First Bill Clinton, then Obama and now another Clinton. A dynasty of royals, not a regular political dynasty, mind you, but genuinely royals-of-the-mind, is now in launch mode in American politics….all premised on that singular comment by Louis XIV in the late 1600’s…..
“I am the state.”
Oh, this royal dynasty is pure-bred pedestrian American all right, bearing none of the grace and grandeur of 17th Century Bourbon France, none of the pomp and circumstance of 18th Century Georgian England, or none of the piety and of Hapsburg Austria or Romanov Russia of the early 20th Century.
Pity poor John Kerry, of all the Americans who would oh, so like to be a royal, but could never get above the rank of cadet. John practiced every royal skill, from hunting with hounds to being able to distinguish gruyere and gouda by stink, and knowing which cracker to put them on, Hi-Ho or Nabisco. He learned to match the right wine to the right dish, to open it and decant it, holding the wine glass the right way, to embracing its aroma before gulping it down, never knowing that royals never do any of that. They have properly-trained help do it. Kerry even allowed more needles to be stuck into his face than a tattooed Maori princess in order to appear younger and more regal. But in the end, among the Euros and Bedouins, he is still just a Mick Irish gigolo who married well twice.
Kerry was always a poseur of the superficial, while each in their own way, Bill, Barack and Hillary, all are naturals in understanding the true essence of royalty as captured by that simple affirmation of power, “I am the state” and thus never talking to anyone, but always being talked to. Or, in the alternative, being annoyed. “We are not amused.”
This is the principal difference between the diplomat, who must, per force, actually know things, and the royal who doesn’t, nor appears to have to care.
While Bill and Barack are interesting studies as “royals” obviously, Hillary is the center of this expose. And to better compare her to a nation of royals, instead of French queers think of the royal Bedouin Arab of mid-20th Century, as their ruling tribe went from a tent-dwelling, goat-milking existence to giant houses with cement ponds in a matter of only a few years, all because it turned out they sat atop what all the rest of world, who drove cars, flew airplanes and ran factories wanted; oil. Jed, Granny, Ellie Mae and Jethro had nothing on these chaps.
But they had an immediate inderstanding of not just their new found wealth, but their new found status, and what it meant to their ancient ideal of “royalty”.
The first English ambassador to Saudi Arabia, I believe his name was Ryan, upon departing after a 6-year posting in the late 1930s, wrote this about the Arabs (I’m retelling this from memory):
The Arabs believe there is no higher form of nobility than to sit in conference with others and discuss and decide important matters;
But they find it beneath their dignity and station to actually go out and learn the substance of any of the matters they are discussing.
They are ignorant of any and all affairs of state and business.
And proudly so.
This was less a political comment about the Arab as it was sociological. It referred to a state of mind, a dismissive “I don’t need to bother with that” attitude which means you can never impress them with facts and only flattery.
Clearly Hillary actually captures this kind of “I am the state” self-identification better then either Barack or Bill. Bill intimated more than once in his two terms that he liked a court-life existence, perhaps as a 16th century Persian prince whose world was filled with colorful eye-candy; Persian rugs, lots of rugs, on which lounged beautiful women in attendance all during the day, dancing and popping pomegranates into his mouth, while big black men with palm fronds would cool his brow, as lines of supplicants would come, and bow (and scrape) begging of His Magnificence some small favor. Most of all, I think, Clinton liked the idea, when the urge came upon him, to be able to stand up, snap his fingers, and simply say “I’m horny, so y’all can come back in an hour and a half. Begone” and then retire to the perfumed cushions at the back of his 4000 square foot tent, with astroturf.
I think that is Bill Clinton’s picture of the ideal life, although I’m unsure if he’s incorporated that into his afterlife plans.
And while also a slave to his habits and appetites, Barack’s are far less imaginative. In terms of teat-fittery, I’m told he is closer to Hillary than Bill, although he hasn’t been known to throw lamps. But neither Barack nor Bill were ever terribly interested in the mundane affairs of state any more than either was interested in the workings of the 8-cylinder internal combustion engine, although both like the power and speed it produces.
What separates them is that Bill Clinton loved the Game for the mental enjoyment of the game, possibly one of the finest strategic medieval minds since Lorenzo de Medici. He moved political players around the chessboard, both linearly and geometrically, like Mozart wrote music, without having to write a single note down on paper until he had completed his entire concerto. It was one of America’s great losses that Bill never turned any of those skills toward the betterment of his country but rather directed them all toward his appetites.
Hillary’s vision of “I am the state” is even more invidious for she loves the Game solely for the status it affords her. More than any of the other royal she has mastered the original Bedouin art of knowing absolutely nothing about anything, yet being very proud of it, simply because of the rank she projects while not knowing anything.
Hillary has proved over and over that the duty to actually know things is irrelevant and unnecessary to the things she feels are important. Meeting Evans’ definition of the Arab mind better than either husband Bill or Barack, she could care less that 70% of the people believe she is corrupt, a crook, incompetent, a liar, has blood on her hands, or has given away more damaging security secrets than the Rosenbergs (who got the electric chair for their efforts), and is totally indifferent to pain and suffering she has caused others. “Officially” she’s clean, and that’s all that matters.
Hillary is fully imbued with the true sense of Bedouin royalty, even as she is as boorish and barefoot as Ma Kettle around the finer arts and haute cuisine of French royalty. She is instinctively an Arab royal, naturally drawn to scheming and plotting and planning, without ever having to know a single damned thing about anything. As long as she can use words like “summit” or “conference” and rely on an army of factotums to issue an litany of communiques to clean-up her screw-ups, she can enjoy the moment of being “talked to” and answering in that insipid gibberish only she knows.
Hillary defines herself entirely by her station and so long as she can show a clean official record in that regard…no indictments, no jail, no personal restraints on her movements…no matter that every American thinks she’s a crook…but one…she is content that she is still “the state”.
In other words, Hillary so defines herself by her rank were she ever actually incarcerated, she would first deny it to herself, and then, noticing those funny little drab uniforms she’s wearing, and having no one to wait on her and groom her, she would very shortly go stark raving mad.
Now that she has escaped the gallows we really do have a candidate who believes the presidency is hers by birthright. Already halfway there, going fully ’round the bend won’t be difficult for Hillary Clinton at all once in office.