Hillary Clinton’s angry flip-out at Senator Ron Johnson during her Benghazi testimony was a charmed moment. All at once, before the whole world, one of the highest ranking progressive authoritarians on the planet spilled the beans – all of them – about the left’s modus operandi.
The revelation might be overlooked, however, if we focus too closely on Clinton’s easily quotable “What difference does it make?” The line as quoted merely shows Clinton to be a trapped liar trying to fake her way through an awkward moment with pomposity and bravado. In truth, however, “What difference does it make?” is merely a media-friendly ellipsis of her actual words. What she actually said, without the convenient editing, is far more telling.
Here is the exchange:
Johnson: We were misled that there were supposedly protests and then… an assault sprang out of that. And that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact, and the American people could have known that within days – and they didn’t know that.
Clinton (shouting, glaring, and waving her arms): With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference – at this point – does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened, and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.
Note in passing the obvious contradiction in saying that it makes no difference what happened, and then immediately saying that “our job” is “to figure out what happened.” Clearly, in her flustered state, Clinton confused her talking points, the intended gist of which was presumably that the job of finding out what happened is the responsibility of the administration’s own internal investigators alone, because only the administration itself will be able to construct a tale that “gets to the bottom of things” without incriminating anyone in the administration.
All contradictions aside, however, let us turn to Clinton’s central point. Johnson’s question was a straightforward one, and the one people have been asking since the first days after the attack, when, thanks to foreign media sources, Americans were learning that there was no evidence of any video protest anywhere in Libya on September 11. That question gained force and significance when the world learned that the assault had lasted for seven hours, and that throughout the battle, administration officials in Washington were receiving live communications from those under attack, as well as real time images from a U.S. drone on the scene. It gained further urgency when Clinton promised Tyrone Woods’ father that the government would hunt down… no, not the terrorists who killed his son, but the maker of the video that supposedly ignited the non-existent protests.
The simple question Senator Johnson revived gained a fever pitch of relevance when President Obama went on television, and to the United Nations, to condemn an anti-Islamic video which by that time he had to know was in no way related to the attacks. (See here.) And of course the precise context which heightened the relevance of this “video protest” lie was on display when, during a debate, Obama refused to answer questions about what he had done to help the Americans under attack, instead glaring condescendingly at Mitt Romney while delivering a carefully prepared (and frequently repeated) diatribe about his supposed “three orders,” none of which addressed the actual question as to what he had done during the assault to rescue the victims.
The context, and the brazenness of the lie, provoked many speculations as to what the Obama administration was hiding, and why. The kindest, most generous interpretation, given what we now know, is that the administration was running a sophisticated smokescreen operation to evade damage to the Obama campaign’s talking point that by “getting bin Laden” while endorsing the “democratic elements” of the Muslim Brotherhood, Barack the Avenger was freeing America from the threat of Islamic extremism. The video protest story, tarted up by the administration as “understandable outrage” about a “disgusting” case of “religious intolerance,” was (minimally) designed to deflect blame from a foreign policy that, with its projection of weakness and its moral support for the global caliphate movement, was an invitation to aggression.
It is in this light that we must view Clinton’s angry outburst, and particularly her most revealing declaration: “Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference – at this point – does it make?”
Notice that her first question carefully avoids the true option, namely “a planned assault by well-armed Islamists affiliated with al-Qaeda.” Had she included that one among her list of hypotheticals, the absurdity of her rhetorical question would have been crystal clear, even to her. Obviously, in the immediate aftermath of the attack, the answer to this question – why were the men killed? – made all the difference in the world. The administration’s lies, obfuscations, and contradictory half-stories about the events were the crux of the issue – at that time.
But that was months ago. As Clinton so pointedly says, “What difference – at this point – does it make?” Clinton, the administration official most closely linked to this catastrophe, chose not to be available for questioning in September, when Susan Rice, who (conveniently) had nothing to do with any of it, was sent out to the Sunday talk shows to deliver the administration’s lies. Clinton chose not to be available the first time she was asked to testify before Congress, due to an urgently important trip to Australia. And then, of course, she was unavailable for her second invited appearance, due to having reportedly hit her head after fainting.
