August 14 2014
A Report on the Martha's Vineyard "Hug Summit"
President Obama has uttered nary a public word about the August 5 killing in Afghanistan of Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, the highest ranking American officer to die in the line of duty since 9/11.
The Commander-in-Chief did, on the other hand, get around to issuing from his Martha's Vineyard Shangri La a statement on the sad death of Robin Williams.
We don’t have a problem with the president’s mourning somebody who gave pleasure to millions of people. But how about a nod to the general who died in the service of his country?
But nothing speaks louder of the bizarre values of the American political class right now than that a White House spokesman is, at this frightening juncture in history, reduced to publicly commenting on the the “hug summit” that took place last night on Martha’s Vineyard.
The Vineyard summiteers were the President of the United States and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lobbed some serious (and some catty, if I am not sexist in saying so) accusations of ineptitude at the president for the way he has conducted his foreign policy. The comments were made in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic.
When asked about her relationship with the president in the light of her remarks, she gave a slightly different answer from the one Thomas Jefferson might have given in a similar awkwardness with John Adams—she said that she and the leader of the free world (what’s left of it) would “hug it out” at a Martha’s Vineyard soiree.
The “hug summit” finally took place Wednesday night.
President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton mingled amiably at a party on the elite vacation enclave of Martha’s Vineyard, a day after the former secretary of state called the president to make clear she meant no ill will in a complex interview about foreign policy with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg that was published over the weekend. …
It was unclear if the two actually hugged, as a statement from Clinton press aide Nick Merrill had joked they would. But they certainly made clear that they were moving past a controversy that both sides described as overblown by the media.
A White House spokesman was quoted saying that President and Mrs. Obama were “happy to have the chance to spend time with Secretary Clinton and former President Clinton.”
Don’t get me wrong. I applaud cordiality between people who disagree. There is far too little of this kind of graciousness in Washington nowadays. But that is not what the hugs summit was: it was the utter and absolute trivialization of matters of life and death, occurring at the very moment when we are seeing all too clearly the devastation wrought by President Obama’s foreign policy. (There are various takes on what Mrs. Clinton said in the interview: Charles Hurt says she is “a woman of no convictions,” while Michael Goodwin praised the power of her arguments and says that she has now made it respectable for Democrats to criticize President Obama’s foreign policy, and Karl Rove opines that Hillary’s “hawkish makeover” will ultimately cause her political problems.)
When Mrs. Clinton was asked about the president’s reaction to her criticisms, it would have been better if she’d said something vague about how they are both adults (though maybe that would be an untruth) and thus could entertain dissent amicably.
The “hugs” comment rendered Mrs. Clinton every bit as trivial as the Commander-in-Chief who is more touched by the death of a celebrity than that of a general serving in Afghanistan.
The hugs summit comes with a chilling backdrop: Islamic terrorists, who are really more of a death cult, are establishing a state and we are sickened by the plight of the Iraqi Yizidis (and the far less mentioned Iraqi Christians). Russia is making like it will invade the Ukraine any minute.
Nero, get your fiddle.