Politics & Policy

‘Stop hating!’ &c.

Clinton speaks in Florissant, Mo. (Whitney Curtis/Getty)

Hate speech ain’t what it used to be. The other day, Hillary Clinton said “All lives matter.” She faced a “backlash” for uttering this toxic sentence, as the New York Times reported. Donna Brazile had to rescue her on Twitter. To Hillary’s critics, Donna said, “Stop hating!”

An unimpeachable figure of the Left has gotten in trouble before, for uttering this same toxic sentence. That figure is the president of Smith College. Who cares who she is, specifically? Whoever she is, the president of Smith College is an unimpeachable figure of the Left.

Smith’s president is bound to be a perfect expression of political correctness.

Anyway, the unfortunate prez slipped up a little and said “All lives matter,” when the mantra du jour was, and is, “Black lives matter.” She got huge grief for it — and apologized abjectly.

So, HRC (Hillary Rodham Clinton) was campaigning in a Missouri church. She told a story about her mother’s early struggles. Hillary once asked her, “What kept you going?” And “her answer was very simple,” said the candidate. “Kindness along the way from someone who believed she mattered. All lives matter.”

That caused the ruckus — the backlash. And Donna Brazile rode to the rescue, Twitter-wise. She is a veteran Democratic operative, as you know, and helpfully (for this case) black.

She explained to her “tweeps” — her Twitter followers — that HRC was merely telling a story about her mother. She noted that Hillary had uttered the correct phrase — “Black lives matter” — in the past. And she said, indeed, “Stop hating!”

When “All lives matter” is a major racial offense — virtual hate speech — we’re living in very, very screwy times.

‐I don’t have much use for Donna Brazile — mainly because, after the 2000 election, she said black voters in Florida had been kept away from the polls by “guns” and “dogs.” That was a lie with terribly corrosive effects.

(Brazile was the Gore-Lieberman campaign manager, incidentally.)

But I have a place for her in my heart because of one thing. When Bush 43 named Condoleezza Rice secretary of state, Brazile said (in effect), “Come on, guys. I know we think Bush is the devil. But a black woman as secretary of state? That’s pretty good.”

‐I admire George W. Bush a great deal, and I have always been amazed by his candor — particularly on the subject of his alcohol abuse. I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago. But first let me take a walk down Memory Lane — to that 2000 election.

A week before Election Day, Bush made a stop at a drug-rehabilitation center in San Jose. The men gave their testimonies, and Bush gave his. He said, “In some people’s cases, including my own, personal responsibility and understanding required a helping hand from something bigger than government.”

Two days later, I think, the Dems released the report saying that Bush had once been arrested for drunk driving. I thought, “That shouldn’t be that big a deal. He has been talking all along about his former struggles. He has been testifying.”

It was a big deal, of course.

Anyway, Bush was given a Father of the Year award this year. I’d like to quote from a news report:

The birth of his daughters brought a new priority to his world, Bush said.

 

“I think the most important priority for a dad is to be a dad. In my case, I might have been slightly self-absorbed at times, but when I became a dad, I only had one real job and that was to provide for these little girls. Was I always successful? I don’t know. They can be the witnesses.”

He said he didn’t think he would have quit drinking if he hadn’t become a father.

“You see, what happened to me was alcohol was becoming a love. It was beginning to crowd out my affections for the most important love, if you’re a dad, and that’s loving your little girls. And so, fatherhood meant sobriety.”

What a man, George W. Bush. There aren’t many like him in politics, or outside it.

‐I don’t know if you know this, but the United States is sharing a base in Iraq with Iran. To be specific, and fair, we’re sharing the base with Iranian-backed Shiite militias. Our forces fought against these very militias in the Iraq War.

Speaking about the new arrangement to Bloomberg News, Senator John McCain said, “It’s an insult to the families of the American soldiers that were wounded and killed in battles in which the Shiite militias were the enemy.”

You might argue that the United States and Iran now have a common enemy, ISIS, so cooperation is perfectly natural and right.

But I’d like to remind you of the speech that Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, gave before the U.S. Congress in March. It’s a shame that this speech became a political football, and is remembered as such — because it’s a damn good speech, in its substance.

This is the passage that came to mind when reading about the United States and Iran in Iraq:

Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend of America.

Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.

In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews, or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.

So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.

Exactly. (To read Netanyahu’s speech in full, go here.)

‐Richard Brookhiser has a masterly piece in the current National Review. I’d like to point out one passage of it — one that really doesn’t have much to do with the piece: “Wilhelmine Ger­many — even discounting British propaganda — was worse than we now often acknowledge.”

I was so grateful for this passage. My heart almost leapt at it. Why?

All of my life, it has been important for people to say that World War I was meaningless, pointless, and should never have been fought. There was no good or bad side, no right or wrong. It was “senseless slaughter.”

The point of view of the War Poets — Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, et al. — has prevailed.

And in order to paint the desired picture, Wilhelmine Germany has been turned into a puppy. A lamb.

Which is a lie.

Thank you, Rick!

‐My own piece in the current NR? A review of Ann Coulter’s latest scorcher, ¡Adios, America! Find the review here.

‐Speaking of reviews: I have written about a concerto by James Horner — a double concerto, for violin and cello. Horner was one of the most successful movie composers of our time (responsible for Titanic’s score, for example). He died recently when the plane he was piloting crashed. He had lots of talent, and got rich for a reason.

Anyway, nice to see you today, guys, and see you later.

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