I heard Hilary Clinton’s angry remarks about American dead on the radio the other day and couldn’t help but think rekaB Street.
With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some Americans? What difference — at this point — does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.
What an extraordinary statement! (And note the complete reversal disguised as “the point” in the final sentence.)
What an aggressive assertion of a complete lack of interest in understanding what’s going on. At least, she could have given the two plausible scenarios – protest over a movie, or well-planned Jihadi attack on the anniversary of 9-11. Instead, she used a ridiculous alternative – “guys out for a walk.”
It’s as if, faced with objections to the plausibility scenario that she was offering, the Secretary of State lashed out against looking closely. In so doing, of course, she pitched to our sensibilities, invoking the sanctity of life, of American life, over which she had already shed a tear: so greatly do we mourn, that it’s sacrilegious to inquire to closely why they died.
On the contrary, it matters why it was done, precisely in order “to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.” Indeed, it matters hugely: it is the hallmark of any investigation that aims at inspiring a learning curve to look precisely into the details, unflinchingly.
Hence, our suspicions, as responsible citizens, should be aroused by anyone who told us that it doesn’t matter. Even if one wants to claim emotional stress, in which, under the rude questioning of Senator Ron Johnson, Hillary used a ploy to win that exchange, we’re left with the residue of that maneuver, namely a humiliatingly foolish statement. (This is not sexist, men also use ploys and say stupid things when on the defensive.) But when you do it in public, and you’re the Secretary of State, you do have to keep your wits about you when you fight back. This “comeback” was, alas, witless.
Which brings me to the point of this post. Apparently the indignation at Clinton’s call to auto-stupefaction and the analytic dissection of the folly behind the remarks took place largely “on the right,” while, in the mainstream media, Clinton’s remarks were greeted with great admiration. “Good for Hillary,” she showed those guys on Capitol Hill a thing or two.
Here Diane Sawyer and Martha Raddatz team up to present her “riveting” testimony.
It would be harder to find a better illustration of the workings of rekaB Street than to cheer on such a principled – indignant! -refusal to examine the evidence. There must be a Simpsons or Family Guy or South Park routine that illustrates this kind of behavior. And apparently, alas, we need a term to designate the performers of such triumphalist folly.
After all, if there weren’t real danger, this would be simply comic.