April 28th, 2017

Let me be clear. I voted for Bill Clinton once (I voted for Ralph Nader in 1996) and I would have voted for the proverbial yellow dog down the street before I would have voted for Hillary Clinton. Fool me once, well, you know, but I’m not about to get fooled again. As events happily unfolded, I was able to vote for Bernie in the primaries and ended up voting for Jill Stein in the general election and no, my vote didn’t elect Donald Trump. Even if ever non-major party voter in Ohio had gone for Hillary, she would still have lost the state.

The Clinton’s are venal hucksters who make a mockery of the country they pretend to love. Donald Trump, at least, is marginally honest about his avarice.

I’m reading this morning Matt Taibbi’s take on Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. I won’t be reading the book, not because I don’t think Allen and Parnes have a story to tell, but because, as I told my grandmother when she asked if I was watching the Watergate Hearings, I don’t think there’s any news there.

Hillary Clinton’s view of the world is, as this case with many politicians (Democrats and Republicans), warped. Toward the end of his piece, Taibbi provides a window to how bent Allen and Parnes found her to be.

The Clinton campaign in 2016, for instance, never saw the Bernie Sanders campaign as being driven by millions of people who over the course of decades had become dissatisfied with the party. They instead saw one cheap stunt pulled by an illegitimate back-bencher, foolishness that would be ended if Sanders himself could somehow be removed.

“Bill and Hillary had wanted to put [Sanders] down like a junkyard dog early on,” Allen and Parnes wrote. The only reason they didn’t, they explained, was an irritating chance problem: Sanders “was liked,” which meant going negative would backfire.

Hillary had had the same problem with Barack Obama, with whom she and her husband had elected to go heavily negative in 2008, only to see that strategy go very wrong. “It boomeranged,” as it’s put in Shattered.

The Clinton campaign was convinced that Obama won in 2008 not because he was a better candidate, or buoyed by an electorate that was disgusted with the Iraq War. Obama won, they believed, because he had a better campaign operation—i.e., better Washingtonian puppeteers. In The Right Stuff terms, Obama’s Germans were better than Hillary’s Germans.

In the end, the Clintons—not Bernie Sanders—cost the Clintons the election. Very early on I said that the 2016 election was Jeb Bush’s and Hillary Clinton’s to lose. They both performed as if that was their only goal. Yes, we got President Donald John Trump as a result, but neither vanilla candidates would have energized protest the way Trump has, and I think that if we can’t have President Sanders, then President Trump is the better outcome.

Taibbi concludes:

If the ending to this story were anything other than Donald Trump being elected president, Shattered would be an awesome comedy, like a Kafka novel—a lunatic bureaucracy devouring itself. But since the ending is the opposite of funny, it will likely be consumed as a cautionary tale.

Shattered is what happens when political parties become too disconnected from their voters. Even if you think the election was stolen, any Democrat who reads this book will come away believing he or she belongs to a party stuck in a profound identity crisis. Trump or no Trump, the Democrats need therapy—and soon.

The other night at a political meeting, a Democrat lamented that the left wasn’t supporting the party, scaring trusted followers (I’ve seen this up close and personal at other meetings where Hillary supporters have become frightened that they were at the wrong meeting) and that that was a problem. Damn right. The party cannot continue doing business in the way of the New Democrats. Just like New Labor, New Democrats are simply Republican pigs with badly applied lipstick.

Bernie is the therapist they need. They should listen.

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