“The claims by President Putin and other Russians that they had to go into Crimea and maybe further into Eastern Ukraine because they had protect the Russia minorities—that is reminiscent of claims that were made back in the 1930s when Germany under the Nazis kept talking about how they had to protect German minorities in Poland, in Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere throughout Europe. So I just want everybody to have a little historic perspective. I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.”
—-Hillary Clinton on the Crimea crisis, showing that she has learned deceit and dishonesty at Bill’s knee, or, perhaps, was really the teacher all along.
‘I’m not making a comparison: I’m just comparing them. I’m not saying Putin is like Hitler, I’m just saying he’s acting like Hitler. I’m not making a comparison; I just want to evoke the specter of Hitler’s expansion over Europe while everyone looked the other way without being accused of doing so.’
And adding “certainly” makes it all undeniable.
Some observations, in the throes of disgust:
1. Anyone who champions the presidential candidacy of such a cynical, flagrant, serial, confident liar as Hillary Clinton simply either does not believe in the value of trustworthy leadership, or has a lot of explaining to do.
2. What is most galling about this is that Clinton is so sure that most of the public—and the media, of course— will let it slide, and not hold her accountable in any way. This is an insult. “I have just said X, but because you are mentally defective sheep, I now say that I didn’t say what I just said, and you will believe me.” And yet, she is probably right.
3. In addition to the jaw-dropping dishonesty, lying-right-in-our-faces-and-expecting-us-to-like-it arrogance, there is also the problem that the statement is incompetent, cowardly and irresponsible. If Putin is acting like Hitler, then that suggests that certain actions are mandatory, and the comparison ought to be made. If he is not acting like Hitler, then the comparison will lead to the wrong conclusion and is unfair, and thus should not be made. If he is acting like Hitler, then the use of that comparison is a powerful way to shame and indict Putin, and no statesman should shrink from the duty of telling the truth to the public, Russia, and the world. If he is not, then saying otherwise is incompetent and poor diplomacy. Saying he is acting like Hitler while simultaneously denying it manages to accomplish all the negatives without any of the benefits, while avoiding accountability. It is cowardly.
4. Clinton, who has listened to her character-challenged husband get away with such verbal sleight-of-tongue for decades, is undoubtedly also emboldened by the spectacle of Democrats and the media refusing to take the current Democratic President to task for similar denials uttered in close proximity of the truth, such as Obama’s claim that he didn’t draw a red line and his attempt to rephrase his “you can keep your plan” assurances after its deliberate falseness was exposed. This bears out the maxim that a citizenry that tolerates lying leaders will get worse lies and more dishonest leaders until it finally stops being tolerant.
5. Knee-jerk feminist supporters of Mrs. Clinton need to decide if they really and truly believe having a female President is more important than having a President who respects them the same way a con artist respects his marks. If that is their choice, then that is the respect they deserve.
* The Jumbo is the special Ethics Alarms category for public statements that deny what is undeniable in a spectacularly brazen manner, named after the famous response of Jimmy Durante in the Broadway musical “Jumbo,” who, when stopped by a sheriff as he attempted to sneak an elephant out of a circus, asked, “Elephant? What elephant?”
38 thoughts on “Jumbo* of The Month: Hillary Clinton”
Very well put. Hard to imagine the world’s “bestest, mostest greatest” Secretary of State would make such a deceitful comment. Perhaps she thinks these things up during all those long flights that made her the most travelled as well.
A) Discussing this with sarge983 yesterday, I didn’t hear her send off. I only saw the comparison to Hitler. I remarked that it is a very fair comparison and on it’s face I couldn’t really disagree with it.
B) Which baffles me that the likely contender for the Democrat ticket would make an arguably hawkish comment.
C) Which led me to believe it was only to appear tougher on foreign issues to cover for her time as Sec State that helped lead to the chaos and accidental foreign policy we see now.
D) In light of knowing the full quote now, your assessment is spot on.
As a general rule in American history, the truly awful people seeking power have seen their prospects for the Presidency derailed by bad luck, misfortune, sudden exposure of their despicable natures beyond all question, or something else. Aaron Burr, Huey Long, John C. Calhoun, George Wallace, Ted Kennedy, Tom DeLay, John Edwards—something always saves us. I keep waiting for this to happen to Hillary. I keep waiting for anyone to explain to me why they would admire such an obviously untrustworthy, manipulative, vile public figure. It’s not a partisan issue at all, except that only partisan blindness can explain her continued popularity. I don’t get it..
