Get over yourself, Hillary. It happened to the COUNTRY

An image from the ex-candidate's Twitter feed.

An image from the ex-candidate’s Twitter feed.

Something I meant to mention when I posted at the end of last week about that piece in the NYT by their reporter who’s just released a book about covering Hillary Clinton.

I meant to say something about the writer’s description of the way the candidate reacted when campaign manager Robby Mook told her she had lost the election:

“I knew it. I knew this would happen to me,” she said, now within a couple of inches of Mr. Mook’s ashen face. “They were never going to let me be president.”…

Happen to you? Happen to YOU?

Hey, the election of Donald Trump happened to the country. That election you lost trampled on 240 years of American history, ending a streak of 44 more-or-less fit presidents.

So, you know… get over yourself…

Oh, and if you happen to talk to the “they” who were “never going to let” you be president, ask them whether they’re through having their fun. Ask them to put a real president in charge. I don’t care what party or anything. Just someone with at least minimal qualifications and a modicum of control over himself. Or herself, if that makes you feel better about the assignment.

I say that because, based on the way you said that,”they” must be all-powerful, and capable of making anything happen…

37 thoughts on “Get over yourself, Hillary. It happened to the COUNTRY

  1. Richard

    “Hey, the election of Donald Trump happened to the country. That election you lost trampled on 240 years of American history, ending a streak of 44 more-or-less fit presidents.”

    Sorry your girl lost.

  2. Harry Harris

    If I had lost an election to Donald Trump, I’d probably be looking for excuses, too. Despite the many very good things Hillary Clinton has accomplished, losing this election is the epitome of shameful ineptitude for which the country is and will continue too be suffering. Both Clintons exhibit what I consider a sorrowful hubris that prevents either from being truly repentant (at least publicly). Both owe me and others a huge apology that will never be uttered. Hillary, with her desire to be a public figure and yet preserve her privacy sloppily used an out-of-boundaries email system. She was sloppy with her relationship with the Clintons’ charitable foundation. She schmoozed with rich and powerful people ignoring moral guidance. She ran a campaign heavily slanted toward personal smears instead of explaining key issues. You can’t out-Republican the modern Republicans. They cut their teeth on Dent/Atwater/Rove tactics. She used a Trump-like slur in a fundraising meeting and suffered when it was taken out of context and exploited. Her assuming campaign ignored voters in three or four “must have” states. And still, she looks for scapegoats and excuses.
    Enough, Hillary. Just repent and relax a little, and then stay silently at work on important things for a long while. I don’t want you in the picture before the 2018 elections.
    Bill is a great explainer when he doesn’t get into justification mode. I never heard from him the sincere apology that I want after his personal behavior most definitely gave us George W Bush as his successor. He’s just sorry he got caught. I guess the real Clinton legacy, despite all of the great accomplishments they helped bring about, is President George W Bush and President Donald Trump. Maybe it’s time to stop pointing fingers, repent, and pray.

    1. Mr. Smith

      “losing this election is the epitome of shameful ineptitude”

      Reminds me of what a friend of mine said: It was Hillary’s job to win the election and she failed at that.

      This overlooks one very important thing, it seems to me: that a sizeable portion of the voters failed us by allowing themselves to be drawn to the “darker side of the force,” so to speak – to be seduced by a demagogue. It’s often been said that American voters tend to favor the “sunnier” candidate – the Ronald Reagans, for example. But, to paraphrase Lincoln, in 2016 many instead chose to listen to the lower devils of their nature. Sometimes people just can’t be saved from their own worst impulses.

      Even taken together, all those faults of Hillary you list seem like the biblical speck in the eye compared to the log we got in Trump.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        This part was good:

        This overlooks one very important thing, it seems to me: that a sizeable portion of the voters failed us by allowing themselves to be drawn to the “darker side of the force,” so to speak – to be seduced by a demagogue. It’s often been said that American voters tend to favor the “sunnier” candidate – the Ronald Reagans, for example. But, to paraphrase Lincoln, in 2016 many instead chose to listen to the lower devils of their nature. Sometimes people just can’t be saved from their own worst impulses….

        Yep. That’s why on the right they went for Trump, and to some extent on the left they went for Sanders.

        It’s that nihilism I wrote about so much back during the election, much to Doug’s consternation every time I used the word.

