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April 27th, 2017

Insight

Hillary's next phase

Paul Greenberg

By Paul Greenberg

Published Dec. 20, 2016

Hillary's next phase

Whatever the innocent reader might have to say about Hillary Rodham Clinton, if anything by now, she's certainly adaptable -- and has been every stage of the way. From her first appearance at the old Sam Peck hotel in those bottom-of-a-Coke-bottle eyeglasses to her current stage as a butterfly in reverse, she'll always be news even if she's reduced to making it herself.

For now Hillary Clinton is going from full-blown Lepidoptera back to larva. No, she won't go down in people's memories, if at all, the way she might have hoped, but who does? She'll always have, no, not Paris, but Little Rock and Washington and points betwixt and beyond. All of it will continue to be duly recorded and rerun on our speakers and screens and other postmodern inconveniences.

And once again Mrs. Clinton will enjoy what passes for success among the unlettered. She'll surely stay in the limelight as she stars on corporate boards, peddles reverse mortgages and generally oversees the Clinton Foundation's makeover into some sort of combined philanthropic enterprise and self-serving front.

Let us give thanks to real writers like Andrew Stiles of the National Review for having the patience and fortitude to speculate about what the future now holds for this super-saleswoman in her many guises. Like the late unlamented Fidel Castro, she has played an outsized role in a lot of plain folks' lives through no choice of their own.

She's more than a little like Richard M. Nixon in that regard. For this is still Hillary Clinton's world and the rest of us, including her secretary/co-president/celebrity-in-chief, are just living in it.

Democrats in general took it on the chin in this earthquake of an election. Their only challenge was to explain how all their explanations went awry. And pick out a single villain to blame for their humiliating defeat. Was it Cuban-Americans like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, whose folks left the Castro brothers' dictatorship in time for them to become just as red, white and blue Americans as those of us lucky enough to be born here?

Was it John Boehner, the GOP's leader who was forced out of office? The name of the villain in their playbooks keeps changing, but not the essential falsity of their pseudo-explanations.

The more inclusive the Democrats' accusations of racism and sexism, the more Americans disbelieve them, for We the People aren't about to take the fall for Hillary Clinton Democrats whose numbers grew fewer and fewer even as the number of Trump voters grew more and more numerous.

It didn't help when the Dems wound up identifying the voters in the old Rust Belt as villains themselves. They can't keep calling us voters names (racist! sexist!) and expect us to support them at the polls. Talk about a strategy that has no chance of winning.

In the end, there may be only one villain all concerned can agree on: the all-pervasive media-ocracy. Whether changing around the sets like Hollywood or Broadway stage crews or starring in their own mega-productions, the talking heads no longer have much credibility with rank-and-file voters who can see right through them.

And what a tasteless spectacle it became.

Take your pick of its worst scene: There were so many outrageous moments it won't be easy to choose just one.

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Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer-winning editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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