HILLARY, HER GRANDPARENTS AND INTEGRITY
Hillary sat at a table, Iowans around her, making the case for what most of us would call amnesty for illegal aliens.
She cited her grandparents.
As she has many times before, she said they were immigrants.
All of them.
She told stirring stories of how hard they worked and how they found their place in America.
It was all very moving.
The problem is, it didn’t happen to be true.
And within hours of her saying so, a reporter was able to prove her claim false.
In the era of Internet genealogy, once obscure and unreachable records are a few keystrokes away. And so it was that the Hillary family tree proved very easy to climb.
And it was clear.
One of her grandparents was an immigrant, but the other three weren’t – unless you consider Pennsylvania a foreign country.
And the one grandparent who was born overseas came here as a very small child and was essentially raised an American.
Which is neither here nor there. People come from where they come from and a grandparent from Scranton is a wonderful as a grandparent from Scotland.
But there is the issue of honesty.
Ask Brian Williams.
Hillary Clinton said that all four of her grandparents were immigrants. She said it this week, less than 48 hours ago.
And it was not true.
It wasn’t even close to true.
Criticism and questioning are being dismissed as sexism, and the matter is being called trivial and a misunderstanding of meaning. The word from Hillary’s camp is clear: This doesn’t mean anything. But maybe it does.
Maybe a president we can’t trust is a president we shouldn’t choose.
If someone will lie to make herself look good, or to advance a political advantage or point, is that the person you want to invest great power in?
And in the case of Hillary Clinton specifically, does this prevarication raise other questions.
For example, in the last two controversies in which Mrs. Clinton has been involved, her final assertion has been that we must trust her.
She said we had to trust that the Benghazi attack was handled appropriately, and she said that we had to trust that the e-mails she destroyed were personal and not official.
Those are two big buys.
And they require a lot of trust.
In both instances, grave national significance is attached to her being truthful. In both instances, normal processes of accountability and transparency were skirted, and we must believe her when she says they were no big deal.
That was hard before Wednesday.
It’s almost impossible now.
Because if she will lie about her grandparents, to advance her interests, might she have lied about the e-mails, to protect her interests?
We can’t know.
Unless somehow we can talk the Russian or Chinese intelligence services into giving us their surveilled copies of her e-mails – and you know they have them – we have no way of verifying what she did or did not delete.
This is harder than looking up census records.
This requires us to have complete confidence in someone who lied to us the day before yesterday.
And that’s hard to do.
And it reminds us of her bold assertion on national television, years ago during her husband’s presidency, that criticisms of him were the work of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
Except that those criticisms – that he diddled an intern and lied under oath – turned out to be true.
And there was no conspiracy.
And her husband – I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewansky – was a liar.
A trait he seems to share with his wife.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2015