Patterico's Pontifications


How Can We Miss Her When She Won’t Go Away? The Lamentations of Hillary! Clinton

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:54 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Note: I see that Dana already put up a very good post about Mrs./Senator/Secretary/President Clinton’s talk at the tech conference earlier today. I started this post in the morning, but was distracted by work and by the time I finished my post, Dana’s was already up. So consider this just a companion piece: like another garlic necklace for a political vampire.

Ah, Hillary. You almost had it. That which was your destiny, your birthright. Hadn’t you spent your teen years ingratiating yourself with the adults in your upper middle-class suburb, being the nice, dependable Methodist girl with the bright young future? And didn’t you accurately read the tea leaves while at Wellesley and seamlessly transform yourself from the placid, mousy Goldwater Girl into the combative, feminist McGovernite fighting for every trendy leftist cause?

And how about making it into Yale Law and hooking up with that hillbilly guy with all that charisma who inexplicably managed to bring so many people into his orbit? Yeah, he was a tomcat in heat, but the guy rose up the electoral ladder so damn quickly that you found yourself moving into the White House just a few months after your 45th birthday! And then, as part of the deal, you were put in charge of what the two of you had agreed to promote as his signature program, restructuring health care. You were about to be the most consequential first lady of all-time, in a way that would have made Edith Wilson and Eleanor Roosevelt burn with envy.

Hey, it wasn’t your fault that nobody could ever quite get a handle on the thousand-plus pages of your legislation or that the spineless members of your party in the Senate refused to bow to your unquestionable wisdom and advocate for your plan. And sure, you had to endure the indignity of the whole Lewinsky scandal and impeachment thing, but on the other hand it did land you a nice seat in the Senate from a state amenable to carpetbaggers. You were just 53, and you knew that if you didn’t run for President in 2004 that you would still be an incredibly viable candidate in 2008, when you would “only” be 61 on election day. Yeah, that whole thing with the black guy coming out of nowhere (Bill was right that just ten years earlier Obama would have been fetching your coffee) and snatching victory out of your claws sucked, but you were still such a force that he had to have you inside the tent so he landed you that plum job that would establish your bona fides in foreign policy and pretty much guarantee that the party would turn to you when his run was over. What’s more, he gave you a roadmap of how to build a winning coalition and demonstrated once and for all that the electoral map was decisively tipped in your party’s direction.

But then something happened. Something that nobody — I mean nobody worthwhile like Nate Silver or the Washington Post or “All Things Considered” on NPR or the Harvard faculty — thought even remotely possible. Though you ran up an impressive margin in the popular vote, you found yourself on the losing side of the electoral college in such a decisive fashion that you would have had to turn around the vote in three mid-sized states in order to win. How could that have been possible? You lost because that white working-class vote, the voters that you almost used to beat back Obama’s challenge eight years earlier, abandoned you. How dare they!

Our old friend Hillary has re-inserted herself into the news cycle with an appearance at something called the Code Conference where cutting-edge technology liberals (Vox is a sponsor) gather to grouse about Republicans and remind themselves how the geeky guys from high school are now the coolest cats in town (if that town happens to be Redwood City or Menlo Park, that is). And what better way to prove how cool and progressive you are by brining the twice-failed Democrat candidate for President out of mothballs to chant her litany of grievances against those who have failed her and thwarted her noble ambition to allow our country to be governed by someone as worthy as she. Shannen Coffin over at NRO has a helpful list of all the people that Her Clintonic Majesty blames for her defeat (spoiler: none of them have the maiden name of “Rodham”) and Scott Johnson at Powerline has a pretty thorough round-up of her self-serving version of events and the suck-up reaction she received from the moderator. Even the CNN reporter seems to be rather amused by HRC’s deflection game (lede: “Hillary Clinton says she takes full responsibility for her decisions. There’s just one catch: She says her decisions weren’t the reason that she lost to Donald Trump.”) When you’ve lost CNN. . . .

