Ramirez on the “difference”

posted at 1:51 pm on January 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Hillary Clinton’s testy “What difference at this point does it make?” response to Ron Johnson certainly had the media in awe, which as Allahpundit noted yesterday is both unsurprising and a little discouraging.  These are supposed to be the people eager to “hold the powerful to account” and/or “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” along with a lot of other platitudes about being a Fourth Estate that keeps government in check.  Yet there they were yesterday, cheering on a government official for telling an oversight committee that promoting a false narrative either through incompetence or intent after the deaths of four Americans in a terrorist attack was just groovy.

Not all of the media has decided to play cheerleader for indignation in the face of accountability, however.  Michael Ramirez provides his own answer to Clinton’s question in today’s editorial cartoon at Investors Business Daily:

 

Jonah Goldberg connects the dots in his column at the Chicago Tribune today:

But just to be clear, Clinton lied and is still lying. When asked about the claim that the attack was sparked by a protest over a video, she responded, “I did not say … that it was about the video for Libya.”

That’s simply untrue. When she stood by the caskets of the four Americans killed in Libya, she directly blamed an “awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.” Afterward, she reportedly told the father of Tyrone Woods, the former Navy SEAL who was killed in the attack, “We will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.” Why tell the man that if the video had nothing to do with it?

Moreover, Clinton was part of an administration that crafted an entire PR strategy to blame these attacks on “an awful Internet video.” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was unequivocal: This was a “response to a video, a film we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting.” In his address to the United Nations, President Obama mentioned the video six times but al-Qaeda once. When he appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” he blamed the video directly. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice went on five Sunday shows blaming the video. All of this happened when they already knew it was not true on the day of the attack, and even the president of Libya publicly called the protest explanation ridiculous.

But again, the lying, while outrageous, is incidental to the real offense, which is twofold. First, why did the administration lie? Well, it wanted to conceal its utter failure to prepare for terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 — which is like being surprised by Christmas falling on Dec. 25. Also, the Obama administration, by which I mean the Obama campaign, was desperate to protect its hyped record of fighting terrorism. A “spontaneous” attack invited not by the administration’s shortcomings but by some nutty video was just the ticket.

And why does this “difference” matter?  Goldberg nails it:

Which brings us to the second part: the nature of the lie. Remember, not all lies are equally harmful. In this case, the U.S. government responded to the murder of four Americans by treating our constitutional rights as part of the problem. A former teacher of constitutional law, Obama was happy to watch the country argue new limits on free expression and the necessity of giving bloodthirsty savages and terrorists a heckler’s veto on what Americans can do or say.

Clinton was in on that lie, and that makes all the difference in the world.

A truly independent media interested in speaking truth to power would have known that without having to be told. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions like Erik Wemple at the Washington Post, most of the Fourth Estate seems content to cheerlead the lies and indignation rather than demand accountability.

Update: Peter Kirsanow recalls when the American media was less interested in cheerleading the administration:

When the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal broke, there was outrage among members of the press, Congress, and the public at large. Secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld was excoriated — and not just by Democrats – when he testified about prisoner abuse before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Numerous Democrats called for his resignation. A general was demoted and nearly a dozen soldiers were court martialed and sentenced to prison. The New York Times ran front page stories on Abu Ghraib for 32 consecutive days.

Fast forward a few years. Four Americans are dead because the State Department provided insufficient security to the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, despite numerous warnings and pleas for help — including directly to the secretary of state herself. A false story is promoted by the administration as to the nature of the attack on the consulate — a story that just happens to serve the administration’s electoral narrative. Any outrage about the debacle is not on the part of the mainstream press — indeed, the New York Times can barely be troubled to mention it. When Secretary Clinton testifies about Benghazi before two congressional committees, Senators Johnson and Paul are excoriated for daring to point out the State Department’s gross negligence and mismanagement leading to the Americans’ deaths. As for the others, congressional Democrats heap praise on the secretary. Not a single person is fired and the perpetrators are roaming free. And when the person ultimately responsible for this debacle is asked about the impetus behind the attack, she replies, “What difference, at this point, does it make?” And her reply is cheered by many in the mainstream media.

They’re more interested in power than truth.

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history.  Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here.  And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.


