Hillary and the 2016 Election, A Look Back


If you ask Google for articles that analyze Hillary and the 2016 election almost 23 million choices are offered up by the search engine. Everyone has something to say about this. Some back their analyses with data, official results of various pre- and post-election polls, and some just wail away with their observations during and after the election, which I believe is also valid as long as they were paying attention. Obviously there were things going on that were flying just under the media radar and, although some of us may have sensed that both sides were not equally guilty of the viciousness of the 2016 election, we had no real proof and no clear voice. Hillary’s campaign was using standard operating procedures which can be dirty up to a point, but which usually do not skirt our laws and our Constitution.

Hillary is hardly a revolutionary. She likes progressive ideas but is too much of a pragmatist to think that asking for a lot is the best way to get some. She knows too much about law-making and about the Federal budget. Bernie said things that were more wishes than realities, as far as Hillary was concerned. She did not believe his “people’s agenda” was suited to the economic realities of the times. She is too “bourgie,” people said. People were in the mood for drama, for revolt, for theater. She was too much the policy wonk. This goes a long way towards explaining why Bernie was such an explosive figure in the 2016 election.

The fact that Democrats were split both along age and gender lines did not help Hillary at all. Bernie Sanders had the millennial vote and his followers were passionate and idealistic. They were ready to get big money out of government. They were ready to give Capitalism a bit part in the American story going forward. They were going up against a muscular Republican Conservative order that was organized, rich and overwhelmingly in favor of Capitalism and the prominence it held in the economies of modern nations. Most Conservatives don’t seem to have a communal, barter, new economy bone in their bodies (except maybe David Brooks who misses the sense of community of the post-World War II era).

It would have been hard enough if Hillary only had to run against a “true believer” from the GOP. Fox News and Talk Radio and the Supreme Court had prepared the way so well. And Hillary made human errors that were unintended gifts to the Republicans. The Grand Old Party had been demonizing Hillary since the Clintons were in the White House. They could forgive philandering because many of them had “slipped” into sin, but they could not forgive getting caught and caught in such a “sacred” place as the Oval Office. The sins of the husband are also the sins of the wife in the judgment of many. Republicans played it all up. They never shut up about the Clintons. They hammered away for decades and the effects kept intensifying so there was no reason to stop and we got Benghazi and when Benghazi looked like it would fizzle a bit too soon, Trey Gowdy pulled the email “scandal” out of the Benghazi investigation records and so, something that was basically a clerical decision, worked like a powerful accusation to pursue Hillary with because it could be tinged with a whiff of “treason”.

The GOP loves to accuse their opponents of the very things they are doing themselves to deflect attention from their own misdeeds. And when they pulled in James Comey just before Election Day, they delivered their coup de grace and it offered up even more propaganda magic, especially if you add it to all the other skullduggery in this campaign. And Hillary wasn’t running against a “teabagger”, a typically wingnut Republican. She was running against a true nut with a penchant for really dirty fighting and no political background to rein in his imagination with tradition. She was running against someone who said that he could shoot someone in Central Park and he would not be hurt by such an act. And he was right. I was even afraid for Hillary sometimes in this travesty of an election.

Fake news did not appear on my radar until just before the election. At least not the truly scandalous fake news. I was more than aware of the media on the right and their fake news, but the truly horrendous stuff never appeared on my Facebook page, perhaps because someone knew it would end up in an article. I did not realize that Hillary was being accused of pedophilia and human trafficking or even of taking part in ceremonies with the “13 families” or whatever where babies were eaten. I got a few odd comments from readers that accused Hillary of having ulterior motives for her work with women and babies, but I had no context with which to understand them. I guess from the alleged “murder” of Vince Foster Hillary just graduated to someone whose teeth literally dripped blood.

I’m not sure how people came to believe that the Clinton campaign had a hand in hacking the computers at the DNC but for someone so obviously evil it was just a baby step to go this far. We all thought it was odd that Trump sweet-talked Putin but we were, for the most part, unaware of all the connections between his campaign people and Russians or Ukrainians or Turks. We may have felt a frission of fear, a little shiver down the spine to have Russia so prominently present in election debates but the true scope of involvement would not bubble up until after the election.

