Curses, foiled again (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
In case you haven't noticed, the Thing That Wouldn't Leave is back yet again, and still refusing to accept the results of the 2016 presidential election.
Hillary Clinton says that she "beat" Donald Trump—and Bernie Sanders—in a lengthy feature article by New York Magazine. "I beat both of them," she said, evidently referencing her popular vote win over Trump.
While Clinton did defeat Sanders, who is not a Democrat, in the Democratic primary, she did not defeat Trump, who was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States in January.
In the story, Clinton discussed her post-election status as a member of the "Resistance" to Trump, but she also reflected on the 2016 campaign, which included a harder-than-expected fight against Sanders for the nomination.
Let's start with the most salient point: it is utterly shameful for the defeated candidate to join a "resistance" against the lawfully elected winner, for no other reason than she lost. Americans despise a sore loser, and both Clinton and her entire graceless party have been wailing since last November about the cosmic unfairness of it all -- all the more because they fully expected that the fix was in, and she would cake-waddle into the White House. As Johnny Caspar complains in Miller's Crossing: "if you can't trust a fixed fight, what can you trust?"
Talking about Comey, even the day after his firing, is a risky thing for Clinton to do. The last time she did it was in a conversation a week earlier with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour at a Manhattan lunchtime gala for Women for Women International. Amanpour had asked Clinton about why she thought she had lost the election. “I take absolute personal responsibility,” Clinton replied. “I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had.” But she had also talked about other factors she believes contributed, citing FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver’s research on the impact of Comey’s October 28 letter. “If the election had been on October 27,” she said, “I’d be your president.”
But even the Left can't stand her constant bellyaching:
After the exchange, Clinton and her aides had appeared upbeat. The crowd had been enthusiastic, and there was a sense that Clinton had done something that she has long found difficult in public: She had been herself — brassy, frank, funny, and pissed. But on cable news and social media, another reaction was taking shape. The New YorkTimes’ Glenn Thrush, who has reported on Clinton for years, tweeted“mea culpa-not so much,” suggesting that the former candidate “blames everyone but self.” Obama-campaign strategist turned pundit David Axelrod gave an interview claiming that while Clinton “said the words ‘I’m responsible’ … everything else suggested that she really doesn’t feel that way.” Joe Scarborough called her comments “pathetic”; David Gregory suggested she was not “taking real responsibility for the fact that she was not what the country wanted.” And in the Daily News, Gersh Kuntzman delivered a column that began, “Hey, Hillary Clinton, shut the f— up and go away already.”
Coming from her friends, that's good advice. Of course, she won't take it. Her life has no purpose except to claw her way to power, even though she has absolutely no aptitude for it in any lawful way. First she married it, then she coasted into a Senate seat against a hapless opponent in a one-party state, then she was appointed to it. She is, in effect, the anti-Bubba: mean, classless, talentless and very, very angry. No wonder everybody hates her.
But, but, but... she won the popular vote?
But this was an election that was, in many ways, about anger. And Trump and Sanders capitalized on that. “Yes.” Clinton nods. “And I beat both of them.”
But what if the widely swinging polls, turnout models and forecasting mechanisms are all wrong? What if the unique historical circumstances of this election — pitting the female half of a likely criminal family dynasty against a thin-skinned bull-in-a-china-shop businessman — have invalidated conventional wisdom? What if the ranks of shy voters storm the polls and, in the words of Michael Moore, deliver the biggest rebuke in history to the establishments of both parties?
What if, far from having a lock on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. come January, Hillary Clinton’s margin-of-error lead — currently between 4 and 5 points in the RealClearPolitics average of multiple national polls — turns out to be a Potemkin village, dependent on high turnout among blacks and other minorities and on getting late deciders to turn her way?
What if, in fact, the opposite happens — that Trump’s appeal to the disaffected white working class (many of them Democrats) in coal-mining and Rust Belt states outweighs the Democrats’ traditional advantages in the big cities, flipping a state like Pennsylvania from blue to red?
Because here’s the good news for Trump: Despite the structural advantages in the Electoral College the Democrats currently enjoy — they start with New York (29), Illinois (20) and California (55) already in their pockets — the truth is that Trump need only retain the states Romney won in 2012 (including, critically, North Carolina) and then flip these three battleground states: Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. That would give him a 273-265 victory.
He did even better, of course, as Michigan and Wisconsin flipped, and that was that for Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sore Loser supreme.