        As a number of commentators have said, a lot of people just wanted to “blow s__t up…”

      2. Harry Harris

        I’ve gotten about what I expected from Donald Trump. My beef is with the tone-deafness that led to such incompetent campaigning. Her echo chamber didn’t inform her that the disaffected folks leaning toward Trump were fully aware of his personal depravity and were ignoring it, partly because she didn’t offer a fully-explained vision of how she would work to help them. White “evangelical” voters and conservative Catholics gave him a pass on his personal life, boorishness, and hateful demeanor. She, and her campaign kept reminding them of his shortcomings even when it was clearly past the wasted breath stage. Still, no articulated vision. Ignoring the organization and GOTV work needed in the mid-west states and Pennsylvania was inexcusable. Now she still raises her greatly diminished voice to seemingly raise a flag of excuses.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          You know what? I can’t really give much of a critique of Hillary’s campaign because I don’t remember much about it. That campaign was about stopping Donald Trump, and any reasonably normal alternative would do.

          Of those available in 2016, I preferred John Kasich. Jeb Bush would likely have been OK, and maybe Marco Rubio as well. Y’all know I like Lindsey Graham, but that was so far outside the realm of possibility that it wasn’t worth discussing — anyway, I like him as a senator and don’t really see him as the chief executive type.

          On the Democratic side, Hillary was the one who would do. I preferred Joe Biden, of course, but he declined to run. Hillary had the added advantage, for me, of being the closest thing to a neocon on the Democratic side since Joe Lieberman left the party.

          The only thing I recall to fault her with — in terms of actual issues, as opposed to stuff like the email scandal — was her about-face on TPP, which was emblematic of a general tendency to pander to the populism of the moment. In other words, I object to what she did to make herself, theoretically at least, more electable…

          In any case, I’m not interested in her or her excuses. Her candidacy interested me only to the extent that she was, by the fall, the only normal, qualified person in a position to stop Trump. Since she failed to do that, I don’t have a lot of interest in anything she says or does now…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            But she did succeed in ticking me off with that quote.

            If she has a core, deep flaw, it’s that she’s the kind of person who would greet such a national electoral disaster in terms of, “Look at what those meanies are doing to ME…”

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              … which can probably, in a way, be traced back to that prophetic profile of her in 1993 in The New York Times Magazine. The title was “Saint Hillary,” and it began like this:

              Since she discovered, at the age of 14, that for people less fortunate than herself the world could be very cruel, Hillary Rodham Clinton has harbored an ambition so large that it can scarcely be grasped….

              Any of y’all remember it?

        2. Mr. Smith

          “she didn’t offer a fully-explained vision of how she would work to help them”

          But, again, that misses the point, I think. First, a lot of – in fact the bulk of – Trump’s voters were folks who didn’t need help. Polls showed that they have median or above-median incomes. Second, among those folks who might be in need, many simply weren’t drawn to any set of programs that actually might’ve helped them. Instead, they were drawn to fear and grievance mongering – the appeal of cynicism, distrust, bellicosity and con-job spectacle. This or that program proposal – an “articulated vision,” as you put it — wouldn’t have attracted many of them, no matter how well formulated it was (and the Clinton campaign did offer a number of concrete proposals). In 2016, negative messaging won out over positive messaging because that was the flavor in demand (or, to use marketing terms, a demand was generated for it).

          1. Harry Harris

            We all need some help regardless of income. Voters in fear because of immigration, gay marriage, somebody other than they getting health care coverage, rising health insurance costs, and wage stagnation don’t need to hear about the other candidate’s personal shortcomings. They need to hear their issues addressed. Clinton played strongly to pro-choice advocates than she did to people who didn’t know her own positions that could bring about some common ground. The bulk of her campaign ads and much of her speeches were anti-Trump. Is negative campaigning effective? Yes, but mostly in suppressing turnout among opponent’s slight supporters and among undecided voters. Do we need to give-in to it? No.

    2. Doug Ross

      That is a very astute analysis, Harry. If only more Democrats would just accept what you wrote.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Oh, wait a minute — is that another comment based in the alternative universe where anyone who has a problem with Donald John Trump being president of the United States of America is just some weepy fan of Hillary Clinton who just can’t come to grips with her losing?

        Please spare us those, because they have ZERO to do with our discussions here on this blog, which does not exist in that universe.

        Please, please, please let’s stick to the actual words that are written here. Let’s react honestly to what each of us is saying, rather than trying to impose fantasy explanations on each other.

