May 27, 2016

"The populist uprisings on her left and her right seem almost designed to draw from Clinton a defense of the country itself..."

"... that its systems of aspiration and its commitment to civic duty are intact, that things are working. And yet, she has hesitated. Among voters doubt is deeply ingrained, and élites are broadly distrusted. Watching Clinton campaign this time I have often wondered, does she herself still believe? There is another way to put this, which is that the trouble for Hillary Clinton is not only that voters do not trust her. That only deepens and complicates her essential problem, which is that Americans do not trust."

The last lines of a New Yorker article by Benjamin Wallace-Wells titled "Does Hillary Clinton Still Believe?"

Worth clicking through if only for the photograph — of Hillary in 1992 with her father and mother. The difference in demeanor of the 2 parents toward their eminent daughter is almost humanizing.

43 comments:

Quaestor said...

But no cigar.

Bill Peschel said...

If you can fake empathy, you can fake anything. Isn't that what acting is for?

"There is another way to put this, which is that the trouble for Hillary Clinton is not only that voters do not trust her. That only deepens and complicates her essential problem, which is that Americans do not trust."

We don't trust because we've been lied to so many times. That must be so difficult for Benjamin Wallace-Wells to understand.

Dan Hossley said...

It is evident to anyone with eyes to see that Hillary doesn't have a commitment to civic duty and never has; her commitment is to herself. That's why she put her convenience (if you believe her, which I don't) ahead of her duty to secure her communications as Secretary of State. More realistically, she put evidence of her grifting out of reach of FOIA requests ahead of her duty etc.

Quaestor said...

Almost. It figures prominently, doesn't it? It could almost summarize the entire career of Hillary Rodham Clinton, almost. She could use it as a new slogan, seeing as how how I'm With Her has fallen flat on its figurative face.

Almost Likable!
Almost Competent!
Almost Law-abiding!
Almost Trustworthy!
Almost the First Woman President of these almost United States!

Sebastian said...

"its commitment to civic duty are intact" Hillary! as the bearer of "civic duty"? It is to laugh.

"does she herself still believe?" Sure: she still believes in power ueber alles. It's all she thinks, and all she ever thought.

But the linked commentary on HDR confirms that some Dems are entirely divorced from reality.

"taking as her subject the project of human living and saying, “The goal of it must be liberation.”" OMFG. Of course, the means soon displaced the vacuous end. "Macht macht frei" is the essential Clinton.

Gahrie said...

Hillary can't defend America, because that flies in the face of the whole Leftist agenda.."You have to elect us, so we can fix America".

PB said...

A defense of the country? It's designed to force her to defend a corrupt party and her corrupt self and husband.

YoungHegelian said...

that its systems of aspiration and its commitment to civic duty are intact, that things are working. And yet, she has hesitated. Among voters doubt is deeply ingrained, and élites are broadly distrusted.

This, this is what drives me absolutely apeshit about the Hillary supporters!

Yo, Mr. Wallace-Wells, as you wrote that article like the good little lick-spittle you are, did you just forget that Mrs. Clinton is being investigated by 140+ FBI agents? There is so much in that woman's past, present, & future that makes her not only unworthy to be president or even in office. But even so, her whole goddamn party couldn't sit down & say "Holy shit. She's a train wreck! We need another candidate.". No, they wanted her handed the nomination like a coronation, as if in a democracy, it's ever a politician's "turn" in office.

The reason that the Hillary-ites delusions piss me off so much is because they, unlike the Trump-ites & the Bernie-ites, are completely unaware that they, too, have rallied behind a quixotic candidate.

Bay Area Guy said...

The most significant problem with Hillary is authenticity.

She's played at the major league level for many years now, besting almost everyone except Obama. She's made $153 Million through her speeches and Foundation. Reluctantly, I must give her credit for playing the long game, and winning most often.

But, she is a phony, and, more importantly, has been exposed as a phony.

