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Posted by on May 9, 2008 in At TMV | 44 comments

The Fall of Hillary Clinton: Why It Wasn’t Enough To Merely Master A Man’s Game

01aa-hillary-annoounce_1.jpgOn the 492nd day of Hillary Clinton’s quest to become the first woman president, one inevitability was rudely replaced by another.

That was the number of days that elapsed from January 20, 2007 when Clinton (photo) announced that “I’m in. And I’m in it to win,” something that few observers could seriously doubt, and Tuesday past when voters in North Carolina and Indiana delivered another message: Her defeat at the hands of Barack Obama in the political cage match of the young millennium was no longer a probability but an inevitability.

Sure signs of this seismic shift are the uproar from the hardest of Clinton’s hardcore supporters and flurry of kamikazee analogies from pundits shaking their heads over her stubborn refusal to bow to that inevitability.

These supporters declare that Obama is unelectable although more Americans may vote for him in November than any presidential candidate in history. And that Clinton should be gifted the Democratic nomination although she trails Obama in popular votes, pledged delegate votes, opinion-poll positives, contributions and endorsements, and any second in superdelegates, as well.

The hardcore ranges from big-time bloggers like Taylor Marsh, who will now have to return that lovely dress she bought months ago to wear to the inaugural balls (but at least is making noises about possibly embracing Obama) to some really pissed-off feminists (who are demonizing Marsh for seeing the light).

I’m going to focus on the Hell Hath No Fury Like a Feminist Scorned crowd, which is shaping up to be a bunch of especially poor losers.

These feminists are, of course, blaming everyone except Hillary and Bill Clinton, who in an historic series of arrogant miscalculations took what was once pretty close to a sure thing and squandered it. This took some effort because it required surrounding themselves with sycophantic staffers who determinedly ignored the mood of the electorate and engaged in a Rovian slash-and-burn campaign that alienated practically everyone except blue-collar bubbas and white women who are eligible — or soon will be eligible — for senior-citizen discounts.

The Clintons even managed to crap all over their legacy of attracting black support not because Barack was blacker than Bill but because Hill and Bill were revealed to be cynical frauds to many blacks.

No less a light than George McGovern is taking it on the chin in the wake of Hillary’s Terrible Tuesday because he violated feminist orthodoxy by calling not Hill but Bill the day after to explain that while he probably was the last person in South Dakota to do so, he was changing his support from Clinton to Obama.

In a series of blog exchanges elsewhere, I suggested that these hard hearts try understand that McGovern, who has been eligible for senior-citizen discounts for 25 years, is a kind and gentle soul who opposed the Vietnam War early on, was a model of ethical probity in the Senate and a trailblazer in removing Democratic Party politics from the smoke-filled rooms of yore.

All I got for my efforts was being labeled a “douchebag” and “jerkoff” by two self-described feminists and a “blowhard” by an anonymoose.

Name calling aside, I feel their pain.

The seeds of the election of the first woman president were planted in the halcyon days of the late 1960s and finally seemed well within the realm of possibilities after four hard decades of educating and organizing.

But Hillary Clinton and her sisters only had one rule book to use as they toiled over the years to elect woman state legislators, governors and U.S. senators and representatives. Today there are a record 13 women in the Senate and 61 women in the House of Representatives as a result of their labors.

That rule book was the one that Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, the Bushes and of course Bill Clinton himself used, but a funny thing happened on the way through the glass ceiling to 2008.

The old rules fell into disrepair and then disrepute and it simply was not enough for Hillary to be better at this man’s game than her own husband and the other men who came before her. Alas, she and her sisters didn’t understand that they needed to change the rules if they were to attract a restive electorate.

That is why the next president will not be the wife of a certain ex-president but a man who has changed the rules, energizing the Democratic Party as no candidate has been able to do in my lifetime. And, irony of ironies, is paving the way for the eventual election of the first woman president. Who will have to wait her turn for a few more years because Hillary Clinton blew it.

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