Hillary does not bear the biggest burden of guilt for losing the election in 2016. It was hardly an ordinary election. The stakes were very high and the GOP very determined and better organized than ever before. They had carefully planned to stage their coup and it got trumped. But they pulled their ashes from the fire and rode the mad train into control of all three branches of government. It looks like they will finally get most of what they want and heaven help us all. To me “we the people” will suffer some tragic loses because we could not coalesce and ignore the noisy distractions and elect Hillary Clinton.

Why did the media desert Hillary and the Democrats? I cannot forgive them for the jumping on the email bandwagon and pumping up Hillary’s sins despite the fact that they seemed laughable next to the sins of her opponent. People like Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell piled on to the demonization of Hillary because, I guess, they just don’t like her. Weren’t they even once honest with themselves about what a Trump presidency would be like? They had to have realized the extreme political measures that the Republicans had taken to come out on top in the election. Did they start to lean right themselves because of their own really very moderate beliefs?

I no longer listen to mainstream news. I trust Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell and Joy Reid. Occasionally I listen to PBS or the BBC. Everyone else is culpable for Hillary’s loss in the 2016 election and they put us all in the grip of a madman and a rogue political party. We can resist but damage will be done. Where were all the people who bemoan Trump’s election before November of 2016? Almost everyone bears more guilt for Hillary’s failure than Hillary does and I don’t buy that she lost the whole thing because she didn’t go to Michigan or she didn’t pour enough heart into campaigning. She may have just been too moderate for the 2016 election or too carefully demonized, or both. I thought that it would be revolutionary enough to elect a woman. However it’s now obvious that men were in no way ready to share power in the US at that lofty level. Hillary Clinton is who she is and I do not blame Hillary for Trump at all.

This is the Dark Side



This is the dark side of the internet. This is where the trolls live and the conspiracy theorists and the authors of fake news. The writing is often dramatic with lots of “documentation” offered and perhaps illusions to organizations of myth and history which we imagine no longer exist, such as the Knights Templar. These folks demonize politicians and people who are rich and famous. They like to create graphic images of them as Satan, suggesting that they worship Lucifer. Do they believe what they write? Do they actually think Nancy Pelosi is Lucifer on some days and Hillary Clinton is Lucifer on others? I doubt it but they hope their readers will believe, and some actually do become converts.

Comments were made on my articles about Hillary which began to refer to things that I did not really understand. They accused her of child abuse, they talked about how “dark” she is, they hinted that she performed criminal acts. These sly comments hinting that Hillary Clinton is some kind of monster began to appear before 2016 voting started, during early voting and even up to and including election day. I have no idea how much of an effect these conspiratorial whispers had on the election.

Recently the malignant messages came to a head in the attack on a pizza shop in Washington, D. C. where a guy with a gun entered the establishment with the intention of breaking up a secret pedophilia ring involving Hillary Clinton that was supposedly being run from secret spaces under the pizza shop. Who started this rumor? An article appeared in The Daily Beast on Monday, December 5, 2016 which describes these events.


A colleague on tremr.com also wrote about this:




After reading this eye opening article I began to remember the many references to Lucifer that I had been seeing on the Right and the word Illuminati being used as a shortcut to a larger body of thoughts and ideas, but I thought the conspiracy theory ended there. Apparently this stuff goes way beyond the academic and posits a theory that there is an enormous pedophilia ring and child slavery trafficking operation that has engulfed almost all of our politicians, and in fact politicians and famous people around the globe.

This activity has been practiced, according to some, by every American President except Reagan, Carter, and perhaps Nixon. A shadow government has resulted from these nefarious activities which allows financiers and others who know of and have proof of these activities to hold our government leaders (and even EU leaders) under their control, to make them do their bidding for fear of exposure. So all the while I was saying that Hillary Clinton is hardly nefarious, this conspiracy theory nonsense was enthralling readers on the internet and possibly affecting the outcome of the election. Even the infamous Alex Jones got in on this one, or was, perhaps, the prime mover





Am I naïve or sane? If this crap these writers are pedaling is in any way true then our planet is doomed. I choose not to believe a word of it; it’s obviously a conspiracy theory. Who makes this stuff up though? General Flynn’s son just got fired for blogging about this bizarre tale but I don’t think he authored the theory; I think he was just repeating what he had read on another site. Why do people make this stuff up? I suppose the answers seem fairly obvious (create fear, get attention, influence events).

