Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rally on the East River

Like you, I studied Saturday's rally on the East River with a lively hope. I sustain it today by presuming to offer a guarded criticism. As of now, I have the impression that Mrs Clinton is flailing, at a time whose climate, in every sense of the word, voices a desire for refreshment. On the Right this aspiration expresses the usual temp-tations of grandeur, dominion, and unsacrificing aggressions. The word, greatness, is recited over and over, but with disdain for its meaning. Revanchism is the word, fear is its pitch. 

If there is a Left, it is as marginal as ever, but its sense of re-freshment would come from a consensus for social justice, which it is equally reluctant to admit to being delusional, and equally frightened to submit for inspection of its definitions. 

In the main body of the electorate, the desire for refreshment is impressively less intimidated. It means relief from precisely the hollowness of both poles, together with an appetite for leadership based on leading, not (as in the present era) on quieting. Mrs Clinton is running to smother this aspiration, but to the naked eye it doesn't look like running, at all. It looks like waiting. It looks like waiting by wallowing in umbrages, all of them borrowed but one.

Yet such symbolic weight attaches to the latter, that I don't think anyone truly knows how it may play. It simply strikes this observer as distinctly reckless, for a major Party to hazard its entire chance to retain its hold on the one branch of government where it's likeliest to succeed, on a wager that being of one gender or another can defeat a challenge to show one's hand of leadership. This is not her way; it was not her husband's way. Their way is to wait, to dis-cern what commitments are safe. I suspect, the public sees this in sufficient numbers, to reject that cleverness as unrefreshing. It's the way to promotion, not to leadership.

Mrs Clinton had a chance on Roosevelt Island, to support the President's initiative on trade with Asia, as the most Rooseveltian proposition on the table today. She chose to exchange his freedom from want, which does not exist, for a freedom from competition, which cannot exist. Swooning is not leadership, it is demagoguery; and the public will sense this. Positively nothing else remotely promises to "prime the pump" of economic energy so clearly in this generation's favor, as the President's program of engagement with Asia. 

She could have led, if her support were more than gender deep; she could have dared to lead this nation, and to lead her Party to electoral pre-eminence in more than one branch of government. But she'd rather rally umbrage, because she calculates that her gender will justify her. How strange, with such lack of clarity of purpose, lack of courage, lack of giving and lack of serving, having so little to do with that gender as we know it, or indeed, with what could lead. 

Say, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I'm sorry, but there it is.

A humane initiative from the other Party is not needed to expose this, but it could be needed to overcome it, if all the polls are right in assaying the claim of gender with such weight. If someone of slight respect for that Party can figure this out, just imagine what one of its own could do. Let heaven then help anyone who cares for the American judiciary, who cares for peace - especially in the Near East - or who cares for the timely heeding of the guidance of learning, if that notably backward other Party should come up with so much as one refreshing commitment, led by someone not claiming entitlement. Nothing is more transparent, than that a nomination of Mrs Clinton would free the other Party to rediscover its legitimacy. Maybe the senior Senator from Maine? What she lacks in arousing her Party's murky base, Mrs Clinton would provide free of charge. There would be a first one could believe in. 

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