God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” – James 4:6
The least surprising political decision of this century is Hillary Clinton’s refusal to take responsibility for her loss to Donald Trump.
With the release of her campaign memoir, What Happened, the former Democratic presidential candidate has reemerged in public life, chalking up softball interviews and, at least in her mind, settling scores. The dog that doesn’t bark in her sit-downs with the media indicates she, and not external forces conspiring against her, is ultimately to blame for her defeat.
From her recent CBS interview with Jane Pauley, her pal and supporter:
I started the campaign knowing that I would have to work extra hard to make women and men feel comfortable with the idea of a woman president. It doesn’t fit into the—the stereotypes we all carry around in our head. And a lot of the sexism and the misogyny was in service of these attitudes. Like, you know, “We really don’t want a woman commander in chief.”
However, 54 percent of women who voted went with Hillary; Trump only got 42 percent. The argument that there are women in sufficient numbers so averse to the idea of a woman president as to be able to prevent it is simply wrong. And men historically have voted for Republicans, which did not change in 2016. In the past 40 years, only in the 1976 election did men go for the Democratic candidate at a comparable rate (50 percent) as women did for Hillary.
In the book, Clinton describes President Trump’s inaugural address as “a cry from the white nationalist gut.” She elaborated on the point in her interview with Pauley:
CLINTON: He was quite successful in referencing a nostalgia that would give hope, comfort, settle grievances, for millions of people who were upset about gains that were made by others because—
PAULEY: What you’re saying is millions of white people.
CLINTON: Millions of white people, yeah. Millions of white people.
This goes to show just how far the toxic brew of identity politics has seeped into the mind of the Left. It couldn’t be that enough Americans of different races decided she was a lousy candidate who stood for the tired ruling-class doctrine of “invade the world, invite the world.”
Instead, it’s that “white” people are trying to pull our country back to a time where they ruled with an iron fist (never mind that Trump has never talked about returning to a specific decade or bestowed benefits on a specific group of people to the detriment of others).
That many of these same whites helped elect Barack Obama to two terms, of course, goes unmentioned. Plus, what does Hillary’s thesis say about the 8 percent of blacks, 29 percent of Hispanics, and 29 percent of Asians who supported Trump in the election? Nothing good about their capacity for self-government, for starters.
Vladimir Putin and the Russians
“The forces that were at work in 2016 were unlike anything that I’ve ever seen or read about,” Clinton told Pauley. “It was a perfect storm.”
If that sounds a bit vague, this excerpt from her book makes it clear:
I never imagined that [Putin] would have the audacity to launch a massive covert attack against our own democracy, right under our noses—and that he’d get away with it.
The narrative that the Russians stole the 2016 election is simply a lie propounded by the NeverTrump Right and the Left. Its sole purpose is to undermine Donald Trump’s victory and set the stage for his impeachment.
The supposedly close relationship between Trump and Putin is belied by the fact that the president last month signed legislation imposing stronger sanctions on Moscow. Heightening the irony even further is Hillary Clinton’s decades of helping Putin and other cronies while in public office. As secretary of state, Hillary allowed a company with close ties to the Russian government to purchase 20 percent of the United States’ uranium supply, and her role in the pay-to-play machinations of the Clinton Foundation are well-documented.
The narrative that Putin, even if he had tried to disrupt the election, was in the tank for Trump is equally bogus. As Jack Kerwick has noted,
Putin would have had good reason to not want Trump to be president. After all, Trump was tirelessly depicted as a wildcard, a cowboy, John Wayne come alive again. With the Clintons and Obama, Putin knew where he stood. He knew, given Obama’s refusal to back up his “red line” tough talk to Bashar Assad, that, if nothing else, things would remain as they were.
Former FBI Director James Comey
Comey, of course, is one of the main culprits in preventing her ascension to the presidency. From her CBS interview with Jane Pauley:
CLINTON: I don’t know quite what audience [Comey] was playing to, other than—maybe some, you know, right-wing commentators, right-wing members of Congress, whatever.
In her book she has an even more definitive take:
If not for the dramatic intervention of the FBI director in the final days we would have won the White House.
This overlooks how Comey ultimately let Hillary off the hook, thereby making it harder for Trump to win. Comey’s actions post-election certainly do not suggest his intention was to go soft on Trump’s behalf. His grandstanding and moral preening demonstrate clearly his loathing for Trump and everything he represents.
Even President Obama comes in for scolding. From the book:
I do wonder sometimes about what would have happened if President Obama had made a televised address to the nation in the fall of 2016 warning that our democracy was under attack. Maybe more Americans would have woken up to the threat in time.
Of course, such an address would have helped Hillary in the election. It also would have been wildly inappropriate, which she fails to note here. Moreover, conclusive evidence that Russia “hacked the election” (whatever that means) has yet to be discovered. It would have been more than a little bit dangerous for the President of the United States to level such a baseless allegation in such a public and confrontational way.
As John Hinderaker has pointed out, a report issued by the U.S. intelligence community earlier this year found “zero evidence…tying the Russian government (or anyone else) to the crude spearfishing effort or to the generic, out-of-date malware that invaded the DNC’s and Podesta’s email systems. Zero. Nada. Zilch.”
In other words, there is no “there” there.
In her book, Clinton writes this of the independent socialist from Vermont:
His attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign.
Maybe so. But Sanders’ “attacks” were largely accurate. And what should he and the more populist-progressive wing of the Democratic Party have done instead? Roll over for the inevitable coronation of Madame President?
In her interview with Pauley, Clinton said she thinks her rival’s opponents were “already energized” before her comment about the “basket of deplorables,” but conceded: “I’m sorry I gave him a political gift of any kind.”
“It was a gift,” Pauley responded.
Seemingly wounded by this affirmation of her own negative assessment of the quip, Clinton quickly rejoined, “I don’t think that was determinative.”
Much worse than Mitt Romney’s ill-fated “47 percent” comment was Hillary’s charge during the election that at least half of Trump’s supporters are “irredeemable” and un-American. She has never issued a sincere apology for this remark other than ruefully noting it cost her votes. And why should she apologize? She believes it’s true!
Clinton has yet to acknowledge the reality that she was a terrible candidate. Her message lacked a widespread appeal among voters, and she got by largely on her husband’s last name and perceived accomplishments.
She continues to blame everyone and everything but herself for her loss. In a recent interview, Matt Lauer of “The Today Show” asked Hillary if her mistakes cost her the election. “I would say no,” she replied.
As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst or cold.”
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