Pedophilia and child trafficking are very real though, and it is impossible to ignore the fact that if there is a “product” (in this case a young human being) then there must be a market for that “product”. Who are the people who create a market for trafficking such as this? I assume that all of our political class is not involved in this. That’s the part I believe is fake. But, will this particular twisted vice ever be eradicated?

I’m writing about something I find loathsome and that I know very little about but I am worried because this stuff seems to go way beyond a pizza parlor in Washington D. C. and therefore I think it should be on our radar.



Social Class and Hillary



I like to maintain a certain age anonymity but I must confess that I lived through the same times as Hillary Clinton. We both left our families and went forth into the larger world just about 50 years before this election is taking place. I understand the sexism she had to ignore to do the things she has done. My high school guidance counselor steered me away from a career as an architect by telling me that I was a woman and my math was not strong enough.

Well, she was right about my math skills, and it would have been a struggle, but tutoring probably could have overcome my lack of quantitative strength. Looking back though, I can see that architecture was probably no career for a poor girl because there is a long, arduous apprenticeship before you become an actual architect and are able to earn enough to pay for the education and the time served in the ranks. You also have to be certain that you can build buildings that won’t fall down and it takes a strong ego to back that up. Strong egos are often hard to come by in poor families.

But I also know that, although Hillary’s family was not as poor as mine, Hillary had to ignore a class system that was much more rigid than it is today. In fact, in high school, I wrote a paper about social class in America. In case you haven’t noticed we still have social classes. Today on Morning Joe, Joe and Mika mentioned one of the new names used to designate the upper crust. Some rich folks are now called “coastal elites”, meaning people on the east and west coasts of America who attended elite schools and came from elite families. My family was poorer than Hillary’s family. In fact it was a real dilemma for my family that I wanted to go to any four year college at all, even a state university (we have very good state universities in New York). But Hillary’s ambitions were higher than mine. My family was a lower class blue collar family. Hillary’s father owned his own business and as such was white collar, middle class. But he was still no coastal elite.

Hillary’s decision to go to Wellesley College shows a lot of moxie. She had to know that she was smart enough to apply, be accepted, and succeed. She picked a college where her own social roots would make her somewhat of an outsider. Apparently her own parents did not even want her to go to Wellesley. Was Hillary unaware that her classmates might look down on her as an arriviste of sorts, a fish out of water, or was she totally aware of the social risks involved but felt confident that she would be accepted on her own terms? Hillary continued on to Yale Law School. Is this the kind of confidence that has stayed with Hillary as she tackled positions way above the comfort level of most women from a similar middle class background. She did not take refuge in the intelligentsia where many less socially confident bright women might take refuge.

What is it like for an activist from Wellesley to marry a Southern boy and go live in Little Rock? This is the stuff of novels. It is not always easy for a northern liberated girl to make herself welcome in a Southern city where people have known each other forever. Did Hillary ever feel socially awkward when she first went to live in Little Rock? Was she ever really accepted there as an elite because of her Wellesley degree? Bill Clinton’s mom had no easy life and his stepfather was an abusive alcoholic so he was no elite either. He was very bright, however, and he was able to get a degree from Georgetown University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford in England. It is possible that he was born with that charisma which has been his ticket into elite political circles.

Hillary married Bill Clinton in 1975 and he became the Attorney General of Alabama in 1977 so it is possible that being married to a man in public office made life in a southern town easier for this woman born and raised in suburban Chicago. These two seem to have been able to enter the echelons of the upper crust, or become “coastal elites” by way of the colleges they chose to attend, but it may be possible that they have never really been accepted as anything but “nouveau” interlopers.