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canopfor on January 25, 2013 at 1:55 PM

The smartest bitch in the room’s reign has been an unmitigated disaster all over the world.

msupertas on January 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

most of the Fourth Estate

Wake the heII up Ed, America has no Fourth Estate anymore, they have been infiltrated by Marxists and become nothing less than a Fifth Column Treasonous Media.

SWalker on January 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

The smartest beyatch in the room’s reign has been an unmitigated disaster all over the world.

msupertas on January 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

wow.

ctmom on January 25, 2013 at 1:59 PM

The truth always makes a difference.

kingsjester on January 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career,

This is an awesome collection of Ramirez’s work (really, everyone should own this) – BUT, it is all pre-obama. Personally, I think that Ramirez’s ‘obama era’ work has been the best of his career. I can’t wait for the obama years to be collected into book form.

Pork-Chop on January 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM

The smartest beyatch in the room’s reign has been an unmitigated disaster all over the world.

msupertas on January 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Phew… glad she’s out… Can’t wait for Kerry…..

Don’t need the sarc tag do I

PS I think they’re both hot messes…

sandee on January 25, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Just love Ramirez!

I have been wondering what the ‘difference’ is when kerry, ‘Unfit for Command’ lost in the running for president is now ‘fit’ to be sos? kerry is the same pos/anti-American he has always been! But now that mccain just loves kerry, he will be get the job?
L

letget on January 25, 2013 at 2:02 PM

to further improve upon Ramirez’s work, Hillary should be dancing on the grave.

Archivarix on January 25, 2013 at 2:04 PM

I am sooooo glad someone brought up the handling of Abu Ghraib compared to Benghazi. What is wrong with these people!!!!

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

@Ed — Outstanding, this. Outstanding context for Clinton’s testimony.

They’re more interested in power than truth.

Maybe they think purple silk is more comfortable than coarse camel hair. :/ — But, to be honest, I think that describes the GOP leadership as well, and explains all the chafing between, for example, Boehner and the Tea Party styled noObs.

Axe on January 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

“What difference at this point does it make?”

If the GOP was smart they’d be preparing attack ads with that phrase as the money quote from now until 2016.

So, never gonna happen, is it?

Bruno Strozek on January 25, 2013 at 2:10 PM

I’m not sure how everyone has missed this, but she answered her own question in the next sentence:

“With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans,” Clinton said wednesday, visibly agitated. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

If it’s “our job” to figure out what happened and prevent it from ever happening again, then it makes a VERY BIG DIFFERENCE if it was “because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans.”

The POINT is to “figure out what happened”–i.e. was it a protest or was it four guys out one night (see the fallacy now… in neither case was it a planned terrorist attack)? By talking AROUND the points, she succeeded in obfuscating long enough to throw the questioners off.

UnderstandingisPower on January 25, 2013 at 2:10 PM

as usual Ramirez nails it…the fact that the public still finds this unindicted accessory to murder popular does not say a lot for for America…

RedInMD on January 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

They’re more interested in power than truth.

Shrillary is more interested in power. Barky is more interested in destroying America and exacting his demented third world sense of revenge against us for shaming his people in the third world with our creativity, productivity, intelligence, freedom and success.

Anyone who supports the dems is a lowlife worm. I want a national divorce from these people since I have nothing in common with them, want nothing to do with them, and have no desire to live in the American Socialist Superstate they are constructing.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Who gave the order to stand down?

John the Libertarian on January 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

I am sooooo glad someone brought up the handling of Abu Ghraib compared to Benghazi. What is wrong with these people!!!!

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Everything…

Liam on January 25, 2013 at 2:13 PM

I am sooooo glad someone brought up the handling of Abu Ghraib compared to Benghazi. What is wrong with these people!!!!

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Oh come on Cindy!!

That was UNDERWEAR on poor prisoner’s heads!!

Definitly worse than Benghazi!!

(and worth 2 months more news coverage too!!!)

ToddPA on January 25, 2013 at 2:13 PM

What~~~ it’s not like the ambassador begged for additional security or anything.

…oh, wait. =\

Jeddite on January 25, 2013 at 2:14 PM

And, it’s not like an American Ambassador was dragged through the streets of Benghazzi, with the barbarians stopping every few yards to take pictures with their cell phones…

kingsjester on January 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM

The smartest beyatch in the room’s reign has been an unmitigated disaster all over the world.

