SYNDICATED COLUMN: A Hillary Clinton Candidacy is an Incredibly Depressing Thought

Women of a certain age are thrilled by the prospect of a possible President Hillary.

Over-50 females are so overjoyed that one of their own might finally achieve the nation’s top political post — better two centuries late than never — that they’re willing to overlook the former First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State’s not-so-minor defects.

Like her very long resume, minus significant achievements. Like the blood of a million Iraqis dripping off her warmongering claws. (She voted in ’03 for a war she ought to have known would soon become unpopular. What was she worried about? That New Yorkers, liberal as they come, wouldn’t reelect her in ’06?) Like the ugly optics of America’s first woman president having to be a former First Lady because we can’t find a woman who made something of herself on her own merits. Like the nasty truth that, aside from her chromosomes and body parts, she’s not one of them at all — just another slimy influence peddler. Not to mention, she doesn’t stand for anything, or have a vision that differs from the status quo.

For the rest of us, a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign is an incredibly depressing thought.

Starting with her much-vaunted Inevitability. Doesn’t anyone remember that we went through this in 2008? Democrats didn’t want her then; we don’t want her now. Can’t we do better than this tired old warhorse?

When I see Hillary’s chipmunk-cheeked countenance, I see old. Part of this is primal physicality, the sexist social conditioning that says guys age more gracefully than women. (How much you wanna bet that’d be the opposite under matriarchy?) But Hillary is actually old: she’ll be 69 on Election Day 2016. Her supporters point out that that’s the same age as Reagan when he took office. Considering the fact that the Gipper went senile in office, they might want to hush up.

For years, Clinton has played it hush-hush about her not-so-awesome health. This is one of those times, as with John McCain, where you’d have to pay close attention to the candidate’s veep pick.

More than calendar years, Hillary is spiritually old. She’s a throwback to another time, one that’s never coming back.

Like Reagan, Hillary Clinton is a cultural hiccup. Disconnected. Passé.

Post-Obama, who for his many shortcomings managed for a time to project a youthful vigor, an elderly President Hillary would mark a grim, dutiful restoration, a political return to the 1970s and 1980s, when she toiled as a talented if sketchy corporate lawyer. She harkens to the presidency of her husband, a conservative who banished liberals from the Democratic Party, severing the last connection between Washington’s political classes and the people they were supposedly sent to serve, never to be seen again after post-9/11 Bush went insane right-wing and Obama codified and expanded it all.

I don’t mind that she stayed married to Bill after he cheated on her. What’s unforgivable is that she stayed married to him after he destroyed American politics.

I hate Hillary — if you think about the million Iraqis she voted to kill, how can you not? — yet I don’t feel contempt for her.

What I feel is bored.

Bored, tired and sad. We have so many pressing systemic problems (economic decline, endless war, national purposelessness); is it really possible we’re going to have to endure another four-to-eight years of a presidency that doesn’t even try to address what ails us?

Because, let’s face it, there is no universe in which a President Hillary kicks ass. There is no chance, not even a remote one, that she is interested in decisive action on climate change (her “plan”: hope for young people to form a “movement“), bold moves to reduce unemployment or raise wages, putting an end to NSA spying on Americans (she’s in favor of it), or slamming the breaks on Washington’s kneejerk reaction to anything that happens overseas: blow it up (she’s really in favor of war).

You only get one thing by electing a President Hillary: a first woman president.

An old, tired, unimaginative, uninspiring, boring, useless, first woman president.


(Ted Rall, syndicated writer and cartoonist, is the author of the new critically-acclaimed book “After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan.” Subscribe to Ted Rall at Beacon.)



10 thoughts on “SYNDICATED COLUMN: A Hillary Clinton Candidacy is an Incredibly Depressing Thought

  1. Why not then propose some other cadidates? This is an opportunity. It’s a good thing that there is a thirst for diversity in the White House. Yes, in 2008 we got symbolic diversity. And the clear lesson has been: We need a genuinely progressive candidate, not just one who can symbolise it through demographic or marketing methods. In 2008 the argument was that the symbolic fulfillment of inclusive diversity and change would somehow (because the presidency is very much a symbolic position, as well as a directly powerful one) trickle down and embolden genuine progress in other areas of government which may be more important. The lesson is that trickle-down is a bad strategy. But we have a very strong thirst for progress. So we should be suggesting progressive women and other progressive candidates who are more than just an image. Pissing on the poor old paradigm is really not that necessary.

    Last, I do want to point out that our corporate media always covers ALL the scandals of the Left(ish) leader and downplays the terrible facts about the right. Bush has had much easier coverage than Obama. It is the same in state and provincial and city politics. Progressives have a much higher standard to live up to when in office. Right wingers are given a free pass on nepotism and self enrichment to some degree because they espouse the ideology of it. But the net effect is we get loud about small hypocrisies and are relatively quiet about major systemic breakdowns.

    To sum up: The media is already going to take down Hillary. I want to read a radical Ted Rall who is not just saying what I could already read elsewhere, but pushing new ideas for real and giving openings to genuine progressives.

  2. Those of you who know me and my previous posts will recognize that I USED TO BE a Hillary supporter, having met her and Bill in Little Rock (as neighbors).
    Then I learned that she is a great supporter of Monsanto and the poisonous GMO insecticide/pesticide infested produce they foist upon the public, even to the extent of fighting labeling laws.
    There’s no way in Hell I would vote for her.
    You want a woman President? Convince Elizabeth Warren to run!

