If you’re above thirty you may remember certain t-shirts appearing during presidential election years. They featured a 1968 picture of a widely smiling Richard Nixon and over the pic was the slogan that is the title of this piece.
It comes to mind because we are seeing another attempted political resurrection before our eyes. Like Nixon who had lost in 1960 (he actually won more a bit later), another fatally flawed resentment machine is making a second run after a loss, as Nixon did in 1968. Between the two there are massive differences. He had been veep, she a mere carpetbagger senator. He got there on merit, she on marriage. He had eight years between tries, this will be her third time at bat, second in a row. Both were/are insecure wonks without many people skills but who can fake sincerity with the best. And both had those Shakespearean flaws, paranoia and mendacity, that ultimately brought them down as they did the Bard’s more tragic characters.
Yes, the Beast is running again.
Now, you say, but the Trickster and the Shedemon are of different political ideologies, so how can I make the precise comparison? Well, Nixon’s first term gave us the opening to China, détente, SALT I, OSHA, EEO, EPA, etc. Not exactly a movement conservative’s wish list. Yes, she is an absolute Bolshie. But again now listening to Bill, she will triangulate and run to the middle. Her recent pronouncements on European immigration are the beginning of that trend. By the way, notice she limited her critique to Europe.
But they are different in at least one other regard. When it came right down to it, twice, the 1960 election and Watergate, he put country first. She only puts Hillary first. He did it once by not demanding a court recount of disputed numbers in Texas and Illinois in the 1960 race. He had clearly won both and thus gained the presidency. But old man Kennedy’s money and mafia ties, plus Lyndon Johnson’s Texas machine and Daley’s Chicago machine had nullified the outcome by a level of corruption still pretty raw even by today’s standards. The Kennedy people were terrified, they knew they had actually lost, that Nixon was going to court. But, putting nation over career, he didn’t and let the Kennedy kid ascend to the White House. In Watergate, after an unsuccessful cover up leveraged into a coup d’état by the media, he chose to resign rather than let the impeachment process play out, where he might have been acquitted by the Senate. Granted, he did this after putting the country through damnation for over a year. But a House vote then trial in the Senate would have been much worse. He spared us that. About twenty years ago, someone else did not.
I have a peculiar take on the former FLOTUS, as I was in the room in Madison Square Garden in 1992 when her husband accepted the nomination of his party. I was covering the convention for a suburban Philadelphia periodical that appreciated my sardonic slant. They even let me claim in print that I saw a large dragon festooned with dollar signs painted on the side of a building, and that the dragon was “Grafto,” Official Mascot of the 1992 Democratic Convention.
The press creds were like a backstage pass. They got me into almost everywhere and they came with lots of free booze. On the night of Bill’s nomination acceptance speech my lofty access delivered me to the broadcast press booth above the floor of the Garden. As the delegates wept with precious emotion, we in the press booth snickered over their gullibility. But with that mirth, I did wonder about one person: Hillary.
She was the disciplined one. She was the real lawyer, a dishonest one but still a practicing one. She was the one who had to put up with the public humiliation of his trysts. She was the Bolshie true believer, ever since Wellesley. He was in it for the perks and walking humidors. But it was him, not her, getting the big prize. Must have really frosted her. Then, right there I bet, she vowed to herself she’d get there too. And she did. When Bill took the oath months later she must have thought, all according to plan. She had even boasted during the campaign that with them, you got two for one. Fast forward and she never took that oath. However, dollars to doughnuts, the vow still resonates to the abysmal depths of her soul.
So she is, I think, Nixon in 1966 right after the GOP had a good midterm. She’s trying to stay relevant, hold on to her acolytes, run against the grain for a bit, and praying to Moloch people buy it.
She wants them to forget her Orwellian “Big Sister” image and see her as wise, seasoned, and shorn of all her tragic flaws by the crucible of defeat. If legal issues appear between now and 2020? Mere trifles to be downplayed by her obedient media fans and a hysterical base who always feel and never think.
Her opponents are shaping up as a coterie of dwarves. Who amongst them has her pathological lust for power? Joe, Beto, Kamala? Not even close. They are predestined primary roadkill who, if they pull their punches early on, may get a spot on the ticket. And then, for a revenge cage match very much like an overcharged 1956.
Looking at his numbers right now, and assuming the economy does not nosedive, the president will in all probability be elected to another term. Most recent presidents are. Though it won’t be before a bruiser of a race where HRC and her flying monkeys will throw everything they have at him. He will respond in kind. She knows it’s do or die. No more chances left for her. Her glittering dream, her self-appointed destiny, will again be so close.
But then, the furies that consume her will return for their final act. And as opposed to Nixon, who finally won in 1968: Pale, Tired, and Needy won’t look that good on a t-shirt.