How much does the fact that Hillary (and Bill) occupy a social position well above their humble origins contribute to Hillary’s unfavorable ratings? Is America snobbish? Are some of us jealous? We don’t seem to always like people who were born wealthy and powerful and yet we don’t seem ready to accept people who made the climb up the social ladder through, well, social climbing, either. Hillary seems to have climbed through academic choices and activism and people are not at all sure that the ways in which the Clintons got their money were in line with either their avowed beliefs, or were accomplished by means that were totally uncorrupt. In fact some people seem to see them as nothing short of “cons” who stole from the poor to give to themselves. Why do so many of us seem to like this version of the story in spite of the fact that there is little proof that it is true?

So Hillary gets the triple whammy of sexism, ageism, and classism along with a more than healthy conspiracy theory mill that spins crimes and near crimes for her to be guilty of day after day. People think she should be further ahead in the polls. With all these headwinds to push against it is a wonder she is as strong as she is. It is pretty sad that someone who has worked so hard to be of use to the nation she loves is possibly only winning because her opponent is a man who should never be the President of America. And that has everything to do with a lack of class, social or otherwise.

I do not know what kind of President Hillary Clinton will be if she is elected. If she doesn’t get a left leaning Congress she will be sidelined and unable to do much more than act as a figurehead of a first female president. If she does get a Congress that leans a bit left what will she set out to accomplish for Americans and will she be successful? But because we came up through the same cultural times in our nation and because we both experienced that reality as women I feel we sort of had to swim in the same ocean, and I admire her because she has been a much stronger swimmer than I. I have faith that she has at least one more strong marathon swim in her.

Kill Hillary?..the Fight for Women’s Rights

Hillary Clinton c

Donald Trump3


The battles women have fought for their rights have been many and fierce. There is a museum exhibit that has a table set with 39 plates for women who got a seat at the table through stubborn will and tenacious intelligence. There are 999 names on the white tile floor below the table of women who contributed much but did not quite win a coveted seat.

There is a Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY to commemorate the first Women’s Rights Convention held there in July, 1848 and to honor the women who courted cultural disdain and ostracism to fight the surprisingly long battle to get men to accept women as equals.

There is no part of our original Constitution or our Bill of Rights that acknowledged females as people and there is no language that denies that women are people. It was not unprecedented in Europe to have Queens, but it was usually treated as sort of an aberration and Queens were almost forced to marry, except in the famous case of Elizabeth II in England. Men in early America did not even consider giving women the right to vote and women did not think to petition for it. Culturally men ruled the roost when the Constitution was written.

Women Suffragettes won the vote in a sort of a mash up with the Prohibition ladies in 1919 and the Constitution was amended to include the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote in 1920. Now it is the 21st century and we have still never elected a woman to our highest office and women are sadly underrepresented in Congress. Wouldn’t it be fine to have a woman President when this amendment celebrated its one hundredth anniversary?

womens rights, seneca falls big

As I watch the media pile hypothetical sin after hypothetical sin onto Hillary Clinton who is running to be our President in 2016 I can’t help but think that this is the last gasp of men grasping to hang on to power, which men are not even losing, only sharing.

MSNBC has some of the worst Hillary bashers, although these men could not actually want Trump to be President. Joe Scarborough, Mark Halperin who has even joined Scarborough on Morning Joe lately, Chuck Todd, and their many male guests go on and on about Hillary’s “unfavorable” like members of a gossipy 50’s coffee klatch full of mean girls.

Even when Donald Trump (who knows very well that Hillary has no plans to change the 2nd Amendment in any way) dog whistles (loudly) to the NRA and the 2nd Amendment people – people whose first thought in a fight is perhaps to vote with a gun – and uses a deliberately veiled reference that could be construed as an invitation to assassination, the equivocation begins almost immediately. Never mind that these could be the same militia people who were prepared to start a war on behalf of a rancher who was cheating by grazing his cows on government land without paying the rather reasonable fees. Donald Trump knows that there are mentally ill people out there who would delight in killing Hillary, or, in fact, anyone Trump fingered; so do the news people who have now turned on Hillary Clinton (to escape the wrath of the Donald?).

