Did anyone believe a word Hillary Clinton told Congress about the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of September 11, 2012? Did anyone believe her about what she knew and when she knew it? Does anyone believe that Republicans laid a glove on her during her testimony? The answers: no, no and no.
Hillary’s testimony began with a weepy opening statement that would have won her an Oscar had it been in a Hollywood movie. Fighting back crocodile tears, she told the committee how terribly personal it had been for her to have to meet those four flag-draped coffins, to put her arms around those family members and to comfort them. I got all choked up just thinking about what poor Hillary must have endured that day, didn’t you?
She then proceeded to tell breathtaking lies to Congress: “The Department of Defense took every action it could to respond to this attack,” she said at one point. “I did not say it was a video that caused this attack,” she said at another juncture. And on and on it went.
However, the most audacious part of her testimony had to be in response to Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI, who wanted to know why the administration had continued to put forth the narrative that it was, in fact, an offensive video and not terrorism that sparked the attack.
Hillary nearly shrieked: “What difference does it make?!?”
In the end, Hillary demonstrated why she is the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Senate and House Democrats fawned over her as if she were about to be crowned queen, each of them auditioning for the role of court jester (vice president). And with few exceptions — notably the aforementioned Sen. Johnson and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — Republicans did little but make speeches. John McCain’s performance was particularly annoying. He asked her five different questions in a rambling lecture that generated little in the way of useful information from her and served as nothing but a photo op for him.
Congressional committees are usually poor vehicles for investigating anything, and Wednesday’s charade was no exception. But clearly, Hillary came to the hearings far better prepared than did her interrogators. And why not? After all, she has learned from the best. Remember in 1998-1999 when her philandering husband lied through his teeth about his tawdry relationship with a young woman only slightly older than his own daughter? Remember when he perjured himself before a grand jury? Remember when the United States House of Representatives impeached him for it?
But then the case headed over to the laid-back U.S. Senate, which, though it was controlled by Republicans, had absolutely no chance of convicting the man. After all, it took a two-thirds majority to do that, and short of videotaped proof that Clinton had committed cold blooded murder, two-thirds of that body was not going to remove him from office. (Then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-MS, was reported to have stated that even that wouldn’t do it for the Democrats.)
The felon and his bride figured out a long time ago that they could tell the nation a whole boatload of whoppers and get away with it. No resigning in shame like Richard Nixon after Watergate. No mea culpa like Ronald Reagan after Iran-Contra. The Clintons were above all that. The agenda came first, last and always. So Bill wagged his bony index finger at the American people and simply lied: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky, and I never told anybody to lie, not one time.”
He sent Hillary out to tell the dark tale of a vast, rightwing conspiracy to their willing accomplices in the mainstream news media, who ate it up with a spoon. And finally, under oath, Bubba himself gave us the tortured phrase, “It all depends on what the meaning of the word is is.”
Of course, today, Bill Clinton is the rock star senior statesman of the Democratic Party, and Hillary’s little dog and pony show before Congress proves that she is now a seasoned Washington liar who does not like to be challenged.
And why not? It has served her husband and her current boss very well indeed.
© 2013 by Doug Patton – Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at email@example.com and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton. For info on using Doug’s columns at your publication or website, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800 696 7561.