She claims to be "fighting for us," but in truth she has been fighting to acquire personal wealth and personal power -- under the guise of blasting away at glass ceilings for women.

Utter bullshit, I say.

She made some deal with Bill -- I ride your coattails up the mountains of power, then you pivot and support me at the top. In exchange, I turn a blind eye towards all the girls you bang, just don't embarrass me. And, if politically, you get pinched, I'll lend a hand to demonize those bimbos to preserve my political viability. Deal? Deal.

Trump, on the other hand, isn't a phony. He set out to build a lot of buildings, casinos and golf courses, to make lots of $$ -- and he did it. Not under some phony veneer, either. Just for the glory of the deal.

He may be obnoxious, but Trump's not a phony. Ordinary folks see the difference between the two quite easily.

Hillary doesn't give a rat's ass about defending the country. She likes the power.

Deb said...

Looking to Daddy for approval while mommy fussed?

Michael K said...

"More realistically, she put evidence of her grifting out of reach of FOIA requests ahead of her duty etc."

Yup. That's what it's all about.

I think the FBI have her "deleted" e-mails and that is the smoking gun.

chuck said...

It is cruel to publish articles to make us laugh at the New Yorker. They can't help it, they were born that way.

M Jordan said...

I read the linked article. It filled me with loathing ... for the writer. So smug, so knowing, so wise, so everything. I sometimes hate writers but then I remember, they're not all this way. Most are. The temptation to elevate oneself to a moral height is so tempting when words are your rungs on the ladder up to the high ground.

Ace of Spades has an epic rant today about the smug media -- http://acecomments.mu.nu/?post=363759 -- that really spoke for me. You ought to read it.

Dr Weevil said...

I don't see that the picture shows anything at all about her father's "demeanor". It was taken in 1992, and he died aged 82 on April 7, 1993, so the picture is anywhere from barely three to barely 15 months before his death, and his age in it is 80 or 81. To me he looks old and tired, not necessarily hostile or bored or in any way negative towards his daughter. (If it makes any difference, I just looked at the picture, didn't read the article.) Her mother was 8 years younger, so only 72 or 73 in the picture - a big difference.

Did I just say something defending a Clinton? It wasn't Bill or Hillary, so I guess I can live with myself.

Martha said...

Perhaps Hilllary! was idealistic once long long ago. I witnessed her '69 Wellesley Commencement speech and it did make much sense to me then. Hillary was aspirational and aggressively power hungry as a Wellesley student. She befriended Ellie (Eleanor) Acheson, granddaughter of Dean Acheson, former Secretary of State, and it was thought even then that Hillary sought out friendship for proximity to power. On a campus composed of intelligent well bred and probably too docile females, Hillary, Student Government President, stood out because of her aggressiveness and her desire to change the current order of things. I am impressed with her accomplishments—probable first woman Presidential nominee—but Hillary! sacrificed every smidgeon of human decency to get there. So maybe she was idealistic once but not for long.

Comanche Voter said...

Well I looked this precious little snowflake up. If I have the right Benjamin Wallace-Wells, he's written a lot. He's written for the New Yorker, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Monthly. And he writes a lot--seems to have a new piece out every other day or so. Which means that he doesn't have a lot of time to think about what he says--and it shows.

Looks like he graduated from Horace Mann Prep School in the New York City area in 1996. He graduated from Dartmouth in 2000. While at Dartmouth he wrote an article on the "worst feeder school" for Dartmouth---and named Horace Mann.

Well all that makes Little Benjamin maybe 37 or 38 now. He was just in time to be among
the 28 year old juice box journos who got themselves all hot and bothered about Obama.


Snarky, credentialled, albeit not very smart--that's our Benjamin. And he can't figure out why those poor dumb clucks in flyover country don't trust any more. Why helffire, he never met anybody from west of the Hudson.

I don't have much faith in these young whippersnappers. I've got men's dress shoes in my closet that are older than Benjamin.

Tommy Duncan said...