Hillary has been smeared with so much mud by all these men that we may never know if any of it is real. These men spent the entire day after Donald Trump threw out his off the cuff threat arguing that he did not know what he was saying and that he was trying to be funny. Well I have a hypothetical for all Trump’s defenders. He did not phrase his remarks the way he did by accident; they were in fact carefully crafted to walk the legal line and be deniable in future conversations. They were designed to make his followers swoon once again at Donald’s audacity and to elicit the twisted admiration that he loves to bask in.

Yesterday the top story shifted so quickly to the unproven scandal of the supposed pay for play activities of the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State that I got whiplash. Today we are deep into Hillary bashing and repeating Donald’s excuses which somehow always allows him to repeat the jabs he has recently been most proud of pulling off. No matter what Hillary has or hasn’t done it can’t be as poisonous as what these folks are doing. Mayor Giuliani, shame on you.

So men are obviously not ready for a female President and women are back in this place where we have another fight on our hands and we have been fighting this particular battle for the past eight years in one way or another. The war on women in which Republicans tried to fight against women’s freedom to control their own bodies and their own reproductive rights was often a fight about the beliefs of some men that the world was a better place when women were submissive and when they stayed at home. Women’s pursuit of satisfying careers ruined the nuclear family, or so these men believe, and all manner of cultural evils have ensued, so if we put women back in the kitchen these disruptive cultural trends will go away and there will be peace in the land forever and ever. There are men who fervently believe this stuff and they do not want Hillary Clinton, or indeed, any woman to be the President of the United States.

While women would like to win something without a pitched battle and tons of mental and social angst that is not what is going to happen in the 2016 election. It is as fraught a moment as any instance of cultural change and rather than dancing and toasting with champagne we will obviously be slogging through mud right to the bitter end.


The Last Great Conspiracy Theory?



Have we reached the last great conspiracy theory? We have been watching a conspiracy theory tennis tournament play out between the Democrats and the Republicans at least since 2012. The Benghazi tennis ball has been smashed back and forth for ages because the damning revelations were supposed to be timed to interfere with the 2016 election. Finally the anticlimactic report of the last Benghazi investigation (we hope it is the last because it’s costing the American people big bucks) concludes that all evidence suggests that Hillary Clinton was not guilty of any wrongdoing in this devastating attack in Libya. There was no assistance that could have arrived in time to save our people in Benghazi and Hillary Clinton was not, as many stated, asleep at the most crucial moments.

The fact that Hillary Clinton used a private server while at the State Department was the one juicy piece of info that came out of the Benghazi investigations. The Republicans put the Benghazi investigation to rest because they gleefully imagined that Hillary would be indicted by the FBI for something, treason, I guess. This seems a rather hyperbolic outcome to wish for given that it would suggest that Hillary is a seer who knew that the attacks in Benghazi would happen when she became Secretary of State and planned in advance to cover her tracks. But it sort of fits the Lucifer label that Republicans tried to attach to her at the RNC last week. (Republicans have a thing about Lucifer – they are so paranoid about the UN that they speak of something called the Luciferian Church of the UN, which does not exist.) I suspect they are saying that if Hillary is Lucifer on earth she could have known about the Benghazi attacks in advance. If you have to use this kind of bizarre reasoning to get where you want to go wouldn’t it seem that it is time to backtrack and start over, or just be quiet?

So now the GOP is left with just one more tennis ball to bat around and they must try to make the volley last until Hillary is tarred and feathered just before people go to the polls because Republicans cannot win this election without sliming their opponent, considering the caliber of their own candidate. This final round of our conspiracy tournament involves the Clinton Foundation and the arms deals made by the State Department while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. It is possible that these are two separate spheres that simply look like they overlap (a simple conflict of interest), or it is also possible that there was collusion between Bill and Hillary and that her arms deals while in the State Department were actually tied to the donations made to the Clinton Foundation. I have spoken before about the difficulty with seeing simple cause-effect relationships in complex matters. You must carefully connect the dots to prove that the money given to the Clinton Foundation was indeed used to influence arms deals in the State Department. The optics are bad, but is there actually any connection?

