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Gradgrind for President

By Michael J. Smith on Monday May 29, 2006 01:50 PM

David Sirota is starting to have his doubts about Hillary Clinton. I know, I know, better late than never, or so they say, but is that even true? It's possible to be so late that the party's over, and you'd've been better off staying in bed.

Being a fair-minded, judicious kind of guy, David notes that he has praised Hillary in the past. Presumably he wants to let Hillary know that he could go either way, and no doubt Hillary has taken due notice.

In an idle hour I followed the link to David's attagirl for St Hill. Pay dirt. It's old news now -- a speech Hillary gave in the Senate about the minimum wage, last October -- but our David calls it "terrific"and says, "on economic issues [she] is showing some fight." Here's a snippet of the speech, which David quotes, apparently with approval:

I'm all for rich people. Ever since my husband got out of office and got into the private sector, I think it's great.... I have nothing against rich people. That's part of the American dream. But with all due respect, it is not rich people who made America great. It is the vast American middle class. It is the upward mobility of people who thought they could do better than their parents...
Is it just me, or has Hillary's always-evident self-satisfaction reached an exceptionally vomitous level here? And how can Sirota possibly be so tone-deaf that he doesn't hear it?

Then one can't help wondering how it feels to be St Hill and say things, day after day, like the "middle class made America great" and what drives our civilization is the desire to "do better" than one's parents. Which would be worse -- that she's saying what she knows is not true, or that she really believes it?

I think she does really believe it. A peek into Hillary's mind -- it's like the gates of Hell open for just a moment and you see the demons dancing and the flames leaping. Doing better than your parents is the Philosopher's Stone of the professional-class striver's character. This crass, soulless, heartless, impious obsession with doing better than somebody else, particularly your own mother and father, and the conviction that this diseased mania is the bedrock of human virtue -- if ever there was a Miserific Vision, this has got to be it.

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