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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

David Brooks, "Hillary Clinton, the Great Defender": Or Insufferably Offensive?



Is Hillary a "great defender," or has she grown insufferably offensive?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Hillary Clinton, the Great Defender," David Brooks would have us know that "All descriptions of [Hillary's] campaigns have to start with the fact that for most of Clinton’s political career she has been playing defense." Regarding Hillary's "defensive mind-set," Brooks goes on to say:

"This linebacker mentality means she is strong when she talks about defending, say, Social Security, and she has no illusions in foreign affairs. But there is little of the high-minded earnestness of the Adlai Stevenson campaigns, the futuristic aspiration of the John Kennedy campaign, the grand ambition of the Lyndon Johnson campaign, the new generation emotionality of Bill Clinton’s campaign or the uplifting hopefulness of the Barack Obama campaign.

We live in anxious times. You can respond to those times with a more radical political program, as Bernie Sanders is doing. You can answer with an anti-establishment burn-down-the-house campaign, as Donald Trump is doing. Or you can create a resurrection story, a creative narrative that builds a working majority on new grounds.

When Clinton was secretary of state it wasn’t clear whether she could go on offense and define a creative initiative in an open field. She hasn’t done that yet in this campaign, either. She hasn’t given voters a sense of an epic quest, an exodus to some promised land."

Expect Hillary to "go on offense"? Await "an exodus to some promised land"? How about just a little bit of honesty? As liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote two weeks ago in an opinion piece entitled "Hillary Clinton is her own worst enemy":

"So I wish Hillary Clinton would be respectful enough to say, 'I’m sorry. I was wrong.' I wish she wouldn’t insult our intelligence by claiming she only did what other secretaries of state had done. None of her predecessors, after all, went to the trouble and expense of a private e-mail server.


I wish she would explain why, after turning over to the State Department the e-mails she deemed work-related, she had the server professionally wiped clean.

. . . .


It should come as no surprise to anyone with a brain that the work-related e-mails of the secretary of state would contain sensitive information. Clinton surrendered more than 30,000 messages to the State Department, and an initial review of just 40 e-mails revealed two that reportedly should have been deemed top secret. Unconfirmed reports — and common sense — suggest there are more."

Indeed, Hillary is betting that a majority of American voters are brainless. I find that an insufferably offensive wager.

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