Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Commandress in Chief

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars. She wanted them to accept her as the prospective commander in chief of the world’s most powerful military.

Good luck with that.

To do so, Hillary recalled that her father had fought in World War II. She might have said that the man she married had dodged the draft, but she forgot.

She also did not mention how she failed the American ambassador in Benghazi. Nor did she tout her Pyrrhic victory over Col. Qaddhafi in Libya.

Whatever Clinton could or could not have done to save the Americans who were attacked in Benghazi, she was responsible for their safety. The security of ambassadors is part of her job description. If she did not know about Ambassador Stevens’ 600 or so requests for better security, people that she hired and entrusted with the job did. That makes her an incompetent manager. No matter what happened, the fault was hers.

And she knew it. Otherwise why did she blame it on a video? By shifting the blame to an obscure filmmaker Clinton showed that she did not have the honor or the decency to take responsibility. And you want to make her commander in chief?

As for the Libya invasion Hillary boasted about having gotten Qaddhafi killed. And yet, when you read the story of the invasion, as told by the New York Times, you see that she was doing it to establish her bona fides as a tough guy, someone who was not afraid to use force.

Unfortunately, that is not the issue. Any fool can use force. The question is whether or not she understands situations well enough, whether she can use force when need be and otherwise to refrain.

Clinton’s misguided efforts in Libya turned that nation into a haven for terrorists. About that she has nothing to say.

In the course of human history no great army has been led by a woman. Some nations have. Some states have. But only men lead great armies. Most nations take war seriously. They do not risk their existence on a social experiment.

Democrats are proudly declaring that Hillary will be a great role model for women. She will be showing that a woman can do anything that a man can. Of course, this is an illusion. There are things that a man can do that a woman cannot do, surely not as well. And there are things that a woman can do that a man cannot do, surely not as well.

Besides, if Hillary is the ultimate role model for young women, ask yourself how many of them would sell out their dignity as women for political power. How many women would want to lead armies into battle if they had to pay for it by being married to a man who is a chronic philanderer? Bill Clinton’s behavior is not a vote of confidence in Hillary’s femininity. Again, how many women would exchange their femininity for power?

Being a bad role model for young women is not the same as being commander in chief, thus, being a bad role model for soldiers. Leadership matters. Soldiers are motivated to fight harder if they have leaders they respect and admire, leaders they want to emulate. How many soldiers will want to emulate a woman? How many of them will aspire to become like Hillary?

She did not work her way up the ranks. She rode her husband’s coattails. Why does that make her a great role model for the troops? Will she be more concerned about winning wars or more concerned with transgendered restrooms and putting women into combat?

In a world where we are not allowed to say that gender matters and that some careers and jobs are best performed by people one or the other gender, a Hillary presidency would certainly put those dogmas to the test.

And, one must add that when nations have been led by women, these leaders have not provoked fear and trembling from their adversaries. Their presence seems to have incited their opponents to attack them. Argentina’s generals attacked the British Falklands when Margaret Thatcher was president. When the state of Israel was led by Golda Meir it fought the Yom Kippur War.

In both cases these nations prevailed against aggression. The question is: would the attacks have happened if adversaries had thought that the leaders were strong and resolute, capable of deploying military force.

True enough, the same calculus applies when nations are led by weak and decadent males. Today, Europe is led by women and by men perceived to be weak. It is suffering a series of terrorist attacks, and as violent crimes by refugees increase who can doubt that Europeans are weak and ineffectual.

Many commentators have been saying that Hillary Clinton needs to sell herself as a potential commander in chief. And that means a commander in chief who will strike fear in our enemies. A woman who married a draft dodge and who has been incapable, throughout her married life, of standing up to her husband will now, we are being asked to believe, stand up to Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.

How did that Russian reset work out?

And, how many of America’s traditional allies will happily follow the lead of Hillary Clinton? If they do, they might look weak at home. And this might tell them that defying President Hillary would be their best political course.

In her speech to the VFW Clinton proclaimed that she wanted to help the nation’s veterans. Considering that a Democratic administration has been in charge of the VA for the past eight years, the claim was more smoke than substance.

Her message fell flat.

David Leonhardt wrote yesterday on the New York Times blog that Clinton needed to create an emotional case for her being president and commander in chief. Yesterday’s convention, however, was all girl talk, all talk about helping the unfortunate, the poor, the disadvantaged, the aggrieved. Can you imagine an Obamified Democratic Party talking about winning wars... or better, about winning anything.

But, her opponent, who has less experience with military matters than she does, has lit on a clever persuasive trick. He has shown himself to be a counterpuncher, a tough guy, a brawler, a bully… someone who would rather flail than back down.

If the election is being decided by visceral emotions, we are being asked to choose between a seasoned, but weak and incompetent political leader or a nasty brute, a counterpuncher who will strike fear in the heart of the opposition. Undoubtedly, Trump is more bluster than achievement. Many world leaders will try to elevate themselves by facing him down. But, they will surely feel stronger facing down and humiliating a Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton has done it over and over again. Why shouldn’t world leaders do the same, in slightly different ways?