    • I definitely swoon at the thought, but I am trying to imagine just how Warren’s first term would look. And you know what? I cannot for the life of me see anything good coming from it. The political system, economy, media and cultural landscape is just simply too far beyond dysfunctional for it to make a lick of difference.

      Simply put, we could be said to be getting the exact kind of governance we deserve (in aggregate, anyway). I don’t have to tell you or anyone here that, for now, at least, the answers don’t lie in the official political realm. The immediate steps before those of us committed to things like efficient resource allocation are in the category of really fleshing out those first few steps (in an also-currently-lacking overall strategy) in extreme detail.

      • I’ve seen comments from people who live in other countries that cannot fathom how only two political parties represent the millions of U.S. citizens. A first step would be to diversify the selection of candidates by introducing more political parties. How do we do that?

    • derlehrer,
      Owing to the painfully obvious self-refuting nature of two-party, winner-takes-all, first-past-the-post electoral mode, diversifying the selection of candidates by introducing more political parties remains so agreed-upon a solution across the board that it has become my favorite topic of conversation when talking to conservative friends and family because literally every one agrees.

      The only justification for this system was that an unengaged electorate can register their consent in a simple, binary way according to a heuristic known in political science as “throw out the bums”. The idea is that since one party is in charge, you can hold a single party completely responsible for how you feel about the state of the country, and replace it with another party. But subtracting from the self-rejecting effect on this system by both parties courting a middle, and maintaining mostly the same set of predetermined policies, successively throwing out one party after another based on some perceived impact of policies and trends going back over multiple past regimes does not actually link our votes to anything meaningful. And it’s just as well because the greatest single predictor of political outcomes is still the monetary investment 1/20th of 1% of the population.

      To make matters worse, the media needs only interview and report on relevant political actors, so instead of getting the reaction of the greens, the socialists, the libertarians* and the what-have-yous to, say, the state of the union address, casual consumers hear the *single* opposition party response. In this way the “political spectrum” observed by the consumer is denied the corrective effect multiple parties would have.

      So it’s definitely something that would have to change, but likely would not be allowed until such time as concentrated wealth interests develop the necessary infrastructure and capital to capture a multiple party proportional representation system the way they have captured the two party, winner-takes-all, first-past-the-post one.

      Only crisis still holds the possibility to disrupt this cycle, but as Milton Friedman said, we need to develop those ideas that will be lying around when the crisis of requisite scale inevitably falls upon us. And a key to that plan is an unprecedentedly ambitious, solid and and strategic labor strategy. Progressive planners are running on fumes, so they need all the synergy they can get their hands on. Labor kills so many birds with one stone because it aligns self-interests with progressive interest in a way proven to bring widely distributed benefits. This while providing a political education and amplification to the workers’ political voice. It brings near-term results which almost render political change a fait accompli, if not a redundancy.

  3. Hillary’s age is not the important part. If anything, her age disqualifies her because, at her age, she should have many, many more accomplishments. It’s not that she’s old, it’s that she doesn’t do anything.

    Hillary’s presidency? Assuming she can trick enough women into believing that she gives a crap about them (hell, a lot of men get away with it, why not a woman?) she’ll be elected in a landslide of about 4%. She will get a Senate split 51-49 in favor of the Republicans. That isn’t really relevant because, hey, even if it was 100 Dems and 0 Republicans, the Democrats wouldn’t be able to get anything passed.

    Her first term will consist of pretty much nothing. Unemployment will remain “stubborn.” No national work program will be instituted. Health care “reform” will continue to funnel millions into for-profit insurance programs, so that will stay the same. We’ll be in a war with Syria or somewhere, mainly because Hillary, having done nothing by her own gumption, will have to prove she’s “tough.” Marijuana reform will go through. Hill will take credit for this.

    She, most assuredly, will pardon Obama if he is impeached. She, most assuredly, will not initiate investigations for possible war crimes by the previous president (thus establishing the new trend of American presidential politics–no matter how criminally you behave, you will be taken care of by the next office holder, a unique version of the pay-it-forward concept.

    Her second term (of course she’ll be re-elected; look at all she’s done her morons will shriek) will be much the same as the first. Except I will have moved to Canada by then. Or blown out my brains.

  4. If I don’t want to vote for Hillary (who’s going to be 69 on Election Day, 2016) then I also gotta stop myself from voting for Bernie Sanders (who’s going to be 75 then). Or Howard Dean, or Joe Biden, or Joe Manchin, or …
    There’s people planning to run for President who are younger than retirement age, right? Oh, right, there’s Vermin Supreme. And Russ Feingold who would only be 63. So would Gary Johnson! And Roseanne would only be 64!
    I know medical care and life expectancy are better now than they were in the 1980s but why are people only running for President if they’re (relatively) old?

    • We obviously don’t want someone with one foot in the grave, that would be bad. But neither do we want a twenty-something. There’s a reason that the constitution specifies that the president must be 35 or older. Actually two: experience & testosterone. We don’t want an aggressive young hot-head sitting in the oval office. Given that the life expectancy in 1776 was 35, I’d be happy to push the minimum age up to, say 45.

  5. Hillary is a servant of Zionland. She finds it wholly acceptable that the Khazarian Genociders of Palestine be financed by American tax dollars BEFORE even America’s own war-crippled military veterans or education-denied children.

    In WDC, it just means that she is a first among equals for all but a few fellow warmongerers, as nobody in American politics can plainly state that “Israel” is America’s most evil addiction.


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