If you ever needed a crystal clear example as to why people have zero trust in politicians, then look no further than Hillary Clinton’s recent criticism of President Obama’s “Don’t do stupid stuff” foreign policy and her denial of it roughly 48 hours later.
The Atlantic reported August 10:
This is what Clinton said about Obama’s slogan: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
After someone pulled her aside and convinced her that the internet doesn’t exist, her spokesman released the following statement August 12:
“Earlier today, the Secretary called President Obama to make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him, his policies or his leadership. Secretary Clinton has at every step of the way touted the significant achievements of his presidency, which she is honored to have been part of as his secretary of state. While they’ve had honest differences on some issues, including aspects of the wicked challenge Syria presents, she has explained those differences in her book and at many points since then. Some are now choosing to hype those differences but they do not eclipse their broad agreement on most issues. Like any two friends who have to deal with the public eye, she looks forward to hugging it out when she they see each other tomorrow night.”
Intelligent people can have a debate on whether or not Mr. Obama should have been more engaged with Syria before 200,000 people were slaughtered and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took over large swathes of the Middle East, etc., but there is no debate to be had regarding Ms. Clinton’s attack on the president’s foreign policy. That is exactly what she did, and to say otherwise — only 48 hours after she did it — is indicative of someone who is a pathological liar. One almost feels bad for National Journal’s Ron Fournier, who had to amend his original piece on Ms. Clinton’s Atlantic interview after saying that Americans may have “just witnessed a rare and risky act of authenticity.” No authenticity there, Mr. Fournier. Just blatant lying.
The problem with lies like this (besides the fact that it’s a lie), is that it’s over something relatively insignificant — she disagrees with her old boss’ foreign policy. She could have easily said, “You know what, that was probably an unfair assessment and I should have articulated that better,” — but she didn’t. She lied. And if she will lie without hesitation over the little things, then she will lie when it comes to the big things.
I could sympathize with a woman whose husband gets caught having an affair with a young intern in the Oval Office. I could forgive her lies when she is forced to talk about her husband’s personal failings on live television. I do not sympathize with a woman who lies about public policy as if whatever she says at any specific moment is and always was the truth.
If Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is “don’t do stupid stuff,” (while allowing Putin to take Crimea, ISIL to take over large swathes of Syria and Iraq, and Libya to turn into Terrorist Central), then it appears as though Ms. Clinton’s is: “2 + 2 = 5”.