Skip to main content

What if Hillary had ...

As liberals rail against the debt limit deal and Barack Obama’s choices leading up to what they see as an epic capitulation, it seems fair to wonder if a different president -- someone with, say, a reputation for toughness and savvy and with a history of combating Republican obstructionists -- could have produced a better outcome. Someone like, oh, I don't know ... Hillary Clinton?

That, after all, was the premise of Clinton's Democratic primary campaign in 2008 -- that Obama might be able to inspire the masses, but that only she had the experience and know-how to get results. And now here's Obama seemingly validating it -- and hardly for the first time in his presidency. Can we now safely say that Democrats made the wrong choice three years ago?

The short answer is: No. Believe it or not, the best evidence is that if Clinton were now the president -- or, for that matter, if any other mainstream Democrat were -- the differences would be very small. (Jonathan Bernstein, “Would President Hillary be a stronger leader than President Obama?,” Salon, 3 August 2011)

It's in her wish

If Obama could somehow have made America continue on in a spirit of Krugman-style never-ending growth, it would make him uncomfortable -- his style is to walk about a handsome, kept-in and composed aristocrat, granting assurances and placations amongst townspeople subdued into a hunch of abayance, a non-arousing, defeated cloister of mottled greys and unassured, uninspiring greens. Hillary would mostly dig it. Something in this is why Obama was chosen over Hillary: they -- the people -- too had become unnerved by what might be drawn if things shine too spritely sweet and gay, and fled Hillary's buoyancy and often-cheerful resonance for more spent "country."

Both WOULD have followed pretty much the same course. But that wouldn't be the thing. Everything about Hillary would sit uneasily with, would be gainly testing, mocking, its spirit, while Obama is in entirety all smooth cooperation. (Remember Hillary's -- referring to whole body airport scanners -- "I'd avoid them if I could," which read as "don't go quietly into this good night!," and her meaning it.) About all this kowtowing to the debt: there is something in her that would keep us reminded that she could be prompted to REALLY avoid it if she could, while, as Greenwald reminds and reminds, Obama would spit venum at any voice that could forestall America becoming growth-stalled and frozen for at least ten years. He -- Obama -- knows Hillary is one such voice. But the plan I think was to keep her sort of relevant, and thereby placated and subdued, until voices like hers resonate only with an easily demolishable minority, until people like her and Krugman are but absurd and entitled, fully dismissal-worthy douches.

Link: Would President Hillary be a stronger leader than President Obama? (Salon)


Popular posts from this blog

Full conversation about "Bringing Up Baby" at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…

"The Zookeeper's Wife" as historical romance

A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.

The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …