deliberation and exhausting our other options, the Associated Press is taking the necessary legal steps to gain access to these important documents, which will shed light on actions by the State Department and former Secretary Clinton, a presumptive 2016 presidential candidate, during some of the most significant issues of our time,” said the AP’s general counsel in a statement provided to The Hill.

To borrow from Steyn’s quote of Dalrymple, it will be fascinating to watch the Orwellian doublethink in which an AP — which exists to reflexively craft mythological PR copy for its fellow Democrats — praise the campaign efforts of Hillary against those eeeeeevil Rethuglicans, even while they’re effectively suing her and admitting that her campaign has much to hide.

And finally, the New York Post’s headline editor certainly earned his pay today:

As Podhoretz writes in his article, “Hillary acts stupid when she plays dumb:”

Smart Hillary Clinton would know that people don’t delete their most personal emails: That’s the point of ­email, that it’s a wondrous passively organized file cabinet of your personal communications.

It’s the junk you delete, not the ­emails about your daughter’s wedding. Those are the kinds of things most people actually want to keep.

But not Dumb Hillary Clinton, who said she’d done just that.

Smart Hillary Clinton seems to have invented Dumb Hillary Clinton to protect her from herself. But Smart Hillary isn’t doing herself any favors.

Mrs. Clinton is going to have to transform herself, to get rid of Dumb Hillary and find a new persona to cope with troubled times, because the person who made so horrendous an accounting of herself yesterday has no future other than ignominious defeat.

Wow John, cut the woman some slack — she and her husband are new at political campaigning and holding press conferences on the world stage; they’ll get the bugs ironed out eventually.

Building a Bridge to the 1990s

March 10th, 2015 - 1:59 pm


Hillary’s Checkers Speech

March 10th, 2015 - 1:25 pm

“Hillary trainwreck: It was ‘inconvenient’ to carry two devices for two e-mail accounts. Also, I destroyed tons of e-mails,” as summarized by Hot Air’s Allahpundit, who also has a video of Hillary on a Silicon Valley panel two weeks ago noting that she carries around two devices:

You’ll have to trust her. Even though she’s one of the least trustworthy people in American political life and gave you zero reason today to adjust that opinion. In fact, the first question she took was from a Turkish reporter who asked her, surreally, whether a similar fuss would be made over her e-mails if she was a man. That may have been the honest moment at the presser: It was so nakedly a planted question, designed to reinforce her opening pander about celebrating women’s rights to the UN — code to progressives watching that they should cut the First! Woman! President! some slack on this — that it didn’t even qualify as subterfuge. It was just Hillary and her sympathizers playing cynical games to distract from the fact of her own corruption.

Meanwhile, Larry O’Connor at IJReview explores “How Hillary Turned In 55,000 Emails Has Some Wondering If She Violated Even More Federal Regulations:”

In an effort to highlight transparency and willingness to comply with government regulations, Hillary Clinton has been touting the fact that she turned over “55,00 pages of emails” to the State Department.

It turns out that instead of handing over a digital download of the emails from her private servers, Clinton directed her staff to physically print out every single page as a hardcopy.

The New York Times revealed the fact last Friday:

“In December, dozens of boxes filled with 50,000 pages of printed emails from Mrs. Clinton’s personal account were delivered to the State Department. Those documents were then examined by department lawyers, who found roughly 900 pages pertaining to the Benghazi attacks.”

Slow-walking an investigation is a key component of the Clinton playbook, as Jonah Goldberg wrote last night in the L.A. Times:

Perhaps because the first advice lawyers give their clients is to clam up, one of Clinton’s preferred tactics is to slow-walk her response to investigators. To pick just the most famous example, in 1994, special counsel Robert Fiske subpoenaed all papers related to an allegedly shady land deal, to be delivered within 30 days. The Clintons claimed the billing records from her law firm were lost. Almost two years later, they magically appeared in the White House residence.

Just because she’s served as her own lawyer doesn’t mean Clinton has a fool for a client. Her passive-aggressive approach to politics often serves her well. By waiting long stretches of time, she encourages her political enemies to get ever more shrill or conspiratorial, even as the mainstream media grow weary of the story, particularly if it lends aid and comfort to GOP critics.

