The last time we were here was not quite 8 years ago, Hillary was still in the running against that unstoppable messiah Barrack Obama. I mean no disrespect, I went for Obama at the time, stick with him still. But that is another subject.
This is about Hillary, who, because she is a woman is always co-opted. I say this with bitterness but I assure you sanguiness prevails. Or at least it will on my public face, which is clearly sufficient today.
My youngest sister, the least political of us all in some ways, wanted Hillary those years ago. My sister might be non-political but she’s not an idiot or a Republican. But what she really wanted, she confessed, was to convey the particularly fitting title, First Laddie, upon Bill.
I got it then and got yet another good dose of it last week on the Phoenix airport tarmac.
Even before Kathleen Parker asked if he did it unconsciously to thwart his wife’s ambitions, I was screaming the answer, Yes yes yes, ass, ass, ass.
Did he think to himself, ‘Hey, this is going to screw up Hillary?’ No. He thought, ‘I am Big Shit. I will help Hillary, make a bit of good for Hillary, who isn’t so good at this schmoozing as I am. Clinch this deal for her. Get it off her plate.’ No, he didn’t think it out like that. Well, he did, in the subliminal terms we all use to hide our baser motivations from ourselves. But yes yes yes ass ass ass, he did it to trip up his wife.
Being First Laddie, returning at such a demoted rank. Humbling. Is that a problem?The ringmaster returning as director of the dog and pony show. He is not, after all, returning as her advisor as she was his. He entered office with a young and ambitious and able partner at his side. They both spent those young and energetic years on him, a point, I’d wager, has been made.
His due is spending the capital of his political sunset years upon her; not shrouding her with that sunset as well.
And when they are next face to face, will we hear again about her throwing a glass — Ashtray, was it? Was 1992 so long ago we still had those? — at him, across the room. Maybe it was a wine glass. It was insider tattling as the Clintons moved in, and included reports of her yelling the F word, in the White House.
Were we supposed to say, ‘Oh my. Using the F word in the White House? Oh my.’
Because, really, this is the point here, it was that a woman was saying it. As the Nixon tapes made clear, the word had been uttered there before. It was hard to pluck subject and verb out of those expletive tirades. But we wouldn’t have known about Pat, nor suspected it. No one would have told regardless, not back then, about a lady. It’s that Hillary, well, she wasn’t a lady. She was uppity.
Give. Me. A. Break. Bill. And all of the rest of you pricks. Give. It. Up.
And don’t say give up what.
That’s what Bill’s going to do when they see each other next, face to face. Roll those baby blues. I bet she’s past throwing the glassware and by the time she gets to him she’ll be past deletable expletives. They will fall into whatever their particular pattern is.
‘What did I do wrong? I ask you?’ He will shrug. ‘Only trying to help.’ ‘Nope, never thought anyone would take it that way. Maybe I should’ve.’ ‘Shoulda, woulda, coulda, it’s done. Won’t do it again.’
Maybe she isn’t past the expletives. The only thing I want to ask him is, ‘What the fuck is wrong with you?’
But she knows. And what good is it to be bitter, or vengeful, or silent, or loud, or angry, or forgiving or right or wrong. It makes no difference which she is. The outcome doesn’t differ. He’ll eventually saunter across another tarmac and drop a load and she’ll sweep it up, too. Just like most of the rest of us do.
There has already been the shrugging and drama and demands and screaming and crying and, who knows, begging. And still he parks on the tarmac and swaggers himself over to make nice nice. Because he can. Because of serendipity. Because all that is his, is his. Where would you even give back presumptive power? As if anyone could.
But in the shrugging and the drama patterned on the Bill and Hillary power struggle, it must always end something like this; Bill falling on the sword, was ‘only trying to help’, keeps getting double messages, the campaign pulls him in pushes him out, ‘What do you want?’ I imagine him asking, exasperation on his red face.
What do women want? Freud’s unanswerable query. Why is it unanswerable? Because there is no meaningful answer. Or rather, any attempt at a meaningful answer carries an implicit humiliation.
It might not make sense, but we know this already, no matter what Hillary answers, — No. Matter. What. — it’s still going to be Hillary’s fault. And it will still happen again. Throw the glass candy dish. Be sanguine.