I don’t recall a time when we have had a husband and wife team where each partner had aspirations for the Presidency of the United States of America. Had the times been different for women would Eleanor Roosevelt have made a great Presidential candidate? Possibly. But that moment did not happen. But we are fifty plus years past those days. We now have a past President, Bill Clinton, doing his post Presidential best to help save the people on the planet from poverty and exploitation. And we have Hillary Clinton who believes she can do a good job as our first female President. I assume Bill Clinton’s goals are altruistic. Others assume he is using the Clinton Foundation to increase his personal wealth and bankroll his wife’s election campaign. People who hypothesize about this know that such activities are illegal and yet they believe that Bill and Hillary Clinton are so powerfully connected and privileged that they will not only steal from a charitable foundation with the family name right on it but also that their guilt will be covered up by powerful people. That all sounds pretty diabolical. But is it true?

Furthermore the argument goes on to say that Hillary drummed up contributions for the family charity while she made her rounds as Secretary of State and that she traded State Department arms deals for those contributions. There are the charts hanging out on the internet that look pretty damning.   http://www.ibtimes.com/clinton-foundation-donors-got-weapons-deals-hillary-clintons-state-department-1934187

clinton foundation chart 1 big



clinton foundation chart 2 big


Yikes! I can see why people get all exercised over this. But just because events are contiguous does not prove a cause-effect relationship. If there is a true cause and effect connection between these two sets of data then perhaps Bill and Hillary Clinton should be in jail. But, even though Hillary’s judgment was called into question on the email server decision, it would take some pretty stunningly unrealistic rationalizations for the Clintons to sell arms through the State Department in exchange for campaign contributions from foreign governments and make those funds look like charitable donations. Why would anyone expect to get away with something so blatantly illegal when contemplating a run for the highest office in our nation? I still do not accept that the Clintons are corrupt enough to plan and execute a scheme like this. I believe that the Clinton Foundation is Bill’s project and does have charitable goals. I also believe that Hillary did not go around the globe trading ostensibly charitable contributions from foreign governments for arms offered to foreign nations by the State Department. Connect the dots if you can. If you can’t retire the ball and get off the court and end this third round of the great conspiracy tennis tournament.



The State Department and Hillary Clinton

Hillary home DC small Hillary home small

I want to make another argument on behalf of Hillary Clinton – surprise, surprise – because I just don’t feel that we are using the correct perspective to examine this issue of the “emails”. I also know that what I am suggesting is not an understanding that is written anywhere, or one that perhaps has ever been mentioned before. However, given the unusual nature of the position of Secretary of State, and given that due weight has not been given to how the State Department operates in the digital age, I feel that there are some extenuating circumstances that affect whoever holds this position and that there needs to be some discussion about the role of the Secretary of State.

I am suggesting that the position of Secretary of State is unique because the Secretary of State is rarely in the State Department in Washington, D C but is traveling constantly to near and distant locations. I am arguing that, for this reason, wherever the Secretary of State is, the State Department goes with her or him. So if the Secretary is on a plane, the bubble of the State Department goes along. If the Secretary of State is in a hotel room, the State Department is there. If the Secretary of State is with a foreign leader or a group of foreign nationals, the State Department is there. When the Secretary of State is in his/her home office, the State Department is there. I would argue that Hillary did not ever remove documents from the State Department because wherever she went the State Department was there. As long as Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State, the State Department and Hillary Clinton were inseparable.

If her arrangements threatened national security the threat does not seem to be greater than that to any other system, including government systems. We do not have a way to make our digital networks completely secure at this time. However, given that the Secretary of State takes the State Department with her/him at all times, government security should reach to all digital equipment in the Secretary’s home and equipment carried abroad.

