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Thursday, February 13, 2014

David Brooks, "The Refiner’s Fire": Case in Point, Hillary

Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way.


— Lady Macbeth, "Macbeth" (circa 1606)

Writing about the foray of Canada's Michael Ignatieff into politics, David Brooks, in his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Refiner’s Fire" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/opinion/brooks-the-refiners-fire.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=0), concludes:

"Politics, as Max Weber famously said, is the necessary work of strong and slow boring through hard boards. People who do it out of a sense of selfishness and vanity, often give up, because the life can be miserable. The people who sustain are usually motivated by a sense of service, and by evidence of the good that laws and programs can do."

Ah yes, politicians motivated by a sense of service and the "good" that laws and programs can do. That does it: I'm finally convinced that Brooks is an alien from the Planet Balderdash who weaseled his way into the Times.

But heck, as long as we're on the topic of selfless politicians, Alana Goodman of The Washington Free Beacon recently wrote an interesting article entitled "The Hillary Papers" (http://freebeacon.com/the-hillary-papers/) about the life and times of Hillary Clinton. Having taken the time to peruse the papers of Diane Blair, once described by Hillary as her "closest friend," which "record years of candid conversations with the Clintons on issues ranging from single-payer health care to Monica Lewinsky," Ms. Goodman summarizes:

"The full contents of the archive, which before 2010 was closed to the public, have not previously been reported on and shed new light on Clinton’s three decades in public life. The records paint a complex portrait of Hillary Clinton, revealing her to be a loyal friend, devoted mother, and a cutthroat strategist who relished revenge against her adversaries and complained in private that nobody in the White House was 'tough and mean enough.'"

And yesterday, as reported by Reuters in an article entitled "Hillary Clinton faces new barrage from the right over Benghazi" (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/11/us-usa-clinton-benghazi-idUSBREA1A1YM20140211) by Mark Hosenball, OPSEC, "a group of former special forces and intelligence operatives that first surfaced during the 2012 presidential campaign," will soon be publishing a report highly critical of her actions during the attack on the US diplomatic post in Benghazi. The article tells us:

"The group charges Clinton with failing to ask the Pentagon and spy agencies to help U.S. personnel besieged in Benghazi and with not discussing the attack with President Barack Obama until more than six hours after it started. They also say she was not candid in her own accounts of what happened."

Hillary is ruthless and self-serving? How can that be? I am certain that her conduct as First Lady, senator and secretary of state was always purely motivated by "the good that laws and programs can do."

Yeah, right.

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