Vetted: What is Hillary Actually Good At Doing?
This response was to an article in CommentaryMag.com called 'Competitive Victimization', about the female vs. race card being played in the contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton...
RE: Competitive Victimization
January 14th, 2008 at 5:27 pm
Unfortunately, it is true that race trumps gender and that’s why, if the democratic nomination goes to an inexperienced, unvetted, unscrutinized Black male, I will switch parties and vote Republican for the first time in my life and so, I suspect, will a lot of my ‘well-educated’ women counterparts.
Personally, I am deeply offended by Obama’s use of the ‘race’ card. That ploy may have worked in the 1970’s, the 1980’s the 1990’s, but this is the 21st century. Non-black citizens are SICK to death of hearing that racism is responsible for everything from the disproportionate number of black males in state and federal prisons, to allowing black rappers to use sexually and racially offensive language off-limits to their white counterparts in any branch of the media and now, this! The ultimate insult; justifying the bestowal of a free pass to a candidate for the presidency of the United State.
And let’s not forget the inconvenient and overlooked fact that every man in this country got the right to vote a half century before the same right was extended to any woman of any race.
Of course I would be just as offended by giving a 'free pass' to an 'inexperienced, unvetted, unscrutinized' white female--simply because she WAS female, too. Being ubiquitous is not the same as being experienced. Being shooed-in is not the same as being vetted. Being in the spotlight is not the same as being scrutinized.
I don't think Obama is unfairly using the race card. Actually, it's to his credit that he's not used it much at all. Just because Hillary SAYS he's used it--and then has offered her response--doesn't mean that it has actually been a weapon, only that she has managed to inoculate herself against such a charge in advance; it's political jujitsu.
What is Hillary actually good at doing? What have we seen her accomplish? Make your own list.
1) She can manage a large group of people, set the tone, create or demand the atmosphere she wants. She can define a topic, mint a Vast Rightwing Conspiracy, coin the meme, set the lede. She can change climates, alter the subject, redirect and distract--make HER news BE the news. She has constructed a polical patter wherein people think she is addressing what is important to them, when she is really all about capturing what is important to her.
2) She can cow people, frighten them, manipulate them, intimidate them--make them unwilling to act as they would in front of her. She can make her agenda more important than anyone else's. She is not afraid, and even seems to enjoy, making people pay the price for thinking otherwise. There's an unsettling noblesse oblige about even her most generous acts; one can't quite remove any of them from the realm of underground--and sometimes the most shameless--manipulation. People are scared to cross her; people are afraid to tell her 'no'.
3) She can impart the idea that she is better than the average person--even better than the person she is talking to while she is talking to them--and thus, is entitled to do, or receive, or be, something that the 'ordinary American' is not. She can make people think she has thought about things more than they have--and that thinking makes her entitled to go on thinking about them, and make decisions about them--even if they affect huge numbers of people who may not agree with her and don't want it.
4) She has managed to use being female for the positives she's wanted--seeming 'maternal' by having Chelsea, playing the 'good wife' by 'standing by her man', excoriating his accusers, writing smarmy 'It Takes A Villiage' books, tearing up, playing 'you-can't-hit-the-girl', etc.--without ever being beset or burdened with a woman's true feelings, or humanity, or love. (Who can name one person she has ever acted like she's loved?) There's a positive dearth of emotions in her. She is judgmental and harsh--and those judgements have an entirely self-focused frame of reference.
She 'loves' those who can help her get what she wants--and she will ignore or destroy those who do not. She does things to get what SHE wants. She plays the victim just well enough to elicit sympathy, but not so much as to make herself seem powerless. This is one of her most successful attributes, allowing her to never be placed into the 'little woman' or 'dumb blonde' camp.
5) She has constructed a veneer under which people feel they 'know' her--or knows what she 'really' thinks. Thus, her landscape of lies, evasions, untruths, exaggerations, misrepresentations is all-too-readily pushed aside and ignored by her constituents. I don't know how they rationalize her many, many missteps--but they do.
The only working feedback loop she has is 'Is my behavior--right or wrong--getting me what I want?" If it is, she continues and ramps it up, if it is not, she either changes tactics, blames someone else, or attacks. Morals, ethics, what's-best-for-others is successfully weeded out of her thought processes. She is never called on to account for any of the things she has done wrong. The only consequences she has ever suffered is bad press or diminished votes. The bad press she blames on their bad character, the diminished votes she blames on ours (or her opponents). NOT a good system whereby to check one's own behavior, take the measure of oneself, and possibly do better.
6) On the plus side, she is capable of hard work (to get what she wants), she is organized, she is determined, and--as long as she is ascendant--she is optimistic.
I am not sure if these things recommend her well for the presidency. All of her cleverness, her ability to connect with people, her capacity for hard work, her ability to set the pace for things--determine an agenda and see it through--are being focused down the very narrow well of getting her what she wants--the rest of us be damned.
Being female doesn't help her. Indeed, I think she'd have been much happier being a man and heading for things straight on, without any fluffy concerns about 'village' children, or being likeable, or 'supporting the sisterhood'. In Hillary, I see no true ability to unite people, work with others--or implement an agenda with which she does not agree even if, or especially, if it is the best solution to a problem. Hillary wants what will fulfill her goals first; I don't like to think about what happens to those who don't share them.
In a world that still sees Nancy Pelosi nannily head-scarfed, Condoleeza Rice being careful whose hand she shakes, and some delegates using the servant's entrance to a world summit, middle east tensions can easily reduce Hillary's agenda to that of 'just another lowly woman'.
With all her obsessive self-focus, I see the day when, if Hillary is elected, the mullahs and A'Jad's and Saudi princes of the world turn to the Vice President and expect to conduct the real business with him. And, no, that isn't all Hillary's fault. However, the same greedy lunge for power, and the self-centered pursuit of her own ideals, can too-readily make her blind to reality--and to too many other things.
Hillary IS 'inexperienced, unvetted, and unscrutinized' as a leader. The things she does well have more potential to do well only for her. In order to best represent America, and keep us safe in today's world, we need more than just a selfish figurehead. The tiara on Queen Hillary's head may do a lot for her; what's it going to do for us?