22 Dec 2006

Jaundiced on Hillary

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Martin Peretz, in New Republic, contemplates the threat to Hillary’s ambition posed by Barack Obama, and the possibility of another Clinton White House.

Hillary started out in 1993 with “the politics of meaning,” that pretentious and portentous phrase that actually means nothing. She had leapt at it out of the mouth of a foolish “rabbi,” Michael Lerner, earnest and oleaginous (he the enthusiast of tikkun olam, a theology rooted nowhere so firmly as in a Peter, Paul, and Mary song). But she dropped it quickly when she discovered that the American people were on to her preacher-teacher’s banal words. Then she peddled It Takes A Village as book and slogan. It soon appeared too soft for her own entry into politics, and so she also sidetracked this theme. But now she is running for president. Tough-minded she was on Iraq, right up there with that junior senator from Massachusetts. A few days ago, she said that, had she known what she knows now, she wouldn’t have voted for the war. Then, today, she said she wished she had voted against the war, whatever. She has fumbled and disenchanted the left, and the left is not easily forgiving. Still, as a gesture to that flank of the party, Hillary has republished It Takes A Village. But what it really takes is a majority of the electoral college. Which I don’t see.

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