The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, April 24, 2015


The political metagame, particularly under the Obama administration is fascinating and infuriating to observe. Earlier this week, I discussed the modus operandi of Obama's foreign policy team—their approach to any development that arises and their attempt at addressing it. In every case, they use a combination of deceit, deception, and delay to manage their opponents, the media (who is largely complicit anyway) and the public. In most cases, it works.

Kimberly Strassel discusses the Clinton modus operandi when it comes to managing scandals that have dogged the couple for well over 30 years. She correctly notes that the Clintons continually live in the grey area between acts that are legal and acts that are illegal. They have a unique ability to make any paper/information disappear (think: Hillary's email server), thereby making the claim that there is no hard proof of any illegality. Somehow, they manage to do this without consequences. They also apply a stonewalling strategy that is quite effective. From Strassel:
“Remember, the Press Has ADD.” Pixar’s “Up” features Dug, a cute dog with a serious attention problem (“squirrel!!!”). This is how the Clintons view the media. Pettable. Unfocused. When caught, the Clinton communications team will issue lofty dismissals—calling charges baseless or old news—and wait for the press to believe it. If it doesn’t, Team Clinton will hold one press conference—a la Mrs. Clinton’s email event—and wait for the media to call the case closed. If it doesn’t, they will change the subject (Hillary is running for president! Squirrel!!!) and wait for the press to lose interest. It often does.
If, in fact, all else fails, the Clintons and their surrogates claim that they are victims of a vast right wing conspiracy (VRWC). They attack the messenger, claiming extreme bias, relying on ad hominem attacks on the messenger to deflect from the content of the claim of wrong doing. Again, it often works ... sometimes quite well.

Strassel summarizes:
The question is whether this model, perfected in an earlier age, can hold—especially under the cascade of scandals. Times have changed. There’s more competition in the media these days (blogs, cable, podcasts) and that’s kept pressure on traditional outlets to keep digging into the Clinton Foundation money story. So much so that this week Mrs. Clinton had to escalate to VRWC.
The Democratic Party has changed. It’s now more Obama than Clinton, its left dominated by progressives who didn’t grow up under Hillary, and don’t much like her. They want Elizabeth Warren, and what surely terrifies the Clintons is the potential party explosion were the Massachusetts senator to jump in at this moment of vulnerability. Would it take much to send the party bolting to a fresher female firebrand—without the baggage?
In the end, Strassel thinks that Hillary will prevail, that the media will gladly chase squirrels, and that the Democrats, anxious to relive their identity politics successes of the past eight years will disregard the Clinton's modus operandi with a nod and a wink. We'll see.