"And knowing the reason doesn't bring them back now" to me is such an ludicrous defense of avoiding the topic that it does bear some serious criticism. Was the point of these hearings to 'bring them back now'?No, the point of the hearings is to beat up political opponents on a national stage (fake outrage is optional), if I may draw attention to the elephant in the room.
The topic of criticism is what? The priorities of the State Department? I'm sympathetic to Clinton's position, here. Suppose she picked up the phone. What difference would it have made? Is there some sort of implication that if it was "just" a spontaneous protest, that it wouldn't be investigated for reals?
I do think that many of those on the right are looking to score here politically. There is no denying that.
But I also think having the people with the most information on the topic coming in front of our elected officials and detailing what went wrong, why it went wrong, and what they're currently doing to stop it from happening again is a good thing, and something a healthy government should have. A self-examined bureaucracy is not worth governing and all that.
And even I say that's a dodge, and I can spot it by her emotional rebuttal. If she would've said, "We weren't trying to lie, we were trying to make sure we didn't call it a terrorist attack until we absolutely knew for certain", and if you piece together other parts of the testimony, you get that is the line of the administration.Maybe this makes me old-fashioned, but I appreciate Clinton giving an answer that 1) she obviously felt strongly about, and 2) wasn't an administration talking point. It sort of suggests that it's her real position.
One of my resolutions this year is that I'm going to try to be less sarcastic, less cynical, and more optimistic, and more sincere.
But even I'm not really buying the 'four Americans died, I'm really broken up about it' from her anymore than I am from people on the right decrying 'four Americans died, and Clinton should've had to resign because all life is precious and this is not politically motivated at all!!'.
I imagine she was very frustrated, saw it for the politicking that it was, and didn't appreciate being a prop or a punching bag, so she said something a little rash in an attempt to defuse the questioning.
The crux of what she said wasn't that 'what difference does it make', what the point was, 'lets move on, because there is nothing we can do about it now'.
However, the problem with that is that the administration still hasn't covered this stuff with any kind of comprehensive explanation.
What I'd like is for someone, anyone, to explain why they thought it was okay for Rice to keep trotting out that line, what they learned (specifically) that showed them to be wrong, when they learned it, and why they felt comfortable with Rice giving an explanation like she did if so many things were up in the air (alluding to the 'learning things in real time' element of Clinton's testimony).
I'm not angry they made a mistake, but I am a little annoyed them using moral high-horsery to deflect.
But the whole, "what does it matter now" angle during a testimony, I really think she flubbed that one.It probably didn't do her any favors, but ultimately I think that this will be Vince Foster v2.0. Fodder for right-wing conspiracy theorists, probably won't stick to her.
We both agree on this. Its a relatively minor point in the grand scheme of things, and isn't going to follow Clinton or define her to anyone who would've been on the fence about voting for her in 4 years.