Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016--No to Hillary

It may be a small matter when seen in the context of what to do about ISIS, Israel, or the minimum wage, but for me it's a metaphor for why I cannot bring myself to vote for Hillary in tomorrow's New York primary.

I am not feeling the Bern, but I am not comfortable voting for a candidate who lies so blatantly, so frequently, so casually.

I know "they" all do it to some extent--exaggerate, spin, tell half truths, and sometimes just out-and-out make things up. But there are lies and then there are lies, and Hillary last week calculatedly engaged in a whopper.

Here, in her spoken words (as distinguished from a statement issued by a dismissible staffer or surrogate) is what Clinton had to say about Vermont's, and by clear implication, Bernie Sanders' position on guns.

With feigned deep concern, looking censoriously into the camera, from a carefully crafted script, here is what Hillary Clinton had to say--
When challenged on his gun stances [Sanders] frequently says, "Well, you know, I represent Vermont. It's a small, rural state. We have no gun laws." Here's what I want you to know. Most of the guns that are used in crimes of violence and killings in New York come from out of state. And the state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that wind up committing crimes in New York come from Vermont. [Emphasis added.]
Now, here are the facts as reported by the Associated Press--
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms compiles data about weapons recovered from crime scenes nationwide, along with data, where possible, about where those guns were originally sold by licensed dealers. The agency reports that in 2014, law enforcement official in New York recovered and traced 7,686 guns. 
[New York] itself was the source for 1,397 of the weapons, making it the leader in absolute numbers. Virginia was runner-up with 395. Vermont ranked 15th on the list, accounting for 55 of the weapons--less than 1 percent of the total. [Emphasis added.]
A radically different story that exposes Clinton's slander. One still not apologized for nor withdrawn. And, by the way, underreported in the media.

For me, exaggerating or lying about oneself in a political campaign is sadly familiar and comes with the partisan territory. But to make up "facts" of this serious sort about an opponent crosses a line.

The false story Clinton told during the 2008 campaign about the "sniper fire" she came under at the airport during a 1996 First-Lady trip to Bosnia--a story she repeated frequently--is for me by comparison benign. It says something not good, even desperate about her character, but lacks viscousness.

I am incapable of voting for someone who is so loose with the truth. And so, at least for tomorrow, as flawed as he is, I'll be voting for Bernie.

Hillary and Chelsea Clinton---1996 Spring-Break in Bosnia

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