I never thought I would do this, but I’m going to defend Hillary Clinton.
This does not mean that I have changed my opinion of her as a serial liar. To name a few untruths, there’s Whitewater, the Rose Law Firm, the story that she turned $1,000 into $100,000 in the cattle futures market, the FBI files turning up in the White House, the claim that she and Chelsea had to dodge sniper fire as they were getting off the plane at the Sarajevo airport – OK, that’s enough.
Now, having offered a few items from the prevarication list, I have to argue about a recent speech from which a comment was taken totally out of context.
Secretary Clinton, formerly Sen. Clinton and formerly first lady of the United States and further back in time, first lady of Arkansas when what’s-his-name was governor of that state, was talking about the awful events in Benghazi, Libya, 16 months ago. As we all know, four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Her comments first expressed her feelings that the murders were horrible, which most Americans would agree with. Then, in response to a question either asked or assumed by the secretary, about what weapons were used or just how it all happened, Hillary asked, “What difference does it make?” She followed that with another unequivocal condemnation of what the murderers did, not what weapons they used.
Granted, and I’m choking on this, conservatives – including my constant media companion, Fox News – should not distort what liberals or other Democrats say or do, when the truth is bad enough.
For example, just a few minutes ago, as I’m writing this, Fox showed a clip of our senator – yuck – Barbara Boxer, claiming, not for the first time, that Republicans were up to their old tricks waging a war on women. Well, the “war on women” phrase has little or no basis in fact and certainly is not a mainstay of the Republican philosophy. It’s convenient for a loyalist like Boxer to make accusations that have no basis in fact. I would humbly submit that the Democratic Party has members who might have uttered sexist comments in the course of their careers, and yet we never hear about their own war on women.
I know we’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but there is little doubt that both Jack and Bobby Kennedy had little respect for their marriage vows. Since both men were considered saints, little was said about their behavior, at least while they were alive.
I hope I’ve made the point that different public officials are treated differently, depending on their politics. But, in very rare cases, someone worshipped by the mainstream media is criticized based on, at the very least, a misunderstanding. So, I find it unsettling that some members of the conservative media, who should know better – and probably do – are playing up the “What difference does it make?” question, totally out of context.
OK, this was one instance of one of the Clintons being treated unfairly – sort of – in the media. That still leaves an uncountable number of times when they deserved it, and they always had plenty of defenders in the Democratic Party. Yes, it still amazes me that both Bill and Hillary show up every year on various “most admired” lists.
Bud Stevenson, a retired stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at [email protected]