The Storks of Benghazi;It’s REALLY true!

It’s summer time and I am relishing the “teaching” I am still doing by engaging with former students on social media.  One of the great pleasures of being a teacher is the opportunity to continue interacting on an intellectual basis with curious young people…especially those heading off to college for the first time.  I have maintained a relationship with my former history teacher, and while I don’t get to see him much anymore, he remains my go-to guy when I struggle with certain political issues.

In recent days as the Democratic National Convention has been running, there’s been an ongoing dialogue on Twitter between and among some former students on Twitter.   It’s been a great way for me to think about what students are saying and for me to pose challenges to some of the things they say.  Good times.

When I woke up this morning, there were seventeen twitter interactions mentioning my name.  It seems a couple of students jumped in on the conversation regarding Hillary Clinton that had been going already for over 24 hours.   Instead of me trying to answer each of the claims/counter claims in this thread of tweets, I am going to try spend a few minutes this morning clarifying how I see her candidacy.  If this sparks more discussion, great.  If this silences the irrational Clinton critics, even better.

First, the disclaimers.  I think that Hillary Clinton is far from the perfect candidate.  I did not support her in the Democratic primary.  She doesn’t represent my views on such things as capital punishment, income inequality, and criminal justice.  I think she will be much more inclined to involve our country in a war that another president may not.  That said, in this election, she is easily the best candidate in a field where “best” has become a pretty arbitrary designation.

That being said, my interest in her candidacy and in the discussion with my former students resides in the way she has been treated by the right, and how the constant lies and accusations about her, with the help of the media, have created a false image of the woman.   We could spend a long time trying to explain why this happened.  My guess is the Karl Rove School of Political Hackery decided back when Bill Clinton was in office, that Hillary Clinton was the most likely threat in the coming years.  Because of their gross miscalculation regarding the rise of Barack Obama, they spent years trying to discredit Mrs. Clinton in anticipation of the 2008 election.

The list of false scandals is impressive.   That not a single one of them produced evidence of misconduct by Mrs. Clinton has not stopped the right from repeating the lies and fabricating more of them in an effort to make sure something will stick.   The scope of this blog entry does not allow me to debunk all the claims against her.  Rather, I will use the Benghazi issue and the missing email issue as examples of how we can do much better as political analysts as we prepare to vote in 2016.

For many of my former students, this will be the first chance they get to vote.  If their image of Hillary Clinton is indeed the one fabricated by her political enemies, these former students will be selling themselves, and the country, short in the exercise of their right to vote.

First, let’s look at Benghazi.  The event itself is no longer an issue.  Invoking the word “Benghazi” as an attempt to discredit Mrs. Clinton is the issue.  I stated on Twitter that anyone who uses the word “Benghazi” is either trying to be funny or is a blithering idiot.   Because Mrs. Clinton has been cleared by seven (count ‘em seven!) Congressional investigations on the incident there is no longer a single basis tying her to some scandal.   Yet people are still inclined to say “yeah, well there was something there.”  Let me try to clear this up: “NO, THERE IS NOTHING THERE!”  If Trey Gowdy’s investigations could not make anything stick, even after he fabricated evidence against her, there is NOTHING there.  If you can’t allow yourself to purge the Benghazi stuff from your mindset, you are simply not willing to be intellectually honest.  That makes you a blithering idiot.

Second, let’s look at the email scandal.  Mrs. Clinton, like many of her predecessors, deleted emails and kept others on a private server.  This was a mistake.  But several investigations have yielded no criminal intent, no criminal action, and no cause for a criminal complaint.  Even the Republican head of the FBI has asserted that no crime was committed.

And yet people persist in claiming something that they know to be false.   This is like claiming that storks do, in fact, deliver babies.   I’m sure several hundred years ago, parents told children the story about storks and babies to avoid having to explain the penis and vagina thing.  The myth persisted but as children got old enough, they were taught (or figured out on their own) the penis and vagina thing.  Clearly storks have nothing to do with human procreation. Anyone who clings to that myth is a blithering idiot.  Clearly Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong regarding Benghazi.  Clearly Hillary Clinton committed no crime with her emails. More potential to be a blithering idiot.

Every time you say, “Yeah, well you just can’t ignore it” when referring to Benghazi or the missing emails, you are declaring your willingness…nay, you’re demanding to be called a blithering idiot.  The rest of us have no choice.

Having an informed discussion about policy, politics, character, vision, etc. during election years should be the lifeblood of our democracy.  We should be free to exchange ideas and analyze the situation and the person based on the best information available.  When the waters are tainted by people clinging to obvious falsehoods, the potential for informed discussion evaporates…and so does the idea of a free and fair election.

So let’s talk Hillary Clinton between now and November, but let’s ignore the blithering idiots and look at the things that matter.  (And no James, Hillary Clinton was not involved in the South Sudanese military.)

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2 Comments on “The Storks of Benghazi;It’s REALLY true!”

  1. Marcia Pontoni July 27, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    Well written, as always!

    Marcia

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Jessica Rickard July 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    Bravo!

    On Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 10:25 AM, The Grumblings wrote:

    > Mark Pontoni posted: “It’s summer time and I am relishing the “teaching” I > am still doing by engaging with former students on social media. One of > the great pleasures of being a teacher is the opportunity to continue > interacting on an intellectual basis with curious young peo” >

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