When she finally talks to a congressional committee, special prosecutor or friendly interviewer, she deftly turns herself into the brave woman standing up to her (allegedly sexist) tormentors. When she blurted out to Sen. Ron Johnson, “What difference does it make?” during the Senate’s Benghazi hearings, her fans loved it on emotional grounds, even though on the merits it was a pretty ridiculous reply.

As Jonah asks, “Is this how she would run her presidency? Do we want a president whose first response to trouble is to retreat to her bunker?”

After her press conference today, Allah deadpans, “If Democrats can’t field a primary challenger to her after this disaster, they deserve her,” ; the legendary conservative Eeyore is “now moving the 2016 election from ‘likely Democratic’ to ‘toss-up.’ At least Bill is a good liar.”

Headline via:

Update: Good boy, Politico! Here’s your Liversnap!

More: Building a Bridge to the 1990s. A pair of astonishing video juxtapositions.

The Cult of Hillary

March 9th, 2015 - 12:33 pm

“As recently as 1992, the Democratic nominee could be the little-known governor of a tiny state, but today only celebrities need apply. The party of government can’t very well make the case, as Republicans might, that their leader is simply the more competent manager of bureaucratic institutions. Democrats have to make the very idea of governance romantic, transformational, inspirational, even millennial,” Kyle Smith writes in the New York Post in “The cult of Hillary: Dems stumble unquestioningly into 2016:”

The real reason Hillary commands such tribal loyalty is that she is, apart from the non-candidate Elizabeth Warren, the only political “celebrity” available, and Democrats are obsessed with star quality. Republicans are currently debating the merits of competent, proven leaders like Scott Walker, John Kasich and Mike Pence, who stand little to no chance of being recognized by the average waitress, much less attracting adoring throngs when they walk down the street.

As Moe Lane notes at Red State, “The Democrats are now noticing that they ate all their seed corn:”

This is an entertaining bit of not-quite-contained panic:

…Hillary Clinton towers over the putative Democratic field as no non-incumbent party candidate has in recent memory, leading every rival by 40 points or more.

In 1988, Bob Dole was available for Republicans who didn’t fancy George Bush Snr. And if they didn’t want George Jnr in 2000, there was JohnMcCain. Ditto on the Democratic side. Al Gore from the outset was heavy favourite, but Bill Bradley, senator from New Jersey, gave him a decent run for his money. But in 2016, it’s Hillary or nothing for Democrats – and that’s why the fuss over the emails sends shivers down their spine.

Never has a party been so invested in a single candidate.

Admittedly, it’s from the UK Independent; hence, my use of the word ‘panic.’ This is, of course, not a new problem for the Democrats (although they hadn’t realized that there was a problem until quite recently).  But the reason why I’m bringing it up this time is that all of this is due to a lot of patient, careful effort in federal and state races across the country, from 2009 onward.  The Democratic cupboard is bare because the Republican grassroots decided to empty it ahead of time. The numerous state legislative and gubernatorial advances we’ve seen since then are a direct result of our strategy.

Plus note this conclusion from Smith:

If there is one ship’s captain Hillary does resemble it’s the skipper of the Apollo, the converted troop transport that puttered around the Mediterranean in the 1970s. At the helm, L. Ron Hubbard demanded total unthinking allegiance, treated his bedazzled Scientology followers more harshly than an admiral treats the lowliest swabby and punished real or perceived infractions without mercy.

But don’t take my word for it: Even David Axelrod has noticed the scary zealotry of the Church of Hillarology.

“There’s this cult of personality growing up [around her], and that’s dangerous,” Axelrod has said. “She’s going to have to correct that when she’s a candidate.”

“Correct that”? When she’s a candidate she is going to positively revel in it.

But a cult of personality requires distance and a bit of mystery and intrigue to sustain — as Virginia Postrel wrote in her 2013 book, The Power of Glamour. That’s one reason why Democrats running for president initially tend to be relatively unknown in the public sphere, making it far easier to bathe them in the glowing, mythic light of change and shape their image to suit the (often media manufactured) crisis of the day. Hillary’s star power is built around somebody who’s been on TV near continuously since 1992.

