Michael Goodwin of the New York Post lambasted Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in his article titled “Hillary’s Farewell Act.” The sum and substance of the piece has to do with the source of their political strength: for Clinton it's women, for Obama it's people of color.
Clinton masterfully whipped congressional critics in her final meetings with lawmakers as Secretary of State. The highly-anticipated grilling about the Libyan embassy episode never materialized. During this tragedy, Al-Qaeda killed four Americans. Clinton took the blame for security shortfalls that left our diplomats exposed to the terrorists and shed a tear or two for the victims. It was a virtuoso performance. Then she stunned the lawmakers by declaring “So what?” with regards to whether a) terrorists (or anybody else) killed our people and b) that Donna Rice’s pitch to Sunday talking heads was not really the truth. The story of what happened in Benghazi was still in flux at the time Rice made her rounds. The sad part is that Clinton got away with her subterfuge.
Nobody really gives a damn about this incident; Democrats wanted to dispense with the whole affair so it would not interfere with Clinton’s run for the presidency in 2016. Nevertheless, some Americans expected to see more drama about the 800-pound gorilla in the committee rooms.
The gorilla in question refers to the belief that the Obama administration intentionally misled the American people about Al-Qaeda involvement with the Libyan embassy attack. After all, the president has told us on numerous occasions that he “killed” Bin Laden, and his organization was no longer active. Apparently, the second assertion is not exactly true, and that fact could have had a negative impact on Obama’s campaign efforts shortly before the election.
At this point, the story is ancient history, so nobody really cares anymore. And besides, Clinton accepted recommendations to improve the security for our diplomats around the world. So let’s move on and discuss a more important aspect of Goodwin’s article.
He wrote, “No longer is [our political process] a test of performance and results, the political game is about building a following based on race, gender, and identity markers that are immune to traditional standards of accountability.”
When you think about it, Goodwin may have a point given that Obama won re-election with an abysmal performance during his first term (disregarding the ineffectiveness of his opponent). And, Clinton is being lauded as a great secretary of state based upon a record that presents little success. How did we do with Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, China, Russia to name a few countries. Arguably, America’s relationship with each of these countries is worse than when Obama and Clinton took office.
Goodwin says, “Obama belongs on Mount Rushmore. If you don’t agree, you’re a bigot.” And, “Clinton was a brilliant diplomat. If you don’t agree, you’re a sexist.” Goodwin’s words are strong, and they may ring a bell with some of us.
Further, Goodwin suggests that the white male headlock on the Democratic Party may be loosening. It is likely that people of color and women will make huge gains in future primaries, so all the white, male Democrats better beware.
And, what about poor Joe Biden and Andrew Cuomo? I guess they are just going to have to sit around and wait and see if Clinton is going to run. No one in the Democratic Party has the guts to challenge the queen after her victory lap in Congress last week.
Ironically, Clinton was a victim of the support Obama received from African Americans. She knew that if she challenged Obama in 2012, as Goodwin put it, “black voters would not show up for her in the general election.”
Maybe all this is good for politics and our society. People of color are now having a greater say in politics, although Obama’s policies hurt them more than any other group in America in regards to unemployment, the use of food stamps, etc. And, women are now in a position to flex their political muscle. Keep in mind there are more women than men in the U.S., so their voting bloc can be formidable.
The downside is that our electorate may be choosing and supporting candidates based upon skin color and sex, and not more applicable qualities.