Hillary as Queeg
During this election season, Barack Obama has reminded many liberals of Danny Saunders from Chaim Potok’s The Chosen. He is supposed to represent a new generation of Democrats, who combine the best of the old liberals with the new ideas represented by Democrat grassroots. He is supposed to be the One (Ophrah’s word) who transcends race and party and politics and will never let Americans return to their former cynism (Michelle Obama’s phrase).
If Obama is The Chosen, who is Hillary Clinton’s literary parallel? Perhaps Captian Queeg, from Herman Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny. It would be a stretch to call Hillary truly insane, but neither (spoiler alert) was Queeg. He just acted like it. So, often, does Hillary.
Her story of her Bosnia landing is delusional. At first, her plane just went into a corkscrew landing to guard against sniper fire, which easily could have happened. The next version of the story had the reception taking place indoors because of possible snipers. Finally, Hillary claimed that she and her entourage sprinted for cover with heads down to prevent the snipers from getting a bead on them.
No person with any sense of honesty would have tried to sell this story. CBS had reporters on the scene, Chelsea was there (so it couldn’t have been too dangerous), and comedian Sinbad rapidly debunked her story. David Geffen has said that the Clintons lie with troubling ease. It seems that Hillary lies easily and instinctively, with no thought as to whether the lie is actually plausible.
Hillary’s defense of the Bosnia fiasco is embarrassing. She explained that if she misspoke, it was a misstatement, and that she says a lot of things anyway—millions of words a day. Millions? When explaining away a lie, it is probably the best policy to stick as close to truth as possible.
Captain Queeg wasn’t crazy—but he wasn’t very well adjusted, either. Hillary is sane—but she does appear to be a congenital liar. Her instinctive response when faced with any difficulty is to lie—not as a defense, not simply as a habit. She can’t help herself.
Captain Queeg wasn’t much of a minesweeper captain. But if faced with the choice of Captain Queeg or President Clinton, I think I would take Queeg.