Unethical Quote Of The Week: Bill Clinton

"A pool table, don't you understand?"

“A pool table, don’t you understand?”

“There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy. That just hasn’t happened.”

–Former President Bill Clinton in an interview  on NBC’s “Today” show, discussing the foreign money that poured into the Clinton Foundation from parties seeking State Department support for their financial, business or political interests while Hilary was Secretary of State, much of it undisclosed and all of it in violation of Mrs. Clinton’s representations to Congress and her signed agreement with the Obama Administration.

You know, it will almost be worth enduring the horrible Hillary Clinton presidential campaign awaiting us to be able to enjoy Bill showing that he’s still got it. This statement is a classic Clintonism, one of his best since he argued that he and Monica were never “alone” together. It is a genuine masterpiece of deceit and obfuscation. At first hearing, it sounds like an assertion of no wrongdoing, but only if you are not paying close attention, or if you are blinded by confirmation bias—if, for example, you are a Hillary supporter determined to “vote with your vagina,” as one of them nauseatingly put it over the weekend, and can not accept or process the truth about her, which is that she’s incompetent, dishonest and corrupt—will Bill’s careful convoluted denial sound sincere and convincing.

But why would anyone ever not listen to what Bill Clinton says carefully?

“[W]e have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy. That just hasn’t happened.” What does this mean? For example, what hasn’t happened? Taking money to influence American government policy? Taking money to influence American government policy when it was inappropriate? Knowingly taking money to influence American government policy?

Is Clinton saying that taking the money was inappropriate, but they didn’t know that when they took the money? How could they not know that?  After all these years, either he nor Hillary know what kind of fundraising is inappropriate? They didn’t know it was inappropriate for Hillary, while Secretary of State, to give the appearance of impropriety, even though that was the law when Bill was President? She’s obligated to know that: she was a high government official, a supervisor of a huge federal workforce, and a member of the President’s cabinet. They didn’t know it was inappropriate to violate a clear pledge and promise not to accept foreign funds? So in other words, the Clintons didn’t know lying was inappropriate —that I believe, except that I don’t believe they think any differently now: Bill’s statement would seem to be proof of that. Or was Bill admitting that it never occurred to Hillary that taking money to influence American government policy was inappropriate, since all of his speaking fees have been based on the assumption that his hosts were buying influence?

Perhaps Bill is saying that he and Hillary are running a gigantic international non-profit, but haven’t bothered to learn what is ethical and unethical in philanthropy, their profession for the last decade, and have been, essentially, incompetent, negligent, and in violation of the fiduciary duties. That’s some qualification for the Presidency, there, Hillary!

Does Bill work out these brilliantly deceitful and confounding word bombs ahead of time, or can he just construct them on the fly? Either way, I’m impressed. What also impresses me is the flat learning curve of loyal Clinton followers, who can listen to this kind of double-talk and not realize that they might as well be listening to Harold Hill, P.T. Barnum, Frank Underwood or Bernie Madoff. Me, I just resent being lied to. I’m funny that way. I even resent it when I know I am in the presence of an artist, like Bill Clinton.


Pointer: Ann Althouse

Facts: CNN

20 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Bill Clinton

  1. Maybe the argument is going to become: “Since we all live in such a dangerous world of such terrible tyrants, each of whose regimes are sustained by a vanguard of lies, it is therefore imperative for the U.S. to employ its most skillful and proven successful liars in the highest and most powerful positions.” There is no irony in that at all – just cold calculation.

      • T. Regina needs only to be good enough at lying to get elected. She might be a terrible liar, but you can’t say either she or Bill is unsuccessful at it.

        The American people, consciously or unconsciously, have been lowering their standards for whom they prefer for President for a LONG time.

        • She hasn’t been successful at it. She’s been ridiculed for it. She lost the nomination last time: getting elected Senator in NY against lame competition proved nothing: any Democrat would have beaten Lazio, and the news media gave her a pass.

        • She hasn’t been successful at it. She’s been ridiculed for it. She lost the nomination last time: getting elected Senator in NY against lame competition proved nothing: any Democrat would have beaten Lazio, and the news media gave her a pass.

            • It’s quite possible the answer will be “anybody.” Just like in 2008. Ann Althouse is betting that she quits before the primaries. She’s not well, she’s got more skeletons in her closet than the Haunted Mansion, she has negative credibility and integrity, the news media doesn’t like her, and wants to force Warren into the race.

              • I believe the only chances the country has of not having T. Regina elected President hang on (1) total health failure (I am absolutely convinced her health, physical and mental, is poor and worsening), which would abort her candidacy, or (2) her rejection by a sufficient number of female voters.

                But I cannot imagine her bowing out. I do not believe that is even possible. Only her death would stop her from getting the nomination at this point. I don’t even think her severe debilitation would derail her from arriving in the White House in 2017. Watch: If any health issues become impossible to hide, you will see a campaign like you never imagined possible to “educate” voters about how unfair it is to even think about discriminating against her for that by not voting for her.

  2. It occurs to me that we dole out billions of dollars in foreign aid to all kinds of countries. I haven’t researched the issue, but were any of those countries the same countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation? If so, was this really a “pass-through” for U.S> dollars to flow into the Foundation? Don’t know the answer; just askin’.

