Sunday, November 13, 2016
Look! Up in the sky! It's Millennials! It's Bernie Bros! It's the Electoral College! It's the Russians! No, it's Super Comey! Yes, Super Comey caused Hillary to lose!
Above: Republican Superhero James Comey: "Faster than a Wall Street campaign contribution to Hillary Clinton! More powerful than a neoliberal billionaire! Able to leap President Obama in a single bound! Yes, it's Super Comey!"
If you've been paying attention to the Clinton Campaign, or the DNC, or the mainstream media pundits lately, you've heard all sorts of excuses as to why Hillary Clinton lost the election, including: (1) Millennials were petulant little children for not climbing aboard the Clinton train; (2) the Bernie Bros did it; (3) the Electoral College is bad; (4) the Russians manipulated our democratic process; and so on and so on.
Rachel Maddow, the former progressive who's been slowly mutated into something else by the Corporate Media, blamed the tiny percentage of Americans who voted for third party candidates. Hopefully, Maddow now realizes that 9% of Democrats voted for Trump, as did plenty of women, plenty of Christians, plenty of people in the LGBT community, etc., etc. (see, "Election 2016: Exit Polls," New York Times, November 8, 2016). These groups had far more of an impact on the election than the few voters who pulled the lever for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, appears to be blaming FBI Director James Comey, for his last-minute letter to Congress, which detailed his continued investigation of the Clinton email scandal. Ironically, she made this claim (reportedly) in a "thank you" call to top donors. I say "ironically" because her cozy, and often secretive relationship with wealthy donors probably had more to do with her loss than James Comey's letter to Congress.
You see, the Clinton folks never quite understood that (a) when you tell the working class that you're going to fight for them, but (b) you also tell them that they're not allowed to read what you said in a $225,000 speech to Goldman Sachs, your going to be viewed as a two-faced, inauthentic politician. And it doesn't help her two-face reputation when we hear her say, in a secret meeting, that she has "both a public and a private position." And it also doesn't help when the Establishment tries to tell us that, "hey, it's okay that she's two-faced." For example, writing in the New York Times, Jonathan Rauch of the Brookings Institute tried to comfort us:
"[The two-faced position] makes her less relatable as a candidate, breeds suspicion, and caused her a world of grief over her email. Fair enough to criticize her on those counts. Yet give credit where credit is due. An experienced political negotiator and former chief diplomat, she understands that hypocrisy and two-facedness, when prudently harnessed to advance negotiations or avert conflicts, are a public good and a political necessity."
So, moving on, I was watching CNN this morning, and the usual cast of pundits was discussing Hillary Clinton's loss. One of the talking heads blamed Wikileaks, and how it kept pounding away at the Clinton Campaign. Okay, fair enough, but it made me think about two things:
First, Trump was viciously attacked too - called a racist, a sexist pig, a stupid man, a fascist Nazi, etc., and he was able to win. The pro-Clinton forces ran plenty of ads showing Trump engaging in all sorts of bad behavior - behavior that was arguably much worse than any of the Wikileak revelations about Clinton.
Second, um, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute... I thought Bernie Sanders couldn't possibly win because he would be called a "socialist" by Republicans, and that Clinton was already thoroughly "vetted" to withstand any Republican assault? That's what the Clinton supporters kept yelling at us, all throughout the primaries, when they were demanding--DEMANDING--that Bernie drop out of the race (even though he was polling far better than Clinton against all Republican candidates). And now they're telling us that she couldn't stand up under the Wikileak assaults, or the email scandal?? Give me a break.
Here's the truth: It wasn't the millennials; it wasn't the Bernie Bros; it wasn't the electoral college; it wasn't the Russians or Wikileaks; and, no, it wasn't even Super Comey. It was the Democratic Establishment's idiotic and arrogant decision to run an unpopular establishment candidate during an election year where the voters were making it very clear that they hated the establishment.
See, "Hillary Clinton's Favorability Rating Among Democrats Hit a New Low," Alternet, April 15, 2016; "Americans' Distaste for Both Trump and Clinton is Record-Breaking," FiveThirtyEight, May 5, 2016; "A record number of Americans now dislike Hillary Clinton," Washington Post, August 31, 2016.
And then see, "Move Over, Trump: Polls Show Bernie Sanders Is 2016’s Most Popular Candidate," Huffington Post, April 15, 2016; and "Bernie Sanders just might be the most popular politician in America," Washington Post, September 19, 2016.
***Unfortunately, many Democratic voters kept assuring themselves that, "No, no, Bernie can't possibly win!" And this echo chamber of defeatism & cynicism locked us into running one of the most disliked candidates in American history - and handed over the White House, and the Congress, and the Supreme Court to a crew of right-wing ghouls. God help us all, especially low-income & minority Americans - they are in for pain, physical assaults, and death, as anti-pollution regulations are repealed, hate crimes increase, and millions are kicked off Medicaid and left with "Emergency Room Health Insurance." But don't worry Democratic Establishment, you'll be just fine as you recede back into your upscale neighborhoods, close the gates, and watch the hell you've unleashed on us. (A good piece of news: some areas, like New York state, are officially preparing to become sanctuary zones for gays, Muslims, and minorities, in order to protect them from the right-wing attacks that will soon be coming from the federal government. These attacks will likely come from new laws, extralegal use of law enforcement agencies, the military, or stirring up hateful sectors within our society.)