Perhaps, as intended.

hawkeye54 on January 25, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Thank goodness for the Internet (and talk radio). It may not save the country but it’s helping my maintain some sanity in the midst of all this.

Drained Brain on January 25, 2013 at 2:17 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Lead by example. Cut loose Dems in your personal life. Don’t even announce it or explain why. If they’re too stupid to figure it out on their own, then they certainly won’t get it if you spoon-feed them the answer.

Christien on January 25, 2013 at 2:17 PM

I didn’t get to see the coverage, did anyone ask the simple question of why Amb. Stevens was there? The hearings are to find out what went wrong and how to correct it but it doesn’t make any difference how the actual attack took place?

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Our side spends a lot of time pointing the extreme bias is the media in favor of liberals. It is like someone wasting a lot of his time telling people that 1+1=2… nothing will come from pointing the obvious so many times… the media is liberalism….the most important thing is how to crush and defeat the media…

mnjg on January 25, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Oh come on Cindy!!

That was UNDERWEAR on poor prisoner’s heads!!

Definitly worse than Benghazi!!

(and worth 2 months more news coverage too!!!

Rule of thumb is that the most trivial in offending things that occur on the watch of a GOP admin is far greater and grave than the worst and perhaps criminal offense that occurs on the watch of a dem admin, especially the current one in particular.

hawkeye54 on January 25, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:18 PM

I believe so. But,she ignored the question…repeatedly.

kingsjester on January 25, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Hillary has been looking very frail. I hope she pulls through all of this without being hospitalized again.

forest on January 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Yes, during the House hearing. Hillary gave the entirely predictable answer that Stevens had “meetings” there on the 10th and 11th, and she kept saying ambassadors go where they want and do what they want–that she has no influence over that whatsoever, even in the face of obviously imminent attacks.

Christien on January 25, 2013 at 2:22 PM

First, why did the administration lie? Well, it wanted to conceal its utter failure to prepare for terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 — which is like being surprised by Christmas falling on Dec. 25. Also, the Obama administration, by which I mean the Obama campaign, was desperate to protect its hyped record of fighting terrorism.

I’ll suggest a third reason for their lie: they wanted the American public to believe that Obama’s imperial and unilateral decision to commit the U.S. military to the ouster of Quadaffi had been the right call, and had strengthened the U.S.’s position vis-a-vis Islamic nations in general, and the AQ terror network in northern Africa in particular.

The reality was that the ouster of Quadaffi was ill-considered, and the Obama administration was caught completely flat-footed by the inevitable consequences of AQ and various other anti-American factions rushing in to fill the power void. Remember that the Obama/Clinton/Power/Rice narrative always was that the U.S.’s misuse of its power in Islamic nations is the only reason AQ and the other Islamofascists hate us, and if we just show them we’re on their side, then they won’t have any reason to want to attack and kill us anymore. The 9/11 AQ attack in Benghazi demonstrated how ludicrously wrong-headed Obama’s policies in Libya were.

AZCoyote on January 25, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:18 PM

She denied that the administration was doing any gun-running and didn’t give any answer as to why Stevens was in Benghazi or what the purpose of the annex was.

Shrillary’s entire testimony, in both houses, was a sick joke. She faked crying over the dead in Benghazi … just before she declared that it didn’t matter why they died or who was responsible for the death trap that was set in Benghazi for them.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 25, 2013 at 2:25 PM

mnjg on January 25, 2013 at 2:19 PM

It may seem like a waste of time but consider that most of us who are confronted by the Left on current events are given “facts” from the MSM. You have to be up on the hypocrisy.

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:29 PM

“‘Reset’ … ‘Overcharged’ … what’s the difference?!?” — Shrillary

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 25, 2013 at 2:32 PM

So the media isn’t interested in who, what, why or how simply because it happen during the administration of their god. Disgusting.

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Yes, ma’am. You’re right and it is.

kingsjester on January 25, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Will probably be watching a B grade comedy tonight called Hysterical. Town is affected by a supernatural presence that causes random people to turn into dispondent zombies that say, “What difference does it make?”

apostic on January 25, 2013 at 2:39 PM

If the GOP was smart they’d be preparing attack ads with that phrase as the money quote from now until 2016.

So, never gonna happen, is it?

