Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Oh please! Can we not all go swooning and sobbing over Rebecca Traister's passive-aggressive treatment of Hillary and her campaign?
Clinton stood alongside Barack and Michelle Obama before a crowd of 33,000 people outside Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, the spot where the architects of the nation had endowed its citizens with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — as they built their new country on the backs of enslaved African-Americans and subsidiary women.
The founders did not "endow the citizens." Traister takes the Republican deification of the founders to an even higher level. The document says "all men are created equal."  We chose to interpret that generic "men" as "people," and that is fine, but nationality and citizenship are not specified.  The proper interpretation is "all people" (on earth) are "endowed by the Creator" with these inalienable rights. Americans are not endowed by America's founders with these rights. They are among God-given human rights (the implication is that there are other rights as well), according to the document.
The enormity of the upset came at the end of what had already been a traumatic election for the women and immigrants and people of color to whom Clinton was trying to appeal, and who had spent months being derided, threatened, groped, caricatured, insulted, and humiliated by Donald Trump and his supporters.
I don't know about the groping part, but what was most dramatic at his rallies were the actual physical attacks on people, male and female, who were, usually quietly, protesting Trump and his policies in some way.
Clinton was surely a flawed candidate; but Trump was a catastrophically awful one. The disparity is enough to make one wonder if she ever really had a chance.
This is a meme. In what way was Hillary a flawed candidate? All candidates have flaws. No one is perfect. If Hillary were a man, would she be called "flawed?" This meme had been repeated so often by Election Day that many simply accepted it, and clearly Traister has bought into it.  Hillary is not perfect and was not a perfect candidate, but she was as close to perfect as we are likely to see for a good long time.
In debates, when attacked as a member of the corrupt global oligarchy, Clinton would bleat about being a woman, a grandmother, different from literally everyone else ever to have been on a general-election presidential-debate stage, yet her claims never really landed.
Excuse me? "Bleat?" Words mean things. The metaphor here is that of a nanny goat. Insulting.
White women voters have consistently marked their ballots Republican since the 1970s: 56 percent of them voted for Romney over Obama in 2012, 53 percent for McCain over Obama in 2008, 55 percent for George W. Bush over John Kerry in 2004.
Not sure what the point of this is. It explains nothing. Romney and McCain lost. Bush won. What is the point?
“Crying as if someone died” is a text message I received from more than one friend last week. And it is as if someone died: a dream of what we could have been, of the president we could have had. And about the loss of one of the most inspiring (and sure, flawed, but good God am I tired of having to always acknowledge that she was flawed) leaders many of us will know.
And she doubles down on the "flaw? meme.
The media narrative about the wretchedness of her political skills has obscured the fact that Hillary Clinton was a pretty great candidate for the presidency. Not a magnetic or inspiring speaker, no. The bearer of way too much awkward baggage, yes. But also: steady and strong and strategic and smart. Despite being under investigation by Congress and the FBI and the media, despite having her State Department emails made public, despite having her campaign staff’s emails hacked, despite being married to a man whose legislative and personal history made him deeply problematic, and despite the rolling waves of sexism directed at her and the racism directed at her predecessor and political partner Obama, she literally won the popularity contest.
"The wretchedness of her political skills," the media meme Traister does nothing to banish. Hillary did everything she was supposed to do, and she did it all thoroughly and assiduously. She listened to the people. She took note of their concerns. She did her homework. She worked out solutions with expert advisors.  Let's completely ignore that the purpose of the investigations was to do exactly what they accomplished: tarnish her image politically, hobble her, defeat her bid for the highest office in the land. There was never a legitimate reason for Benghazi - come server - come email investigations. The purpose was #NeverHillary. They accomplished that.

Let's leave WJC out of this.  He was not running. She was.  He did leave office with a 60% approval rating, so what was the point there?

Why this November 14 New York Magazine article is suddenly circulating today is beyond me.  Like every post-mortem so far, it is a balloon-drop of possibilities. Back in May 2016, Traister told us how she came to Hillary slowly, and judging from some of her TV appearances, a little grudgingly.  We can see this opus as a glass half full: we are glad she got there at all.  Or we can view it as half-empty: setting up the article within the frame of the founders-as-demi-gods meme.  This stands as a premise she does nothing to shatter.


To circulate this uncritically as "read-cry-share?" Sorry. Traister needs to shed a lot more of her hidden anti-Hillary baggage before I would do that.  Read it, by all means, but do so with your virtual red pen not with a box of tissues.