We hope that that sound was not a loud, noisy, crunching of metal and gears, but Hillary Clinton’s entitled behavior at the State Department, revealed (finally) this week, has the potential to change a lot of important things.
Before the Office of Independent Prosecutor reported Tuesday, however, we had begun this week’s column. We’ll return to this uncovering later. For now, hold that thought, and see how it changes even what we wrote yesterday in advance of today’s podcast.
“We don’t like to admit being a dolt. But midnight lightning pulled us up short recently and we realized how little we understood some parts of the electorate.
“In particular, those voters who promise never to vote for Hillary Clinton.
“We don’t mean the legions of Bernie Sanders devotees.
“We’re talking now about the average man or woman who may have voted Democratic for years who, this year, either is sitting it out or drifting rightwards towards Donald Trump.
“They sensed – if not saw – more clearly than we did that the campaign by Mrs. Clinton, after eight years of roadblocks and gridlock in Congress, is promising exactly what they don’t want. At least four more years of the same inaction and stasis.
“We are not complaining about her affection for the record of Barack Obama, or about her promises to maintain Obama’s direction and to protect his legacy.
“But Mrs. Clinton believes, as do we, that experience matters. Her entire adult life has been dedicated to doing work that will help alleviate others’ poverty (of all kinds). Whatever the cause is – healthcare, easing poverty, literacy, women’s issues, human rights’ issues – she has been in the forefront of impassioned helpmeets. Often her approach to solutions is distant; it may also be sophisticated and far-sighted. In foreign affairs, Mrs. Clinton has been hard-edged and determined, and brave.
“We have been told by pundits and commentators for the past year that Mrs. Clinton represents the Establishment. In the current field of three, she certainly does.
“And last week we wrote about her vision of the nation’s exo-skeleton, her innate understanding of The Box after years of existing within it. She knows what can be done practically. She also knows what is unlikely to come about. In short, she’s been around and is a wizard at playing the game, unlike Mr. Trump.
“This week, however, those who say they couldn’t vote for Mrs. Clinton have extra reason behind their statements. Whether one thinks the email disaster that has just been uncovered, this time for real, is sufficient reason to say Mrs. Clinton can’t be trusted is for the voters to say. (Cop out!)
“Mr. Trump’s followers are destined to become angrier (should he become President) and more depressed – as well as more energetically anti-government – as they see how little he can really do. When he tells members of the NRA that he will take care of them, what realistically can he do to make them happy? What realistically can he do about the southern border? About Muslim refugees? About the IRS? About building defense? About skipping out of NATO or at least making its other members pay for the privilege of being defended by the US of A?
“It used to be good enough for a politician to swear he would do X on the first day of his administration. Now the Donald is making promises (that can’t be kept) about the very first hour of his reign.
“Mrs. Clinton, too, is making promises. But of the reasonable kind, the sort of promises that may inch the nation towards recoveries of all kinds…financial, diplomatic, mannerly. Her promises are miniature compared with Trump’s. They may actually be doable in many respects. What they probably won’t be is dynamic.
“Voters seem to have imbibed Mrs. Clinton osmotically, understanding that AS SHE IS, SO SHE WILL BE.
“They have realized that she represents a continuation of public relations puffery. They see that what would accompany her into the Oval Office is caution and reason, tiny helpings of appetizers when what they want is steak, now, medium rare or well-done. They are willing to take a chance on the Republic. They believe that no one, even Mr. Trump, is strong enough to destroy the nation. Their trust in him, in change, is almost Biblical. That in this case it is also elusive is not something that worries them now.
“Let’s change first and then see where we are, what we’ve got, where we’re headed.
“They KNOW where Mrs. Clinton is, has been, will be. And it is no longer satisfying.
“Because she knows so well the BOX in D.C., Mrs. Clinton is fated to try to work within it.
“No matter what metaphor one chooses, the bottom line for these once stable Democrats is that they’ve had enough of the tried and true. They can recite the tried from memory. They can list their disappointments that were, at one time, based on good will. They still want the truth. They just don’t want it shouted at them by a “grand-mother” just like themselves(!).”
The voting public (helped along by Mr. Trump’s legionnaires) understood far earlier than we did the quivering stance of Mrs. Clinton, always half-afraid that something — SOMEthing! — would arise from the past that she and Bill couldn’t handle. That they HAD handled eruptions and slipped away fast from the flowing lava may have made them feel good, but it also hung like dust in the air over their heads.
Voters grasped this reality by watching, listening, and remembering. If they had doubts along the way, these were dispelled by one-offs from Mr. Trump. But really Mr. Trump wasn’t needed. Against the popular consensus that the public can’t remember anything for more than a day, it turns out it can. And does. Bill may be the Explainer General but what he can’t explain is why people are poorer, more pessimistic, more fearful of the future than ever before. And it ain’t just the presence and manners of one Donald J. Trump.
Hillary fans will say that nothing serious was in her private emails, that others have done the same. But we’ve reached the point where we don’t know about that, or about — anything.