The liberal way of lying
Bret Stephens reports that Barack Hussein Obama learned how to lie from the Clintons
, and that if Hillary Clinton is - God Forbid - elected President, she will continue the lying tradition.
Sometime in the 1990s I began to understand the
Clinton way of lying, and why it was so successful. To you and me, the Clinton
lies were statements demonstrably at variance with the truth, and therefore
wrong and shameful. But to the initiated they were an invitation to an
intoxicating secret knowledge.
What was this knowledge? That the lying was for
the greater good, usually to fend off some form of Republican malevolence. What
was so intoxicating? That the initiated were smart enough to see through it all.
Why be scandalized when they could be amused? Why moralize when they could
It always works.
Consider this column’s favorite subject: the
Iran deal. An honest president might sell the current deal roughly as
“My fellow Americans, the deal we have
negotiated will not, I am afraid, prevent Iran from getting a bomb, should its
leaders decide to build one. And eventually they will. Fatwa or no fatwa,
everything we know about their nuclear program tells us it is geared toward
building a bomb. And frankly, if you lived in a neighborhood like theirs—70
million Shiites surrounded by hundreds of millions of Sunnis—you’d want a bomb,
“Yes, we could, in theory, stop Iran from
getting the bomb. Sanctions won’t do it. Extreme privation didn’t stop Maoist
China or Bhutto’s Pakistan or Kim’s North Korea from building a bomb. It won’t
stop Iran, either.
“Airstrikes? They would set Iran back by a few
years. But even in a best-case scenario, the Iranians would be back at it before
long, and they’d keep trying until they got a bomb or we got regime
“Fellow Americans, how many of you want to raise
your hands for more Mideast regime change?
“So here’s the deal with my deal: It never was
about cutting off Iran’s pathways to a bomb. Let’s just say that was an
aspiration. It’s about managing, and maybe slowing, the process by which they
“I know that’s not what you thought I’ve been
saying these past few years—all that stuff about all options being on the table
and me not bluffing and no deal being better than a bad deal. I said this for
political expedience, or as a way of palliating restive Saudis and Israelis. You
feed the dogs their bone.
“But if you’d been listening attentively, you
would have heard the qualifier ‘on my watch’ added to my promises that Iran
would not get the bomb. And what happens after I leave office?
Supreme Leader will be replaced by a new leader cut from better cloth.
Hopefully, too, this marathon diplomacy will open new patterns of U.S.-Iranian
cooperation. But if neither thing happens we’d be no worse off than we are
“That’s why getting a deal, any deal, is more
important than the deal’s particulars when it comes to sanctions relief,
inspections protocols and so on. The details only matter insofar as they make
the political medicine go down. What counts is that we’re sitting at the table
Question for Mrs. Clinton: Does she think the
U.S. should gently midwife Iran’s nuclear birth or violently abort it? If she
wants to be president, our former top diplomat could honor us with a detailed
In the meantime, let’s simply note what the
liberal way of lying has achieved. We are on the cusp of reaching the most
consequential foreign-policy decision of our generation. We have a deal whose
basic terms neither side can agree on. We have a president whose goals aren’t
what he said they were, and whose motives he has kept veiled from the
Maybe the ayatollah will give him his deal, and
those with the secret knowledge will cheer. As for the rest of us: Haven’t we
learned that we’re too stupid to know what’s for our own good?
Sounds like George Orwell's Big Brother to me....
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Bill Clinton, centrifuges, Hillary Clinton, Iran sanctions regime, Iranian nuclear threat, lies, P 5+1, uranium enrichment