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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

President Clinton Redux


Update 02/09: ‘Generalissima Clinton’ Expands the Empire

Hillary is Running: A Dispatch from the Saban Forum, posted by David Remnick atThe New Yorker:
Hillary Clinton is running for President...
It's now less than four years before Election Day (I know, it just runs up on you!), so it is of course incumbent upon us to get deep and serious about the fielding of our next Presidential candidate. (Democratic candidate, of course, since the Republicans are pretty much toast - at least in the short run, right? - and Hisself must pass the baton.)

Sarcasm aside, the seeds of "conventional wisdom" are indeed being sown, and the probability of another Clinton run at he presidency is a (long-) germinating meme, and it deserves some consideration, certainly, at least, in the throwaway forum of faux-journalism that is the blogosphere. It is getting such consideration, so here we are.

Writing about Hillary Clinton has always been a minefield. As is true of all Great Men (I deliberately use the gendered term here to establish her parity with others who pretend to this appellation in this patriarchal culture*.) From the "two for the price of one" Clinton candidacy ("We didn't elect her!") to the ambitious early run at health care reform ("We didn't elect her!"), through to the somewhat creepy contretemps during the '08 primaries (which saw ostensibly post-racial "progressives" and feminists slap some easy labels on two human beings and proceed with the knife-fight), Hillary is, and probably will remain, a lightning rod.

The Presidency is certainly an appropriate trophy-measure for progress - be it racial, gender, sexual... - and worthy of discussion, but I want to talk about it from another, equally important angle.

I want to talk about neo-liberalism, and I want to talk about the largely-accurate trope about how the Democratic Party and the GOP being two faces of a single corporate party ("Coke vs. Pepsi") and grass-roots and primary-in' and hope and (real) change and well, fuck it, are we going to own this government or what?

I'm frankly kind of pissed-off that the "Hillary '16" thing is already being tossed about, and I don't care about how "inevitable" that happens to be. The fact is - Bill's "inspiring" convention speech aside - the Clinton Presidency was an unmitigated disaster for the left, not just for us radicals, but also for the mainstream left-of-center Silent Majority left. It is the moment when the right wing, neo-liberal fawning wing of the Democratic Party took hard root, and that is why we find ourselves with the middling Self-Negotiator In Chief that we're suffering with today. While Hillary is not Bill, it is perfectly crystal that she is deeply cut from the same cloth, arguably even more so than her husband. After all, along with Ambassador Susan Rice and any other politician of any ascendancy in this country, the apologia she spew over the Palistine statehood resolution in the U.N. should at the least signal that.

So, all of you who spoke of mounting a primary challenge to the Obama incumbency, then moved on to third-party "protest" votes (and of course those Quixotes who were quite serious about both), now is the time to step up. Now is the time to identify and swell behind a truly leftist and populist charismatron to rattle the Democratic National Convention in 2016... now.

Because, it's now less than four years before Election Day.


*Of course, something like "Great Person" or its equivalent is more "appropriate," but such a coinage unavoidably loses a bit of rhetorical weight. Please don't read to much into this, I'm not trying to make a point with that, although...

I will mention in passing that it is true that many women who ascend to positions of power and authority within this patriarchal culture are vetted because of successful imitation of testosterone, and as such we are still deprived, to some degree, of what truly liberated women could bring to our political landscape.

This is not to say that Ms. Clinton is especially representative of this problem, or that she is particularly masculine (personally, I don't feel that way - others do, and it is an easy smear. Hence, many of her detractors go there.)

OK, I'll stop digging now...

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