Bruno Strozek on January 25, 2013 at 2:10 PM

If frogs had wings, they wouldn’t bump their….ahh never mind, no the GOP is not smart.

msupertas on January 25, 2013 at 2:39 PM

I say it again and again: put a Republican in office, and the media will remember their duty. With enthusiasm.

ss396 on January 25, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Thank God Todd Beamer understood the importance of motives in the heat of the moment.

childseyes on January 25, 2013 at 2:52 PM

So the media isn’t interested in who, what, why or how simply because it happen during the administration of their god. Disgusting.

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I think Hillary and her handmaidens in the MSM think that, “at this point” (i.e., now that Obama has been safely re-elected), the lies they told last summer about Benghazi should no longer matter.

The purpose of their lies has been served. Obama was re-elected. That’s all they care about; it’s all they ever cared about.

AZCoyote on January 25, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Who was it that said “You break it, you own it” again???

monalisa on January 25, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Hillary’s New Campaign Logo

Axe on January 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

“With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans,” Clinton said wednesday, visibly agitated. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

The Secretary of State is supposed to be the head of U.S. diplomacy. If Ambassador Stevens was sent to a country where (a few hundred heavily armed) “guys out for a walk one night” could kill him, it was HILLARY’s job to ensure that he was protected by the American military.

Another question for Madam Secretary: Two of the four dead Americans fought bravely for SEVEN HOURS while outnumbered and outgunned, desperately requested help from the American military which was two hours away, and no help was sent. Who gave the order to “stand down”, Madam Secretary?

It was 3 AM in Benghazi, and no one answered the phone.

Steve Z on January 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Just prior to Hillary’s desk pounding spectacle on the hill, CNN’s talking heads asked, “Is she too well respected to be “grilled?”

So I told Wolf B. myself 1) H*ll no 2) no one should be above reproach here in the US of A, but that he does not need to give a cr*p because the majority of our back slapping and glad handing Senators don’t care about some replaceable diplomat and his helpers.

LetsBfrank on January 25, 2013 at 3:05 PM

AZCoyote on January 25, 2013 at 2:54 PM

And yet there are people who think it is stupid to point out the hypocrisy of both the Democrats and the media (I repeat myself) because no one cares. Any group this blatantly in the bag for one side, is eventually going to get the attention of everyone. It is all a matter of who’s ox is being gored on any given subject.

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2013 at 3:12 PM

I say it again and again: put a Republican in office, and the media will remember their duty. With enthusiasm.

ss396 on January 25, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Not really. When there’s a Republican (or even a conservative) in office the media lies about them, but against them. The media never does “its job” with any sort of integrity or honesty because the worms in the media have no integrity and are a bunch of dishonest hacks.

The distinction between Benghazi and Abu Ghraib illustrate this. Abu Ghraib was a joke. They were mostly frat pranks and nothing really serious but the media ginned it all up and did everything they could to demonize the US and promote iraqi attacks against us. In Benghazi, the media covered up for the administration’s illegal and stupid policies and ignored the whole situation as much as they were able, lying to defend their America-hating team in the White House and actively working to minimize the whole situation for the election campaign.

The press never does its job. When there are America-hating dems in control the press propagandizes for them. When there are Republicans or conservatives in control the press propagandizes against them and against America.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 25, 2013 at 3:13 PM

New Steyn…

The Obama Simulacrum

M2RB: .38 Special

Resist We Much on January 25, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Hey Ramirez, what about the cankles?

Chickyraptor on January 25, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Benghazi & her Senate hearing; concussion & today’s report of vision problems; and this from her past: Hillary Clinton fired for lies

In a sane world (yeah, I know) all this would keep her from any serious consideration in 2016.

LooseCannon on January 25, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Why are the 4 people in the State Department still on the Government payroll after they resigned?
Why dose the State Department still give aid to North Korea?

The Witch cries again: It’s the Law, my hands are tied.

The 4 people in the State Department were not pulled from their jobs to be disciplined as stated by Clinton.

They QUIT.

She can except their resignations or reject their resignations with out prejudice. Her hands are NOT tied in this matter.

Unless you are playing Arkansas Scrabble.

Resign: To tender a relief from potions without prejudice.
Re A sign: To tender a relief from position for another without prejudice.

MisTwiLies Run & Hide CYA
(Misleading, Twists and Lies)

jpcpt03 on January 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I loathe this piece of human excrement, which includes Bill and Chelsea.

