SYNDICATED COLUMN: Win or Lose, Hillary is Finished

Image result for hillary clinton goldman sachs            Hillary Clinton, they say, is the most qualified person ever to have run for the presidency. They are, of course, mistaken. But one week away from an election that, for once, really may prove to be the most important of our lives, what boggles the mind of those of us who are paying attention is just how terrible a candidate Hillary Clinton has proven to be.

It feels like years ago, but remember the primaries? Polls notwithstanding, Hillary’s supporters – the editorial board of The New York Times and the CNN talking head who slipped her debate questions so she could cheat against Bernie – argued that her awesome resume put her in a better position to take on Donald Trump in the fall. Yet here we are with national tracking polls in a dead heat or within the statistical margin of error, with Ohio firmly in the Trump column, Florida probably leaning the same way, and the whole thing probably coming down to a slim margin in Pennsylvania. And those polls don’t take the brand-new FBI EmailGate investigation into account. (At this writing, there’s one — and it shows Trump ahead.)

The Very Serious Democrats owe Bernie Sanders an apology.

Objectively speaking, Hillary ought to be wiping the floor with Trump. The man is a maniac. His campaign is a disaster. He doesn’t even have an organization. Why isn’t this race 65% to 35% in her favor?

To be fair, Trump isn’t totally stupid. Whether by scheming or luck, Trump has proven that free social media is much more effective than television advertising. He packaged crassness as authenticity. And he’s a master of crisis management, as seen when he nuked the open-mic “pussy grabbing” video by inviting Bill Clinton’s female accusers to attend the debate hours beforehand.

But those tricks ought not to be nearly enough to give Hillary a run for her money.

With the benefit of hindsight – and in the case of writers like yours truly, foresight – that Hillary Clinton would underperform was foreseeable well before she announced her run for president.

“Hillary is out of touch,” I wrote in May 2015. “She hasn’t been behind the wheel of an automobile for nearly 20 years, is a multi-multi-millionaire who nevertheless considered herself ‘dead broke’ and still believes that she and her husband are not among ‘the truly well off.’ … For a Democrat under heavy fire from her party’s progressive base — with Elizabeth Warren, Bill de Blasio and Bernie Sanders leading the charge — this stuff could be politically fatal.”

Right now, it really could.

We’re screwed.

Even if she wins next Tuesday, a second Clinton Administration will begin with zero mandate other than to be Not Trump. And there’s a serious risk Republicans will begin impeachment proceedings within her first year. And she could easily lose — which would put American democracy in grave peril. Heckuva job, Hillary!

When the political equivalent of the National Transportation Safety Board examines the train wreck of Hillary’s campaign — even if she wins, they’ll find that alienation from the electorate is but one of many unforced errors. Here’s my pre-mortality autopsy report:

Main Cause of Death: Failure to unify the Democratic Party. ClintonWorld snubbed Bernie Sanders and his supporters. This ain’t the 1990s, when Bill Clinton courted the corporate right because he knew he could take the liberal-progressive base for granted. Courting Republicans even before the convention was a major screw-up. Failing to seriously consider Bernie for veep, or even a cabinet appointment, doubled down on that mistake. Clinton operatives wouldn’t even let former Sanders workers volunteer for her campaign. Now the lefties are so pissed that not even Bernie himself can get them back. Many will stay home, leave the president box unticked or even vote for Trump next week.

Major Contributing Factor: Failure to articulate an affirmative policy agenda. You know what Donald Trump would do during his first 100 days: build the wall, mass deportations, ban Muslims, probably suspend the Constitution for some as yet undetermined pretext. What would Hillary Clinton’s first 100 days look like? I don’t know. And I’m a political junkie. No one else knows either. Here is what she has said, and she hasn’t said it very often: “I pledge that in my first 100 days as president, we will make the biggest investment in new good-paying jobs since World War II.” What kind of investment? How much? Where? How?

