Hillary: The Woman With No Hinterland

 

snlTheodore Dalrymple (real name: Dr. Anthony Daniels) is a retired psychiatrist, who spent a big part of his career working in third world countries like Zimbabwe and treating patients inside British prisons. These experiences have turned Dalrymple into an implacable critic of, among other things, totalitarian governments, large bureaucracies like the British NHS, the psychiatric establishment (especially its attempt to do away with things like free will and personal responsibility), and the left in general.

He is a wonderful cultural commentator and literary critic (he is Exhibit A for the proposition that the best literary critics are those who simply love good writing and who haven’t been corrupted by stylish post-modern literary theory). His writing can be found in New Criterion, City Journal, National Review, and in the on-line magazine New English Review.

One of the proven tests for clear thinking is to go back and read columns and essays written several years ago and see how well they hold up. Under this test, it is easy to discern that the Paul Krugmans and Tom Friedmans of the world are little more than hack, penny-a-line writers. Dalrymple, on the other hand, is the real deal.

All of which brings me to my subject. A few days ago, I had occasion to re-read an essay published in April 2008 by Dalrymple in New English Review, “Roman Remains,” a brilliant analysis of Shakespeare’s last tragedy, Coriolanus. But what made it resonate so much for me seven years after it was written was Dalrymple’s spot-on comparison of the “mulishly inflexible” Coriolanus and Hillary Clinton.

[Coriolanus] seems to have  no inner life, only an external role to play, that of the hardened warrior, braver, stronger, more unyielding than anyone else; he is, like so many modern politicians, unappealingly one-dimensional. He has, as they say, no hinterland; one cannot imagine him being interested in philosophy or art, or having a strange and passionate hobby, such as collecting things; if there were no wars for  him to fight in, he would cease to exist for himself; and one would no more wish to spend an evening in his company than in that of Mrs Clinton.

I agree with Dalrymple that this could describe a lot of politicians, including some on the right. But it seems to be the perfect description of Hillary. I can imagine playing a round of golf with Bill and enjoying the experience, but I can’t imagine enjoying hanging around with Hillary. Where Bill has an actual personality, Hillary seems to be merely the embodiment of the will to power. This is why SNL’s brilliant parodies of Hillary resonate so much: they portray a woman whose only hobby is seeking power.

A bit later is his essay, Dalrymple provides us with a great payoff pitch. In describing Coriolanus, he’s given us a flawless portrayal of Hillary:

He is showing us a type that appears to me to becoming more common: someone for whom public adulation, though always on his own terms, is a kind of scaffolding that keeps the whole edifice of the personality upright, that prevents the ego from crumbling into nothingness.

Is that not a perfect portrait of Hillary: the woman with no hinterland?

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  1. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    That is absolutely perfect. I love it.

    I have not read the play. Now I shall.

    • #1
  2. Indaba Member
    Indaba
    @

    it is – the cult of personality. sadly, it works. i fear Hillary will win.

    • #2
  3. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @DanielWood

    Yes, that is absolutely spot on. Why would someone with her money and — let’s face it — limited life expectancy continue to grasp for power? Why not buy a gorgeous beach house in La Jolla or Miami and spend your golden years enjoying all that you’ve earned (or bribed and stolen in Mrs Clinton’s case)? Why put yourself through the merciless, soul sucking grind of a presidential campaign, when you could be on a tropical beach somewhere, enjoying those millions of dollars?
    Only a person crazed with lust for power, to the exclusion of all else, would do it. She is nothing more than a walking appetite, ambition personified.

    • #3
  4. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    Vote for Hillary. Don’t ask why. Just do it.

    You owe it to her. This is what she wants. Don’t ask why.

    • #4
  5. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @SpicyFoodHiccups

    Cogito Ergo BBQ:…Why not buy a gorgeous beach house in La Jolla or Miami and spend your golden years enjoying all that you’ve earned (or bribed and stolen in Mrs Clinton’s case)?…

    I’m sure she would if only she weren’t dead broke.

    • #5
  6. captainpower Inactive
    captainpower
    @captainpower

    tabula rasa:All of which brings me to my subject. A few days ago, I had occasion to re-read an essay published in April 2008 by Dalrymple in New English Review,Roman Remains,” a brilliant analysis of Shakespeare’s last tragedy, Coriolanus.

    broken link.

    http://newenglishreview.org/Theodore_Dalrymple/Roman_Remains/http://

    should be

    http://newenglishreview.org/Theodore_Dalrymple/Roman_Remains/

    • #6
  7. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    Cogito Ergo BBQ:Yes, that is absolutely spot on. Why would someone with her money and — let’s face it — limited life expectancy continue to grasp for power? Why not buy a gorgeous beach house in La Jolla or Miami and spend your golden years enjoying all that you’ve earned (or bribed and stolen in Mrs Clinton’s case)?Why put yourself through the merciless, soul sucking grind of a presidential campaign, when you could be on a tropical beach somewhere, enjoying those millions of dollars? Only a person crazed with lust for power, to the exclusion of all else, would do it. She is nothing more than a walking appetite, ambition personified.

    Her soul is probably already gone. But the campaign trail isn’t going to be rugged for her. It will be padded and smoothed and pampered every step of the way. An already  sycophantic media will be held at bay by her handlers. She won’t sully herself to be touched by the little people unless hand selected by her staff. She is totally surrounded by yes-men and true believers will spoon feed her fawning adoration. The rough and tumble of a campaign will be made about as tough as a box of kittens.

    • #7
  8. Red Feline Inactive
    Red Feline
    @RedFeline

    I love Coriolanus, by Shakespeare, and I also appreciate Theodore Dalrymple. I agree, he writes so well, and is full of such insight. Lovely to have them both put together in your post.

    As you point out, this is Shakespeare’s last tragedy. Let’s hope that Hilary Clinton’s so obvious ambition, and her lack of hinterland, will be her downfall.

    I wonder what Shakespeare would have made of her story as a play. I guess we just need to read Coriolanus to see. A tragedy!

    • #8
  9. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    The essay is mindless & you probably should not trust that man to teach you Shakespeare. It may please to vituperate against Mrs. Clinton & it may be the right thing to do, but this strikes me as unfortunate.

    Coriolanus is war hero–he was bred for patriotic war–he started young–he seems nearly unconquerable–& he is coming to learn about the crisis the hero faces in the city. It is funny to think that the play tells you the greatest Roman of his day was named for another city… At least, the Roman way of defensive conquest shows itself in the life of noble sacrifice.

    Whoever thinks nobility is meaningless might say Coriolanus is one-dimensional. But no one else, I should think. Shakespeare shows without any subtlety the great crisis opened up by his love of Rome & his contempt for the plebs. He shows you that men of excellence wish to rule; & that there is something implied in awareness & pursuit of excellence that suggests mankind in the main–as opposed to mankind at the heights–is not worth ruling.

    It is a criticism of excellence & of politics that guides this kind of contempt for Coriolanus. Every word of it could be said of Washington, too, I suspect. Certainly of Nelson. & of every man who chose to dedicate his life to the public rather than the private.

    • #9
  10. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Tabula Rasa – you are such a better man than I. [Redacted for CoC]

    • #10
  11. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Indaba:it is – the cult of personality. sadly, it works. i fear Hillary will win.

    I honestly don’t think she will, unless Jeb somehow snags the nomination (this is not to start a discussion of Jeb’s merits, I think the “Bush” name alone rather guarantees he will lose).  Hilary offers nothing to anyone outside the Dem core – there is a visceral dislike of her in younger voters, blue collar voters, and other marginal groups.  She’s a phony, so even if they don’t vote for the Republican, they won’t vote for her either – they’ll just stay home.

    • #11
  12. kennail Inactive
    kennail
    @kennail

    What was it again that Gertrude Stein said about Oakland, CA?

    • #12
  13. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    captainpower:

    tabula rasa:All of which brings me to my subject. A few days ago, I had occasion to re-read an essay published in April 2008 by Dalrymple in New English Review,Roman Remains,” a brilliant analysis of Shakespeare’s last tragedy, Coriolanus.

    broken link.

    http://newenglishreview.org/Theodore_Dalrymple/Roman_Remains/http://

    should be

    http://newenglishreview.org/Theodore_Dalrymple/Roman_Remains/

    Thanks.  It’s fixed now.

    • #13
  14. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Songwriter:Tabula Rasa – you are such a better man than I. [Redacted for CoC]

    [Redacted for CoC]

    • #14
  15. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Titus Techera:The essay is mindless & you probably should not trust that man to teach you Shakespeare. It may please to vituperate against Mrs. Clinton & it may be the right thing to do, but this strikes me as unfortunate.

    I disagree that the essay is mindless, that Dalrymple is a poor teacher of Shakespeare, or that it is unfortunate that someone, say me, would vituperate against Mrs. Clinton. What are we to say about her?

    • #15
  16. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    tabula rasa:

    Titus Techera:The essay is mindless & you probably should not trust that man to teach you Shakespeare. It may please to vituperate against Mrs. Clinton & it may be the right thing to do, but this strikes me as unfortunate.

    I disagree that the essay is mindless, that Dalrymple is a poor teacher of Shakespeare, or that it is unfortunate that someone, say me, would vituperate against Mrs. Clinton. What are we to say about her?

    I do not think vituperation against the unfathomable Mrs. Clinton is unfortunate in any sense except that decent people have to do it. It were truly fortunate if they did not, but things are not such…

    What struck me as unfortunate was the fact that a description that seems pretty accurate where you use it is so stupid where it originated. Can you imagine someone talking in such a contemptuous tone of Churchill’s long years in service, whatever prejudice they created to his private life, inner or otherwise? The shamelessness would be too obvious. But Coriolanus is long dead…

    You describe Mrs. Clinton precisely because she has no achievements!

    But Coriolanus is as successful as Achilles & as justified as Hector when it comes to achievements! That the man could miss the central point is just like saying that Churchill is as evil as any other man who wages war–or that Churchill is no better than his pacifist detractors, because it does not matter what he did & that they ddi nothing!

    • #16
  17. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    tabula rasa:

    Titus Techera:The essay is mindless & you probably should not trust that man to teach you Shakespeare. It may please to vituperate against Mrs. Clinton & it may be the right thing to do, but this strikes me as unfortunate.

    I disagree that the essay is mindless or that Dalrymple is a poor teacher of Shakespeare.  Dalrymple merely suggested that it might be painful to spend an evening with Mrs. Clinton.  I’m the one who extended the comparison of Coriolanus and Mrs. Clinton, not Dalrymple.

    I take umbrage at the suggestion that this post is vituperative.  That term refers to the use of “harsh or abusive language.”  It’s highly critical of Mrs. C, but I fail to see anything in Dalrymple’s words (or mine) that rises to the level of vituperation.  The descriptions of Mrs C seem to be accurate, not abusive.

    What would you have us say of her?  Great diplomat, fun person, effective leader?

    • #17
  18. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    tabula rasa:

    tabula rasa:

    Titus Techera:The essay is mindless & you probably should not trust that man to teach you Shakespeare. It may please to vituperate against Mrs. Clinton & it may be the right thing to do, but this strikes me as unfortunate.

    I disagree that the essay is mindless or that Dalrymple is a poor teacher of Shakespeare. Dalrymple merely suggested that it might be painful to spend an evening with Mrs. Clinton. I’m the one who extended the comparison of Coriolanus and Mrs. Clinton, not Dalrymple.

    I take umbrage at the suggestion that this post is vituperative. That term refers to the use of “harsh or abusive language.” It’s highly critical of Mrs. C, but I fail to see anything in Dalrymple’s words (or mine) that rises to the level of vituperation. The descriptions of Mrs C seem to be accurate, not abusive.

    What would you have us say of her? Great diplomat, fun person, effective leader?

    I did not mean vituperation as a bad thing!

    I think maybe this is the difference between how things sound & what they mean? Is not Dalrymple’s point, Coriolanus & some modern politicans are soulless, inhuman–one does not wish for their company because the human endeavors are alien to them! That I would say is far more abusive than calling someone a liar or stupid. But I think more fights start over the latter than the former. I did not mean to start a fight, so I apologize.

    • #18
  19. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Titus Techera:

    tabula rasa:

    Titus Techera:The essay is mindless & you probably should not trust that man to teach you Shakespeare. It may please to vituperate against Mrs. Clinton & it may be the right thing to do, but this strikes me as unfortunate.

    I disagree that the essay is mindless, that Dalrymple is a poor teacher of Shakespeare, or that it is unfortunate that someone, say me, would vituperate against Mrs. Clinton. What are we to say about her?

    I do not think vituperation against the unfathomable Mrs. Clinton is unfortunate in any sense except that decent people have to do it.

    Is it me or Dalrymple that fails to meet your decency test?  If it’s me, you might have a case.  If it’s Dalrymple, you might want to read him a bit more thoroughly:  he is an eminently decent man.

    • #19
  20. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    tabula rasa:

    Titus Techera:

    tabula rasa:

    Titus Techera:The essay is mindless & you probably should not trust that man to teach you Shakespeare. It may please to vituperate against Mrs. Clinton & it may be the right thing to do, but this strikes me as unfortunate.

    I disagree that the essay is mindless, that Dalrymple is a poor teacher of Shakespeare, or that it is unfortunate that someone, say me, would vituperate against Mrs. Clinton. What are we to say about her?

    I do not think vituperation against the unfathomable Mrs. Clinton is unfortunate in any sense except that decent people have to do it.

    Is it me or Dalrymple that fails to meet your decency test? If it’s me, you might have a case. If it’s Dalrymple, you might want to read him a bit more thoroughly: he is an eminently decent man.

    I do not have any reason to doubt your decency nor do I know anyone who has. Nor yet Dalrymple–one cannot be indecent about a play about a Roman hero dead these 25 centuries!

    But I think it is shameless to talk in this way about politics & a great politician. I have no doubt that Coriolanus was far greater than Dalrymple, though the latter is the more decent of the two. It takes more than a little shamelessness to dismiss politics & patriotism, which were the life, the soul of Coriolanus. That he cannot see a hero–but something unidimensional says nothing good of him.

    • #20
  21. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Titus Techera:

    tabula rasa:

    I take umbrage at the suggestion that this post is vituperative. That term refers to the use of “harsh or abusive language.” It’s highly critical of Mrs. C, but I fail to see anything in Dalrymple’s words (or mine) that rises to the level of vituperation. The descriptions of Mrs C seem to be accurate, not abusive.

    What would you have us say of her? Great diplomat, fun person, effective leader?

    I did not mean vituperation as a bad thing!

    I think maybe this is the difference between how things sound & what they mean? Is not Dalrymple’s point, Coriolanus & some modern politicans are soulless, inhuman–one does not wish for their company because the human endeavors are alien to them! That I would say is far more abusive than calling someone a liar or stupid. But I think more fights start over the latter than the former. I did not mean to start a fight, so I apologize.

    Perhaps one should pause before suggesting that another person lacks the decency to criticize Hillary.

    Now that does meet the vituperation test.

    If you think Dalrymple mischaracterized Coriolanus, so be it.  I’ve read the play and feel that Dalrymple’s points are credible (which may say something about my gullibility).  But to suggest that his character abuse or my gullibility makes one or both of us indecent seems a bit over the top.

    • #21
  22. user_477123 Inactive
    user_477123
    @Wolverine

    For me Dalrymple is a must read. I think his writing is subtle and sophisticated. His books are terrific and he can also be read at Takimag on Sundays.

    • #22
  23. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    tabula rasa:

    Titus Techera:

    I did not mean vituperation as a bad thing!

    I think maybe this is the difference between how things sound & what they mean? Is not Dalrymple’s point, Coriolanus & some modern politicans are soulless, inhuman–one does not wish for their company because the human endeavors are alien to them! That I would say is far more abusive than calling someone a liar or stupid. But I think more fights start over the latter than the former. I did not mean to start a fight, so I apologize.

    I do not have any reason to doubt your decency nor do I know anyone who has. Nor yet Dalrymple–one cannot be indecent about a play about a Roman hero dead these 25 centuries!

    Perhaps one should pause before suggesting that another person lacks the decency to criticize Hillary.

    Now that does meet the vituperation test.

    If you think Dalrymple mischaracterized Coriolanus, so be it. I’ve read the play and feel that Dalrymple’s points are credible (which may say something about my gullibility). But to suggest that his character abuse or my gullibility makes one or both of us indecent seems a bit over the top.

    I’m not sure you read my answers–there were two, separate. One explicitly says, this is nothing to do with anyone’s decency, no aspersions intended. & the other one said, I do not mean vituperation is bad here, but I apologize, I at least chose the words wrong!

    • #23
  24. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    Songwriter[Redacted for CoC]
    [Redacted for CoC]

    • #24
  25. user_477123 Inactive
    user_477123
    @Wolverine

    Tullus Aufidius as described by Dalrymple certainly sounds like the current occupant of the White House. I thought the essay was interesting. In terms of politics, whom would you rather have, the unscrupulous Bill Clinton (I know he was talking about Hillary) or the righteous inflexible politician like for instance McCain? I know neither type is appealing. First thing I thought about in reading the essay was the remark by Twiain ” Sometimes you have to rise above principle”. Seems to me in reading this that Dalrymple’s idea of an appealing President is someone like Reagan.

    • #25
  26. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    tabula rasa:

    What would you have us say of her? Great diplomat, fun person, effective leader?

    Now that is some funny ess right there.  I wonder if she can remember the last time she had fun.

    I can’t stand having to listen to Obama — he speaks nothing but nonsense as far as I’m concerned but I can’t fathom what it will be like having to hear the same nonsense spewed by that shrill, angry woman.  I will have to completely check out from politics and government were she to be elected.

    • #26
  27. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Titus Techera:

    tabula rasa:

    Titus Techera:

    I did not mean vituperation as a bad thing!

    I think maybe this is the difference between how things sound & what they mean? Is not Dalrymple’s point, Coriolanus & some modern politicans are soulless, inhuman–one does not wish for their company because the human endeavors are alien to them! That I would say is far more abusive than calling someone a liar or stupid. But I think more fights start over the latter than the former. I did not mean to start a fight, so I apologize.

    Perhaps one should pause before suggesting that another person lacks the decency to criticize Hillary.

    Now that does meet the vituperation test.

    If you think Dalrymple mischaracterized Coriolanus, so be it. I’ve read the play and feel that Dalrymple’s points are credible (which may say something about my gullibility). But to suggest that his character abuse or my gullibility makes one or both of us indecent seems a bit over the top.

    I’m not sure you read my answers–there were two, separate. One explicitly says, this is nothing to do with anyone’s decency, no aspersions intended. & the other one said, I do not mean vituperation is bad here, but I apologize, I at least chose the words wrong!

    If I misread you, I return the apology.

    • #27
  28. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Bill? I can imagine having a beer with him, especially if he opened up about some of his sleaziest escapades.

    Barack? I can imagine having a beer with him, and I expect that one or two down the hatch would somewhat diminish his pathological narcissism.

    Hillary? I can’t imagine wanting to do anything other than pouring the beer over her head. The fact that this unlikable, humorless, power-mad, entitled shrew has so many admirers is the great mystery of our time.

    • #28
  29. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Cogito Ergo BBQ:Yes, that is absolutely spot on. Why would someone with her money and — let’s face it — limited life expectancy continue to grasp for power? Why not buy a gorgeous beach house in La Jolla or Miami and spend your golden years enjoying all that you’ve earned (or bribed and stolen in Mrs Clinton’s case)?Why put yourself through the merciless, soul sucking grind of a presidential campaign, when you could be on a tropical beach somewhere, enjoying those millions of dollars? Only a person crazed with lust for power, to the exclusion of all else, would do it. She is nothing more than a walking appetite, ambition personified.

    She might actually have a moment of introspection, or insight.

    And then she would have to be restrained from harming herself….

    • #29
  30. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Bill does have “an actual personality,” one that leads him to abuse women and hang around with pedophiles and other crooks.   I don’t think I’d want to spend time with any Clinton.

    • #30
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