And despite claims from her acolytes (shortly before her missing email scandal began) that Hillary “has enlisted a Coca-Cola marketing whiz to help brand her expected presidential campaign,” so far, her team just can’t quite seem to get the details right. The Obama iconography — the fascistic “Hope” poster, the O-shaped red, white & blue merging into a sunrise logo, the (anti-Hillary) 1984 mash-up video, this is powerful Madison Avenue meets Mussolini stuff. Of course, it would eventually become camp by the summer of 2008 — the infamous Styrofoam columns, and then kitsch, by the time the Obama action figure rolled off the assembly line. But good luck marketing that last item with Hillary’s visage, as this hilarious video at Power Line illustrates. And that “Ready for Hillary” logo? I doubt the ghosts of Saul Bass and Raymond Loewy are losing much sleep over this example of commercial design.

And then there was yesterday’s gaffe-tastic misstep:

Update: “Carville to MSNBC: Let’s face it, you and the Times are in the tank for the right on this Hillary e-mail thing,” Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, noting “the mega-shillery for Hillary by Davis, Carville, and Brock:”

Don’t the Clintons have any Democrats willing to carry their water who aren’t retreads from 20 years ago? One of the reasons the media’s losing patience with them is that they’ve been hearing the same crap from these same three guys literally for decades. Surely there must be someone who wasn’t in politics in the 1990s who’s equally willing to fall on a grenade for Hillary. Note to Team Clinton: If you don’t want Hillary being called “old news,” find some surrogates who aren’t themselves old news.

Who’s up for another decade of quality TV time with Bill and Hillary and their screaming sclerotic media surrogates? Feel the excitement! Live the grooming tips!

Note the gosh, golly, isn’t this all good geeky fun! tone of this CBS/AP report, which notes, “She’s come a long way since 1997, when Clinton’s staff bought the then-first lady a copy of the book ‘E-Mail for Dummies:’”

This is what makes what Clinton did both sneaky and, some might say, genius: [Glenn Thrush, is that you?--Ed] Instead of setting up an email account with the government — for example, hillary.clinton@state.gov — she operated a computer email server on an Internet connection that has been traced back to her family’s hometown in New York. (The email, hdr22@clintonemail.com, appears to be a nod to her middle name, Diane.)

No Yahoo employee with ambitions to become the next Edward Snowden could ever quietly search its server and leak her emails to the public. Google couldn’t be compelled by congressional investigators to hand them over. If reporters were to ask the government for email records during Clinton’s time as secretary of state, none would be found.

In other words, if you want a complete record of Clinton’s electronic correspondence while she was helping to decide matters of war and peace, you’d have to knock on her door and ask politely. Or take her to court.

For Clinton, who is eyeing a presidential bid and is the wife of a former president, the hassle and expense of hiring consultants to manage the server might be worth it.

Because, she’d rather have foreign nations reading her unsecured email than have it in the public record, of course. And she made a calculated risk that whatever hit she takes now, the moment will pass and then Democrat operatives with bylines can dismiss the story as old news in the classic Stephanopoulos style. In the meantime, the above article is an attempt to tamp down the scandal, but its headline means that some enterprising Republican has to make a repeat of this classic November 2013 moment happen again:


Go Dark

March 6th, 2015 - 11:22 am

Ben, I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Yes, sir.

Are you listening?

Yes, I am.


Exactly how do you mean?

At Ricochet, GOP strategist Rick Wilson proffers some very simple advice to Republican politicians: “Stop talking:”

In the next two weeks, try something new; maintain discipline, hold focus, and keep an eye to a bigger objective than your daily press release. Try to play the long game, and help Hillary Clinton self-destruct.

Proceed against Clinton with a measured pace and tone. Don’t make it all about Benghazi or the record-keeping laws. Focus instead on the grave national security risks that her amateur-hour email server shenanigan posed. Do it with the sickly-sweet, sincere tone of “I just want to work in a bipartisan way for good, transparent government… and to protect national security secrets from the Chinese, Russians, and other threats” that the Acela media claims to worship.

Press the sore spots, subtly, but constantly. Use it as way to leverage discussion of the Clinton family’s infamous contempt for the law and remind the public of their their obsessive secrecy, paranoia, and habitual lawbreaking. Wonder, in serious tones, how much of the email traffic has to do with the other scandal that reporters have been desperately trying to cover up: the Clinton Foundation’s scuzzy foreign-money vacuum. Welcome the chance for Mrs. Clinton to give her side of the story in press conferences and hearings.

When you talk to the press, do it in measured tones, and avoid making wild claims about either the substance or political outcomes. Reduce expectations, rather than raise them. Be persistent. Be serious. Be smart.

