09/27/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Captain Hillary Sails 'Round Good Hope At Last

When last we saw Captain Clinton, she was traversing rough waters. Her crew was in full mutiny mode. Her First mate was on the bow, railing at the fickle seas and the cruel fates that had buffeted their ship of state for many a moon. The body politic languished in a discomposed mood, scrutinizing her every fidget to see if she would continue her quest for glory or tack back to safe harbor. On Tuesday evening, to a packed Democratic crowd at the Pepsi Center in D'Town, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton revealed her plan. She was leaving the roiling deep behind and sailing around the Cape of Good Hope.

Not content with this outcome, ardent supporters of Senator Clinton scurried around the floor in the early hours of the conclave. They were attempting to gather enough signatures from the delegates to have her name put in nomination and voted on. It all came to naught. The die was cast. Senator Barack Obama will be the Democratic Party Presidential nominee. Even as she spoke I heard yells and bellows of mutiny here and there among the agitated crowd. These were underlined by furtive whispers discernable below the din of lasting approval and anguished realization. But bravely onward she went, charting a course for the future, Obama's future and ours.

We have all tasted defeat in our lives, maybe had our face rubbed in it occasionally but this was a humble pie of epic proportions. Yes, we know that she and her husband have had many of life's riches that will always be unavailable to the unwashed masses but here, before the world, their dream probably vanished for good and she was left to put on a brave face and pick up the pieces. Life with Bill Clinton has always seemed to track that way for Hillary. He cast a shadow for better and for worse across their tempestuous journey. Who can say if perhaps on her own she would have risen to the heights of public service? Maybe she would have embraced progressive policy without the grand calculator by her side. Who knows?

Joylessly, she left that all behind, the possibilities, the promise and the precipitous plunge from the dream stage. Hillary did what she knew that she must do - she praised Obama and staked out her partnership with his dream. She endorsed him. Some say with faint praise. Others claimed unequivocally. No matter. The wheel of the Democratic Parry is in other hands now, Senator Obama's hands. Spite on the part of the Clinton Crew that aims at upending his Presidential bid would come to haunt all of them. Mutiny, that immolates the fine thread of Democratic unity, would catapult the entire Republic, the globe, into the abyss of the Crony netherworld. What cold comfort could anyone derive from that?

I, like many of you, have harbored deep resentments for the pragmatic and unprincipled capitulation to corporate interests versus citizens interests that Hillary and Bill have far too often been a part of. Many of us have been vocal opponents of the DLC myth of centrist supremacy in all things politic that the Clintons have championed. However, I always considered them a worthy opponent and do not revel in their demise. You see, there but for fortune go you, go I. As baby boomers and middle class children pulverized by the turbulent struggles of the Cold War era, any one of us could have set sail on their voyage. Don't kid yourself sailors, we are all more similar than we dare to admit.

As she leaves the big stage, she leaves with a modicum of dignity. She seemed to summon a part of her original delight in the liberal ideal and made some attempt to conjure it up. Somewhere in the depths of her ambition the flame still flickers. Too bad it never became a raging fire.

We should wish her well and keep the lighthouse on for one day she may make port yet again in the progressive movement that the young woman who became an avid advocate for children would have called home. Until then, she can console herself with the thought that sailing around the Cape of Good Hope is a damn sight better than braving the tortuous seas of Cape Horn. Let us all, Progressives, Liberals, Democrats and Peaceniks, band together and send the entire Republican Party including the war-mongering Admiral McCain packing into that tempest. All hands on deck!