Hillary and the Banality of Evil.
As we contemplate honestly Hillary's invocation of assassination as the rationale for her continued candidacy, we must ask both how and why she is incapable of seeing how horrible her statement was, and how telling. To me the answer is found in Arendt's concept of the banality of evil, the notion that the evil most scorn-worthy is that committed unknowingly, committed without any sense of its implication or effect.
At this point, it is plain that Obama has ceased to be a real person to Hillary; he is mere obstacle, an object in her way. Obama is himself (itself) a cold, implacable, faceless foe who blocks the path to her destiny, her salvation. And so why it might be tempting to say that the battle has become personal, in fact, for Hillary, it is impersonal--indeed, it has become entirely abstract, like a chess game. When one topples the King in chess, there is no need to wince. It is not a real regicide; you just won a game.
In considering Eichmann's role in the Holocaust, "Arendt concluded that Eichmann was constitutively incapable of exercising the kind of judgment that would have made his victims' suffering real or apparent for him. It was not the presence of hatred that enabled Eichmann to perpetrate the genocide, but the absence of the imaginative capacities that would have made the human and moral dimensions of his activities tangible for him. Eichmann failed to exercise his capacity of thinking, of having an internal dialogue with himself, which would have permitted self-awareness of the evil nature of his deeds. This amounted to a failure to use self-reflection as a basis for judgment, the faculty that would have required Eichmann to exercise his imagination so as to contemplate the nature of his deeds from the experiential standpoint of his victims."
To me, this best explains the dark and tragic place that Hillary has gone to; she has lost the capacity to see herself, and her actions, in any way other than as part of a game she is playing and is intent on winning. How many times in life have we said, "I want to kill that guy"? But we say it knowing the difference between really wanting to kill the person, and saying we want to as a way of expressing our frustration. And we know to that the person we say we want to "kill" is a real person, and the person's death would have wide-ranging and real effect. For Hillary, the countless times she has thought about Barack's figurative death have caused her to lose the ability to see the death as real. She simply wants him out of the way, to be gone, so she can get on with her own goals.
So often those seeking to denigrate Hillary have resorted to calling her "the Terminator," or some other sort of murderous foe who has no limit on the lengths she will go to destroy her enemies. But now we look at the residue of her long campaign, of the effect it has had on her ethics and morality, and how it has brought her to a place where I look at her and can no longer recognize her humanity. She has made a Faustian bargain, and it shows. The banality of evil indeed.