EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Dear Reader (omitted),
The news out of Dallas is just awful, but I’m not going to dwell on it here for numerous reasons (It’s fast-moving and my Internet connection isn’t, for one thing). But there’s one point I want to make, even though it’s also one of the reasons I don’t want to talk about the bloodshed. I hate the race to politicize every horror and tragedy.
#ad#Still, some incidents lend themselves to it more than others. A terror attack on the United States by a foreign entity is by its nature a political act, and therefore it lends itself to political commentary — particularly when the people running the government make the clear political decision to distort, conceal, or distract us from the nature of the event. When the president says “workplace violence” instead of “Islamic terrorism” to shield himself from criticism or advance his pet theories about foreign policy, it is right to call b.s. on the play.
But there is something particularly vile and disgusting in the way many of the leading masters of sanctimony keep changing their standards. When a registered Democrat and Muslim murdered people in Orlando in the name of ISIS, it was outrageous to suggest that maybe we shouldn’t point fingers at Christian conservatives or the NRA. When Gabby Giffords was shot by an utterly apolitical schizophrenic, Paul Krugman blamed it on Michele Bachmann’s “eliminationist rhetoric.” The Democratic party almost en masse blamed it on some crosshairs on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page. The Orwellians leapt out of their bunkers and started memory-holing martial metaphors.
But now, I gather, any suggestion that rhetoric from Black Lives Matter influenced these murderers is beyond the pale.
MORE COVERAGE: Dallas Shootings
I keep repeating the old line: Behind every apparent double standard is an un-confessed single standard. The single standard here is that only the right people may politicize tragedy. Only the right people get to determine what sort of speech incites violence. Only the right people know when it’s a time for prayer and unity and when it’s time to take up action. Only the right people know when the blame falls solely on the murderers and when the murderers are simply a symptom of a larger problem. And when anyone disagrees with the right people, they reveal themselves to be the wrong people. Because you can only be right if you agree with the right people.
So, as I’ve said before, to Hell with you people.
The Adventures of Super Hillary
Now onto something a bit more amusing: The Adventures of Super Hillary.
“There has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton,” President Obama declared this week. Take that Jefferson! Sit your mansplaining ass down, Ike ! Hillary’s here.
There’s a reason she wears those smocks that make her look like the United Federation of Planets’ ambassador to Rigel 7: She’s just light years ahead of the rest of us.
The real explanation is that Clinton just doesn’t care. Like her husband, what suits her needs is always more important than what the country needs or the party needs.
Read the “112 reasons (and counting!) Hillary Clinton should be our next president” on her website and you’ll see what I mean (but don’t blame me if you vomit on the keyboard). Of course, you have to wade through an enormous amount of pandering. Free tuition for these people, free health care for those. Look under your seats, everybody! You get a subsidy! And you get a subsidy! Everybody gets a subsidy!
What was it Mencken said about Truman? “If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country he would have promised to provide them with free missionaries, fattened at the taxpayers’ expense.”
By the time her list gets to 200, she’ll be raffling off the chance for some under-privileged LBGT preschoolers to push a Koch brother into a volcano.
But even the pandering is part of her larger sales pitch. There’s just nothing she can’t accomplish because she’s “One Tough Mother” (That’s Reason No. 55). “She knows what’s going on in Laos” (No, really, that’s No. 69). “She’s a progressive—and she’s a progressive who gets things done” (That’s Reason 51).
And, here’s the kicker. Madeleine Albright, that’s right little people, Madeleine effin’ Albright, says, “I’ve never met anyone more prepared to be president.” That’s Reason number 76. But it might as well be Reason No. 1, am I right? Because, if Madeleine Albright hasn’t met you, you might as well be jointed and used for dog food.
#share#So you get it now? Hillary Clinton can do it all. She can make twelve-minute brownies in seven minutes. She can eat barbecue ribs with her hands without getting her white gloves dirty. She brings home the bacon (or cattle futures) and she fries it up in the pan. If there’s a crisis on her plane, not only can she take the throttle, she can speak jive to the passengers in need. She’s more prepared than a Tennessee survivalist and an Eagle Scout combined, and she’s more qualified than George Washington, the guy the Founders thought of when they wrote the job description of the president into the Constitution. She’s a human Swiss Army knife, a Ninja, a, general, a CPA, and a soccer mom all rolled into one. As Reason 46 says, “Hillary is prepared to tackle all challenges, including national security — because presidents don’t get to choose which issues come to their desks.”
But not if the issue arrives via e-mail!
Again, she can do it all . . . except for one thing. She can’t handle the Internet. It’s her kryptonite. She’s helpless against its foreign ways.
