The Corner

Politics & Policy

What Does Hillary Clinton Have in Common with Terrorist Groups?

From the last Morning Jolt of the week:

Hillary Clinton’s Insane ‘Terrorism’ Charge Against the GOP

What does Hillary Clinton have in common with terrorist groups? Well, they’re both being investigated by the FBI.

Hillary Clinton wants to get out of trouble. So she calls Republicans terrorists…

During a riff Thursday where Clinton name checked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Clinton said Republicans are “dead wrong for 21st century America.”

“Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States,” Clinton said at a speech in Cleveland. “Yet they espouse out of date, out of touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward, we are not going back.”

It sounds like she’s practicing a version of the “stray voltage” theory – say something deliberately over-the-top provocative to shift the conversation. John Fund explained:

Major Garrett, the CBS White House correspondent, has talked with White House aides who confirm that the administration is working from the theory of “stray voltage,” as developed by former White House senior adviser David Plouffe.

“The theory goes like this,” Garrett wrote. “Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness,” Deliberately misstating information about key issues in order to keep certain issues before the public is often a premeditated strategy.

“The tactic represents one more step in the embrace of cynicism that has characterized President Obama’s journey in office,” John Dickerson wrote at Slate. “Facts, schmacts. As long as people are talking about an issue where my party has an advantage with voters, it’s good.”

There are a lot of reasons why Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be the next president of the United States. But a pretty big one is illuminated by this; at the moment that the country has a bursting-at-the-seams list of real problems – low workforce participation, a ticking time bomb of entitlement programs, turbulent markets, an insecure border, Russian aggression, saber-rattling all over the Pacific Rim, sputtering schools, crushing student debt — she chooses to pour gasoline on the fire, comparing her opponents to terrorists. When she’s in a jam, her instinct is to take public divisions and make them worse. If you’re tired of public discourse resembling a cross between a bar fight between bikers and a YouTube comments section, President Hillary Clinton will do nothing to improve that.

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