Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hillary Tells Us What Happened

I am not sure that it’s time for a celebration, but Hillary Clinton’s memoir is on sale today. I have not read it. I do not plan to read it. I suspect you feel exactly the same way.

In her memoir Hillary explains how she lost an election that she should have won easily, against a candidate who had no political experience whatever. How did she snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory? Not to traffic in clichés, but isn’t that what she and Barack Obama did in Iraq and in Syria and in Egypt and in Libya.

For my part the most intriguing part of her title, What Happened, is the absence of a question mark. Hillary does not question what happened. She insists that she is going to tell us what happened. It isn’t the same thing.

By now everyone but Hillary knows what happened. Even those who occupy the political left know that she blew it. She was an awful candidate running on an empty resume. Besides, she wasn’t really, in the immortal words of Barack Obama, likeable enough. In truth, she wasn’t likeable at all.

Better yet, the most amusing part of the campaign was Obama’s suggestion that she was the most qualified candidate in American history. The statement was so obviously absurd that it became an unsubtle dismissal.

As I am sure you know, Hillary did manage to say that she takes complete and total responsibility for her loss. It’s called paying lip service to something that she does not believe. It reminds me of Janet Reno. Remember Waco? Remember the way that Janet Reno’s FBI incinerated the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas? Remember all the men, women and children who died there?

In the aftermath of that holocaust, Janet Reno appeared before a Congressional committee and broke down in tears explaining how she took responsibility for the catastrophe. But then, what happened? Exactly nothing. If you take responsibility you pay a price. You resign from office. You retire from public life for a decent interval.

If you say you take responsibility and go back to work as though nothing had happened… it means that your apology is insincere and that you are a fraud.

Anyway, for the record, and without any real evidence, I suspect that the reigning genie behind the Clinton administration’s Waco policy was Hillary herself.

So, Hillary tells us that she accepts full personal responsibility for her failed election campaign. And then she goes on to blame everyone else. Not only that, but she wants you to buy her book, thus enriching her beyond measure for having botched every job she has ever held.

Keep in mind, the media was not exactly carrying water for her opponent. It was on her side. It was vigorously and forcefully on her side. It had already crowned her the victor. She had already crowned herself the victor. She had been measuring the drapes in the White House.

But then, along came James Comey. You remember, it was the same James Comey who had exonerated her for her criminal activities… before he sort of changed his mind.

And not just James Comey. She got bad advice from Barack Obama. She was undermined by Bernie Sanders. Heck, compared with Bernie she looked old and frumpy. If only, if only.

The Sanders boomlet had not allowed her to unify her support in time. Does she mention that the Democratic National Committee did everything it could to enhance her candidacy while undermining Sanders? I suspect that she does not.

It doesn’t stop there. Hillary was undermined by Wikileaks, by the Podesta emails, by the private email server that she had kept in her residence, by the Russians, and, hold your breath now… by misogyny and sexism. What about transphobia? How did she forget that?

And, we recall, little woman that she was, she was so thoroughly intimidated by the Donald in one of their debates that she allowed him to hover over her. She could not bring herself to perform even the most perfunctory gesture to dismiss his presence. George W. had done it to Al Gore. Hillary, tough and strong empowered feminist that she is… choked.

Naturally, since Hillary has never been a stickler for the truth, she failed to mention that she had wandered into his space. It reminds you of her failure to remember, during the 2008 campaign, that she had not, as she claimed, come under fire in Bosnia.

Funnily enough, when Hillary complains about all the bad advice she received, she never mentions that she could have rejected it. She could have weighed and measured it all and then chosen not to accept it. But, she did accept it. Thus, the fault is hers, for being weak and dishonest.

From all I can tell the only person Hillary does not blame is… Bill Clinton. We do not know whether Bubba offered any advice during the campaign. One suspects that he did. One suspects that he offered very good advice. Yet, while Hillary bowed down to bad advice, she probably rejected Bubba’s advice… because she did not want to appear to be his puppet. Considering that she owed the entirety of her political career to her husband, she apparently chose the wrong time to pretend to be independent.

As for the sexism and misogyny, the truth remains. If Hillary had not been a female and if she had not been married to Bill Clinton she would never, ever have been considered for public office. On her own she accomplished next to nothing. That is the real reason why people did not vote for her.

People, even liberal New York women, despised her. They did not consider that she was advancing the cause. They believed that she was diminishing the cause by suggesting that having XX chromosomes was somehow a quality that transcended all job qualifications. She was an insult to all the women who have worked their way up the ranks, who have accomplished great and not-so-great things.... not on the basis of their husband’s name.

Worse yet, Hillary lost the election because she imagined that the American people owed it to her. Think about the sacrifice she made, marrying Bill Clinton. She had given her life to make Bill Clinton president. Now, it was time for America to pay her back. Thus, she did not need to work at it. The stench of entitlement hung over her campaign.

Some of us suggested that Donald Trump did not have the relevant background or experience to do the job of president. It was not a very hard call. And yet, he was running against a candidate who was not only incompetent, but who also was a manifest fraud. No one could ignore the corruption surrounding Hillary.