All you have to do is say “e-mail” and she sheds IQ points faster than a Mr. Potato Head loses his facial features when thrown into an industrial blender. Giving her a computer is as pointless as giving an abacus to a basset hound. When asked if she wiped her server, she responded, “You mean like with a cloth?” In her initial statement about her server set up, she reassured the American people that the server was secure because “It was on property guarded by the Secret Service and there were no security breaches.”
#related#When I first heard this, I figured her understanding of computers derived from the first Mission Impossible movie. She was worried that Tom Cruise would descend from the ceiling and steal her NOC list or, in her case, her e-mails about yoga. After one particularly sensitive e-mail about how much she struggles with the One Legged King Pigeon Pose, I liked to think she barked out “Double the guards around the server!”
But given how she is instantly lobotomized by all things IT, I now think she’s more on the level of Derek Zoolander and Hansel trying to get the files out of the computer.
The head of the FBI seems to agree with me. When it comes to e-mail, particularly classified email, she’s like a 1980s grandma trying to set the blinking clock on her VCR.
Comey was asked, “A few minutes ago, you also stated that you now believe that Hillary Clinton is not nearly as sophisticated as people thought. Is that correct?”
He replied, “Yeah, I think that’s fair — actually, no, not as people thought, but as people would assume about somebody with that background. I’m sorry, I should be clear about this, technically sophisticated. I’m not opining on other kinds of sophistication.”
In other words, if witty badinage about Laotian current events is on your agenda, she’s still your lady. She can be counted on to MacGyver 3 Q-tips, some chewing- gum-wrapper tinfoil, and a dead D battery into a rudimentary nuclear generator. And, obviously, she’s remains a master of the five-point exploding heart technique. But, despite 30 years of government experience at the highest levels and a storied legal career, when it comes to e-mail and intelligence classifications, she might as well be a homeless lady pushing a cart full of cans while muttering about how the squirrels have no pants.
Obviously, I’m not buying this. Not entirely at least. I do believe she’s pretty incompetent about technology. But I also think she’s pretty incompetent about lots of things. I no more believe she’s the most prepared or qualified presidential candidate in history than I believe that bowel-stewing laugh of hers is sincere. But I think in reality she has less in common with Derek Zoolander than she does with Vinny “The Chin” Gigante.
The longtime boss of the Genovese crime family, Gigante pioneered the insanity ruse. He walked around Greenwich Village in a bathrobe muttering to himself in order to convince prosecutors he wasn’t fit to stand trial. It seems to me that Hillary “The Ankle” Clinton is playing a bit of the same game.
But, ultimately the real explanation is that Clinton just doesn’t care. Like her husband, what suits her needs is always more important than what the country needs or the party needs. Maybe Bill got on that plane with Loretta Lynch to lobby her on his wife’s behalf. Maybe not. I think both are equally possible. What I am sure about is that he didn’t care how it looked. That’s how he goes through life. And it’s how Hillary does too. It’s not that Hillary doesn’t care about the sanctity of classified information. It’s just that she cares more about herself. She’s plenty patriotic, just so long as doing the right thing for the country doesn’t interfere with doing the right thing for herself. Her first loyalty remains Her.
Various & Sundry
A clarification: In last week’s G-File, I was a bit unfair to my friend and NR colleague Victor Davis Hanson. In part because of an editing error of my own making, I made a subhead seem like something he wrote (we don’t write our headlines or subheads for our columns). More broadly, I ended up sounding as if Victor was taking a position he wasn’t. He pretty clearly was explaining the burden this craptacular election places on everybody. As most of you know, this “news”letter is written fast and on the fly and in my rush to use VDH’s point as a springboard, I think I did him a disservice. And as I hope I made clear, I have bottomless reserves of respect and admiration for the man. My apologies.
I’m wrapping up a brief but wonderful stay in the Adirondacks with friends. (Normally I would have taken a break from the columns and this “news”letter, but I’m trying to conserve my working vacation days because I will need them later this summer when I completely freak out trying to get my book done.) So, unfortunately that means I have no updates about my dogs. They are home with the house-sitter and they are pissed because I suspect they know the Fair Jessica and I are in Doggy Heaven. I have however spent some real quality time with Otis. He is awesome. He is like a walking white noise machine, if you find the sound of constant snoring soothing. He is like a ham with legs with the attitude and confidence of 20 dogs. He has two lovely black lab companions and he follows them around as if he were of equal athletic caliber — and none dare tell him otherwise. When they run to the lake, it’s like watching Winston Churchill compete at Olympic tryouts. I just need a couple more dogs and we’ll be able to reenact the dogs playing poker painting.
My column today was on Comey decision and the fact we’ve known Hillary is a monumental liar for a very long time.
My first column of the week was on why I think Newt would make a riveting VP pick for Trump.
Oh and if you missed it, here’s my latest video up at Prager University. Now with 825,000 views in about a week.
And here’s the important stuff.