We conservatives Tend to nitpick, which, during the current electoral season, is unwise, since our own candidates also make occasional embarrassing gaffes. However, Ms. Hillary Clinton's latest little blunder deserves comment because it reminds us of one of her qualities that we often forget.
She's not very bright. She does have an instinctive manipulative cunning in political situations – Travelgate seems almost diabolically inspired – but her overall mental capacity is so limited that she often utters total inanities.
Yesterday, while criticizing Cruz and Trump, she came up with this gem:
Slogans aren't a Strategy. Loose cannons tend to misfire.
We can all agree with the first part. Slogans, such her own proposal that we combat ISIS by an "intelligence surge," are an inane substitute for real strategy. But the second part, the delightful garbling of an old metaphor she obviously doesn't understand, is worthy of Joe Biden. Its wonderful ineptness is reminiscent of Ms. Clinton's presentation, as our secretary of state, of the infamous "reset" button to Russia's foreign minister, Lavrov.
Ms. Clinton doesn't seem to realize that the danger of a "loose cannon" has nothing to do with the possibility of a misfire. To quote Victor Hugo:
Nothing more terrible can happen to a man-of-war under full sail. A cannon that breaks loose from its fastenings is suddenly transformed into a supernatural beast. It is a monster developed from a machine. This mass runs along on its wheels as easily as a billiard ball; it rolls with the rolling, pitches with the pitching, comes and goes, stops, seems to meditate, begins anew, darts like an arrow from one end of the ship to the other, whirls around, turns aside, evades, rears, hits out, crushes, kills, exterminates[.]
The scary part of Ms. Clinton's little lapse is that it does not seem to have been an impromptu remark, but rather (as with the reset button) a part of a carefully prepared script that she and her staff must have reviewed, nonetheless failing to catch the ludicrous error. This does not speak well for someone who aspires to be president of the United States and architect of its domestic and foreign policy.