This stuff has happened to Hillary, Jack. But the great conspiracy (I see no other terminology to describe the unholy marriage between the Leftwing Media and the Leftwing Politicians) REFUSES to cover ANYTHING. REFUSES, because damnit, they want the Leftist revolution to succeed.
“But the great conspiracy (I see no other terminology to describe the unholy marriage between the Leftwing Media and the Leftwing Politicians)…”
You had better retract that, Tex, or else, I’m going to call you a bigoted politiphobe (or ideologuephobe) for opposing marriage equality.
“I keep waiting for anyone to explain to me why they would admire such an obviously untrustworthy, manipulative, vile public figure”
Because they HATE, HATE HATE HATE, the right-wing. Hate it before ALL other things, and if Hillary means not having the thing they HATE in the White House, then IT DOES NOT MATTER ONE IOTA what Hillary has done.
Never Underestimate the utter power of hatred, Jack. Never.
The Republican Party could beat her with a joint smoking , whiskey drinking bear wearing a dress while riding a unicycle if they would moderate their views on abortion and drop all together the crap on homosexuals.
I’ve always contended that the homosexual debate is the thorn in the side of the conservative platform. Most, if not all, the homosexuals I know espouse fiscally conservative ideas, free market ideals, rationally derived stances and other right-leaning attitudes, but can’t stand the anti gay attitude.
However, compromising on abortion. Nope.
I think they will anyway, and I’d substitute opposition to some kind of rational policy regarding current illegals for the abortion issue.
No: Hillary’s presidency is pre-ordained. The fix is in.
You thought that about O also. But you underestimated the power of hate.
Not when he first ran, I didn’t. I assumed he would win—I think almost any Democrat would have won. And it took massive bungling, a full media press, an outrageously dishonest Obama campaign, and an inept GOP voter outreach system PLUS IRS sabotage to win re-election. Hate’s fine, but the American public will usually gravitate to competence. Obama’s incompetence was exposed (to those in a trance) about six months late. That poll showing that over 70% of Obama voters regret their support now is amazing; I wonder if it’s unprecedented.
“Hate’s fine, but the American public will usually gravitate to competence.”
That certainly worked in the old paradigm. I don’t think it applies any more.
Hillary is a beneficiary of the Clinton machine. The machine that is second only to the Obama machine. She lives in the mythology of the progressive imagination and can only be replaced by someone who has more progressive bona fides. Progressive bona fides trump all other truths. And, in a diabolical way Hillary’s lies further cements her position as a true progressive. Truth is what you say it is. A long established progressive article of faith.
I agree with your analysis but, in her defense, Godwin’s Law makes any analogy to the Nazis or Hitler a fallacious one. How can you make the comparison when the comparison is forbidden? How do you speak the truth when the truth has been defined as a lie?
Putin’s actions and motivations are very similar to Hitler’s actions and putative motivations in the 1930’s. I think the comparison is accurate.
However, society in general is so dishonest in the way it treats Hitler and Nazi Germany in terms of points of comparison that this sort of double-talk is the only way we permit the discourse to occur. Because, if she does not qualify her statement the way she did, there is likely to be someone out there arguing against the comparison because Putin is not rounding up and murdering 12 million people.
Yes, her statement is double-talk. We require it to be. And, we, who know the convolutions we require in such circumstances, know what she meant(and, whether you approve of those convolutions, and I expect you don’t, I think you knew what she was trying to say).
My analysis: A lie? No. Double-talk? Yes. A cowardly statement by someone unwilling to speak clearly, decisively, and without qualification? Absolutely!
Godwin’s law doesn’t forbid comparisons to Nazis at all. In its original form it just states that in any internet argument, someone will eventually compare someone or something to Hitler or the Nazis if it is allowed to go on long enough.
It’s a funny, snarky, and basically true observation, but it also has had the unfortunate effect of making people think that “any analogy to the Nazis or Hitler is a fallacious one.” Popular interpretation has changed “Eventually someone in the argument will get so mad at the other person that he will say he is like Hitler” to “If you compare anything to Hitler you’re wrong and we will all say ‘Godwin!’ and smugly laugh at you.”
