The Glass Ceiling’s Smudge

Because Hillary Clinton’s always been one of capitalism’s most ardent, enthusiastic and prominent defenders. Because Hillary Clinton appears to genuinely love and believe in free market capitalism. Because of this, a person might remark on there having been a very, very tiny element of pathos in her acknowledging the other day how such a commitment to that economic system “probably” hurt her during the election.

The pathos is maybe like that of watching an enfeebled Magneto at a dinner party, dejectedly juggling his silverware with his mind for his fellow table guests and sighing to them about the scope of his dominion in the pre-thermoplastic days, or lamenting the impending Super Wood transition. The people sitting at the table clap at the spinning cutlery. But it’s a sad applause, weak and sparse, then gone. Magneto disconsolately twirls some spaghetti with a levitating fork and brings it to his mouth to feed himself. He takes a long swallow from his fourth glass of Spatbürgunder. The guests all avert their eyes downward at their plates and grope at something else to talk about.

Magneto is, though, a far more sympathetic figure in decadence than Hillary Clinton. Just watch the clip. It is vintage HRC. Which is to say, not a tragic supervillain. Not an anti-hero. Just a supervillain. Just anti.

Just a sort of vaguely cadaverous looking woman in a summerweight scarf or like, maybe it’s a linen neck cravat spooled over what could be an extrication collar she’s so unnaturally rigid-looking from the shoulders up. Just a general, faint aura of despondency while fielding—from an obviously giddy-headed, sycophantic, hashtag-still-with-her type of creature—the question of whether or not her clapping her pom-poms together and doing toe-touch jumps for capitalism during the height of fucking income inequality “hurt” her.

Then the response. And it’s like we watch as another, more insufferable Hillary hatches out of that Hillaryshell.

The lording of that pragmatism, the basic imperiousness. And of course—as always surfaces whenever she’s asked about the factors that may’ve occasioned her participation trophy in the 2016 presidential election—a just barely suppressed, roiling, seething, rage-contempt coupled with a beyond-weary frustration at whom you’ve just gotta suspect will forever be the one thing she’ll clutch onto as the reason that she actually lost the thing: that is, the lunatic and slobbering mob-republic who all—she seems to think—packed a lipper of Skoal and went into the voting booth to hand over her cache of bombs and missiles to a game show host. An addleminded, Big Bird-physiqued, political fucking neanderthal who managed to capture the country’s vast interior because his opponent was too busy workshopping insults about those very same people in front of the chic donor crowds in the Hamptons to go and visit fucking Wisconsin.

Because it was how Hillary Clinton went about answering the question on the consequences of her pro-capitalist stance that’s arguably far more revealing of what may have actually discouraged U.S. voters from supporting her.

Her answer naturally made no sincere attempt at acknowledging the very real ways in which capitalism has absolutely devoured and razed opportunity throughout the American working class. How it fully siphoned off what it needed of their labor and then left many of them and their families to simply languish in poverty in the country’s now gangrenous regions of dead and used-up industry. To say nothing of the capitalist wasteproduct that is the inner-city. And how here in the U.S. that economic system was deliberately racialized in order to manufacture black failure and consolidate all of capitalism’s lossmaking into one primary group of darkskinned people. Or how the preservation and continuation of that racialized failure was to then be strongly incentivized at every level by capitalists in their beloved system’s rapacious, centuries-long development. Nothing of its terrific adaptability and its demand for evermore failure; everfurther accentuation of the divide(s). And how so now that system’s bottomchurn is becoming a little bit white even, too.

Only a disdainfully amused commentary on the stupid, screaming, careless hordes who failed to appreciate—even consider—the nuance of her position on capitalism. “Appropriate regulation.  Appropriate accountability.” Those aspects that she stresses went unheard.

“That probably gets lost in, ‘Oh my gosh! She’s a capitalist!” Hillary scoffs in the clip.

Ignorant, clownish rustics. The apparent swathes of left-of-centrist Democrats all standing abreast of one another outside the Iowa caucusing locations, stamping their spears on the ground in unison and chanting “Marx! Marx!” and drowning out the gentleness and mildness that Hillary’d been trying to communicate she would have restored to the capitalist system.

Vintage HRC. A fling at being direct and upfront, but almost instinctively, unavoidably, offensively evasive and disingenuous where it matters most. Responding to a question about your position’s maybe being well out-of-step with the party’s base, and not feeling the need to account that beyond ascribing a baffling thickheadedness and blunt recalcitrance to opposing position holders, is exactly the sort of rote and insincere political dialogue that U.S. voters have come to expect from basically all elected officials, but one which Hillary Clinton is especially apt at deploying.

Maybe in defeat it’s even harder to fake empathy. Probably. Nonetheless, it’s astonishing to observe someone whose political mind—hailed as legendary throughout the beltway!—routinely fails to do that one very basic thing, which, after all, was something that even Donald Trump—in his awful, fucking clumsy doddering lurch toward the presidency—could apprehend was necessary in order to win the election.