What the picture reveals to me is that Hillary was once reasonably healthy looking, which stands in contrast with her current appearance.

Seeing that picture makes me agree with Camille Paglia. I think Hillary has a serious thyroid issue. And an unhealthy weight problem.

David Smith said...

I was struck that the author's comment about "give a very dark politics a chance at the White House" was probably not intended to refer to HRC.

Tommy Duncan said...

After pondering Hillary's health I'm left wondering why she hasn't driven a can since 1996. That's un-American. It is also a factoid that most voters would want explained.

MikeD said...

Once again, America fails HRC. Why can't the country submit to its' betters so they can believe again?

Guildofcannonballs said...

It was the vocal fry of 1998's Joel and Ethan Coen's Lewboski portrayed by Mr. Bridges.

"And the uh . V. O. C. A. L. F. R. Y. ...briefcase."

Hillary saw the movie gain a cult following, and hey, that happens.

Then it hits big. Previral-viral.

And now even detailed "vocal fry" talk at Althouse.

The briefcase to Hill is Tarantno's in Fictiony Pulp. Freud told you what the briefcase is to Hill, but talkin' McGuffin their is more y'alls area pontificationwise, compared to I.

AprilApple said...

Humanizing for the Parents. Hillary still looks like pure evil - pure manipulation - a bit stepford... no matter the era.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Americans do not trust."

Americans do trust. They trust many people and many institutions. They just don't trust Hillary. They don't trust people like Hillary. They don't trust the institutions run by or for the benefit of people like Hillary.

It's not America that's the problem here.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Donald Trump was never Donnie; always Larry The Best Negotiator Of All Time, ever.

Some 15 year old school kid. But that was decades ago, and now you see what the Coen's took pains to show you in 1998.

After FargO.

Henry said...

The very first anecdote is perfect. The idealistic and expansive Hillary turns out to be a woman who took smug satisfaction in giving a man advice on fatherhood. While Hillary has had a daughter by then, the anecdote doesn't mention Chelsea. It mentions "research on the early interactions between parents and children".

The photo is charming. Hillary looks lovely. She looks like one of those humanoid robots that lonely engineers create to pass the hours.

Henry said...

@Martha -- Interesting. That Hillary sounds much more interesting than the one of the last two decades. The current candidate is pathetically passive and cocooned. She hides in her bunker and sends out fund-raising letters.

Recently Bernie Sanders agreed to debate Donald Trump one-on-one. The Clinton camp is outraged. Typically, they've enlisted friendly journalists to dress-down their adversary -- Sanders. It's incredibly passive-aggressive. Meanwhile it is Sanders that proactively seeks a new audience with confidence in his message.

David said...

"almost humanizing"

Even that seemingly candid and unforced tableau did not quite do it though.

Terry said...

"The expansive and idealistic Clinton of her early political career is hard to find in the present campaign."
Hillary had no political career until her husband got her the job of NY senator in 2000. He also got her the job of Arkanasas' first lady, a non-political job, and US first lady, a non-political job.
The period of Hillary's 'early idealism' included her lying and covering up her husband's 'bimbo eruptions.

bagoh20 said...

The system has certainly worked well for her. The system is the problem, and it works well if you are a part of it rather than who it feeds on. Hillary has gotten fat on that feeding. She is the personification of the term "Fat Cat".

Henry said...

There's a lot of praising with faint damns in that article:

"There is a quiet conflation of success with virtue in these kitchen-table stories, and perhaps there is a hint there of a person who might not think about other successful people (donors to her husband’s foundation, maybe, or partners at Goldman Sachs) as critically as she should.

Benjamin Wallace-Wells does write a perfect indictment of Mr. Obama:

What kept us from going too far in the war on terrorism? Our check, we were told, was the President, because he personally struggled with each assassination, because he personally had to approve each one. Obama did not create Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, but he showed them a model of how a politician might operate in a time of doubt.