If we’re arguing about whether there should be more restrictions on, say, using animals in drug testing, and you say I’m a Nazi because I want to do animal genocide, you’re running afoul of Godwin. If someone makes an observation that a particular law is similar to a law that was used by the Nazis to suppress speech, or that a particular military action is similar to how Nazi Germany began its expansion, no Godwin.
DANG IT! Beat me.
Yes, and I was going with the more popular interpretation.
Godwin’s law doesn’t make any comparison to Hitler fallacious.
Technically Godwin’s law simply states that in any given internet argument, at some point one side will be compared to Hitler. It’s practical use is that comparison’s to Hitler, solely for the purpose of claiming a point of view or side of the debate is monstrous, IS fallacious.
But, saying that Putin’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty to occupy the Crimea in the name of protecting ethnic Russians, is similar to Hitler’s violation of Czech sovereignty to occupy the Sudetenland in the name of protecting ethnic Germans, is not a technical violation of Godwin’s law.
I agree. It is not a technical violation of Godwin’s Law. But Godwin’s Law is an example of how we cannot have an honest discourse where comparisons to Hitler and Nazis are made. Often, people who often make the comparison do so dishonestly, so we have generalized that to suggest that any comparison is dishonest.
Many commentators have said as much, to the effect of “Hitler and Nazi Germany are such an extreme historical example that comparison to them should be off-limits.”
Hilary’s comparison should make them reconsider.
“Putin’s actions and motivations are very similar to Hitler’s actions and putative motivations in the 1930′s. I think the comparison is accurate.
However, society in general is so dishonest in the way it treats Hitler and Nazi Germany in terms of points of comparison that this sort of double-talk is the only way we permit the discourse to occur. Because, if she does not qualify her statement the way she did, there is likely to be someone out there arguing against the comparison because Putin is not rounding up and murdering 12 million people.”
Interestingly enough — When Hitler (Putin) occupied the Sudetenland (Crimea) in violation of Ukrainian (Czech) sovereignty under the guise of protecting ethnic German (Russian) interests, he hadn’t started his genocide.
Look to the future for a complete occupation of the Ukraine by Russian forces.
Oh, and also look to the future for Putin’s preferred targets of governmental wrath: Homosexuals and pesky Muslim separatists.
People have suggested that, but I strenuously disagree. (Not saying YOU are arguing that, just acknowledging that some people do). The whole concept of “this was so evil that we can’t use it as a lens to look at modern events” is just wishy-washy sticking your head in the sand. It’s the same mindset that says a Stephen Colbert bit making fun of the Klan is offensive, because the Klan’s so evil it should be totally off-limits.
Plus, Hitler WASN’T the most evil in world history….
Stalin was arguably worse, Mao as well…. Hitler just happened to be the bad guy and Stalin an inconveniently convenient ‘friend’.
He makes a good movie-caliber villain, too. Mao and Stalin (thorugh a historical perspective, not considering alliances at the time) may have done terrible things, but They weren’t a cartoonishtly sinister-looking little scowly man who ranted and raved and plotted world domination and countenanced the evils done in the name of science in the camps.
Even in this glossed over portrayal, Stalin still comes off as an evil sociopath or psychotic (whatever the appropriate term is).
I submit the only reason he doesn’t make better movie fodder for evil villains is because Hitler was our legal enemy at a time, and Stalin was not (and we sure don’t like admitting that we had to make friends with that monster). So instead of the denying the friendship, we gloss over the monster.
Well, let’s step back. Stalin was just an extreme utilitarian dictator, who would kill anyone and anything to achieve power and his political objectives. The elements of sadism and pathology in the Third Reich, as well as the genocide—Stalin and Mao were equal opportunity murders—place Adolf is a special category of state evil. It’s not just a numbers game. Stalin was ruthless and amoral. Hitler was crazy.
I may have to post about the over-application of Godwin’s law. The point of the “law” is that comparisons to Hitler are often cheap appeals to emotion that are designed to provoke a visceral response. There is no reason in the world, logical, ethical or rhetorical, not to make valid comparisons to Hitler, his gang, and the Nazis when one is warranted. “The Big Lie” is a despicable tactic, and it was a favored Nazi tactic. It isn’t despicable because the Goebbels and Hitler loved it; but the fact that they loved it is instructive as to how destructive the tactic can be. Godwin’s law is a law in the same way we say “You mustn’t speak ill of the dead.” Oh yeah? Watch me.
I was speaking ill of a former coworker who died young and got that caution. My response was that I’d never make fun of the fact that he died young, or how he died, or that he was dead. His complete jackassery in life, though, is still fair game for mockery.