According to The Hill: “she has indicated that her first 100 days would include nominating women for half of her Cabinet positions, investing in renewable energy, setting stricter rules for health insurers and drugmakers, and pushing for greater protections for voting rights.” Zzzzzzz. Americans want their president to do two things: boost the economy and keep them safe. Trump owns the national security debate. But she still hasn’t told us how she’ll put us back to work, get us a raise, or fix the retirement system to account for the big switch from 40-hour-a-week wage labor to self-employment. Her entire campaign boils down to: I’m Not Trump.

Additional Contributing Factors:

A crazy penchant for secrecy and cover-ups that gave us EmailGate.

Unbridled lust for corporate and dictator cash funneled via influence peddling through the Clinton Foundation, up until the last second before she formally declared she was running. Why didn’t she give it a rest after 2008?

Incrementalism. It’s impossible to get excited about someone who thinks $12 an hour would mark a major increase in the federal minimum wage – after states and municipalities have already gone to $15. Remember, this is a change year.

She still won’t apologize for voting to invade Iraq. Sure, she says she got it wrong. “But Clinton has never explicitly said what, exactly, she did wrong,” Scott Beauchamp wrote in The Atlantic. “From Clinton herself, there has been a demand for nuance in discussing her vote, a clarification of her intentions, and plenty of blame heaped on the Bush administration. But without a clear explanation of what her mistake was and how she plans to avoid repeating it, what does an apology actually mean?”

R.I.P.

(Ted Rall is author of “Trump: A Graphic Biography,” an examination of the life of the Republican presidential nominee in comics form. Support independent political cartooning and writing — support Ted on Patreon.)

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29 thoughts on “SYNDICATED COLUMN: Win or Lose, Hillary is Finished

    • Please allow me to complement my post above with yet another link, this time to the Interecept analysis of the story now making the rounds of much of the corporate media and which purports to reveal a secret Donald Trump email-server connecting him to the Kremlin….

      Good reading !…

      Henri

  1. Democrats have suspended portions of the Constitution for decades now. There’s a better chance Barack declares himself president for life than for Donald to “suspend the Constitution.” Get a grip.

    • I took that Rall’s line about suspending the constitution to be a bit of jest. Though, of course, a jest inspired by the spirit of Trump’s bigoted remarks towards immigrants and Muslims.

      Anyone who reads Rall for long knows that he never shies away from blaming both parties with equal vigor, and any other hypocrites who happen to be in the news. He’s an anti-establishment progressive with quite a bit of courage and talent.

  2. The only thing not to understand here is why Leftists still support Sanders. I know it’s a habit for you guys, but this time do try to pull your heads from the sand. He sold out. Not only by endorsing the Wall Street candidate but also by endorsing the candidate it has been proven ***cheated against him.***

    Bottom line: if you support Bernie, you’ll vote for Hillary because that’s what he wants. In contradistinction, if you supported Bernie because of his *policies or sentiments* you’ll vote for Jill, Gary, or Donald because they all agree that the system necessitates monumental change.

    • There is a long history of bickering on the U.S. left whether to try to work within the Democratic party – the “long march through the institutions” if you will 😉 – or outside of it. The short shrift Bernie got recently has indeed emboldened those who were in favor of working outside the system all along.

      But then again, through Bernie, an alliance between progressives, leftists, disaffected, young people… has come very close to taking over party leadership, something that was deemed unthinkable not too long ago. Meanwhile, Britons actually achieved this with Corbyn in the one country that mainstream U.S. media pays some attention to. Arguably something like that was done to the Republican party with Trump (from the other direction, but out of similar disaffection with the way things are run).

      What do you expect Bernie to do? He got further then he could have dreamed. Why wouldn’t he try to get as much traction in the party as possible, get some concessions on some workable issues for their own sake and to keep up morale, and ideally prepare the ground for someone younger to try again 4 years from now?

      Is he being played? Selling out? Fine line, but there is no perfect moral clarity to be had right now, is there?

      • Agreed, Andreas, that Mr Sanders did as much as and more than could have been expected within the Democratic Party and that no moral opprobrium should fall upon him for doing what he from the very beginning said he would do, i e, support the candidate chosen by that party (he could not have been unaware that the deck would be severely stacked against him during the primary campaign). That does not mean, however, that those who supported Mr Sanders’ campaign must needs follow his lead and endorse and campaign and vote for Ms Clinton….

