A reader writes:
The wife and I were talking about this last week. She believes that Hillary Clinton really is crazy, and is living in a state of denial, and has no plans for the future beyond the election. I tend towards the view that she is pretending to be crazy, as a way to try to scare others into giving her what she wants.
A little of both, perhaps. When it comes to Mrs Clinton, one under-estimated factor is the nature of her ambition. As her life has progressed from those salad days at Wellesley, her own long march through the institutions has been fraught with awful moral compromise. In this campaign alone, the pacts she has made with various devils to keep ahead of the pretender to her throne have been particularly brutal. Somewhere in her head, she justifies all the principles she has trashed over the years, all the enemies she has allied with, all the racists she has won over, all the abused women she has smeared ... on the grounds that if she becomes president, the good she can do will outweigh it all. These are the sacrifices all people who seek power for the good must undergo, she tells herself. To have it all taken away from her at the last minute - by someone who hasn't made as many compromises - is therefore unimaginably cruel. She cannot accept it - because her life's work is at stake. So she struggles on. Her private life, her marriage, is fused with her public life. So she has nowhere else to go. Which is why she stays. This is all there is for her.
Is that crazy? I don't know. But it is immeasurably sad. Not sad enough for pity. She did this all herself. But sad nonetheless.