If your last name is Clinton, nothing is ever your fault. Whenever you find yourself in trouble, well gosh, you were just an innocent bystander. If anyone around you did anything wrong, this is certainly the first you’re hearing about it. Mistakes were made, passive voice, etc.
Here’s an excellent example. Niall Stanage, The Hill:
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is blaming the media for fomenting the controversy over her use of a private email server. But, in doing so, it is writing yet another chapter in the story of the former secretary of State’s tumultuous relationship with the press…
In a conference call also on Wednesday afternoon, Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon was quoted trying to clarify the issue of whether classified material came across Clinton’s server by saying she was “the passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became classified.”
Putting aside the question of that in the world “unwitting information” is — no, sweetie, facts don’t possess awareness of themselves, only people can be witting or unwitting — Fallon is trying to sell the idea of Hillary Clinton as a “passive recipient.” Sure, she set up an unsecure, differently legal private email system to avoid oversight of her activities as secretary of state, but any classified information that might’ve been mishandled had nothing to do with her.
Here is a visual representation of this idea:
If this amusingly implausible idea sounds familiar, you might be remembering what happened all the way back in 1998. Here’s Hillary Clinton’s husband, tortuously dancing around what would seem to be a straightforward question: Did he or did he not have sex with Monica Lewinsky?
QUESTION: Mr. President, you’ve told us at least a little bit about your understanding of how the term “sexual relations” was used, and what you understood it to mean in the context of your deposition. Isn’t that correct?
CLINTON: That is correct.
QUESTION: And you’ve told us — that was a lawsuit Paula Jones filed in which she alleged that you asked her to perform oral sex, isn’t that so?
CLINTON: That was her allegation.
QUESTION: That was her allegation. And notwithstanding that that was her allegation, you’ve testified that you understood the term “sexual relations,” in the context of the questions you were being asked, to mean something else. At least insofar as you were the recipient rather than the performer.
CLINTON: Sir, Paula Jones’ lawyers pulled out that definition, not me. And Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled on it, just as she later ruled their case had no merit in the first place, no legal merit, and dismissed it.
I had nothing to do with the definition. I had nothing to do with the Judge’s rulings. I was simply there answering questions they put to me, under the terms of reference they imposed.
QUESTION: Well, the grand jury would like to know, Mr. President, why it is that you think that oral sex performed on you does not fall within the definition of sexual relations as used in this deposition.
CLINTON: Because that is — if the deponent is the person who has oral sex performed on him, then the contact is with — not with anything on that list, but with the lips of another person. It seems to be self-evident that that’s what it is. And I thought it was curious.
Let me remind you, sir, I read this carefully. And I thought about it. I thought about what “contact” meant. I thought about what “intent to arouse or gratify” meant.
It goes on and on and on like that. The point is, he was merely the “deponent.” He wasn’t having sex. She was, but he wasn’t. He was just minding his own business, and the next thing you know she was blowing him.
He was, in other words, a passive recipient.
Whether it’s getting a hummer from an intern in the White House, mishandling classified information and endangering national security, or anything else, the Clintons are never active participants. They’re victims of circumstance, and if they can be held responsible for anything, it’s that they’re just too darn trusting of all those troublemakers who seem to surround them constantly.
Hillary 2016: Make Her a Passive Recipient of Your Vote