THE HILLARY SLIDE REFLECTS
LARGER SOCIETAL CHANGES
I’m usually not much of a political prognosticator, I have to admit.
But sometimes I get feelings that are as valid as a lot of “big-time” commentary I read.
For instance, back in 2008, when Sarah Palin made her debut as the Republican nominee for Vice President, I heard a little voice inside my head saying…
Hillary Clinton is never going to be President of the United States.
All right, all right, knock off the horse laugh about Sarah Palin. We all know what a cliché she and her family have become. Why Donald Trump felt it necessary to gain her endorsement eludes me.
The point of my 2008 epiphany was simply this…
Even though Bill Clinton’s wife was (and remains) the only woman in public life with a truly national constituency, Barack Obama had shown that Hillary-as-President was no longer a uniquely engaging idea, and there was plenty of other female political talent on the rise.
Fast-forward to today.
After Iowa — where it looks like Hillary’s razor-thin “victory” was achieved by fraud — and New Hampshire — where the cranky alumnus of a Communist kibbutz overwhelmed her with double the numbers — I think that Hillary Clinton, as any kind of political force, is an idea whose time has passed.
Sure, I could be wrong. I realize that New Hampshire is a singularly leftist enclave and pretty much Bernie Sanders’ home turf. And, under the Democratic Party’s Super Delegate system, Hillary might end up with the same number of New Hampshire delegates as Bernie.
But the fact that she lost every demographic category except the over-65 suggests that a strong bounce-back would be something of a long shot.
Word is that her campaign strategy is in tatters and her organization is falling apart.
Husband Bill Clinton, America’s favorite bad boy (not to say, national disgrace), is failing to turn out the crowds.
Madeleine Albright, who could very well be Hillary’s model for a feckless female Secretary of State, is threatening young women with an eternity in hell, should they vote for Sanders. (Isn’t this the Millennial crowd that supposedly rejects religion and all associated concepts?)
Faded feminist glamor puss Gloria Steinem dismisses Sanders campaign rallies as places where lefty girls meet lefty boys. (Actually, she may be onto something there. Back in the sixties, I had a friend who attended anti-war demonstrations because he thought they were great places to meet chicks.)
Dick Morris, Bill Clinton’s former strategist, turned conservative, sees Hillary’s campaign as completely lacking in any logical riposte to Bernie’s arguments…
“Sanders has a coherent, consistent and concise message: Incomes are stagnant because the economy is rigged by the top one-tenth of 1 percent that controls politics through massive campaign contributions.
“Clinton has no competing message, just the charge that Sanders’s supporters are ‘sexist and vulgar.’”
Morris observes how Hillary and her minions were reduced to carping that one Sanders campaign ad…
“was racist because it had too many white people in it.”
He also notes how the recent flap over Hillary’s Wall Street speaking gigs have tied her to the “top one-tenth of 1 percent” Bernie bashes so strenuously…
“The aging and raging ex-president [Bill Clinton], meanwhile, speaking to a half-filled gym in a New Hampshire school, ranted about Sanders’s ‘hypocrisy’ in condemning his wife’s paid speeches. Sanders, too, has given paid speeches, Bill Clinton claimed.
“He’s got a point. In 2013, for example, Sanders made all of $1,500, which he donated to charity as required by federal law. In 2014, he raked in $1,850 for paid speeches. By contrast, Clinton made, and kept, over $21 million during the same time period. Sanders was only reimbursed for coach class airfare, while Clinton demanded private jets. Sanders’s hosts were the TV show ‘Real Time with Bill Maher,’ Avalon Publishing and a machinists union. Clinton’s were Goldman Sachs, the big banks and the pharmaceutical and energy industries.”
It strikes me as interesting that the morning after New Hampshire’s primary was Ash Wednesday. Looks like Hillary’s got a rough Lenten journey ahead of her.
I think the downward turn in her political fortunes is a sign, not only of Hillary’s total lack of authentic political charm (which has been evident for some time now), but of larger societal change. For one thing, it reflects the current marginal state of the Feminist Movement.
While the past four decades have seen many changes in the status of women and in expectations about what economic roles they should fill, their personal identity with Feminism — as a movement (and as it’s traditionally been understood) — has declined precipitously.
The blog, A Voice for Men, points out the steep fall-off in feminist identity that occurred between a 2013 YouGov poll and a 2015 survey by the research and communications firm PerryUndem. Writer August Løvenskiolds notes that…
“in two years, it seems those Americans [both women and men] calling themselves ‘Feminist’ fell from 28% to a mere 18%, a drop of 10% of the population and about 37% of feminists.
“The US Population is now estimated to hit 325 million this year (2015). 18% are still feminist, which equates to 58.5 million feminists.
“So, in real terms, feminists have dropped from 89 million to 58.5 million. More than 30 million people mutinied and bolted from feminism in the last 2 years.”
Lots of anecdotal evidence supports the notion that far fewer women — especially young women — think of themselves as Feminists these days, even as they acknowledge the impact of the movement on society or even on their own lives and life options.
As goes the Feminist Movement, so goes Hillary Clinton, long its greatest political icon.
Of course, none of this is to say she’s ready to throw in the towel. Hillary has spent a lifetime dreaming about being the first woman President, and such dreams die hard.
If my prognostications are wrong — if she keeps slogging on, avoids being indicted for her sloppy email security practices, and eventually does win the nomination — I’ll eat plenty of that proverbial crow.
But my call right now is this: Bernie Sanders will continue to gain strength, though not enough strength to triumph at the convention. The Dems aren’t going down in flames with an avowed Socialist — not after Obama showed them how easily a covert Socialist can put one over on the American people.
So, who will be the Democratic nominee? I expect a movement to draft Joe Biden.
Ergo, sooner or later, it’s: Goodbye, Hillary.
Give my regards to Sarah Palin.
The Washington Free Beacon examines how Hillary has attempted to use gender as a “political tool,” and finds that the approach has been offensive to many young women in New Hampshire…
“I also am a woman. I also face discrimination as being a woman. Her feminism does not represent my feminism, and I think it’s really important to differentiate that,” one young woman said…
Feminist gadfly, Camille Paglia, views the decline of the movement with which she’s long been associated in a way not dissimilar to my own take. Writing for Salon, she tags Hillary Clinton as symbolic of Feminism’s current emptiness…
“What genuine principles does Hillary have left, after a public career so light on concrete achievement and so heavy with lies and greed? Yes, she’s been handed job after job, but primarily due to her very unfeminist association with a man.”