She will get off scott free and most likely will run for the Presidency in 2016.

I hope she strokes out before then.

SmallGovtGuy on January 25, 2013 at 3:57 PM

“What difference at this point does it make?”

This comment will come back to haunt her.

FYI, Karma is a bitch!

GarandFan on January 25, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Does Lee Harvey Oswald have no relatives?

Or Booth?

Or Czolgosz?

Or Hinkley Jr.?

Nutstuyu on January 25, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Campaign slogan:

Hillary Clinton, stupid or liar, what difference does it make.

Vera71 on January 25, 2013 at 4:26 PM

I say it again and again: put a Republican in office, and the media will remember their duty. With enthusiasm.

ss396 on January 25, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Not really. When there’s a Republican (or even a conservative) in office the media lies about them, but against them. The media never does “its job” with any sort of integrity or honesty because the worms in the media have no integrity and are a bunch of dishonest hacks.

The distinction between Benghazi and Abu Ghraib illustrate this. Abu Ghraib was a joke. They were mostly frat pranks and nothing really serious but the media ginned it all up and did everything they could to demonize the US and promote iraqi attacks against us. In Benghazi, the media covered up for the administration’s illegal and stupid policies and ignored the whole situation as much as they were able, lying to defend their America-hating team in the White House and actively working to minimize the whole situation for the election campaign.

The press never does its job. When there are America-hating dems in control the press propagandizes for them. When there are Republicans or conservatives in control the press propagandizes against them and against America.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 25, 2013 at 3:13 PM

I would love to be president, and if the press pulled crap like that, I would simply expel the entire WH press corps, ban all interviews, and just go straight to YouTube and online appearances. There really is no need for a press corps anymore anyway.

Nutstuyu on January 25, 2013 at 4:34 PM

The Bard had it wrong. First we kill the journalists.

jukin3 on January 25, 2013 at 4:35 PM

They’re more interested in power than truth.

Truth is just the majority opinion of whoever is in power.

No, I don’t believe that. But they do. And that’s no joke.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 25, 2013 at 4:40 PM

IMO when heads of government departments don’t actually fire underlings for some gross incompetence or malfeasance it’s because the heads know that they were informed and approved of the underling’s actions or inaction. Not actually firing them is a way to reward the underling’s silence on this, which silence otherwise probably will not happen.

In short, I think Hillary is lying big time. Experience seems to show that lying is necessary for getting elected president in this country.

Chessplayer on January 25, 2013 at 4:53 PM

And, it’s not like an American Ambassador was dragged through the streets of Benghazzi, with the barbarians stopping every few yards to take pictures with their cell phones…

kingsjester on January 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM

and raped if I remember correctly but at this point what difference does it make?

Wagthatdog on January 25, 2013 at 4:57 PM

What’s even more disgusting is the tongue bath that the Democrats gave her during the hearings…

… Maybe they forgot that the assault lasted seven hours.

Seven Percent Solution on January 25, 2013 at 5:15 PM

I guess Hillary had four months to believe in herself that she was right and everyone else was wrong.

fistbump on January 25, 2013 at 6:13 PM

I am shocked- SHOCKED! – that a Clinton would lie. Just . . . shocked.

ugottabekiddingme on January 25, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Let’s not forget that after the Abu Ghraib story there were heated calls for not only Rumfield’s head, but for Cheney and Bush as well.

rjoco1 on January 25, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Hillary totally avoided taking responsibility and our MSM helped her. Disgusting.

CW on January 25, 2013 at 6:48 PM

I find a lot of Ramirez’s comics to be stupid, but this is the first time this scumbag has done anything this vile. To use the deaths of his fellow citizens as a cheap political prop in this manner goes well beyond reprehensible. A big “screw you” to anyone who defends this sleazy low life too, there’s no defense for this.

Typhonsentra on January 25, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Hillary reminds me of Grandma Ethyl on the old TV show “Dinosaurs.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3Bs67968qA

disa on January 26, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Typhonsentra on January 25, 2013 at 7:29 PM

The aliens among us: I wonder what it’s like to be in a liberal’s brain, where rational thoughts are hunted down and eliminated, like rabid dogs.

disa on January 26, 2013 at 7:12 AM

Mrs. Clinton, what difference at this point do YOU make?

TheStatistQuo on January 26, 2013 at 7:44 PM