The Republicans and Democrats conventions have come and gone, and the nominees are official. Cleveland and Philadelphia were not without their share of fireworks, but largely the displays fizzled: a flag-burning here, a lone Code Pinko there for the Republicans; an anti-war protest or two, a flag burning, and a disgruntled band of booing “Berners” for the Dems.
The Republicans at times appeared at cross purposes, trotting out speakers — besides the Trump family—such as Peter Thiel to decry “fake culture wars,” a not so subtle message that Republicans should leave the politics of the Christian Right behind, while also scheduling Jerry Falwell, Jr. to suggest that the politics of Godly morality was alive and well—at least, until November.
In Philadelphia, the Dems had their speakers too, and no one needed to be told that Bill Clinton would be one of them. Bill, now raspy-voiced, gray-headed, and red-nosed, but still the same roué America knows and loves, reminisced about the young girl, who, believe it or not, was Hillary, that he followed out of class years before and almost touched (certainly not a first for Bill) before launching into a celebration of her accomplishments.
The speech that was meant to charm somehow disappointed, first, with its embarrassing and dishonest sentimentality, and, second, for its equally embarrassing embroidering of Hillary’s career as First Lady, in the senate, at State. As for the re-write Erich Segal’s Love Story with Hillary and Bill as the devoted couple, what’s one to say? After all, this was the man who made shirt-chasing the real business of the Oval Office and whose marriage rather notoriously has looked more like the art of the deal than anything Donald Trump ever dreamed of.
Regarding Hillary’s string of political “successes”— the botched stab at socialized medicine in 1993, her general anonymity as a senator, and the scuttling of America’s interests in the Middle East and just about everywhere else — Bill soldiered on, like a dutiful husband or, more to the point, dutiful party hack, praising wify dearest’s role in the joke of a “treaty” with Iran that, in the Age of Obama, if it hasn’t made the world safe for democracy, has guaranteed, Bill proclaimed, future inspections of the Iranians’ reactors. That the agreement (not, as the administration has insisted, a treaty) provides for those inspections to be conducted by the Iranians themselves was not mentioned. But we’ve learned not to expect too much veracity from the man from Hope, Arkansas, who once raised a legal quibble over the meaning of the word “is.”
As for the other speakers, the message was upbeat. President Obama showed his beaming face to the cheering crowd to assure them that the economy was booming (in spite of 1.2 percent growth in the second quarter), that America had never been so respected in the world as it is now, and, of course, to tell the gathered delegates that Hillary, the most accomplished person to ever seek high office in American history, just had to be elected to secure (what else?) his legacy. No, he didn’t put it quite that way, but that was the upshot of his remarks.
Beyond the ushering of a group of Black Lives Matter moms (Michael Brown’s, Travon Martin’s, etc.), an illegal alien onstage, and the obligatory nod to the lackluster Tim Kaine, all that remained was the much-ballyhooed coronation.
Because the Democrat Party has become an organization that panders to groups looking for money and power, Hillary’s speech was bound to hit all the right buttons: free college education for the youth vote, government-funded abortions for the women vote, legality for illegals, terror for the terrorists, and even guns — pop guns possibly — for those who want to keep them, or, recalling the weaselly Richard Rich from “A Man For All Seasons,” words to that effect.
To sum it all up, it takes a village; it takes Washington; it takes . . . Hillary.
Admittedly, as those who heard the speech will tell you, she insisted that “I alone can fix it” is the language of Donald Trump, not of Hillary Rodham Clinton. But if anything is certain in this world, it’s Hillary’s conviction that the White House is not simply the pot of gold at the end of the political rainbow, but her pot of gold. God help the person — man, woman, or child — who stands in her way. And God help the rest of us.
Lately, I’ve found myself wondering how the political scene would look had the Republican Party nominated Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, or Scott Walker. I try to imagine the principled and eloquent ripostes to Hillary’s empty claims, the exposure of Obama’s pathetic record, the pointed reminders of the booing audience in Philadelphia during the moment of silence for murdered policemen, the firm grasp of policy opposed to rhetorical posturing. But the reverie always runs head-on into the stark reality of Donald
Trump sticking his foot in his mouth yet again: over Ted Cruz’s father’s Kennedy-assassination “role,” in a plea for the Russians to do something quick about Hillary’s email, in a clarification of what he really meant about the Russians’ doing something about Hillary’s email, and so on. Until November.
As I said, God help the rest of us. Let the shame begin.