This is the sort of media discipline shown by Democrat talking heads on cable TV shows that allowed the Clintons to wriggle out of so many self-made debacles in the 1990s. Republicans don’t seem anywhere near as good at playing that game. Which is too bad. “Where’s the Brutalizing Media Narrative Demanding Hillary Clinton Answer Questions?,” John Nolte asks at Big Journalism. A GOP with JournoList-level focus could force some Democrat operatives with bylines into asking those questions if only through sheer message discipline and focus. But since such a beast is impossible to imagine, as Jonah Goldberg writes in his column today, “The E-mail Scandal Won’t Doom Hillary:”

The real significance of this moment — and a partial explanation of the media firestorm over it — is that time is running out to stop the Clinton freight train.

Nothing in this story is surprising: not the desire for secrecy, nor the flouting of legal norms, nor the cynical attempts to shoot the messengers — and certainly not the staggering hypocrisy. (In 2007, then-senator Clinton denounced the Bush White House’s far more defensible use of “secret” Republican National Committee e-mail addresses for campaign business as proof that “our Constitution is being shredded.”) It’s all vintage Clinton.

At some point down the tracks, when yet another fetid cloud of Clintonism erupts into plain view, many smart liberals will look back at this moment as the time when they should have pulled the emergency brake and gotten off the Hillary train.

The unease they feel now will be nothing compared to the buyer’s remorse to come.

Because, as Charles Cooke writes elsewhere at NRO, “There is no Plan B for 2016.”

Fresh off accusing TMZ of “stalking” Hillary by — gasp! — asking her questions about the scandal(s) enveloping her pre-coronation ceremony not yet off the pad presidential bid, “Politico’s not giving up yet,” Ace writes, noting that “one of their lead stories is ‘Hillary Clinton email flap creates awkward GOP silence,’ with, yes!, a big picture of Scott Walker, because you know that Hillary’s lawbreaking is really the Shame of the Conservatives:”

The investigation into Walker’s tenure as a county executive, which was prior to 2008.

So that’s where Politico is — asking Hillary about this is “stalking;” the real journalism concerns ages-old allegations about Scott Walker’s aids from when he was a county executive.

Meanwhile, Glenn Thrush of the Politico has a Twitter meltdown over being accurately quoted by the Washington Examiner as describing Hillary’s homemade email server as “badass,” a word I doubt he would use to describe a similar arrangement employed by a politician with an (R) after his name. (In November of 2013 he used a slightly different but related tactic to explain away Obama’s own server issues involving his namesake signature healthcare bill by describing them as “boring,” despite it being the political story of the fall. This was also his tactic to explain away Wendy Davis’ campaign meltdown in Texas the following year when she attempted to exploit Greg Abbott as being wheelchair bound in one of the most ill-conceived campaign ads ever devised.)

I’m sure Hillary’s equivalent of the JournoList will eventually nail down all of the talking points for the “journalists” “reporting” on her. But for now, it’s fascinating to watch the collective scurry while they’re waiting for new orders from the queen.

Related: As the No Pasaran blog asks, “If You Were a Member of the MSM, What Hillary News Would You Choose to Lead With This Week?” For AOL News, it’s — make sure you’re sitting down for this one — “Hillary didn’t pioneer the pantsuit in DC”, a breathtaking Woodward & Bernstein meets Mencken-level scoop. You can’t blame this one on the Politico, but I’m sure they’d certainly approve the headline.

Unless they thought AOL was stalking Hillary in obtaining its reportage, of course. Nice juxtaposition here:

“Hillary Clinton Won’t Take Questions at Journalism Award Ceremony,” Mediaite reports:

Hillary Clinton, known for giant paydays in exchange for speeches, will take no money for her remarks before the 2015 Toner Prize Celebration later this month. She’s also not taking any questions.

The March 23 ceremony will celebrate the winner of the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. Clinton, a longtime friend of the award’s sponsors, is keynoting the event for free.

Tickets to the ceremony run $250, but the event is open to the press. “It’s going to stop being an awards ceremony if she makes any news — everyone will exit the room and start writing,” said Peter Gosselin, husband to the late reporter Robin Toner, for whom the award is named. “Journalists will be journalists.”

Having Hillary, who hasn’t driven a car since the mid-1990s, and whose idea of maximum encryption is a apparently an eMachine running WindowsMe in her living room attending something called the “Toner Awards,” is a nice Tom Wolfe-style touch. But then, this isn’t the only journalism event where journalism isn’t permitted: