Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Eleanor Rigby theory of Hillary

On the day after the pundit debacle, Andrew Sullivan tries to figure out why his surfboard fell off the Obama wave --

There may well have been something about Clinton implying that she was an older woman who was being passed over by a less experienced man for a job. That may well have resonated with some women, especially after she seemed actually human in the last two days.

As a bit of amateur pop sociology, fine. But remember who this is coming from. His hero, Mrs T, famously said that "There's no such thing as society". Politics is supposed to be about high Burkean principles of time-tested institutions interacting with a rational populace. We're not supposed to be playing identity politics. Everyone's an individual who can't be slotted into simple group categories.

But all of a sudden, Hillary's base becomes the spinsters (in John Derbyshire's words), seething with resentment about life and work. When in fact it's Sullivan that seethes with resentment ("She is the Bush of the Democrats") about Clinton.

UPDATE 11 JANUARY: A later post provides a nice example of Sully's self-styled philosophy of political analysis --

My libertarian-conservative approach to gay politics was laid out in Virtually Normal. It's one reason I don't fit in with the Human Rights Campaign people either. I'm happy to live my life, and let others live theirs'. I don't want or need the government to love me, make me feel better or tell me how to live. My deep difference with Hillary Clinton is precisely this. In my view, it takes an individual.

"It takes an individual" -- except when he's invented a whole category of voters to explain why the hated Hillary wins elections.

[post title changed to more standard but less Google-ranked Beatles reference]

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