But also apparent in this indictment is Mr. -Wells' willingness to fall back on the worst of political excuses -- it was the times that made him do it.

narciso said...

yes, what a terrible article, 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, told by an idiot.
by contrast,

http://www.worldmag.com/2016/05/troubling_ties/page1

Michael The Magnificent said...

Watching Clinton campaign this time I have often wondered, does she herself still believe?

Does Al Gore believe in global warming, while jetting around the world?

Did Jim Jones believe in apostolic socialism?

Did Oral Roberts believe in faith healing?

Did Jimmy Swaggart believe in The Message of the Cross?

Did David Koresh believe that he was to be the father of the second coming of Christ?

Did Professor Harold Hill believe he could teach musically disinclined children to play musical instruments?

The problem with true believers is their myopic lack of objectivity, with the hook, line and sinker so deeply swallowed that they're hanging out of their asses.

That's the long answer.

The short answer is, Hillary will believe in anything you want her to believe in, as long as you donate enough money to her cause - her cause being her personal power and wealth.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Trump knows he never needed to stare you down. He looks at you like you're idiots and eventually you agree.

Words unspoken.

Guildofcannonballs said...

HEY I GOT THE FUNNIEST EVER: What Ace comments (Breitbart read 'em) said on the Dick Cheney posts, BUT ABOUT TRUMP!!!!

Bob said...

Commanche Voter,

I think you really nailed it. There was a shallowness about the piece as it struggled to be profound. And the writer's bio seems to explain that.

tim in vermont said...

"There is another way to put this, which is that the trouble for Hillary Clinton is not only that voters do not trust her. That only deepens and complicates her essential problem, which is that Americans do not trust."


Yes, America is ungovernable. I mean, if we can't trust Hillary, with her sterling record of selfless public service, or Obama, with his unbroken record of honesty, well, we just can't trust. We trust, but we verify, that's where Hillary fell down.

tim in vermont said...

“It Takes a Village” ’s topic is the difficulty of rearing children in an atomized society, and it is positioned in response to the conservative claim to a monopoly on family values. But its real claim is on behalf of the meritocracy: that its mechanisms can be accessible to all, that as a social arrangement it can be trusted.

What the fuck is that little excerpt supposed to mean? I think it is just back rub language for fellow liberals, with no real intended meaning but a producing a nice frisson of smugness, but maybe I am wrong...

"atomized society" Hmmm. So we are to be organized like a colony of insects, each to our role, and each performing our duties with the goals of the colony foremost in our minds at all times? Is that what Althouse means by "insect politics"? Is that what Hillary means by "the goal must be liberation"? If imposing social cohesiveness can be liberation, I think I need a more detailed argument for it.

But its real claim is on behalf of the meritocracy

I don't think Hillary or this guy knows what that means. What has substituted itself for "meritocracy" is credentialism, and these people have the credentials, and we should trust them because it works. Well, the proof is in the pudding on that one, isn't it? Is what he is trying to say "I know things are going poorly for so many of you, and our policies as 'élites' haven't worked out that great, but we are working on getting a new electorate so that we will get even more power, so that will be great!"

Why wouldn't somebody who just got stuck with $70K debt for a degree in "Sociology" demand "free college," $0 is exactly what that degree is worth! Why wouldn't somebody whose ability to demand wages on the labor market has been undermined by unfettered immigration of what can only be termed "scabs" be angry? Why should that fact that a voter is angry mean that their vote shouldn't count. If there is a "dark politics" that is showing up, it is the dark and seamy underside of Democrat policies, excessive regulation of universities, forcing them to hire more administrators to carry them out with each new regulation, sticking the students with the bill, or the dark side of immigration which is to expose the low skilled end of the labor market to tremendous "survival of the fittest" economic pressures. These are the, to give them the benefit of the doubt, unintended consequences of living under the polices of the credentialed, our stand in for merit, and guess what? The victims of these policies get to vote! And there will always be people willing to represent them!

Rusty said...