It seems to me that we need to update government agencies to operate in this digital age much more than we need to prosecute employees who take it into their own hands to set up systems that work without undue complexity. I also do not believe that Hillary lied to Congress about receiving or sending classified emails, especially now that we are aware of the inconsistencies in the classification system. I believe it was shown that she only sent emails to people who were classified, although some nasty soul pointed out that her assistants handled emails and they did not have clearance and her lawyers read her email and they did not have clearance. (I’m sure that has never happened before.) Hillary will have to explain why she said that the State Department knew about her private server, but if she is always the head of the State Department then it seems that her home office is simply an extension of the State Department and the same attention to national security is observed at her home office either in Chappaqua or in Washington, DC as would be observed at the State Department in Washington, D C.

I still believe that this issue is being blown out of all proportion because of the 2016 election and the Republicans who are having a hissy-fit because it looks like all their careful plan to capture the Presidency and possess the power in all three branches of Congress seems to be thwarted at every turn, reminiscent of the Road Runner and Wiley E Coyote.

The FBI is being used by the GOP, but the FBI has limitations. However much we may trust them to be nonpartisan, they can only conduct investigations that are narrow in scope and defined by the limits of the task they are given. The FBI cannot look at the big picture and analyze all aspects of this particular situation. The GOP can keep giving them new directives forever and if there is even a whiff of wrongdoing then the FBI will have to investigate. But the optics are that the GOP has the FBI playing fetch. (Good dog.)


The Benghazi Report – June 28, 2016


Trey Gowdy 2 big


Obviously I am writing this and I have not read the 800 pages in the Benghazi Report. I will wait for the summary assigned to some poor intern who will have to read the whole thing, or perhaps it will be split up and shared out among interns. But I have a few things to say and luckily because of free speech I can say them. Besides the fact that Trey Gowdy always looks about twelve, I have to say, for the record, that despite his seemingly boyish appearance, I do not trust him. He is the king of innuendo. Innuendo is a technique to make someone look guilty when there is not enough evidence to prove that they actually are. I believe that he made his conclusions before the committee was ever convened and that he engineered what went on in the committee to give credence to his interpretation of events. I watched him interview witnesses and he did not let them speak. It was not conducted as an investigation but as a tribunal.

Trey Gowdy says that this report is not about one person, and he is probably telling the truth. This is about elections – the one in 2012 and the one in 2016. Republicans are rabid to win the Presidency and they have proven it by their strategies in the states and in the Congress. The GOP believes that if the Obama administration had stressed that this was a terrorist attack happening on 9/11 then the GOP would have won the 2012 election. If they can prove that the Democrats in office deliberately dithered about their response to the Benghazi attacks because their actions would hurt them in the imminent election, and that our American guys died for reasons of political expediency, it will so disgust Americans that they will have to turn against the Democratic Party and vote for the Republican candidate even if it is Donald Trump. He uses the buck stops with her argument to convict Hillary.

Historically, diplomats have been killed during several different administrations. I have looked it up before. It is in the record. It is still unclear, after listening to the discussion on the news this morning, if a rescue force could have reached Benghazi. The chatter still says that is was impossible. Trey Gowdy asks why we didn’t have troops in the area, as if Libya were the only trouble spot in these chaotic times.

These terrorist attacks apparently happened fast, they were very effective, and they were secret. This certainly has implications for our lack of intelligence, which we have discussed often enough and which still seems to require plenty of attention, our progress more like two steps forward; one step back. It is sad if all that dithering really happened with our troops changing in and out of uniforms four times as reported. If the plane could still have not reached Benghazi on time anyway then at least the dithering did not affect the outcome and is included in the report as a rebuke on guess who.

Gowdy says they do not blame Hillary in the report and although they may not do so in so many words it is baked into the cake so to speak, otherwise why the talk about private emails they were able to get access to. Two committee members issued a report that does blame Hillary and says that Hillary’s leadership was “morally reprehensible”. They did not discuss all of the reasons for their conclusion about Hillary’s character but there is an implication that she was more worried about Libya than she was about our embassy people or that she dithered because this would have changed the outcome of the election (how guilty is Obama you are meant to ask). Either way this ancillary report suggests that these brave men died for reasons of political expediency and that the blame rests with the Democrats who have shown a depraved lack of true patriotic values.

