The Left Lashes Out
Giving up on Obama, liberals move on to the blame game.


Jonah Goldberg

Shorter Clinton: We Can Never Know What I Did Wrong . . . 

As I write this, a woman in Britain has a sudden image of a guy tapping at a laptop keyboard. Six thousand miles away, I’m tapping at my keyboard. It’s dismissed as a coincidence.

Sorry, I had to get that out of the way. For some reason the old Time-Life “Mysteries of the Unknown” commercials sprung into my mind (“Dismissed as self-indulgent claptrap.” — The Couch).

Meanwhile, a woman in Washington says that what happened in Benghazi may become the next chapter in the Mysteries of the Unknown. Hillary Clinton says that “there will never be perfect clarity on everything that happened  . . . But that should not be confused with a lack of effort to discover the truth or to share it with the American people.” This comes from the 34-page chapter on Benghazi in her new memoir, a chapter that probably had more experts consulting on it than an alien space craft discovered in the New Mexico desert. Just think about all of the spinners, hacks and other bipedal remora of the Hillary Industrial Complex in their figurative white lab coats testing each phrase with focus groups of suburban soccer moms; the squads of lawyers debating the semicolons and haggling over the past-participles.

Anyway, I love this talking point that “perfect clarity” is elusive. She will certainly use it to perfect her obfuscation. Already, you can be sure interns at “Ready For Hillary!” are rehearsing in the mirror “We may never know exactly what happened in Benghazi  . . . We may never know exactly what happened in Benghazi . . . ”

Case in point: Even as Clinton insists that the lack of perfect clarity doesn’t imply any lack of effort to get at the truth, she apparently couldn’t find space in her chapter about the attack on Benghazi to divulge where she was and exactly what she was doing on the night of the Benghazi attack.  That was the very first thing the guys in the white coats at the New Mexico hangar had yanked out and buried in the desert. I mean she’s right, we probably can’t find out exactly what happened in Benghazi, Libya that night — the fog of war and all that. But she could help us know what she did that night. Unfortunately, the fog of Hillary will prevail. It always does.

When in Doubt, Attack National Review

You might have missed Salon’s hyper-ventilating attack on National Review for our collective failure to weep for Maya Angelou like female soldiers at Kim Jong Il’s funeral. Note, the critique isn’t that we insulted her. It’s that we disrespected her by failing to lavish sufficient praise on her. I particularly like the insinuation that I should have been more generous because Maya Angelou’s family is seeking solace in my eulogizing words. The thing is, I only said nice things about the woman, in part because I actually consciously try not to jump ugly on the recently deceased. It’s a mistake I’ve made in the past when I used to get too caught up in the asininity of Internet instantaneity. Of course, you can’t win in such things. If you lavish too much praise then you get called a hypocrite for complimenting someone you criticized only after they died. It’s like John Winger’s warning about Tito Puente.

Anyway, it seems to me that these sorts of attacks on National Review have been increasing of late (I’ve been around a while, they tend to ebb and flow). I think this, too, is a symptom of the funk the Left is in. They don’t want to defend Obama because, ugh. They want to attack the system and create narratives that justify their high moral self-regard. That makes National Review a useful foil, particularly if you have no problem distorting what we say and making up charges that fit your fantasies more than any semblance of reality. That certainly seems to explain the ridiculous mobbing of A.J. Delgado.

A Personal Note

Please forgive the informality while I loosen my pants. Oh and please forgive the informality of what I am about to say as well. I am concerned. This “news”letter, as you know, has a rich and storied history. I am in fact the 18th G-File writer. The first was Joachim of Fiore, whose “news”letters — written on buckskin with the blood of second-born peasant children — liberated men from their due allegiance to the sanctity of the created world in favor of a false dream of a world that could be created anew by the minds — and passion — of men. Since him, the quill, then the pen, then typewriter, and eventually the keyboard has passed like a torch from master to apprentice. Like vampire slayers, each generation, only one is chosen.

I’m just kidding, of course, Joachim of Fiore was famously identified by Eric Voegelin as the ur-gnostic from whom so many modern heresies descend. And, to borrow a phrase from Justin Bieber, “Who fed my monkey Funyuns!?” “I ain’t no frick’in eschaton immanentizer.”

Anyway, my concern is this: Too many people are reading this thing. Why is that a problem? Well, how do I put this politely? Back when it was just me and you guys — you know who you are — it was fine to do the women’s-prison-movie jokes and long rants about Hayek (Friedrich, not Salma) and whatnot. I believe the first reader poll I ever launched at NRO was “What’s the sweatiest movie all time?” Those were the days (Answer: Cool Hand Luke. Also accepted: A Time To Kill, which John Podhoretz dubbed A Time to Schivtz).

But now some really serious and important people are reading this thing. Whoa, whoa, whoa. I’m not saying you’re not serious or important. But longtime readers of the G-File get it. Meanwhile, I’ve been hearing from billionaires and celebrity types about this “news”letter and it kind of freaks me out.  Part of the fun when I started the G-File stemmed from the fact I was a nobody working at National Review of all places. They had me working in the Internet for the same reasons you have your slow-witted horse-faced cousin empty the rat traps; I wasn’t a front-of-the-store kinda guy. Me and the Couch were like Jake and Ellwood at Bill Buckley’s fancy French restaurant trying to get the maître d’ to rejoin the band. Now it’s like all of the fancy people who used to complain that my smell was offensive want to pull up a chair and share the meal. It’s flattering, but there are some people you don’t want to say “pull my finger” to. And there are other people who really couldn’t care less who Joachim of Fiore is.

Anyway, I’d hate for this “news”letter to evolve into the kind of snooty place where I’m expected to move the dishes before I pee in the sink. But I really don’t want it to be the kind of place where I am expected to do anything at all. In the last G-File I wrote the first 800 words or so on the superiority of dogs to cats. A bunch of people complained that the “opening joke” was too long or that there was too much throat-clearing before I got to the topic of the G-File. Folks, that was the G-File. There’s no point in looking under the plate or towards the kitchen for the real meal, that was it. Don’t like it, eat someplace else. Or come back next week and maybe we’ll be serving something completely different. But remember, when it comes to the G-File, it’s like Madge said in the old Palm Olive commercials: If you’re reading it, “you’re soaking in it!”