The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

On Being a Good Diva

This is a note to Hillary Clinton’s gay friends. (And she’s talked about you guys, so I know you’re out there.) It may be a bit stereotypical, but as gay men we have a special duty to our female friends, to sit them down from time to time and — gently — tell them the truth for their own good. It may be something as trivial as the wrong dress, or an outdated hairstyle. Or it may be something as serious as the need to get out of an unfortunate entanglement with a boyfriend who should be an ex>-boyfriend.

Well, guys, from the sound of things you haven’t done your job, or haven’t done it very effectively. So, here’s what needs to happen.

A few of you, however many it takes to subdue her, need to show up at her door with the following:

Then do the following:

  • take her phone off the hook,
  • shut down any and all computers,
  • turn off the fax macine,
  • confiscate her cellphone and her blackberry (make sure you turn them off)
  • lock the door,
  • pour her a very big cocktail,
  • sit her down,
  • and start the movie

Press “pause” right after this song.

Now, this is where you — gently — explain a few things to her before she makes “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” her new campaign theme song.

  1. It’s been done. Effie sang it already, and sang the hell out of it too.
  2. Right after singing it, Effie went anyway. Whether she wanted to or not.
  3. The show went on.
  4. And that was the end of the first act.

From there, you can let the above sink in before going to explain that there is a second act, and Effie wins big in the end. But it was not to be in the first act.

What Effie didn’t know then was one of the cardinal rules of being a good diva: knowing when your number is over, and it’s time to leave the stage gracefully. Explain to her that she has a lot in common with Effie in the first act, when it comes to making some crucial mistake. (Do not at this point, encourage her to sing “the song.” If she does, it’s time to cut off the cocktails.)

It was also a journey she had begun with what appeared to be insurmountable advantages, which evaporated one by one as the campaign dragged on far longer than anyone could have anticipated. She made at least five big mistakes, each of which compounded the others:

  • She misjudged the mood…
  • She didn’t master the rules…
  • She underestimated the caucus states…
  • She relied on old money…
  • She never counted on a long haul…

Besides, like Effie, the second act might pay off nicely for Hillary.

One of the most inviting is the near certainty that the Obama campaign would agree to pay back the $11.4 million she has loaned her own bid, along with an estimated $10 million to $15 million in unpaid campaign expenses.

In addition, Democrats, both those who are loyal and those who are opposed to her campaign, say the odds of her winning a top leadership spot in the Senate would improve dramatically if she gracefully conceded now. The icing on the cake includes an improved political climate, giving Hillary and Bill Clinton the opportunity to heal the rift with the black political community.

“If she leaves the stage gracefully, as Gore did in 2000, she will be able to rebuild her political capital within the party fairly quickly, and over time most of her perceived and real sins will be long forgiven and/or forgotten,” said Dan Gerstein, a Democratic consultant and Obama supporter.

Here we come to another cardinal rule of being a good diva: always have an encore in mind, because that’s what they’ll remember. She’s got time to make it a good one, and she’d probably get a lot of help.

If there’s still a few cocktails left, play the movie all the way to then end. If nothing else, she might absorb this. After declaring “I’m not going” and being pushed off stage, a good diva can come back even more fabulous than before.

If she knows how, plans well, and has some friends to help with a makeover.

So, we’ve come full circle, guys, to another special duty our ours….

7 Comments

  1. You know, that really makes sense. Unfortunately, I do not think that those that have decided she is evil incarnate will *ever* ‘forgive’ her for campaigning the way she has (for which, by the way, I don’t believe any forgiveness is required).

    If you’re going to be perceived as a racist, egomaniacal bitch (along with your husband), then I don’t think there’s really much to do: there’s no way for her to be judged as having been gracious.

    If she leaves now, it’ll be said that she left because she had to, not because she was being gracious. When her political star later rises (which it will, of course), it’ll be said that her having left ‘graciously’ was a slick political move for which she should be condemned; another Clinton ‘trick.’

    Everything she does is always seen through the lens of cynical opportunism and machiavellian machinations. Witness the overnight Ferraro-is-a-racist meme.

    If that’s how the ‘effete liberals’ (as Rush Limbaugh so deliberately rudely put it) and large parts of the black community are going to see her, then I suspect she’ll simply use this time to take shots at Obama and wait for a scandal to break.

    When it’s over, her political star will rise anyway no matter how she acts now.

    If she acts bitchy now, her political star will rise later anyway but be saddled with aspects of people hating her guts for having held on so long and ruined Obama’s chances.

    If instead she leaves gracefully, her political star will rise later anyway and still be saddled with aspects of people hating her guts for having held on so long and ruined Obama’s chances.

    Hence, I think she stays in now. And deal with whatever comes.

    It should also be remembered that in this campaign she’s been called a fake-crying liar who didn’t cry about the plight of the black community in Katrina implying something rather ugly (by Jesse Jackson, Jr.), a blatant panderer and opportunist, a ‘deeply flawed candidate’ that can’t win in the general election by the Obama campaign (I wonder what would happen if her campaign now released a similar release stating that Obama is a ‘deeply flawed candidate’ for the general election that can’t win?), etc., etc., etc.

    All, of course, by the campaign that’s said it’s not playing the old politics of “division and distraction.”

    Welcome, President McCain.

  2. Pingback: Teaching Hillary Clinton A Lesson « Kenyon Farrow

  3. This is a brilliant blog. I enjoyed the hell out of it. Thanks.

    EnK

  4. From there, you can let the above sink in before going to explain that there is a second act, and Effie wins big in the end. But it was not to be in the first act.

    Hollywood Effie, yes. Real-life Effie, not so much.

    Besides, if she bows out now she loses the leverage she needs for a Supreme Court nomination.

  5. It may be a bit stereotypical, but as gay men we have a special duty to our female friends, to sit them down from time to time and — gently — tell them the truth for their own good. It may be something as trivial as the wrong dress, or an outdated hairstyle. Or it may be something as serious as the need to get out of an unfortunate entanglement with a boyfriend who should be an ex>-boyfriend.

    Terrance, I love you. 🙂 I wish we weren’t so far apart, but this post really made me smile ’cause I’m grateful I have you, even if you’re only as close as D.C. 😉

  6. Hollywood Effie, yes. Real-life Effie, not so much.

    Yes, Flo didn’t get the happy ending she so deserved. I’ve always thought it would have been great for her to have a great comeback.

    But then, I’m a sucker for a happy ending. And I have a tendency to root for the underdogs, and to sympathize with the people in the background.

    I don’t know what the Diana Rosses of the world have to deal with. I have more in common with the Flo Ballards and Mary Wilsons. Their stories I understand a bit better — to have a dream, an aspiration, and have it appear to be just within reach, only to realize you’re not going to be the one to grasp it.

    I never got to see Jennifer Holiday perform as Effie on Broadway, I will confess that I had tears in my eyes when Jennifer Hudson belted out that last note.

    And again, at the end of the second act.

  7. Wonderful, wonderful Terrance! The gays must save her from herself…I fear we’re the only ones who can do it! I say we promise to take her shopping (no more pantsuits) as soon as she concedes the race….

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