If Hillary Clinton was going to agree to what passes as a probing interview, probably one of the friendliest sources she could have picked was the London Guardian. The liberal rag has long functioned as a kind of admixture of MSNBC and The New York Times, somehow combining ostentatious leftism and a disregard for at least half of the story with the sobering pretensions of a journalistic enterprise that’s merely in the business of reporting the truth.
It’s really an impressive resolution of cognitive dissonance. Take their sub-headline for the interview: “She has made peace with losing the election — but not with Donald Trump. Now she is fighting to undo the damage of the president’s child-separation policy — and has no time for debates over civility.” Not even The Times — nay, not even the “Democracy Dies in Darkness” folks at The Washinton Post — would print something that shameless. Nice work, Guardian.
However, despite the friendly territory, even the Guardian was able to ask Hillary a question that turned her into a stammering nightmare. And surprisingly, it was a softball question about Melania Trump.
The question involved Melania’s “I really don’t care, do u?” jacket, which she wore as she was boarding a plane in Washington to visit illegal immigrant children in a Texas facility.
“I ask how (Clinton) interpreted the jacket the first lady wore to visit a child detention centre, bearing the opaque and intriguing slogan: ‘I really don’t care, do u?’” interviewer Decca Aitkenhead asked the former first lady in the interview, which was published Friday.
“Clinton slumps back in her chair, wide eyed, arms spread, defeated by the mystery. ‘That, I have no idea. I have no idea. I can’t even … I don’t have any idea. I don’t know.’
“Does she feel sorry for the first lady? ‘I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.’”
If Clinton says “honestly” in any sentence, I’m usually pretty sure she’s not telling the truth. This time, I surprisingly believe her. Mentally, it seems, she’s all out of juice. Either that, or she realizes how fully petty and inconsequential this whole debate is and isn’t even willing to pursue it.
Oh, and she also used the interview to defend incivility among Democrats, because of course she did.
“Give me a break!” Clinton said when asked about it.
“What is more uncivil and cruel than taking children away? It should be met with resolve and strength. And if some of that comes across as a little uncivil, well, children’s lives are at stake; their futures are at stake. That is that ridiculous concept of bothsideism.”
Several things are let slide here — for instance, the fact that the policy is little different than that practiced by the Obama administration, under which she served; the fact that members of her own party are tacitly calling for physical confrontations with Republicans just one year after a madman shot up a baseball field of Republican congressmen simply for being Republican; the fact that she seems to be implying this behavior will continue until Democrats get their way on immigration, which is little more than blackmail.
All of these things could have been asked by Ms. Aitkenhead, who instead notes that “Clinton’s own speeches seldom fail to warn about the dangerously polarized divisions poisoning U.S. politics.” She then asks Clinton what she thought about her position as a “polarizing figure” and whether she’s considered “the possibility that her most effective contribution to healing the country’s divisions would be to withdraw from public life?”
“I’m sure they said that about Churchill between the wars, didn’t they?” Clinton responded, in a manner that even softball pitcher Aitkenhead acknowledges is “a fraction too quickly for the line to sound spontaneous.”
“I mean, I’m not comparing myself, but I’m just saying people said that, but he was right about Hitler, and a lot of people in England were wrong. And Churchill was a pain. He kept popping up all the time.”
She’s not comparing herself to Churchill or Trump to Hitler, she’s just — wait, that’s exactly what she’s doing. But you can see why. Churchill liked open borders. He went after Labour politicians for doing the same thing his government did — and defended Tories who made open threats against the opposition. He gave speeches warning about the dangerously polarized divisions poisoning British politics while poisoning British politics through division. Or not.
Hillary probably said it best: I can’t even.
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