Hillary believes in what she learned in the back biting, social grasping atmosphere of Park Ridge Illinois.That is where she learned to lie, cheat, and steal.

Anglelyne said...

"The populist uprisings on her left and her right seem almost designed to draw from Clinton a defense of the country itself..."

In the long run it's hard to keep up the pretense that you are the defender of the thing you want to destroy. This is true for both established parties, as both are now essentially globalist and anti-nationalist in orientation, and neither are any longer able to maintain the necessary fiction that they consider their job to be attending to the interests of Americans, rather than the interests of the "world" [aka their peers, locally and globally]. Hence the "populist uprising".

The "problem" is that Clinton doesn't like this country, and it's just too obvious. She, and her ilk, want it changed. Not changed in the sense of moving it closer to its founding ideals, but changed into an entirely different sort of country and culture. (Though it is always entertaining to watch them attempt to frame the Maoist conformity and top-down control they espouse as a fulfillment of the founding ideals.) Trump tastelessly forces that outmoded, kitsch concept, patriotism, to the fore, and the squirming commences.

Curious George said...

So Satan's first name is Hugh. I did not know that.

Anglelyne said...

tim in vermont: What the fuck is that little excerpt supposed to mean? I think it is just back rub language for fellow liberals, with no real intended meaning but a producing a nice frisson of smugness, but maybe I am wrong...

It means that the author has reached a critical point of irony overload (irony which escapes the author), at which point sense ceases to be made.

"atomized society" Hmmm. So we are to be organized like a colony of insects, each to our role, and each performing our duties with the goals of the colony foremost in our minds at all times? Is that what Althouse means by "insect politics"? Is that what Hillary means by "the goal must be liberation"? If imposing social cohesiveness can be liberation, I think I need a more detailed argument for it.

...the irony being that society is "atomized", that the state of atomization is bad for human beings, but that these great "liberationists" are mad-dog eager to impose policies that cause (or greatly exacerbate) the very conditions of atomization that they deplore. The state of atomization is the necessary step toward being able to impose the kind of artificial and unstable "social cohesiveness" (absolutely not any form of natural, normal social cohesiveness) that they think is a good idea. ("Your neighborhood doesn't "look like America"? We'll fix that!" And destroy the existing, naturally-forming neighborliness in the process. Your country doesn't look like the world? Well, we'll fix that, too. Fix it good.)

The rise of "atomization" and its discontents can not all be laid at the feet of the social engineers, of course. Urbanization and civilization by their nature tend to "atomize", and lots of people like, and thrive in, the salutary measure of "atomization" provided by city life. But even a great metropolis can provide people with the cultural coherence and social cohesiveness necessary to keep people from going bat-shit, if there is a shared culture. (And by that I do not mean a collection of legal abstractions, but a tacit, shared understanding of norms, of how we deal with one another, of how fundamental social institutions should be put together.)

The utterly incoherent "multicultural stip mall" model of human society so beloved by grifters like Clinton, and their vacuous do-gooder lackeys destroys all that. But that suits totalitarians.

mikee said...

"Hillary doesn't give a rat's ass about defending the country. She likes the power."

If Donald Trump makes this statement in any of the debates (or any equivalent to it), he's the next president.

If he does not, Hillary is our next president.

Trump has one job. ONE JOB. He has to state publicly that the Emperor Wears No Clothes.

Try to get that image of Hillary out of your mind!

wildswan said...


"I think you really nailed it. There was a shallowness about the piece as it struggled to be profound."

I felt that way too. As if the guy wanted to feel superior to the "rubes" who believe in believe in politicians and politicians' promises. But the "rubes" believe nothing and are earnestly attempting to burn down the current political arrangements. And "the snarks" have to try to prop up the system while still being snarks and get "the rubes" to be believers again while being true to their own inner snark. And when things are this this contradictory, it is end times for an era.

The only progressive thing about Hillary is whatever disease she has and the writer knows it and is trying to hide but show his knowledge.