In any case, Hillary is supposedly working on a book about her 2016 campaign experience and whatever else she wants to cram in there as a valedictory (no one is going to want to read anything from her after this next book, will they?). She received $8 million as an advance for her 2003 early years and White House memoir, Living History, which likely made enough in sales to justify that price, and she received a $14 million advance for her post-Obama Administration memoir, Hard Choices, which almost certainly did not sell enough copies to recoup that very generous outlay. Now that she has nothing to offer a publisher by way of political favors, it is kind of hard seeing this next book receiving any kind of worthwhile advance (though publishers these days seem to have a nasty habit of throwing away huge advances on books by tiresome female authors), so one would expect that Hillary’s remuneration for this (we can hope) swan song will be based wholly upon royalties, i.e. her ability to sell books. Given that, my one hope is that she and her editor decide that the best way to ensure sales is to dish the dirt and settle some scores with various figures in her political life, including Barack & Michelle Obama (fun story being reported on today), Al & Tipper Gore, Patrick Moynihan, Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, John Podesta, Anthony Weiner, and the rest of that sorrid lot. If she does that, I’ll ask to borrow the book from one of my lefty friends.

And let’s have this be the last we ever hear from her and of her.

[Cross-posted at the Jury Talks Back.]


President Trump: In Spite Of Campaign Promise, U.S. Embassy Will Remain In Tel Aviv

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:52 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Back when he was still a candidate, Donald Trump promised to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:

“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem”.

His supporters cheered him on. Finally, a sitting president would actually take the bold step. U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt, who was working with Trump about the move, expressed his whole-hearted belief in Trump’s campaign promise, claiming that “…after the election that the president-elect was “going to do it” because he was “a man who keeps his word.””

Today, President Trump broke his campaign promise to move the embassy:

Statement on the American Embassy in Israel

While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance. President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests. But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.

David French notes that appeasement will not bring peace in the region, and that the president just got played:

To understand the importance of Trump’s action, a bit of history is necessary. Under the original U.N. partition plan, Palestine was to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem placed under international control. The Palestinians and their Arab allies not only rejected this plan, they launched a war of extermination against Israel. They lost. In 1967, Arab armies once again massed to threaten Israel’s existence. Israel struck first, and in the Six-Day War captured all of Jerusalem. The Arab world has since rejected a number of peace proposals that would return the vast majority of captured land back to the Palestinians, including plans that would allow the Palestinians to create a state with a capital located in Palestinian portions of East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian position is rather simple. They believe that they can wage aggressive war without consequence. In other words, they believe they have the right — along with their Arab allies — to attempt to destroy Israel, lose their wars, then appeal to the international community to force the opposing sides to revert to the status quo. They also believe that they have the right to maintain, support, or encourage a permanent terrorist campaign without any consequence to their territorial ambitions. The international community’s decision to functionally acquiescence to these dangerous legal fictions is one of the factors that leads Palestinians to believe that they will ultimately prevail – that their consistent, insistent combination of diplomatic and terrorist pressure will cause Israel to relent.

To the extent there is any hope for peace, it will happen if and only if the Palestinians and their Muslim-world allies understand that Israel has a right to exist — permanently — as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital. If the most powerful nation in the world puts its embassy in the heart of Jerusalem, that sends a clear message that the Palestinians have to adjust their expectations. When the most powerful nation in the world — and Israel’s strongest ally — plays the Palestinian’s game, it tells them to stay their dangerous and deadly course.

Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed disppointment in the decision:

Israel’s consistent position is that the American embassy, like the embassies of all countries with whom we have diplomatic relations, should be in Jerusalem, our eternal capital.

Though Israel is disappointed that the embassy will not move at this time, we appreciate today’s expression of President Trump’s friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the future.

It looks like the Palestinians called it:

Palestinian officials presume Mr. Trump ultimately will follow the course that his predecessors did and leave the issue to final-status negotiations.

“I don’t think he’ll move the embassy, […]” said Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization. “I’m confident we’ll work with President-elect Trump and his administration to achieve peace and to achieve the two-state solution.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


President Trump And The Paris Climate Agreement Decision (Update Added)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:59 am

[guest post by Dana]

The New York Times is ramping up the urgency about President Trump’s upcoming decision later today on the Paris climate agreement, with it’s headline: World Awaits Trump Decision on U.S. Future in Paris Accord:

With the world watching nervously, the feuding among the president’s aides further exposed the fault lines of a chaotic decision-making process that has swirled around Mr. Trump since he took office.

