Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Seinfeld's George Costanza famously quipped: "It's not a lie if you believe it." This is how a Clinton -- take your pick, Hillary, Bill or Chelsea -- makes it through the day. Better living through self-delusion.
Seeking to burnish her foreign policy leadership credentials, Sen. Clinton has repeatedly peddled a harrowing anecdote about dodging sniper fire during a trip to Tuzla, Bosnia, in 1996. She brought her then-teenage daughter Chelsea on the dangerous mission. And entertainer Sinbad. And singer Sheryl Crow. And, oh, yeah, there was 8-year-old Emina Bicakcic, a Bosnian girl who calmly embraced the intrepid first lady and read her a poem on the tarmac -- while a huge contingent of children, parents and other onlookers surrounded them with not the least bit of concern about flying bullets.
When Sinbad, the Washington Post and every fact-checker on the Internet and under the sun debunked her tall tale, Sen. Clinton doubled down. She dissed Sinbad as a mere "comedian." She asserted that she and her compatriots ran for safety with "our heads down." She clung to her story that she "had to be moved inside because of sniper fire." And she embellished further: "There was no greeting ceremony, and we were basically told to run to our cars. Now, that is what happened."
When video of the cheery greeting ceremony surfaced this week showing no such thing, Hillary's Truth Deficit Disorder kicked in and the symptomatic excuses poured forth. She "misspoke." Besides, she pooh-poohed, "I say a lot of things -- millions of words a day -- so if I misspoke, that was just a misstatement."
Priceless campaign slogan: The more she speaks, the more she "mis"-speaks. Finally, truth in Clinton advertising! (In our family, by the way, we call this condition "diarrhea of the mouth.")
And Hillary's not done. She sniffed that her Tuzla hustle was just a "minor blip." A "minor blip" that she just happened to tell, retell and adorn in her 2003 autobiography, in Dubuque, Iowa, in Waco, Texas, and in Washington, D.C., over the past three months to illustrate her bravery, fortitude, expertise and massive foreign policy experience edge over Barack Obama.
In a radio interview Tuesday, Hillary blamed her congenital dissembling on being "sleep-deprived." If that is so, then Hillary has been a walking zombie for years.
This is the woman who insisted for more than a decade that she was named after the late, great mountain-climber Sir Edmund Hillary -- never mind that she was born six years before he scaled Mt. Everest in 1953.
This is the woman who told "Dateline NBC" that daughter Chelsea was on a jog in New York City when the jihadists struck on 9/11 -- never mind that Chelsea later wrote a magazine essay revealing that she watched the attacks on television from a friend's apartment.
This is the woman who claimed to have "helped start" the federal Children's Health Insurance Program -- never mind that the program's original sponsors noted that Sen. Clinton fought the initial bill and had no role in writing the legislation.
This is the woman (echoed by her husband and daughter) who bragged that she was the "first" to call the disaster in Darfur "genocide" -- never mind that several other senators had done so in 2004, while her first press statement referring to Darfur as "genocide" wasn't until March 2006.
This is the woman who claimed to have organized "instrumental" meetings in Belfast and baldly asserted that she "helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland" -- never mind that key negotiators dismissed her as "totally invisible," "cheerleading" and "a wee bit silly."
And we haven't even gotten to the Whitewater era yet, which, not coincidentally, is when her Tuzla imaginary bullet-dodging adventure took place -- timed to distract from all of her and her husband's dishonest, dirty dealings.
At least Hillary "It's my mother's fault I lied about being named after Sir Edmund Hillary" Clinton and Bill "I have vivid memories of black churches burning that, uh, OK, never burned" Clinton can be proud of raising a daughter who didn't fall far from the reality-challenged tree. Asked in Bloomington, Ind., on Monday to explain how she survived the nonexistent sniper fire, the first daughter, with a promising future in fiction writing, responded smoothly: "We were well-protected by our United States military and the United States Secret Service."
Behold the Democratic choices for president: One candidate whose 20-year spiritual guru has an adversarial relationship with America, and another who has a life-long adversarial relationship with the truth.
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