        Mr Sanders’ campaign concentrated almost exclusively on domestic matters, to the almost total exclusion of foreign policy. His support for Ms Clinton over Mr Trump is not unreasonable from such a perspective, but for those who, like myself, are very much concerned about allowing a neocon warmonger like Ms Clinton to have the final say-so on matters of war and peace, the notion of voting for her (in the event one possesses the franchise in the US and is allowed to exercise it) is anathema. (I note that Ted fails to take up this particular issue – to my mind and, I suspect, that of many others, as well, the most essential question – in his column above….)

        I can only hope that many Sanders’ supporters will be voting for, e g, Ms Stein, who seems neither to be mad nor have a penchant for going to war, in this election and that, whatever the outcome, we shall still be here four years from now to discuss what happened. But I am not particularly sanguine….

        Henri

      • That does not mean, however, that those who supported Mr Sanders’ campaign must needs follow his lead and endorse and campaign and vote for Ms Clinton….

        I think this is exactly right. There is wisdom in not putting all the eggs into one basket. A respectable showing for the Green Party would create more interest from the media, draw more people into the movement and may help them get their act together in a hostile environment.

        Then again, just how uphill a struggle that is would seem to validate Berniecrats to not burn their bridges and throw their lot in with the Greens this time around.

        The issue will likely be resolved one way or the other in coming years, much like Corbyn has galvanized some left groups back into Labour. Hopefully the Brits can hammer out some kind of labour-green-scottish electoral alliance, which would seem necessary in winner-take-all electoral systems.

    • Let’s look at it all from the further perspective. Why vote for Bernie? Because he’s not Hillary. (Sounds familiar.)

      Clinton is damaged goods. She was damaged going into this thing. Sanders tried to move everyone off the damned e-mails because he was hoping to garner more votes through the meat-and-potatoes issues he was strongly for (healthcare for all, tuition free college, $15 minimum wage, etc.). But the DNC rigged the schedule to get the rust belt states (none of which Clinton will win against Trump, as was predicted months ago) for Clinton to build momentum.

      Anyone with a lick of political sense would have looked at Sanders and said, “Yeah, he placed second, but it was a strong second. Also, a lot of people are saying they’ll only vote for Sanders, not Clinton. Not a lot of people saying they’ll only vote for Clinton, not Sanders.”

      Sanders had the young people fired up. He had truly progressive policies. He had no taint of corruption or scandal. He would have won this in a blow out. He would have gotten the young people to force the Republicans to approve justices for the Supreme Court because all those youngsters would have voted in 2018 to out the Republicans who obstructed.

      Does anyone, even HRC’s most ardent supporters, think she’s going to be able to organize anything even remotely sufficient?

      • «Sanders had the young people fired up. He had truly progressive policies. He had no taint of corruption or scandal. He would have won this in a blow out.» Like you, alex_the_tired, I think that Mr Sanders, the real populist, would have blown Mr Trump, the fake populist, away – but then I’d really like to believe that, which might just possibly cloud my judgement. In any event, we’ll never know, as Mr Sanders isn’t running for the office and, as this Wapo article makes clear, writing in his name on the ballot is hardly a viable alternative….

        We are all going to have to hunker down, hope against hope that whoever gets into the Oval Office doesn’t start a war against Russia which destroys us all, and that we see each other here again in four years, with a better cast of characters on the stage before us (Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5)….

        Henri

      • Henri,
        Consider one thing. Which person do you see as being more likely to cope with being one of maybe 500 survivors in a government top-secret survival bunker? HRC, who is an old pro at being secretive, or Trump, who can only thrive when millions of people are paying attention to him?

        Trump will never start an atomic war. It would cut into his marketshare. HRC? Do you really think she’ll care how “those people” get killed? As long as she isn’t touched by it? She prefers privacy and lack of contact.