And, of course, women hated Hillary because they thought that her marriage was a fraud. They believed that she had contracted a political arrangement and had called it a marriage. For most women marriage is not a career move. They do not consider that political ambition is ample grounds for marrying someone.

As a general rule, women have a far more acute sense of the way other women behave sexually. Women, more than men, derogate other women’s sexual behavior. For all the feminist caterwauling words like “slut” are more likely to be spoken by women about other women.

Hillary Clinton did not love her husband. He did not especially love her. They had contracted an arrangement that was supposed to have benefited both of them equally. One can say that it brought them power and wealth beyond their imagination. Does the notion of a Faustian bargain pop into mind here?

The same can be said about the marriage between Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin. The Clintons arranged it. Bill Clinton married them. If you think that it was a real marriage you are smoking the wrong kind of cigarettes.

What happened was that just before the Clintons were going to pull off their greatest coup, the American people caught on. Enough of them in enough blue states caught on to deprive Hillary of the prize that would have vindicated her Faustian bargain. Now, the unhappy couple will run around the world making more money. And staying in the public eye.

If Hillary had any sense of decency at all, she would take a walk in the woods and shut the fuck up.


Anonymous said...

I smoke the wrong kind of cigarettes and I still don't believe the marriage was real.

Anonymous said...

The last line was the best.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the neurological problems that kept cropping up, which hindered her ability to campaign. This didn't escape the notice of some astute bloggers. Back in October of last year, Thomas Lifson noted that Hillary was doing very few public appearances, which was a thing unprecedented in American political history. Apparently, back in 1944, even that paragon of physical vigor, FDR was making numerous public appearances.

People wonder how Hillary could be so foolhardy as to fail to campaign in Wisconsin. Maybe she was physically unable -- or she was unable to appear in public without giving away the game

Uncle Max said...

I think you're right about Waco. Good column. The United States took a pivot in 2016, and there is no way back. A path unforeseen prior to June 2015. Too many masks have dropped.... too many let it all hang out to get their way... too many have been red-pilled. There will be no returning to pre-Trump politics. It's only just begun..

Jack Fisher said...

My Lie In Politics
by The Hildabeest

NYT Beestseller List to dollar bin in a month.

remember to visit Amazon and give it one star.

Sam L. said...

Hillary should do a Garbo, and go off to be alone.

James said...

"If Hillary had any sense of decency at all, she would take a walk in the woods and shut the fuck up."
No, no ,no. I don't want her to ever stop talking or at least for the next 4 years. And to dream of a 2020 campaign of "Beachhouse Bernie vs. Liz "My Christian Faith is deep and Authentic" Warren vs Hillary "Why am I not leading by 50pts" Clinton. That would make my sad little existence so fulfilling.
Max: " Too many masks have dropped.... too many let it all hang out to get their way... too many have been red-pilled. There will be no returning to pre-Trump politics. It's only just begun.." Exactly. They really thought that Obama was their Caesar who had taken them across the Rubicon with Hillary to be the Augustus to seal the deal for the foreseeable future. It didn't happen and now they're in the open and going for all the marbles and losing.

whitney said...

Periodically, I go back and look at videos of the news during election night. It makes me so happy. It was just so unexpected. I think I will be a very old woman and still those videos will make me happy.

Jack Fisher said...

@whitney ... The complilations of crying hildabeest supporters are epic.

@James ... looking forward to the future history, On The Warpath With Lieawatha Warren

James said...

"@James ... looking forward to the future history, On The Warpath With Lieawatha Warren"
There's war drums in those hills! Wait that's your bailiwick!

Jack Fisher said...

I'm one of the few who partially absolves Custer from blame for the Little Big Horn defeat.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: If Hillary had any sense of decency at all, she would take a walk in the woods and shut the fuck up.

With advice like that, surely she shouldn't take it. OTOH, clearly the only respite a losing candidate can get is the satisfaction to see the alternative candidate who won actually fuck everything up day after day after day. Of course how many times can she say "I told you so" without being hated even more than Trump for losing to him? Really there's no status to be gained there.

We know why the Left wants her to go away, but I just don't think the Right really wants this. Maybe they say that because they know she won't, and they need her to hate, to avoid thinking about what they've done to America with their unbridled animosity against any higher reason than "I want" and "They're bad".

James said...

That battle has been kicked around probably since it happened. When I was younger I was more ardent about this or that explanation, but I realize now that I was not there. I have walked that place and the only thing I would say from experience that Custer seems to not have made an effective recon and he and his men paid for it. As was the practice in those days and the command structure they operated under would have placed the onus on him for that failure. But that is just an opinion.
From what I saw of the terrain and what I know of forces involved it must have happened very quickly and was something of a big surprise to Custer and his group.

Jack Fisher said...

My take is that he runs into bad luck and that cascades. The Summer of 1876 found far more Indians off the reservation (the "Summer roamers") who added to the number on Indians not on the reservation (the "Winter roamers"), in numbers the War Dept. were unaware of, and by the time reliable estimates were available it was too late to be usable information.

