by Dell Franklin
Elijah Cummings and Adam Schiff tried to come to her aid, but Hillary didn’t need them. She endured the inquisition, the steady bombardment of insulting drivel and accusations and falsehoods from the likes of Trey Gowdy and his menagerie of goons and held firm, displaying an arch calm and deliberate, articulate answers to their prosecutorial grilling, saying just enough but not too much, and what was evident in her demeanor was the bugaboo in theirs—lack of an unreasonable and bullying male ego, which seemed to be transfused into the two female members of the panel.
This ugly gob of male ego, always spoiling for a good fight and incapable of admitting defeat, pushed hard into the dinner hours trying to grind her down, but Hillary, like a slick shortstop from the Dominican Republic, kept fielding their vicious grounders and throwing them out with ease as they tripped over first base repeatedly and then kicked at the dirt and yelled at the umpires like sore losers, and little boys.
Hillary’s lack of male ego was what this miserable pack of jackals could not contend with. She exhibited no anger at their insinuations, their incriminations, only the same arch calm that held firm for eleven hours as they blistered her with one toxic salvo after another, one repeated, droning, boring question after another, one more strident hysterical raising of the voice, one more sententious play to the national audience for a little recognition as they became smaller and smaller, little men using a pea shooter to take down a giant.
Led by Gowdy, a man who resembles a hairless weasel with skin gloss and taped on ears, who looked like he was trying out for a John Grisham lawyer part in one of his novels turned into a movie. His two hit men, the wheedling, sneering Jordan and Roskam, played big for Fox News while Hillary maintained that arch calm, almost smiling at their little boy ineptitude and cry for attention, once flicking lint off her shoulder, as if signifying these men as no better than flies or gnats. All day long, as they tried to wear her down, she wore them down, until the whole sorry lot seemed to be talking to only themselves, like deluded sociopaths.
Hillary was too strong for them, too tough, too smart. And, fact is, because of what women have had to tolerate from men since the beginning of time, they ultimately have more steel in their gut. Just ask those who have tangled with Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, and Angela Merkel, who ate their male competitors for lunch.
I hark back to my own mother, a diminutive woman whom my father, war vet, professional athlete who played hurt and never missed a day’s work no matter how sick, said, “You think I’m tough? She’s tougher, believe me.”
My father, who grew up a Russian Jew in a German/Polish anti-Semitic neighborhood, where he fought every day and went on to become an amateur boxing champion, would punch anybody out who uttered anything derogatory about Jews, or used the kike, sheenie terminology around him. My mother, a Jewish lady with small, exquisite features and an IQ of around 160, had a far different way of dealing with such mean prejudice. She told me the story of driving across the country from Wisconsin to Norfolk, Virginia, where my dad was stationed in the navy before shipping out to the South Pacific. Dad had managed to arrange for the wife of a fellow navy man, an officer, to share the driving in dad’s Packard.
Mother agreed, and they set out from Madison, where the lady had been a cheer leader and debutante and almost immediately began informing my mother that the real enemy of World War II wasn’t the Germans, but the Jews, who were responsible for it. Roosevelt’s cabinet was infested with Jews. The Jews controlled the money. The Jews were greedy. The Jews this, the Jews that, the woman taking my mother for a gentile perhaps because she was so stunningly beautiful and perhaps not fitting the stereotype of what a Jew looked like in that era.
My mother said, “I let her go on. Unlike your father, I did not fly off the handle. She was spoiled and terribly entitled and she continued this kind of talk for an entire day. I still let it go. I remained calm and pleasant. I waited until we were about a hundred miles out of Norfolk, and when she started in again, I pulled over on the side of the road, and I just looked at her. I didn’t say anything for about a minute. And then I told her, ‘I want you to know you’ve been traveling with a Jew for the last two days.’ Well, I thought she might die right there. I cannot tell you how shocked she was, and how devastated she was when I just sat there and looked at her. I wasn’t mad. I just looked at her with pity and compassion for being such a narrow, shallow person who would never experience the privilege of compassion. She was from a rich family, I was poor. Well, she started apologizing, the poor thing was crying, she became hysterical. She apologized and apologized, and when she calmed down, she said, ‘but you don’t…look like a Jew.’ Oh, I said, what does a Jew look like?’ She cried and blubbered the last three hours of our trip.”
Mother said that the suffering this woman experienced those last one hundred miles was probably ten times worse than the damage my father inflicted on men who had uttered Jew-baiting remarks in his presence—several of whom ended up hospitalized. Mother said, “That woman will never forget that experience, and every time she thinks about it she will cringe, and maybe cry, and you can bet she will never repeat that business again.”
Maybe it IS time for a woman president, somebody without the kind of blustery male ego owned by an unfulfilled man like George W. Bush, who never played sports and ended up a cheerleader at Yale but couldn’t wait to go to war with his equally unfulfilled chicken-hawk pals. Maybe it’s time we had a cool, calculating, clever woman who’s been working her way around some of the biggest male egos on the world stage and in her own government and learned how to deal with them through thick and thin, victory and defeat, as well as the storm of bullshit they’ve thrown at her for decades.
You want tough? Just ask Bill. And now you can ask the Benghazi goon squad licking their wounds after getting torn up by this subtle tigress.
Bring ‘em all on, lady, they’re fair game. §
Dell Franklin writes from his home in Cayucos, Calif., where he lives with his rescue dog, Wilbur. He’s the author of The Ball Player’s Son, a memoir about his father, Murray Franklin, and the early days of big league baseball. Visit his website: dellfranklin.com