Hillary in India: A Sari Spectacle

One of my liberal friends admitted to me recently that there is a certain virtue to losing gracefully. She was referencing her disappointment with the mean-spirited salvos Hillary Clinton delivered during her recent visit to India, an outburst closer to being disgraceful than full of grace.

I’ve been trying to figure Hillary out for almost a half century, ever since I found myself part of an alumnae audience listening to the Wellesley Class of 1969’s graduation spokesperson -- known then as Hillary Rodham -- erupt in condescending anger at the commencement’s guest speaker. Even all those years ago, it was apparent that she was not sensitive to the feelings of anyone with whose worldview she disagreed. Hence the lamentable manner in which sanctimonious Hillary directed her scorn at Republican U.S. senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts.

If consistency counts, let it at least be said that Hillary remains as blatantly insensitive now as she was then. More than ever, she is blinded by self-interest, and deafened by the roar of ambition.

Throughout her long public presence, Hillary has been less heedful of messing up opportunities than in missing out on them. She often seems oblivious to what people think of her as long as they think of her. Yet what can she possibly gain at this point from her unappealing, attention- seeking tirades?

Is Hillary merely continuing to seek redemption for her unexpected electoral loss? Or is there some other motive behind her driven globetrotting and the uncontrollable manner in which she seizes opportunities to explain away her defeat? Surely, she must grasp the fact that her defiance is not just bad for America’s image, but potentially damaging to the Democratic Party. Yet she continues to gin up bad feelings in our already bitterly divided country and question the legitimacy of its government.

Could it be that Hillary presumes to use martyrdom as a pathway back to power? That ploy worked in her favor years ago when she ran for the U.S. Senate seat from New York State. In the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and her public humiliation as First Lady, Mrs. Clinton took full advantage of voter empathy. But since then -- and particularly during the 2016 election -- many Americans came to recognize Hillary’s own character flaws, unrelieved by the kind of charisma of which even her philandering husband seemed capable.

For a world-class conniver, there must be something beyond redemption that propels Hillary’s malice. Accusing white married American women of being pawns of the men in their lives hardly seems like the right tack for someone eager to rebound as a serious player in party politics. Pathetically, her public remarks have become more ludicrous than insulting, now that the frequent target of her scorn – the incorrigible army of “deplorables” -- has grown used to her absurd rants. As a widow, I no longer happen to have a husband or a boss to tell me how to vote. And my only son is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal. Ironically, the more Hillary makes a fool of herself, the less outraged I feel.

Chalk up the latest bitter shout-out against Republican women as one more unwashed item on Ms. Clinton’s laundry list of reasons for her failure to win the 2016 election. Yet considering the depth of her disappointment, she could have something more in mind: a perverse willingness to debase her country and even to diminish the chances of other Democrats seeking the office she was denied.

Hitler gave orders to destroy German cities rather than let them fall into the hands of advancing enemy armies. Perhaps Hillary is still lashing out at perceived “rednecks” in GOP strongholds because she no longer gives a hang about how their reaction will impact other political wannabes. Her Heinous has been passed over; the future succession be damned.

Even for those who remain Hillary fans, it must be sad to witness her self-destructive behavior. Despite her notoriously hard shell, nothing seems able to put her together again since her great Humpty-Dumpty-like fall. The blame-game hasn’t succeeded in altering reality. Nor has her anger toward Comey, Sanders, Russia, Trump, or all those non-achieving Middle Americans who contribute less to the GNP than her loyal, affluent bicoastal pals. And if Donald Trump were somehow to be removed from office, would Hillary be exonerated? Perhaps. Would she be given another chance? Not likely… despite the Clinton’s lingering political power.

Adding to Hillary’s pain could be the fact that several other Democratic women have been proposed as possible candidates in the next presidential run, among them Oprah Winfrey, Kamala Harris, and Michelle Obama. One might think such prospects would excite Hillary, even though none of them comes close to having her public service experience. But queen bees traditionally resent acts of desertion after all they have done for the hive.

Anyway, Hillary has never been content to be a trailblazer. Her object is to claim the trail as her very own, unshared with female competitors like Elizabeth Warren, whom she passed over as her 2016 running mate in favor of a mediocre male pol who sucked up to her big time. Were another female to occupy the White House during Hillary’s lifetime, the effect on her could be more personally devastating than anything she has yet suffered. Especially if it were Barack Obama’s wife.

So even as the bile of disappointment continues to rise in her scratchy throat, Hillary Clinton keeps feeding on the same diet of resentment and excuses. Slipping on slick surfaces is becoming symbolic of Hillary’s descent from personal power. Even some Democrats are fed up with her questionable diatribes and deportment.

Would it be too sexist to suggest that Hillary is behaving like a woman scorned? Would it be unseemly to point out that for countless Americans there is genuine relief that such a defiant, bad-mouthing, unsteady sore loser and her band of sycophants are not ensconced in the White House?

Next year I anticipate returning to Wellesley for my 65th reunion. My reunion “cycle” is the same as that of Hillary and Madeleine (Albright), so I expect they may be there, sucking the oxygen from competing events. Both former secretaries of State are always welcomed warmly on that beautiful New England campus, where they can count on satisfyingly partisan responses from most of their collegiate sisters -- and old school courtesy from the rest of us.

Hillary was back in the academic fold last year, delivering the commencement keynote address at her alma mater. Among those she gleefully condemned in her speech were the wicked “trolls” -- that’s “t” as in Trump – who despise women and stomp on their dreams. Maybe in a year from now, some of the bitterness -- and the fight -- will have gone out of Hillary Rodham Clinton. But I doubt it.