Signs have been increasing for weeks that Mr. Trump was heading toward pulling out of the Paris agreement, apparently believing that a continued United States presence in the accord would harm the economy; hinder job creation in regions like Appalachia and the West, where his most ardent supporters live; and undermine his “America first” message.

At home, he faced urgent pleas from corporate leaders, including Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, who told Mr. Trump on Tuesday that pulling out was wrong for business, the economy and the environment. Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, threatened to resign from two White House advisory boards if the president withdrew from the Paris agreement.

On his recent trip to Europe, Mr. Trump waved aside a barrage of private lobbying by other heads of state to keep the United States in the agreement.

A frustrated Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said he opposed “behaving as vassals of the Americans” and assailed Mr. Trump for failing to even understand the mechanics of a withdrawal, which he said could take three or four years to fulfill.

“This notion — ‘I am Trump. I am American. America first, so I’m going to get out of it.’ — that is not going to happen,” Mr. Juncker said. “We tried to make that clear to Mr. Trump in clear, German principal clauses in Taormina, but it would appear that he did not understand.”

He added, “Not everything in international agreements is fake news.”

Adding to the hysteria is influential billionaire hedge fund manager and staunch environmentalist, Tom Steyer, who has claimed it will be a “traitorous act of war” if President Trump pulls out of the agreement:

If Donald Trump pulls the United States out of the Paris agreement he ill be committing a traitorous act of war against the American people. The Paris Agreement is essential to leaving a healthy, safe and prosperous world to our children, but Trump is making it clear that he’s willing to sacrifice America’s best interests for the sake of special interest profits.

Generations of Americans will suffer the destructive effects of Trump’s greedy, selfish, and immoral decision.

Phil Kerpen provides a succinct and non-hysterical look at the the agreement and its realities, claiming that “the agreement has no discernible impact on the global average temperature,” as well as examining the high cost of the agreement to the United States.

As a reminder, President Obama used executive powers to ratify the Paris agreement as a way to avoid the Republican-controlled Congress. It will be interesting to see if President Trump pulls out of the agreement, especially given that then-candidate Trump said, that if elected, “We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of US tax dollars to UN global warming programmes” as part of his “100 day action plan”.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


UPDATE: President Trump keeps his promise to pull out of the agreement:

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but being negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden.

“We’re getting out. And we will start to renegotiate and we’ll see if there’s a better deal. If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine,” he added.

I Don’t Think Hillary Clinton Understands What Taking Responsibility Means

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:43 am

[guest post by Dana]

Blaming others for her stunning election loss, while simultaneously claiming to have accepted responsibility, seems to be Hillary Clinton’s default post-election position. Apparently, the loss had nothing to do with simply being a terrible candidate who couldn’t get a consistent, solid message out, and whose historical dishonesty and corrupt baggage trailed behind her wherever she went:

Hillary Clinton blasted the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday, saying that she “inherited nothing” from the party after winning its presidential nomination last year.

“So I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party,” she said during a question and answer session at Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

“I mean, it was bankrupt. It was on the verge of insolvency. Its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong,” she recalled. “I had to inject money into it.”


Although Clinton acknowledged that she wouldn’t have used a private email server when she was Secretary of State if she were given a do-over, she said the coverage surrounding the server and the investigation were relentless and damaging. “[The media] covered it like Pearl Harbor,”she said of her emails. “I didn’t break any rule; nobody said don’t do this. I was very responsible, and not at all careless. You end up with a situation that was exploited.”

Ultimately, Clinton said, the emails were what she called a big “nothing burger” — one that she said her campaign was able to “put to bed” in July when former FBI Director’s James Comey declined to press charges. But the coverage, she argued, combined with decision to re-open the email probe on October 28th, doomed her candidacy.

Clinton, speaking at Recode’s 2017 Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, also cited Russia’s “weaponized” technology used against her, as well as media coverage of her infamous Goldman Sachs speeches as reasons for her loss. When asked about why she did the speeches, Clinton replied, “They paid me”.

Wrapping it up, Clinton gave this assessment:

“I take responsibility for every decision I made, but that’s not why I lost,” she said. “I think it’s important we learn the real lessons of this last campaign.”

I’m not terribly optimistic about her learning any real and lasting lessons from this experience.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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