Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Apropos of nothing in particular, I've gotten sick of Hillary Clinton.
I've tried to stay above the fray in this Democratic primary season. After all, I haven't believed that any of the candidates, even the one whose policy positions I liked best (Edwards), were going to make any radical break with the present U.S. trajectory. We're trudging along in a dying empire, but the pain isn't even close to universal enough to force a dramatic course change, at home or abroad. The planet is in deep doo-doo because our species has thoughtlessly used up and screwed up its resources. But the U.S. election will only lead to tinkering at the margins of these real problems.
On Super Tuesday, I dutifully voted for the one I considered the "least worst" Democrat, Senator Obama. He got my nod not because he is so inspiring, but because he and the people around him are at least interesting. Since then, he's risen some in my esteem, especially for speaking aloud some truths about race and class. But his policy pronouncements are still pretty feeble.
But if my respect for Obama has grown, my respect for Clinton has plummeted. She certainly knows her stuff, the stuff of conventional liberal governance, and that's a good thing. I would have worked for and voted for her in the general election. But that isn't going to happen. She thought she had a right to be the Democratic nominee; she ran a piss poor campaign and has lost; and now she won't acknowledge reality. Apparently she, and the people around her, thought they were orchestrating a coronation, not fighting a campaign.
Her mistake is somewhat understandable; U.S. politics hasn’t seen a campaign that had a chance of winning run with smarts, vigor and apparent passion for a long time. Obama has reached around the barrier that slick media puts between pols and the people with a combination of new media and old time shoe leather that confounds the image-makers. Once he outflanked them, then he overwhelmed them. They are currently fighting back by trying to pin him down with a series of hyped up "gaffes" -- much abetted by Ms. Clinton. It remains to be seen whether they can nail him into a known place on their accustomed, truncated map of the possible, or whether he can continue to elude them right into office.
But whatever Obama makes of the rest of his run, Clinton is done. He's won the delegate battle unless the supers overthrow the voters, and they won't. They didn't get where they are by jumping up and down on hornets' nests. When will she admit defeat?