        It’s hard enough having a meaningful conversation on these issues even when we’re hearing each other. It’s impossible when we refuse to. It’s really exhausting to constantly have to disengage from a real discussion to explain at length that, NO, that’s not what we’re talking about here… something that increasingly seems to be the way I spend about 90 percent of my energy on the blog these days…

        1. Doug Ross

          Brad – it may come as a shock to you but there are plenty of people who don’t agree with you. An analysis of the 2016 election has to include what Hillary did wrong that took her from “lock of the century” to “loser”. Trump didn’t win as much as Hillary lost. Her strategy, tactics, and personality gave you Donald Trump. I can think of any number of things she COULD have done that would have prevented Donald Trump — pick a different VP instead of a generic whitebread guy for one. That decision alone may have cost her enough votes to swing the election.

          The alternate universe you live in is the one where you think 2016 can somehow be reversed. It’s done. Accept it. The country is fine right now. Trump doesn’t control this universe.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            “The alternate universe you live in is the one where you think 2016 can somehow be reversed.”

            And of course, the universe in which there is a Brad Warthen whose aim is to “reverse 2016” is also an alternative one.

            If someone asked me, “If you could have a super power, what would you want it to be?,” I’m almost to the point where I would say, “It would be to have Doug understand what I’m saying, and stop saying I’m saying things I’m not saying…”

            Again… There is a deep and profound sickness in our body politic. It produced Donald Trump. We need to find a way to cure that sickness. Of course, before we can do that, the country needs to understand how badly it needs to be cured…

            Impeachment isn’t going to do it. Mueller isn’t going to do it. And please tell the Democrats that electing a Democrat isn’t going to do it.

            We have to get back to being a country that would have laughed Donald Trump — a guy who had been a ridiculous cartoon for 30 years, and was well known as such — off the stage for daring to run for president. Everyone understood that Pat Paulsen running for president was a joke. What happened to America that it didn’t get the joke when Trump ran?

            That thing that happened is what we need to get at, and cure….

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Regarding my plaintive plea to Doug to “stop saying I’m saying things I’m not saying,” I see that Ross Douthat is having the same problem today.

              Like him, I suppose I must accept some blame (“When so many descriptions of an argument are unrecognizable to its author, that usually suggests the author failed in some important way.”)…

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                That’s an interesting piece.

                The parts about sex are probably what is fueling all the misunderstanding to which he refers, but it gets way radical before that:

                One lesson to be drawn from recent Western history might be this: Sometimes the extremists and radicals and weirdos see the world more clearly than the respectable and moderate and sane. All kinds of phenomena, starting as far back as the Iraq War and the crisis of the euro but accelerating in the age of populism, have made more sense in the light of analysis by reactionaries and radicals than as portrayed in the organs of establishment opinion.

                This is part of why there’s been so much recent agitation over universities and op-ed pages and other forums for debate. There’s a general understanding that the ideological mainstream isn’t adequate to the moment, but nobody can decide whether that means we need purges or pluralism, a spirit of curiosity and conversation or a furious war against whichever side you think is evil….

                In other words, people who make sense can’t describe what’s going on in our world today, because what’s going on doesn’t make sense.

                That’s the way I read it, anyway.

                And I may have just written something with which Doug will agree, although he would put it differently…

                1. Doug Ross

                  There were once people who “made sense” who thought the world was flat. I’m sure they were distant relatives of Douthat. When you hang your hat on a particular narrative and something comes along that knocks that hat off, do you blame the hook or the wind?

                  Change is constant. Adapt or die.

                2. Doug Ross

                  Not true at all.

                  I was once pro-choice but now am pro-life — but adapt / accept that Roe v Wade is done with so we should look for other options to reduce the number of abortions rather than criminalize them. That’s why I support paying young women to delay having children and also support “free” birth control regardless of what any religious institution decides.

                  I’ve come around on single payer – not because I think it will be better but because it will be the best mediocre solution for all people.

                  I’ve adapted on legailzing marijuana from “don’t care” to “anyone who is opposed to it is a fool”.

                  On a professional level, all I do is adapt. I’m in the 4th stage of pivoting on the technology I use in my career.

                  And on a personal level I’ve greatly expanded the demographics of the people I hang around with the most. I’ve watched more Indian movies in the past three years than American movies.

                3. Doug Ross

                  And on the highest level, I went from agnostic to believer well into my adulthood.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    I became Catholic as an adult. But it didn’t require any big change on my part.

                    I tend to see what the monotheistic religions have in common rather than what separates them — especially when it comes to Catholic and protestant, but I also see it with Christianity and Judaism. I tend to see Christianity as a branch of Judaism.

                    I’m not as sure about Islam, because I don’t know enough about it. I mean, I suppose I know more than the average Westerner, but that still falls VERY short of understanding it…

            2. Doug Ross

              I read you loud and clear. You want to talk about big picture items from your perspective that you think everyone else in your universe should immediately accept as gospel.

