There aren’t many things I dislike more than litigating the last presidential election. Actually, that’s a lie – I hate watching other people relitigate the last presidential election more (much more). I hate it because the “analysis” that everyone presents somehow manages to make every decision they made from the primaries to election day the correct decisions, therefore everyone else fucked up. I presented my thoughts on what went wrong shortly after the election. There were plenty of mistakes made all the way around, and very few people made all of the right decisions.
The pie of blame in this last election has hundreds of slices. I have always maintained that the largest single slice belongs to Hillary. She was the candidate, so to blame anyone else is absurd and childish. She made so many mistakes like focusing on Trump instead of middle class and poor Americans, not going to Wisconsin, not trying to get the forty-three percent of Bernie’s primary voters, but instead focusing in on the mythical moderate republican voter. And the emails. That was the biggest fuck up of all. Decades of being attacked put her in a position of having the lowest trustworthy numbers of the vast majority of politicians in America, and she thought that setting up a private email server next to the Cuisinart in the kitchen was going to help with that? And what the fuck was anyone thinking when they voted for her in the primary anyway? That is was going to be fine? It was never going to be fine, and you were all giant hypocrites for voting for her after being outraged when Bush did the same thing. I can go on and on and on, but I won’t because either you saw what I saw, or you didn’t want to and never will want to.
So why am I writing this post now? Because Hillary’s new book appears to do a lot of finger pointing. The early peeks at the book seem focused in Bernie, but I’m sure she also points at misogyny, Russia, my cats, and a slew of other things that aren’t her for why she lost the election.
I have a lot to say in this post, so bare with me. But let me start with the ways she blames Bernie. Here’s a quote from the book that really steams my beans:
“That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept promising four-minute abs, or even no-minutes abs. Magic abs!”
Magic abs? You mean like the magic abs they have in Europe where everyone has medical coverage? Magic like that? Or magic like in Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, and France where their magic abs get to go to college without that mound of debt that our flabby stomachs get to enjoy? I’m sorry Hillary, but it is not unrealistic to want the things that our own lying eyes can see are working in other parts of the world.
This right here, is why democrats have been getting pummeled in election after election for the past ten years. Democrats had been losing their base long before Bernie ever announced that he was running for president. Neither Bernie nor his magic abs is responsible for losing over 900 seats across the country over the past ten years. If democrats aren’t going to fight for the things that are going to improve our lives, they can’t expect blind loyalty to the party. I’m not on “team democrat”. I’m on Team Bitchy, and I will always vote my own self interest. My self interests in the primaries lied with Bernie and his platform. In the general, my self interest was in stopping Trump and supporting Hillary.
Ross Perot taught republicans, who are already predisposed to authoritarianism, that they have to follow their leader no matter what. They will never split their vote again. Liberals have no such predisposition to protecting Daddy at all cost. If Daddy is abusive, liberals will not show up to support him (or her). So when democrats refer to commonplace programs that are working in the rest of the developed world as “magic abs”, they can expect the trend of the past ten years to continue. And before you scream gerrymandering! at me, remember that you have to win certain seats before you can ensure that your party can’t ever lose those seats again. Republicans did that.
Now onto the next thing that Hillary said that I think is complete bullshit that only hurts democrats in the long run:
“Bernie isn’t a Democrat. That’s not a smear, that’s what he says. He didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party.”
You’re goddamned straight he did. If by “disrupt”, you mean “bring the party back to it’s former platform of representing the working people”, then you are correct. I have said this thousands of times over the past couple of years, but let me go ahead and say it again: when a seventy year old man with no money, no comb, and no tailor comes in and takes forty-three percent of your primary voters, you’d better pay attention to what he’s saying. Ignore his message at your peril. The “he’s not a democrat” argument is ridiculous, and demonstrates that you have no idea what’s happening in this country. Half of Gen X, and all of the millennials have no regard for the team mentality argument she’s making here. Politics is not sports. You don’t pick a team and stick with them no matter how many times they shit on you. Politics is about your own health and well being. I am laser focused on my own needs, and I will not blindly follow anyone who isn’t interested in protecting my self interest.
“I’m with her”. That pretty much told you most of what you need to know about the current version of the democratic party. It wasn’t “She’s with you” or “She’s for you”. No. It was “I’m with her”. That’s pretty much what the democratic party establishment is sticking with. That and “Trump is terrible”. That’s the extent of the platform.
There was one other thing she said that made me laugh at her cluelessness:
“That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger.”
Now tell me if you can find any daylight between his presidential platform and his agenda from nineteen freaking ninety. Bernie didn’t go bigger to outdo you. Bernie thinks big, and he always has. Wanna know who else thinks big? Republicans. They have taken this country so far right that Reagan couldn’t run on his own record in a republican primary. The amnesty for eye-legals alone would be a nonstarter. So while democrats are going for incremental changes, republicans are going for the gold and they’re getting it.
There is no more consistent politician in the world. He’s been talking about the same issues for forty years. The country just finally caught up with him. Notice how I said the country, and not liberals or democrats? Voters on both sides of the aisle are increasingly feeling more populist, and Trump knew it. He was making preposterous promises and assuring us that unicorns and rainbows were going to come shooting out of his ass to take care of everyone who has been suffering for far too long. She in the meantime, was focused on telling you how horrible he is.
Hindsight is supposed to be 20/20. That is not what’s happening anymore. No one seems to be learning any lessons from what happened in 2016. Hillary voters can’t see that they made a horrible mistake in supporting her during the primaries, and they don’t seem at all concerned with the hypocrisy of assuming that the private email server was no big deal. Hillary doesn’t seem interested in exploring why it is that Bernie took such a giant chunk of the primary vote away from her. She just wants to blame him for being mean to her and “enabling” Trump’s “crooked Hillary” narrative. Never mind the fact that she spent the better part of 2008 calling Obama a child (remember the infamous 3 am call commercial?) The Bernie or busters can’t accept any of the responsibility for setting their votes on fire, rather than sucking it up and voting for Hillary to save the republic.
So to summarize: no one is to blame for Trump. So I guess that must mean that he won because he’s just all sorts of awesome.
People, we all need to start reflecting. There is nothing to be learned if everyone digs in and insists that they didn’t make any mistakes. My Twitter feed is full of people bashing Bernie and Kamala Harris because I guess they think that a two year election cycle is too short, and prefer to instead start the whole nightmare of presidential elections on the day after election day. Stupid.
Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America, and he’s a liberal. Why the hell would self described liberals be tearing him down? And when Kamala Harris (or any democratic establishment member) embraces single payer health insurance, why would you bash her for that? If you’re on team Bernie, this is a win for you. Just fucking embrace it. Bernie didn’t get into the 2016 race to become president. He got into it to influence Hillary and pull her to the left. He didn’t start running in earnest until February. Wanna know how I could tell? He didn’t have a single field office in South Carolina at the time that the Iowa caucus happened. So take the win, Bernie supporters. He’s managed to move democratic presidential contenders into much more liberal positions than we could have even dreamed of two years ago.
I’m not remotely interested in the 2020 election at this point in time, and neither should anyone else. I’m not hopeful about 2020 or even 2018. Nothing that I’m seeing or reading gives me any reason to hope because no one did anything wrong so therefore, there are no lessons to be learned. Democrats aren’t going to develop a platform beyond “Trump sucks”, Hillary supporters will continue to vote for the least popular candidate in the primary, and Bernie or busters will enable the next W or Trump.