And then the bad luck starts. Until the predawn hours of the first day of battle, the location of the main Indian village isn't known, except likely somewhere on the upper Big Horn valley. Crow scouts fix the location on the Little Big Horn, but right about dawn Custer believes incorrectly that the regiment has been discovered by a forging party, but the party was leaving the main encampment, not going to it.

At this point his main concern is getting the regiment into action as fast as possible, because experience taught that villages would scatter if attacked. The problems here were (1) this village wouldn't scatter, there were enough warriors to fight it out, (2) there might be villages on the upper reaches of the LBH valley, which would escape if not driven downstream.

So this is a reconnaissance problem. Benteen is given an ad hoc battalion and sent on a recon. in force, to locate and drive northwards Indians discovered on the upper reaches of the LBH, while Custer moves against the main village. It's a very fluid situation. Later, as the situation clarifies, Benteen is recalled, Reno's battalion is split off, sent to cross the LBH and attack, while Custer moves along the heights above the river to attack from a second direction.

Custer can see Reno's attack stall and the troops form a picket line, but Custer can't help because he's too far for direct support so he's got to get down into the valley and attack, which he does at a point about the middle of the village, miles away from Reno. This attack, probably a feint with half the remaining troops down a dry coulee (in the shape of a V with the apex at the river), is intended to relieve pressure on Reno and hold a threatening position until Benteen arrived.

But Benteen never arrives, and the feint at the middle of the village attracts Indians like a magnet, Reno is able to break off the fighting (he'd been forced into a defensive stand in timber along the river). The troops conducting the feint are forced back into the heights along the other leg of the V, joined by the troops who had ridden along the ridge line. The reunited battalion begins a mostly disorganized fighting retreat that lasts maybe 20 minutes until all are killed.

The problem was Benteen, who responded to the recall messages by walking, rather than trotting, then delaying to assist the pack-train. He'd spend the rest of his life exaggerating the distance of his scout, but time-distance trials in the 1990s suggested that if he'd taken the trot immediately upon receiving the first of the recall messages, he'd have reached the coulee while the fighting was developing at the river's edge. Custer could have extricated the troops making the feint and withdrawn along his own back trail to reinforce and save Reno, who had recrossed the river in a panic.

So that's it in a nutshell.

James said...

You've got a pretty good summary of the situation. If you haven't read it, you might like the the book "Life of George Bent", Oklahoma press if I remember right. It's been a long time since I've read it.

Uncle Max said...

Thanks for the write up Jack ( and James ). Jack, your explanation of the day was what I was thinking, reading you two mentioning LBH / Custer. I read " The Last Stand" a few years back and liked it. Seemed like a lot of poor decisions were made before Custer ever got into the thick of it. And Benteen, was indeed a scurrilous dog.

Jack Fisher said...

Thanks, guys.

Bent is an interesting guy, like Mitch Bouyer (Dr. Gray's, Custer's Last Campaign) is one of those men who seems to have been able to move back and forth from Indian to American culture.

@Uncle Max. I haven't read Philbrook but from the Amazon reviews he seems to think that Custer delayed his attack until he could see Reno's situation. This doesn't make a lot of sense as Indian fighting was best served by multiple attacks from different directions, and here specifically, after Custer and Reno part, Reno's job was to cross the river and charge while Custer stayed in the heights and moved down stream to find way to launch the second attack. Custer's view of events in the valley was only intermittent, with the last sighting of Reno being that the troops had halted the charge and were in trouble, and Custer had got to get his men into action ASAP, which he did at the first opportunity.

I don't think the full scope of the danger was known until Custer was at the head of Medicine Tail Coulee, and saw the size of the village. That's why the attack at the the river was a feint, made by two or three of the five companies directly controlled by Custer. Draw off Indians from Reno. The other troops were held back to give covering fire to the attackers and stabilize the situation until Benteen arrived. At that point, the options were attack will all eight companies or organize a retreat and help Reno.

About Reno. His conduct was execrable during the panic-driven retreat out of the woods, but remember, his charge went in with about 130 men, when opposition developed in front of he, he dismounted into a skirmish line of about 95-100, because one in four soldiers was holding four horses behind the line. When he abandoned the skirmish line, he was facing odds of 2 or 3-1 and had been flanked.

Custer's alleged disobedience. Terry's orders exist and they are entirely discretionary. The location of the villages wasn't known, and scouting parties had explored all of the tributaries of the Yellowstone. When Custer departed Terry, the attack plan was governed by the need not to let the Indians scatter, Terry was to form a blocking force at the Big Horn, and the Indians were believed to be somewhere on the upper reaches of the BH and its tributaries. They weren't. While scouting the Rosebud, Custer found a hot Indian trail that led to the lower part of the BH valley, followed it on a forced overnight march. Indian scouts found the village in the predawn hours with no realistic opportunity to conceal the regiment and wait for Terry.