Marie Harf ignores the First Law of Holes

The First Law of Holes, a proverb generally attributed to the British Labour Party’s Denis Healy, states, “If you are in one, stop digging.” Marie Harf is in the process of discovering the cost of ignoring that rare bit of wisdom from a committed leftist. Yesterday, appearing with Wolf Blitzer, she compounded her gaffe of Monday, suggesting that jobs programs would be the solution to the threat posed by ISIS. Mediaite chronicles the further excavation:

“I’m not the first person to say something like this,” Harf said. “Military commanders that we’ve had throughout many years here fighting this war on terrorism have said the exact same thing, that in the short term when there’s a threat like ISIL. We’ll take direct military action against these terrorists. We have done that. We are doing that in Iraq and Syria. But longer term, we have to look at how we combat the conditions that can lead people to turn to extremism.”

“So you suggested that maybe if you find these young men jobs, they might not become terrorists?” Blitzer asked, echoing her critics, prompting Harf to call his statement a “gross oversimplification.”

“We cannot kill every terrorist around the world, nor should we try,” Harf said later. “How do you get at the root causes of this? It might be too nuanced an argument for some, like I’ve seen over the last 24 hours some of the commentary out there, but it’s really the smart way that Democrats, Republicans, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat it.”

Asked how she’s dealing with the criticism she has been receiving for her comments, Harf said, “I don’t read it.”

Announcing that her critics, whom she claims she doesn’t read, are incapable of understanding her “nuances” just makes her look even more stupid, especially since she mentions seeing some of that commentary she didn’t read. 

Scott Johnson of Powerline concisely points out the elephant in the living room with Marie:

Jobs programs don’t quite cut it when you’re in the 72 virgins business. This is where the administration’s comprehensive denial of the motive forces driving the terrorists is key. They aren’t looking for work. They aren’t looking to get rich. They aren’t looking for early childhood education. They aren’t looking for daycare programs. They’ve got something else on their mind, something else that is taboo to speak of in the higher reaches of the Obama administration.

Needless to say, the gates of mockery hell have opened, as those critics Marie claims she doesn’t read dive into the hole getting deeper by the minute. Sonny Bunch of the Free Beacon offers a visual and historical feast of Marie rewriting great moments General Marie Harf Through History. My favorite is this:

 “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by curing poverty in the other poor dumb bastard’s country!”

At National Review, Ian Tuttle takes on Marie and her colleague Jen Psaki, aptly comparing them to Lucy and Ethel.

 Harf… apparently fell back on government work after losing out onSaturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” anchor job. Talking to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews this week, she proclaimed that since “we cannot win this war by killing [Islamic State fighters] . . . we need in the medium- to longer-term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether . . .” Matthews interrupted before she could offer another possible motive, but we can assume it was not going to be “whether . . . they are Islamic fanatics who enjoy murdering in the name of the world’s second-largest religion.” No, clearly driving the recent spate of beheadings and burnings-alive is the absence of a neighborhood Gap store. That is, it seems, the wisdom bestowed by a master’s degree in foreign affairs at Mr. Jefferson’s University.

Harf has had a difficult time when it comes to the Islamic State. Appearing on Fox News to discuss the administration’s strategy on “extremism,” Harf noted that “there are other forms of extremism that are also important.” Fox host Martha MacCallum asked for examples.

Anyone? . . . Anyone? . . . Bueller?

Harf has now become a national joke, and it is difficult to see how she can recover any dignity, much less the gravitas necessary to represent the State Department. Steven Hayward of Powerline suggests a new term be put into play, Harfing. Although he doesn’t define it precisely, I would suggest: “Ignoring the obvious in an effort to deflect attention away from an inconvenient truth.”

There’s a whole lotta Harfing going on in the era of Obama.