      • While I’m professionally reluctant, Alex, to diagnose people at a distance, I must admit you have a point – from what I’ve seen and read from my vantage point here in Europe, the adulation of the crowd seems far more personally important to Donald John Trump than it does to Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton. But I’d not go quite so far as you do when you write that «[s]he prefers privacy and lack of contact» ; if I read this Vanity Fair article aright, it seems unlikely that she would make it through the day without devoted people around her to help her with the most elementary tasks. But perhaps if she could take Ms Abedin into that bunker she’d do alright – my own suggestion would be that even Mr Weiner be invited to the party, just for giggles….

        Henri

      • Since we’re speculating, here, Hair Furror mit dem kleinen Schwanzstucker only cares about one person on this entire planet – so one can safely assume that he wouldn’t worry about “those people” any more than Killbot.

        Nor is he especially good at impulse control or thinking through the consequences.

        So, yeah, I could see him nuking the Philippines should their president get mouthy. Or Canada if his bacon was too salty. Of maybe congress. In that case one hopes his ignorance of geography extends to understanding the distance between Capital Hill and the Trump Palace (née White House)

  3. To be fair, Hilliary couldn’t consider Bernie for Veep because she promised it to Kaine four years ago as the outgoing DNC chair for recommeding Debbie for next chair. I imagine Clitton saying something like, “I’ll be damned if I lose the primary again against some upstart.”

  4. President Hillary will also ensure another 4-8 years of The Guardian, New York Times, MSDNC, Rolling Stone, Salon, Bill Maher, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, The Daily Show, Michael Moore and all the rest making excuses for Hillary and the Democrats instead of being investigative, critical, interesting and/or funny.

    “Hey, just be grateful it’s Hillary declaring war on Russia instead of Trump. And there is no evidence that Hillary ordered those drone strikes on Bernie and Snowden, you sexist pig!”

      • «Doesn’t sound like Michael Moore is carrying Clinton water to me. https://youtube.com/watch?v=YY-CiPVo_NQ» Not surprisingly, the above commpent says more about the person posting under the sobriquet «Jack Heart» than it does about either Mr Moore or Ms Clinton. Those 4’36” have been clipped from a much longer film by Mr Moore entitled Michael Moore in Trumpland, which, while showing sympathy and understanding for Trump voters in Ohio (cf the video clip above), where it was filmed, seems to have been, by and large an apology for Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton. Naturally enough, «Studio Krank» is hardly going to upload the whole film to YouTube. – and naturally enough, our «Jack Heart» is going to pretend that this brief excerpt from the film represents Mr Moore’s current (as per 18 October 2016, when a free viewing of the film was held in New York) views….

        What I most appreciate about our dear «Jack Heart» is that peculiar combination of mendacity and stupidity (did s/he really believe that no one here would recognise the film clip for what it was ?!!) s/he displays in just about every comment posted to this forum. Alas, such a combination is hardly unique….

        Henri

      • Moore said he was for Hillary (instead of Bill) in ’92. The Trumpists cut the tape after Moore explained why working class idiots voted for Brexit and Trump, saying ‘F* You!’ to the elite who sent their jobs to China.

        After that, Moore said the laid off workers did not know that a Trump or a Brexit will be far, far worse than what they have now, and if they had any sense, instead of saying ‘F* Your,’ they’d know that Billary will be their saviour.

      • He’s been surprisingly critical of Hillary. I did not mean to imply he supported Trump or that he even had respect for the working class.

  5. Let’s just cut to the heart of it. Clinton is losing because of all the reasons that the pro-Bernie (or) con-Clinton wings (they are separate groups) brought up ad nauseam during the primaries. We were either ignored, shouted down, dismissed as naive, or otherwise not given a seat at the table.

    And now we are one very weak candidate away from seeing Trump ascend to the White House. And you know what scares me the most about that? The possibility that Trump will get things done. There’s a lot of profit to be made in the sorts of brutality that would possibly come to pass in a Trump administration.

    And why will it happen? Because HRC was a deeply flawed candidate. She lacks conviction. She lacks a clear message. She lacks inspirational aspect. (I’m not Trump is probably the least inspirational platform plank I’ve ever encountered.) And a lot of us knew it, feared it and warned about it.

