Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
Winston Churchill famously said, “History will judge me well.” When challenged about this assertion his reply was “It will judge me well because I’ll write the history.” And he did. His prolific works shaped our worldview, with Churchill held in high regard. This is despite his many poor decisions and failed ventures.
Hillary Clinton is now in the same game. Her book “What Happened” reads more like an autopsy. I’d always kinda had the impression that it's not prudent to do your own autopsy. That message didn’t get to Hillary. It’s also evident many other messages didn’t get through or register with her.
The main thrust of the book … she can't believe she lost. Whilst she gamely blames herself, that mea culpa looks like false modesty. As the book unfolds everyone else is at fault. The self-entitlement, layered with obtuse righteousness, pours forth. The presidency was hers, she owned it. Some nasty guy took it from her.
Sexism was at play in the vote. According to Hillary, as a woman, she faced misogyny throughout her career. It’s odd that she should adopt a feminist stance when her track record reveals a darker set of principles. At the height of Bill’s troubles with ‘the ladies’ Hillary became his attack dog. She sought to destroy her husband's accusers, deploying formidable resources. The media, federal agencies and good old-fashioned misrepresentation. She had no solidarity with her sisters. A simple, ruthless self-interest reigned. The fact that her husband did have ‘sexual relations’ with these women is irrelevant. It’s all about power.
She came up with the idea of hiring private detectives to investigate Bill's accusers. Gathering information for the purposes of defamation was the aim. This is her usual modus operandi. For year she’d kept files on political opponents. Any salacious gossip was welcome. Then she exploited her own daughter in photo-ops designed to garner public support. Never in the history of the White House has a child been in such an awkward position.
Her handling of these issues goes to the question of character. Lets face it, Hillary was an accomplice in Bill’s activities, no innocent victim, nor the good wife. She evoked the church to suggest that Bill’s meetings with a female intern were a form of ‘ministry.’ I know the Catholic Church delivers the healing hand in odd ways, but as a Baptist is that the norm? Thus, it’s a bit of a stretch to portray herself as a feminist. There is not a shred of evidence she sort to use her position to advance feminism beyond rhetoric.
Hillary was a willing accomplice in the “Slick Willie” roadshow. All the accusations against him dismissed as “a vast right-wing conspiracy.” She orchestrated the stone-walling that held off the special prosecutors. Ruthless, manipulative and driven in her intent to protect the Clinton brand. If innocent women and their families got burnt in the process, so what!
Next for a kicking is Uncle Bernie Sanders. He should have conceded earlier, he should have done this and should have done that. He should leave the field open for Hillary. The arrogance of these assertions circles back to the whole self-entitlement issue. Bernie had every right to keep fighting. That’s the game. Hillary’s undignified moaning has an ungrateful tone. Once she got the nomination, Sanders campaigned with relentless vigour for her. He gave his time and energy. Still, he gets a kicking.
Of course, the FBI head, James Comey, is the Machiavellian hand who did the most damage. As she put it “He generated additional headwind” with his release of details of her email issue. The timing, 11-days before the election was, in Hillary’s view, designed to scuttle her. Again, forgotten is the fact she opted to use a private server in direct breach of the rules. The FBI was doing its job. Granted the release date was unfortunate. Yet, there was no good option. Revealing the information after the election would have drawn attacks of concealment from Trump. Comey was between a rock and a hard place. He opted to release early, I surmise, in order that the voters could decide.
It’s true that Trump’s team spun Hillary as the “Evil witch” prepared to lie and break the rules. She cooperated by providing the ammunition for that. The server issue looked like deceit. An own goal that gave the conspiracy crowd an anchor for all their theories and stories. Then we have her statement of arriving under fire in Bosnia. Bullets pinging off the tarmac ... she dashed for cover. The reality was a greeting from a child, who proceeded to read a poem. Not a sniper in sight.
Her dealings with Wall Street bankers exposed ample flanks. Given that bankers get held in the same regard as paedophiles by the populace, she misjudged that one. Having taken vast sums from the bankers, she saw no issue with it. Here again, poor judgment or self-entitlement? Both I reckon.
Its said she made a pact with Bill. She’d serve him, then in turn he’d help her get into the White House. That pact crashed and burned when Trump rewrote the rules of the game. I suppose what galls her the most is defeat by someone she propounds to be her intellectual inferior.
At least it cannot be said she wasn’t ready for the job. I concur she is one of the best-qualified candidate in history. She had a front row seat for her husbands two terms. The lady knows the systems; the complexities of the role, with all its dimensions. Unfortunately for her, a good part of the American public didn't care. For them, this experience marked her as part of the system, another Washington insider. She reinforced that opinion with her clumsy attacks on Trumps supporters.
Her book has whitewashed many of the inconvenient truths about her role as Bill Clinton’s greatest supporter. Like Churchill, she’s getting her version of history out there to implant a message. None of that changes the truth we know.
Finally, she did win the popular vote. But that's not what matters. She lost the race. In the end, enough of the US public recognised her as the manipulator she is. She pandered to the left, but delivered for the right. She flew the feminists flag, but trashed her sisters. This is a driven woman. Given her messiah complex, I suspect we’ve not heard the last of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Walter De Havilland was one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Royal Hong Kong Police and Hong Kong Police Force. He's long retired.