Welcome to this book of slaves
which I wrote during your exile
you lucky son-of-a-bitch –
while I had to contend
with all the flabby liars
of the Aquarian Age
— Leonard Cohen, “The Aquarian Age” 1972
Against any other candidate this would have been done long ago. Bubba Clinton was an outsider in ’92, but by the time he was secure in the lead he had the party apparatus behind him to help swat away the annoying hovering gnat that was the Jerry Brown candidacy. HRC’s campaign reached Brown-level churlishness right around the “shame on you Barrack Obama” moment last March, but she still had Governor Strickland to finagle her way through Ohio; she still had that older generation of Texas Latinos who voted for Team Clinton out of habit without even giving the new guy a shot.
HRC has earned her establishmentarianism, but to what purpose? The increasing childishness of the Clinton campaign — from their fundraisers’ warnings about withholding money if she loses, to her convenient insistence on seating Mich/Fla which she never mentioned pre-hoc, to the Bosnian sniper fantasy — is the stubborn throes of an establishment maintaining itself. It is stasis for the sake of stasis. Like all flab its only purpose is inertia.
The silliest part of the Clintonian tantrum is the assertion in pentagenarian and sextageneraian feminist corners that the recent call for HRC to drop out by Senators Dodd and Leahy is a phalluscratic conspiracy. The argument of the establishment candidate being undone by the spectre of a gone male establishment doesn’t pass the laugh test, but it does show why generation is the underlying difference in the primary. Elder feminists like Marie Cocco may be reacting to a lifetime of experience, and while sexism remains present most under 50-somethings do not insist on grafting our experiences with it onto the politics of the moment in order to define them.
The flabbergasting irony of Team Clinton’s tired inertia is that the only probable way it can triumph is through insider shenanigans at the Denver Convention. The establishment heirs to the truncheoned romantics of Chicago ’68 will have to become the “pigs” of Denver ’08 — the old guard garroting the practical idealism of a new generation just to maintain their own hegemony.
It’s time for the forty years of our polity reacting to the histrionics of the Boomer experience to end. Either grow up or retire Boomers! That goes triple for you Ms. Clinton.