    I repeat. If HRC loses, I don’t want to have to demonstrate even a scrap of tolerance or patience to anyone who supported her. If you backed her, everything Trump does is on you. And I don’t want to hear your silly arguments; you don’t know a thing about politics. Switch to baseball.

    • you don’t know a thing about politics. Switch to baseball.
      Ironically, isn’t that exactly where Nate Silver was coming from? Maybe they should indeed switch back to it…

  6. «What would Hillary Clinton’s first 100 days look like? I don’t know. And I’m a political junkie.» Start a war with Russia that puts paid to H sapiens sapiens on this planet ?…

    Henri

  7. President Clinton will not be able to keep any of her domestic promises. The polls predict that a majority of voters will vote for a Democrat in the House, but the Gerrymander will see that the House stays Republican. Polls also show the Senate should have 52 Democrats, but the Republicans can still filibuster all domestic bills and Supreme Court appointments.

    Secretary Clinton has promised regime change in Syria, and if Russia has any objections, regime change in Russia, and the Congress and the Courts cannot prevent her from waging war against Russia. Sorry, as CrazyH pointed out, under US law, it’s not a war unless both Houses of Congress vote to call it a war, so it will just be a military action to force regime change in Russia.

    The MSM says, ‘No one who isn’t a complete idiot could vote for Trump, who will get the US involved in wars it cannot win, and will escalate those wars to a nuclear holocaust.’ (Johnson had to pay for those ads; Secretary Clinton is getting them for free.)

    The MSM and all of Secretary Clinton’s advisors say that the Soviet military collapsed with the USSR, and the Russian military is on a par with Libya, so President Clinton will find it as easy or easier to force regime change on Russia as she did in Libya, and without the slightest risk that anyone will be killed, or even in danger. Because this is obvious, Russia will not go to war, the Russian government will meekly step down and let President Clinton appoint democratic governments for Russia and Syria.

    Meanwhile the MSM assure us that Russia is a great danger, and failure to impose regime change in ’17 would be a bigger mistake than Chamberlain at Munich.

    As Secretary Clinton said, when asked about experience, while Trump was swindling investors and suppliers, she led the campaign that removed the three leaders of the 9/11 attack on the US: Saddam, Osama, and Qadhafi, thereby making the US safe. She did (make the US safe)? And war with Russia now will be easy and without the slightest danger of the loss of a single life, just like the war with Libya?

    Meanwhile, Trump has promised a war on renewables, a resuscitation of the coal industry,and massive tax cuts on the rich for starters.

    Anyone with an IQ having at least two digits would vote for a mug of beer before Secretary Clinton or Trump.

    But the median US IQ seems to be in the single digit range.

    • «Anyone with an IQ having at least two digits would vote for a mug of beer before Secretary Clinton or Trump.» On how many states is a mug of beer on the ballot ? In how many can it be written in ? In how many are people with an IQ of at least two digits (base 10) allowed to vote ?…

      Henri

      • 50 states have a mug of beer on the ballot.

        But it appears you are right: having an IQ with 2 or more digits is a sure disqualification for voting in a US election.

  8. > … better position to take on Donald Trump in the fall.

    That’s what they said, all right, in spite of all the polls which said Bernie had a better chance of trumping Trump in the Fall.

    Emailgate is a non-starter, SMTP isn’t secure in the first place, nor do you know whether the recipients are going to secure their inboxes. Just ask Anthony (“Oscar Meyer”) Wiener. Not that I wouldn’t like to see her go down in flames, but I agree with the Bern. I’m “sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!”

    • It is true, the whole email thing is a joke. email is sent plain text, unless the government sends all classified email using PGP and certificates, or equivalent, it’s all in the open anyway. Anyone can read it. If they want some sort of security, they either have to encrypt email, or use SMS, everyone could text each other. Or any of the apps that are secure. But email, give me a break

  9. All good. But this was the best question: “Unbridled lust for corporate and dictator cash funneled via influence peddling through the Clinton Foundation, up until the last second before she formally declared she was running. Why didn’t she give it a rest after 2008?”

    Really. Is she incredibly greedy or incredibly arrogant?

    I suggest that, like Trump, she’s both.

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