The Corner

Benghazi: They Know We’re Stupid

There’s a classic response when one hears something patently ridiculous passed off as insight or wisdom: “They must think I’m stupid.” Over time, I’ve become convinced that the Obama administration thrives in part because it doesn’t just think we’re stupid, they know it. Stigma and attitude continually substitute for argument, and millions of Americans not only buy in, they cheer wildly.

In the instantly memorable exchange between Hillary Clinton and Senator Ron Johnson (which Eliana discusses below), Ms. Clinton had this to say:

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 last night who decided to 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.

Keep in mind that she’s saying this scornfully, with her voice rising with every word. It was riveting television, but her statement was utter nonsense. First, invoking the slain American diplomats to defend herself from a tough question was distasteful in the extreme. It is because their lives were so valued and their death so jolting that the hearing was even happening. Second, the false choice between a protest and an evening stroll gone awry was patently ridiculous. The relevant questions included whether the attack was a spontaneous protest (one form of threat), a pre-planned terrorist attack (another level of threat entirely), or an opportunistic combination of the two. Because the administration misled the American people, it helped perpetuate a false sense of security about our terrorist enemies — that they were virtually defeated. Finally, “what difference at this point does it make?” Well, it makes all the difference in the world when trying to determine terrorists’ intentions and capabilities in North Africa.  

Watching the exchange, I was reminded a bit of the Biden/Ryan debate, when smirks and laughs successfully substituted for argument. Of course, no one is laughing or smirking here, but once again attitude trumps substance. Nonsense delivered with anger and conviction is still nonsense. But does it really matter? Not to the Huffington Post:

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More