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A New Series: “If Only H.L. Mencken Were Still Alive….”

With this post I launch a new series here at Cafe Hayek.  This series’s title is “If Only H.L. Mencken Were Still Alive….”  The point is to have fun imagining what Mencken (1880-1956), the greatest American journalist of all time, would have written about a current event.  And so…

If only H.L. Mencken were still alive to comment on Hillary Clinton’s claim that she, not long after graduating from Yale’s law school, tried to join the U.S. Marine Corps.  Oh what fun Mencken would have had – and would have treated us to – with this one!


I must say that Tony Kornheiser’s reaction to this story, when it first broke 21 years ago, is indeed almost Mencken-esque – or, at least, P.J. O’Rourkean:

Last week, I was stunned to learn that in 1975 Hillary tried to enlist in the Marines. (Possibly she was looking for a few good men, as she was about to marry a man who was looking for a few good women.)

Too bad that Ms. Clinton was rejected by the Marines.  The experience that she would have received by being in that corps would surely have better enabled her to handle the sniper fire that she encountered during a 1996 trip to Bosnia.

(HT former Marine Lyle Albaugh for alerting me to the hilarious account of H. Clinton’s claim to have once attempted to join the Marine Corp.)



A sound test of a person’s intelligence is to gauge how seriously he or she takes any politician who stands a better-than-even chance of winning high political office.  Anyone who takes such a politician seriously is quite likely to be unintelligent.  His or her I.Q. might be high, but he or she is almost certainly not ‘intelligent’ in any practical meaning of that word.  Politicians’ public statements are not always faithful to the underlying reality.