‘DNC, the Musical,’ was great, but the star was awful
For about 25 minutes Thursday night, I was thinking what I’d never thought before: I could actually bubble in the spot next to Hillary Clinton’s name.
The build up had a little something to do with it. Katy Perry, as usual, looked and sang sensationally. And I not only learned Chelsea Clinton and I shared a childhood fascination with dinosaurs, but that we agreed that the friendliest of them all had to be the triceratops.
And I wondered then and there whether Chelsea sheds a tear, as I always do, when the paleontologists come upon the ailing trike in the first “Jurassic Park” movie.
So there was that, but there was Hillary. At the risk of committing sexism, she looked stunning: the golden hair, the understated makeup, the angel-white pantsuit. The package that was Herself, triumphant, radiated against the high-definition American flag background.
And when she began speaking … well, hectoring, actually, but we’ve come to expect that … the early phrases soared, nonetheless. Hillary described us as that strong, strong, confident, innovative, resourceful, resolute America imagined by the founders who gathered in Philadelphia 240 years ago.
As God and William F. Buckley are my witnesses, this appeal to our better natures resonated with me, just as I expect it resonated with any conservative who watched the previous week’s convention with the dread associated with being the victim of a hijacking.
Hillary, when it came down to it, evoked Reagan-like optimism. She even borrowed his “morning in America” line … although she used it to bash Donald Trump, who she said has taken us to midnight. Fair enough. Trump invited the comparison with his all-is-disaster acceptance speech.
So she had me. For, as I have said, about 25 minutes. Then, before she could set the hook, she pivoted, and — with apologies for the rough metaphorical juxtaposition — I was instantly reminded both major party candidates are openly peddling selling snake oil.
At last, this is the choose-your-poison election. So, about that. Clinton’s version might be sweeter and sunnier, but swallowing it is demonstrably deadly. All she proposed was doubling down on the excesses of going-on eight years of Barack Obama’s pen and phone authoritarianism.
Remember, what Clinton laid out over the second half of her speech, the one that surely had every persuadable Republican recoiling from their TV screens, is not just prolonging, but expanding the very policies that have repeatedly, remorselessly knee-capped America: higher taxes, more spending, more (always more) regulation.
These are the same policies that produced the worst recovery from a downturn in 80 years while chasing millions from the work force, repressing wage growth, exacerbating inequality and hobbling economic expansion. Now she wants to hike the minimum wage — possibly to spur growth in the robot-development industry — and expand Obamacare, because that has been such a hit.
She also took some shots at our “systemic racism,” endorsed abortion paid for by tax dollars and promised to prolong the 60-car pileup that has been Obama’s foreign policy, in which she was a well-traveled partner as the email-hiding Secretary of State (and Clinton Foundation rainmaker) for four years.
This is not exactly what we would expect from the exalted “change-maker” praised by her husband, former President Bill Clinton. But, then, he’s made up stuff before, when he suited his ambitions, or his wife’s. Indeed, the Big Dog’s philandering — winked at but, like Valdemort, unmentioned all week — remains the only thing that ever made Hillary a sympathetic figure … and she squandered even that by war-gaming the women with whom Bill dallied.
So, as you see, I’ve begun to regain my former disgust.
Listen, the show was great. I give it four stars, withholding one for the jerks who hooted “black lives matter” when a black sheriff from Dallas asked for a moment of silence on behalf of law officers slain in the line of duty.
But when it was all over, when the surrogates had had their say, when a record number of balloons dropped on a record number of Democrats waving a record number of American flags and the lights finally went down on Philadelphia, there went Hillary on her bus.
In the final week of July 2016, the party of Jefferson and FDR and JFK completed the process of doing something historic — nominating a woman for president — without any particular reason, except she figured they owed her, and they were too whipped to resist.
Well. Despite four nights’ worth of splendid choreography, Hillary Clinton remains the corrupt, deceitful, preening, unprincipled, say-anything, unindicted criminal she was before the DNC’s opening gavel fell.
Dutiful Democrats have paid their debt. That’s where this nonsense should end.