While her looming, lurching, lunatic opponent

I was thinking what L. V. Anderson says at Slate: that Clinton’s ability to stay calm, cheerful, reasonable, and coherent during that trainwreck of a “debate” on Sunday is a kind of superpower. I was thinking the whole time how totally impossible I would find that. I was thinking about the years of experience she’s had, as a practicing lawyer as well as a campaigner and politician, that must have helped train her, but also that it’s still a superpower.

Trump was as ugly and uninspiring as usual. But here’s what people haven’t been saying in the days since the debate: Hillary was inspiring as all get out.

Yes, I’m familiar with all the arguments against Hillary as inspirer-in-chief. She’s part of the establishment. She’s laden with potential conflicts of interest. Her judgment during the whole email thing was poor. She seems, to many observers, wooden and robotic. Fine. The fact remains that Hillary stood onstage and calmly and persuasively made the case for her candidacy while her looming, lurching, lunatic opponent attempted to humiliate her in front of the entire world. If Hillary can do that, then the rest of us can do whatever we put our minds to.

Or, in fact, if Clinton can do that, she has extraordinary abilities. She didn’t quake, she didn’t turn red, she didn’t sweat, she didn’t lose it and start yelling – in the face of the shocking anomaly of having to deal with a raving barely-literate narcissist bent on insulting and threatening her as the other candidate for that job. That takes a lot of discipline.

What would you do? If I were Hillary, I would blubber incomprehensibly through my rage-tears for the duration of the debate, if I lasted onstage that long.

Exactly. So would I.

I am not saying Hillary deserves credit just for showing up and getting the job done. I am saying she deserves credit for showing up and getting the job done while a psychopath invaded her personal space, lied repeatedly, attempted to degrade her in the basest and vilest terms, and threatened to jail her for the crime of being a successful woman in the public eye.

Or to put it another way…when they go low, we go high.

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