              I prefer to look at the reason Trump was elected than start on a mission to change the minds of millions of people – their minds didn’t go off track between January and November of 2016 — it was on that path long before it. Richard Nixon proved Presidents could lie and be crooks. We elected Reagan as a mythical actor President who played the role so well despite lacking any real intellectual capability beyond jingoistic platitudes. Bill Clinton then took the moral standards that we expect for a President down several notches which made the transition/acceptance of Trump’s transgressions even easier to swallow. George W. Bush and his puppet master Dick Cheney then combined phony neo-con street cred with a legacy candidate who really didn’t want to work too hard or think too much. That brought the economy to its knees which guaranteed a Democratic victory with Obama, the Hope and Change Savior with the cool persona… who turned out to be an ineffective leader and bunkered down against the partisan Republican attacks rather than take them on. He was hamstrung by his own party’s failed opportunity to take advantage of their majority. He also was unwilling to compromise.

              So all that led us to Trump… who beat a cold, calculating, woman who couldn’t tell the truth, couldn’t develop a vision, didn’t work hard, and did everything she could to cheat Bernie Sanders out of the nomination. She got what she deserved.

              So you can keep trying to change the views of millions of people — views that have been evolving and festering for decades… and then you’ll come right back in 2020 and support another generic candidate who has been in the system forever… one who doesn’t actually represent change or leadership. There’s a reason why the guys you support the most lose – because you’re searching for a solution from guys who are part of the problem.

              1. Doug Ross

                There is also a strong case to be made that the slippery slope that led to Trump was greased by John McCain’s decision to nominate an inexperienced national joke like Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Palin was the best example of lowering the bar for higher office in the past three decades. You don’t think Trump saw her and said “if she can do it, so can I”?

                Thanks, Senator!

              2. Brad Warthen Post author

                Actually, most of the “guys” I support win. I haven’t kept count since leaving the paper, but then my batting average on that was about .750.

                And this…

                I read you loud and clear. You want to talk about big picture items from your perspective that you think everyone else in your universe should immediately accept as gospel….

                … shows you are not reading me…

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  If that was what I was about, I’d just write a book or something. I wouldn’t have a blog and welcome comments.

                  Book readers can’t talk back to you…

                2. Doug Ross

                  You supported Lieberman, McCain, Graham, Hillary, and Kasich in recent presidential elections… Oh, you mean your batting average when there is always a 50 -50 chance?

                  Your biggest non presidential endorsement in recent years was Sheheen… How’d that work out?

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Did I endorse him? I remember DEBATING with myself whether to endorse him, whether the blog should even do endorsements.

                    I made it plain I thought he was the better candidate, that’s for sure.

                    You mention McCain — remember that we had endorsed both him and Obama in their primaries, and both won. But that’s meaningless in this context, since that won-loss record I had compiled back in the day was just general elections. Part of the impetus of doing the study was to answer the partisans in both camps who insisted that we ALWAYS endorsed candidates of the other party, and they ALWAYS lost. Both statements were far from true.

                    So, in that calculation, the Lieberman endorsement (having been in a primary) doesn’t count. Although let me hasten to add that if I had it to do over, I’d do it again were it in my power. At the time, I had to argue with my colleagues for three hours. I literally talked myself hoarse, and was barely able to speak at my brother’s wedding, which was that weekend. It was worth it.

                    I’ll remind you that in that GENERAL election, “our guy” Bush won.

                    I’ll also point out that in 2008, McCain won South Carolina.

                    In the end, I’m going to endorse the person who SHOULD win, to the extent that God gives me the power to see that, even if that person doesn’t get a single vote in the election (something that almost happened with Lieberman). My conscience wouldn’t let me do otherwise.

                    But as it happened, when I went back and counted, usually our endorsee won…

  3. Claus2

    “Despite the many very good things Hillary Clinton has accomplished”

    Such as??? I”m having trouble thinking on just one.

  4. Harry Harris

    Good work with the Children’s Defense Fund. Some bipartisan work as a Senator. Iranian sanctions groundwork for nuclear treaty, climate change agreement. “Good” may depend on your perspective.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      She was “good” when she backed TPP. She was bad when she turned against it. People are complicated, and often inconsistent…

  5. Harry Harris

    A lot of Democrats do see it the way I do, especially the part about being silent for a while. The day after I wrote the post, i saw a magazine article online basically saying the same things and with a strong request to go away for a while. She probably won’t; we’ll see her and Chelsea popping up all over the place revving up Trump supporters and doing no good for any of us Democratic voters and volunteers who are pretty weary of her.

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