This being the case, many Americans are willing to gamble on Trump. They are listening to emotion more than to reason. They see a choice between two bad options and they might well gamble that Trump is the better bet.


Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: If the election is being decided by visceral emotions, we are being asked to choose between a seasoned, but weak and incompetent political leader or a nasty brute, a counterpuncher who will strike fear in the heart of the opposition. Undoubtedly, Trump is more bluster than achievement.

It is certainly interesting that anyone could sell Hillary as anything but a war-monger, but since Obama has been reserved, Hillary gets credit for what Obama has done, and supposedly acting weak by not following in W's footsteps and starting any new wars.

Yet Trump is also a completely wildcard, a big mouth who can call for war one day, and forget the next day if he has a good golf game.

You also imagine President Trump as a 2 year old child walking around a china store, and his secretaries carefully distracting him away from the breakable stuff, and offering his ego compliments about what a good boy he's been.

On the other side, there's a fun new theory that says republicans have "embraced" Trump not because he can't do any harm, but that he's almost certain to do great harm, and they'll give him just enough slack to hang himself, and then call for his impeachment, and that'll be a slam dunk since Republicans have straight and narrow rule-follower Pence in the number two position to take over when Trump is gone.

It would be almost comical if "fake conservative" Trump is elected president as a Republican, while getting impeached by republicans, and defended by democrats, who would prefer a clown representing the opposition party, and being 100% responsible for all the bad things that will follow.

The uncertainty of our immediate future is so large, I'm sure no one can predict all the dramas that will follow. Perhaps the Democrats will even support impeaching Hillary, so they can get a mild-mannered VP up a step as well?

Perhaps Hillary's supportered would be content for a 2 year term as the first woman president? All my elderly aunts are rooting for her, so they can finally see what a woman can do when the glass ceiling is broken.

I'll just keep hoping my Democratic senators and Governor know who they are supporting.

At least I'm too old to be drafted and no kids, so why do I care if she wants to play nation builder with other people's sons (and daughters)?

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. Here's a fun article on impeaching Trump, with a scenario offered, but before we know who the VP was. There'll surely be more such scenarios offered in the coming months!

Constitutional experts of all political stripes say it’s surprising for impeachment talk to bubble up this early—but then Trump has been throwing around some surprising ideas for a leading candidate, calling the Geneva Conventions a “problem” and pitching policies that many see as violating international law. “What he’s stated in my judgment would be clearly impeachable offenses,” said Fein, a former Reagan-era Justice Department official who worked on the Bill Clinton impeachment effort.

Likewise, Yale Law School lecturer and military justice expert Eugene Fidell offered a similar prediction for Trump from the left. “He’s certainly said things, which if followed through on, would constitute high crimes and misdemeanors,” Fidell said. And doubtless many of Trump’s foes would like to see him impeached just on principle—the quickest way to broom out a leader who horrifies the inclusive sensibilities of Democrats

sestamibi said...

The ongoing cuntification of America puts our national security at risk. What do our enemies think when they see a president who tells us we have to "empathize" with them? What do they think when they see the cunt attorney general advising that the only way to defeat ISIS I with "love, compassion, and unity"? What do they think when they see the cunt House minority leader get the vapors over a speech by Benjamin Netanyahu?

We're doomed.

tljhound said...

I served 18 months in Vietnam as an enlisted man and saw first hand, lived, the effects of leadership good and bad at the squad, platoon and company levels. I know the company CO felt effects from battalion and battalion probably took its cues from brigade. And on up until the top brass had to deal with Washington.

Sometimes bad leadership can be overcome or ignored but too often it must be endured. In war it very often leads to unnecessary deaths. If America survives a Hillary presidency it will be despite her not because of her. I'm at an age where I can observe and shake my head, whatever happens to me will be of short duration and matters little, but my children and grandchildren and their generations to come deserve better than that woman.

Anonymous said...

Trump raised a great family, does not have a reputation of being crazy in business. He has accomplished quite a bit in NY. But haters will fill the blanks in with hate.

Anonymous said...

A guy that wants to secure the border, go after Islam , nominate conservative judges, pro Israel and wants better deals for America is a risk to you haters. Good luck

Anonymous said...

Don't forget USA made a deal with Qaddafi and the USA broke it and killed him.

AesopFan said...

J. E. Dyer nails Clinton with this one:

These are the words of a defensive bureaucrat, not the words of a national leader. Certainly not the words of a commander-in-chief.

In the middle of that passage lie the words a commander-in-chief can never say:

"It was not my ball to carry."

When you’re the commander-in-chief, and your people are deployed in harm’s way, it is your ball to carry. Full stop. No excuses.

If you’ve been in the military, you know that the way you get more responsibility is by showing that you understand accountability. That’s a Leadership 101 lesson Hillary has clearly never learned. For that reason alone, we don’t want her in command of our armed forces, or any other element of American power.

Anonymous said...


Dennis said...


Interesting comments

Sam L. said...

Me gamble on Trump? Yes. I have my doubts about him, but NONE at all about Hillary.