One could propose a counter theory (of the conspiracy variety of course) that this attack seems to have happened at a key moment and that perhaps the GOP, so desperate to hold all the power in Washington, may have ordered this stealth attack so they would win the election – and it would have had just as much basis in fact. Impugning someone’s character in this case cost the American people $7 million dollars for a skewed committee to try to find out what was going on in the black box of Democratic minds during Benghazi. But our brains are not like the black boxes on airplanes. We don’t yet know how to access the contents.

It is still sad and always will be sad to think of these American citizens in a foreign land facing such unequal odds. It is horrific to remember over and over again that they died in the awareness that they would die and that they were not soldiers in a war but were in that country to promote peace and fairness and freedom. America will always mourn these dedicated men.

Sad That We Can’t Discuss Politics

Today I went to the post office and I ended up being
there for quite a while because I used the wrong envelope and I had to start
over. I let people go ahead of me but by the time I finished my new envelope
the line had not moved at all. Someone was getting a passport, apparently a
very exacting and time-consuming task. If you ever get behind someone filling
in passport paperwork and having it checked over you might as well leave, do
another errand and then come back. There was one other clerk but she had an
Aussie gentleman with very complicated insurance and packaging issues. So we
stood in line. (At least we had a counter to lean on.) We began to discuss our
pets who are, apparently, all spoiled rotten.
As our wait continued we began to discuss the
conditions that were keeping us waiting. We were nice and did not try to make
anyone feel too badly. The man next to me in line knew that the desk was one
clerk short because the missing clerk was his wife. She had a vacation day. We
were pleasant and civil and just chatting. But it was primary day so I
mentioned my anxiety as I waited to find out the results of the voting. I
mentioned that I was looking forward to seeing Hillary Clinton win the New York
primary. I was hoping people would pipe up and say who they would like to see
I know that politics is not a topic that is supposed
to be discussed in polite company. But I, of course, can’t help myself. I
wanted to know what people were thinking on this primary day. Sadly I believe
it has become more difficult for us to discuss politics than ever. We should at
least be able to talk about what we think we know about the candidates and
where we got our information.
However, as soon as I said Hillary’s name a woman
down the line made a sour face and said Hillary is a liar. Now I don’t think
this woman knows Hillary personally. I could not really ask where the woman was
from, although she had an accent, because as soon as I said Hillary’s name she
made that disapproving prune face. If she came from another country maybe
Hillary did something there that had upset her. After all, Hillary was the Secretary
of State. I tried to probe gently, because I couldn’t accept an insult without
some kind of backup, but the woman just repeated that Hillary is a liar.
Perhaps Hillary Clinton is a liar, after all everyone
says she is, but I just tried to argue that the only way we know about Hillary
is through the media and that it is always important to consider the slant of
the particular media that is supposedly offering evidence against Hillary. When
I have traced many of the “proofs” back to their source I have found the media
to be right wing media. I would bet that the main source of news for this woman
was FOX news. I will never know if that is true though.
The woman made an instant decision to dislike me
because I had an opinion about Hillary Clinton that did not agree with hers. I
would have loved to listen to the reasons why she had concluded that Hillary is
a liar. I would have loved to share my reasons why I do not believe Hillary to
be quite the monster that the media paints her. But the conversation was over
and it was over with rancor on the part of one of us and dismay on the part of the
other. Everyone else in that long post office line (we were there for about
half an hour) said not one peep either during or after the exchange.
I can’t help thinking that it is sad that we can’t
talk about politics at all in our free society, at least with anyone whose
opinions differ from ours. People have chosen their favored media outlet and
are not the least bit curious about what other media outlets have to say. We no
longer take in all sides and try to make sense of all of the evidence. We make
up our mind and any attempt to offer another point of view meets with a stone wall
of anger and defensiveness. I know this has probably been true of every society
from time to time when passions run high and answers are tough to come by, but
it’s a shame and I hope such inflexibility disappears and that we will be able
to try to analyze and decide important cultural matters with some
sophistication and a spirit of mediation at some point in the near future.
By Nancy Brisson