Please forgive my straying off-topic. Putting aside 45th President Hillary’s statements for a moment, my latest information about the Crimea leads me to agree that Russia does, indeed, have claims to inclusion of the Crimea within Russia that Ukraine does not have for inclusion of the Crimea within Ukraine. Does anyone care to address that? It seems that if what I agree with is the truth, then perhaps what Hillary said was a lie within a lie. I am being serious: I have the impression that the Crimea is historically a Russian territory, which Khruschev deemed to Ukraine in the bad old USSR days. I do not know of pre-Khruschev historical Ukrainian ties or influences with the Crimea which would render the Crimea a better long-term fit within Ukraine on any rational basis. For that matter, is Ukraine’s permanent sovereignty proper to presume, too?
I mean, does Ukraine deserve (have an inalienable right to) sovereignty?
I am sorry – TERRIBLE question! I just am increasingly suspicious that what passes for international law these days has absolutely no relevance to the relationship between today’s country called Russia and today’s country called Ukraine. Which makes me further suspicious that our American (and Ethics Alarms-influenced) sense of ethics applied to that relationship is not all that keen or relevant, either.
My understanding is that all nations are supposed to have territorial integrity. So, violating that would be a violation of international law. And, that was re-affirmed between Russia and Ukraine when Ukraine split off in the 90’s. My understanding was that Russia would keep its ports down there (near, but not in, Crimea), Ukraine would give Russia its nukes, and Russia would respect the boundary line.
If all of that is true, Russia’s actions are problematic.
Yeltsin’s agreements with other countries are as good as non-existent, if Putin does not want to heed them.
From a practical standpoint that may be true, but from the original standpoint of whether Ukraine has the righto to sovreignty it’s not- just because the current guy in charge can’t be FORCED to follow agreements set by his predecessors doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t, or that breaking them isn’t wrong.
It is muddy indeed.
1st things 1st: Regardless of “rightful” claim to Crimea by Russia, Russia DID violate Ukrainian sovereignty with no immediate provocation nor warning. Which one would expect from a nation asserting its “rights”.
And no, historic alignments do not AUTOMATICALLY legitimize claims, especially not after follow-on policy specifically releases claims to certain lands, which Kruschev DID in the 50s. If historic alignments were to automatically legitimize claims regardless of dropping them, then most of France technically could still be claimed by England…which part of England could be claimed by Denmark, but never mind, Denmark ought to be claimed by Germany since at one point in history, Germany took Denmark. But then again, I guess America gets to claim half of Germany… see, it’s messy when one considers historic claims that were RELEASED.
Taken on its face, the Russian invasion IS an act of WAR. That Western Europe and the United States are not treating it as such is a testament to how willing we’ve allowed ourselves to become in regards to confront bad actors.
However, what of the Crimean vote?
A) If the Crimean parliament vote to secede and join Russia was not made under duress due to presence of Russian force, then it IS hard to argue against the freedom of self determination and freedom of association/disassociation. I can’t help but feel that if the people of Crimea really want this, then they should have it. But to be sure, Russia had better withdraw ALL it’s troops from Ukrainian soil, and all those goons they are calling “local defense forces”, then let the Crimea vote.
A1) If they still vote for secession and joining Russia, this is NOT a good strategic development for Western interests or regional interests, which is why dirty as it is, Western “spooks” would need to step up their game in the Crimea and make it so untenable for Russian authorities and so apparent that Russian authorities are just despots that the Crimeans in a decade are scrambling to come back to the Ukraine.
A2) If they vote to stay, well, there’s your answer.
B) If the Crimean parliament vote to secede and join Russia was made under the duress due to Russian force, then there’s your answer there as well.
Of course, most of this is moot anyway. Demographics are not friendly, as they are just mathematics applied to populations and geography… and demographics will not be friendly to Russia in about a decade or so. Which is why I think Putin knows he has to act aggressively now and hope it pays off; which it won’t, but if we don’t act against him, then even though he doesn’t win in the long run, we will have a harder time winning in the long run also.
Oh man!!!! Get out of America’s way! Our fearless leader has imposed sanctions that will affect the vast majority of .00000759% of the Russian population.
That’s right, those crippling sanctions and drastic decisive leadership calls by our president will affect all of 11 people in Russia.
What in the holy hell did we elect????