  3. From Bill Clinton, I read that to mean that it has never happened that he has had no doubt that they have knowingly done something inappropriate. In other words, he has at least wondered if what they were doing was inappropriate.

  4. What about that perpetual mantra, “get money out of politics”, apparently Clintons don’t care for massive donations to DNC, they want some of those billions to come their way. So those monies won t be in Politics
    they ‘ll be at Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea’s disposal ! Brilliant I tell you, brilliant!

  5. I have a theory that if push comes to shove Bill will say or do anything to avoid having a Secret Service detail that is mainly answerable to Hillary. Keep this in mind any time that he makes statements that could be considered counterproductive.

  6. Whoa. Hold on! You guys are totally missing the point. This is pure Bill Clinton (what is your definition of ‘is’?). If you think about from Clinton-Speak, it is very simple and makes perfect sense: What is the definition of “we” in Clinton-Speak? We, as we all know is relative, situational, and subject to interpretation or change, as necessary. So, . . . wait for it . . .Here we go: “We”, in the context of this interview, shall mean, and shall be limited to the following, and shall exclude anyone else not included in the following class of individuals:

    1. Hillary Clinton,
    2. Bill Clinton, and
    3. Chelsea Clinton.

    “We” shall not include and, for the purposes of this discussion, shall never include any of reference to or incorporation of ‘The Clinton Foundation’ or any of its predecessors, antecedents, employees, agents, or representatives, and clearly excludes any and all of the Clinton Foundation’s various local, national, international, or global initiatives. The Clinton Foundation is a non-profit originally founded in 2001,duly organized under the laws of the United States, and is a separate, legal entity, with its own legal rights to own, control and possess property and engage in philanthropic (philandthropic?) activities. It has its own tax id number, residence, corporate office and is run by its own board of directors. Those donations were made directly to it, not to us. Therefore, the Clinton Foundation should address these issues, not us. Q.E.D. Case closed. Nothing to see here. Move along.


  7. It is clear to me that the Clinton Foundation is simply another way of lining the Clinton family pockets. This is just a more creative way of doing what they have done for years — from Hillary and her insider-trading in pork belly futures when Bill was governor of Arkansas to accepting 6-figure speaking fees from colleges and universities (also non-profits, which should be ashamed for spending that kind of money for a canned speech from ANY Clinton…)…

    I don’t remember the exact figures, but a report from their 990 filing to the IRS shows hundreds of millions just sitting in the Clinton Foundation coffers, expenses including paying their “officers” (that is, themselves), and travel expenses (private planes, etc). in the millions, and a measly $9 million in actual grants.

    I’ve worked with non-profits for years, I am certain they’ve gotten a pass from the IRS. I know it took decades for the IRS to take the Red Cross to task (when it was publicized that 90 cents of every dollar contributed to the Red Cross went to “administrative costs”), but they did get the Red Cross to change its behavior (after investigation). For the Clinton Foundation the information is out there: when will something be done? Never. They have the US government in their pockets. One hopes that they learn that they don’t have all of us in their pockets as well.

    Which brings me to Hillary and the Presidential election: Her health notwithstanding, I can only hope that she gets tired of being constantly grilled on the Foundation, Benghazi, and all her other baggage that she’ll actually use her health status to bow out. I know, I know. But a person can dream…

    • Let’s try a flow chart!

      >> “There is no doubt in my mind that”:
      >>>> “we have never done”:
      >>>>>> “anything knowingly inappropriate”:
      >>>>>>>> “in terms of taking money”:
      >>>>>>>>>> “to influence”:
      >>>>>>>>>>>> “any kind of American government policy”.
      >>>>>>>>>>>> “That just hasn’t happened”.

      Parsing the logic:
      >> “There is no doubt in my mind that”: [He doubts nothing that follows]

      >>>> “we have never done”: [He has never done exactly what follows]

      >>>>>> “anything knowingly inappropriate”: [Leaves open the possibility of doing something UNknowingly inappropriate (though carefully NOT unknowABLY)]

      >>>>>>>> “in terms of taking money”: [limiting the scope of his claim to purely the domain of the use money, leaving open the possibility of unethical behavior elsewhere]

      >>>>>>>>>> “to influence”: [further limiting the scope to the domain of “influence”; leaving open the possibility of knowingly inappropriate use of money elsewhere]

      >>>>>>>>>>>> “any kind of American government policy”. [Leaving open the possibility of inappropriate use of money to buy/sell influence else]

      >>>>>>>>>>>> “That just hasn’t happened”. [Phrased to sound like a categorical denial (a potential marker of a true statement), but semantically limited to (“just”) the exact conditions above]

      This masterpiece leaves open the possibility that the Clintons:
      >>Unknowingly but still inappropriately accepted money for any purpose (including possibly to influence public policy)
      >>Knowingly or unknowlingly but still appropriately accepted money that would have inappropriately influenced their decisions regarding other matters not directly applicable to public policy.

      ***And, it could still be a lie!***
      (They might still have knowingly accepted money meant to influence public policy, despite their precise denial of this and only this)

      But it would only have been a very small lie – carefully neither admitting nor denying any other potential wrong doing!

      Just for fun; compare!

      >>I did not have: [An absolute denial]
      >>>>sexual relations with [of an ambiguous set of activities]
      >>>>>>that women [avoid naming a party that could contradict]

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