Now, four and a half months after the murderous assault on a woefully under-defended diplomatic staff by a well-known terrorist group; two and a half months after the presidential election was won by the man who made the unthinkably brutal decision to leave American government employees under attack for hours without taking any action to help them; months after the administration’s point-man in its initial cover-up, Rice, was safely cordoned off from scrutiny on the inscrutable grounds that she was a complete naïf “just delivering the information that was given to her” (by whom?) – after all this time, Clinton can simply bury the central question, and the main reason for the congressional investigation itself, by wailing, “What difference – at this point – does it make?”
“At this point.” That is, and has always been, the underlying strategy of the Obama administration on Benghazi: stall for time until they’ve reached a safe distance from the horrors they perpetrated on the ambassador and his brave defenders, on the American people, on an insignificant amateur video maker, and on the many Arab Muslims killed during real protests stoked by the administration’s repeated citing of an “outrageous,” “disgusting,” “intolerant” video which in fact had nothing to do with anything. From this distance, they hoped, all the important questions would begin to seem less urgent, and all the ugly facts begin to drift into the dark recesses of public consciousness.
Had Hillary Clinton, during any of those September Sunday shows she avoided, said “What difference does it make what actually happened?” even her mistresses of the robes in the mainstream media would have had a hard time carrying her train.
Had Obama himself, during his re-election campaign debates, said “What difference does it make what really happened?” even Candy Crowley would have been hard pressed to leap to his defense.
Now, at last, believing they have successfully run out the clock on the public’s infantile attention span, the progressives can offer their only real defense of their terrifying inhumanity – the argument they undoubtedly used privately from the beginning, but which they dared not utter in public while many were still disturbed about the details of the attack: “What difference does it make?” What’s done is done.
Furthermore, Hillary Clinton’s angry blurting out of the truth is applicable to much more than just the Benghazi fiasco. With that revealing little qualification – “at this point” – she actually gave away the entire progressive game that has been played on Western civilization for more than a hundred years, and has now all but shut the door on the five hundred year adventure the West has dubbed “modernity.”
This is the big secret at the core of the progressives’ conception of “progress”: You cannot justify the unjustifiable in advance, or persuade people of the rationally unpersuasive. Rather, you must simply push “forward” into ever-deepening waters, repeatedly building reserves of social pressure and then releasing them in little thrusts of propelling energy to carry civilization ever nearer the vortex – all the while promising to save men from the frightening depths, if only they will hold on tight, and follow you, the progressive, just a little farther forward, just a little farther forward.
The key to the progressive “ratchet,” as it is often, correctly, called, is that no step forward may ever be retraced. Each stage of degradation is to be rationalized after the fact, precisely by the means exemplified in Hillary Clinton’s stark question: “What difference – at this point – does it make?”
Was modern public education conceived as a tool for preventing the development of individualism and exceptional men, in favor of a morally and intellectually stunted “workforce” of the compliant to support an entrenched oligarchy? “What difference – at this point – does it make?” say the defenders of public education. “After all, we can’t just abolish an education system we’ve come to depend on for generations to raise our children.”
Would ObamaCare’s individual mandate stand up to the judgment of the framers of the U.S. Constitution? “What difference – at this point – does that make?” says the Supreme Court. “After all, it was passed by a duly elected congress and president of today, so who’s to say James Madison himself would not have approved, had he seen Barack Obama’s well-creased pant leg?”
FDR rammed New Deal legislation through an intimidated supreme court, and against strong Republican and public outcries that it betokened the thin edge of the socialist wedge. “What difference – at this point – does it make?” say subsequent generations of Americans when the question of “social security reform” is tentatively raised. “After all, we can’t just unravel programs that have come to be taken for granted by generations of Americans, even if they are bankrupting the country.”
Throughout the dilapidated West, the same now goes, or soon will go, for wealth redistribution, government-controlled medicine, abortion, affirmative action, the abolition of private property, government-ordered euthanasia, gay/transgender/bi-species marriage, a ban on private gun ownership, anti-industrial “green” legislation, restrictions on soft drink serving sizes, government-mandated molestation at airports, the outlawing of all forms of private education, and mental health assessments for those showing excessive reverence for individual liberty.
The key to the success of Western socialism's "progress" is not the periodic lurches toward the abyss. It is the art of effective stalling. All of today’s political and moral outrages will be rationalized with a shrug tomorrow: “What difference – at this point – does it make?”
(This article appeared originally at American Thinker.)
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