It is impolite to mention gender as a factor in any human pursuit these days. Nevertheless, the Bible being my guide, I would like to adduce the Delilah factor as relevant to the outcome of Wednesday’s interrogation of Hillary Clinton on Capitol Hill regarding the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi consulate killings.
Delilah, as even Bible illiterates know, was Samson’s Philistine girlfriend who got him to disclose the secret of his super-human strength. No one else had been able to do that, though the Philistine army had long wanted that information in order to disarm the champion of their enemy, Israel. Finally they realized what men from Semiramis to Gen. Petraeus have learned—that the wiles of a woman are unmatched for certain political missions.
Here is a sampler of Delilah’s technique, when Samson at first resisted his lover’s probing:
“And she said to him, ‘How can you say, “I love you,” when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies’” (Judges 16:15).
The technique employed here is “outrage.” A rational evaluation of the emotional transaction should have shown that, if anything, it is Samson who should feel outrage: She has twice betrayed him, in a clear and undeniable way, and now has the impertinence to try it a third time. Yet she succeeds because she steals the man’s thunder by feigning outrage before he himself can do it.
Now let us return to the 2013 version of Delilah. See how Secretary Clinton deftly defuses the outrage of Sen. Ron Johnson by being more outraged than he. When asked to account for why four Americans died on her watch in the poorly secured Libyan compound, she seeks to humiliate the Wisconsin lawmaker by suggesting that he is petty for even asking.
Having evidently made a study of her victims’ personal weaknesses, Delilah then proceeds to make short work of Rep. Chris Smith, using a different technique: flattery. When the lawmaker opens his interrogation by mentioning the security protocols he had a part in devising, Hillary discerns the soft spot in his armor, pride, and begins to profusely commend him for his great contribution. Having played on his ego, she simultaneously uses up his allotted time, and so wriggles out of answering his questions.
These men should have boned up on the Bible. Hillary evidently did.