- - Tuesday, August 2, 2016


The Clintons are quite a clever pair. They know how to sound like they’re telling the truth when they’re peddling a lie. They parse their words carefully, so that anyone trying to figure out what they’re saying has to analyze every sentence and clause. One Arkansas student of the Clintons calls this “the necessary search of the clintonclause.”

Bubba most famously wiggled off the hook in his impeachment proceedings when he said that whether he was lying or telling the truth sometimes depends on what the meaning of “is” is. Who could top that? But now we discover that Hillary understands how to bend, spindle and mutilate the language, too.

She thought she was successfully rebutting charges that she lied about her emails and the private email server she used to conduct official business by invoking name of FBI Director James Comey. She said, with a face as straight as hers ever gets, that Mr. Comey’s long investigation of her behavior concluded that she had been “truthful.” She asserted that Mr. Comey had cleared her of all charges, suspicions, innuendos, intimations, and implications of wrongdoing. The opposite was true. Mr. Comey had made it clear that while she might have been truthful in one telling, she certainly had not been in another.

In another interview, this one with Chris Wallace of Fox News, she portrayed herself as a big fan of guns, bullets and the Second Amendment. But Professor Ann Althouse of the University of Wisconsin Law School observes that what Hillary was actually saying, with words carefully tucked into a crucial clintonclause, was something else. Time to parse, with care and precision.

The professor notes Hillary’s last words to Chris Wallace after she discussed Heller v. District of Columbia, which upheld rights in the nation’s capital as set out in the Second Amendment. “You know,” Hillary said, “I taught law. I’m a recovering lawyer. I know that precedent is something you look to, but I also know that courts can take a look at a precedent and determine that maybe they weren’t right the first time.” And therein lies the Clinton threat to the Second Amendment.

She understands the Heller precedent and describes some of what she would propose as consistent with that decision, and says the judges were wrong in referring to the questions presented to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case: “Does the Second Amendment guarantee the right of individual Americans to keep a handgun in their homes to defend themselves and their family?” After a lot of blarney and bloviation, her answer, found in the final word, is “no.”

Donald Trump gets into trouble because he doesn’t parse his words. Hillary Clinton parses every word, trying to find a way to deceive everyone and still claim she was telling the truth. She still gets in occasional trouble. Why should anyone trust anything she says?

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