SYNDICATED COLUMN: Despite Everything, I Am Happy Hillary Lost

Image result for hillary clinton hiking

His fans hoped he was another Ronald Reagan. His critics thought he was Hitler. Who would have guessed that, a hundred days into a presidency few besides me saw coming, Donald Trump would look like Jesse Ventura?

Largely forgotten today, former wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura” shocked the political world by defeating both major party candidates for governor of Minnesota in 1998. As an independent without party support, however, Ventura couldn’t govern effectively.

The parallel isn’t exact. Unlike Jesse, Trump was the nominee of a major party. A closer analogy here is Arnold Schwarzenegger, the body builder/“Terminator” actor who won California’s gubernatorial recall election in 2003. California’s Republican establishment initially resisted Schwarzenegger but, as the national GOP did last year, reluctantly embraced the arriviste after he emerged as the clear leader in the race. Even so, as an insurgent candidate Schwarzenegger neither fully gained the trust of state Republicans nor seduced a significant number of Democrats. His legislative record was lackluster.

It’s hard to see how Trump can achieve many of his major policy objectives leading a deeply divided Republican Party that barely trusts him against Democrats who have nothing to gain by lending him a hand. Which is why Obamacare repeal failed, Obamacare Repeal The Revenge is failing, his tax reform “plan” is a back of the envelope rush job, and judges borked the Great Deportations. Even the Wall looks doomed.

Despite Trump’s near catastrophic performance to date, there’s still flop left in this fish. There really is more than a little Hitler, and probably a lot of Mussolini, in Trump. Just watch: his fascist freak flag will fly free following a foreign policy crisis like a war or a terrorist attack.

This is the crazy calm before the inevitable, terrifying storm.

explainersmall            Liberals are already in full-on panic mode. As president, the Guardian’s David Smith noted, Trump has continued “the same bogus assertions, impetuous tweets, petty spats, brazen conflicts of interest, bilious attacks on the press (‘the enemy of the people’) and a distinct whiff of authoritarianism” from his 2016 campaign. As Smith’s colleague Richard Wolffe says, Trump is presiding over “a wild romp through all norms and rules.”

For non-progressive Democrats, this is the place where the mind naturally wanders to an alternate reality in which Hillary Clinton won. It’s natural to wonder aloud, as Smith does: “Where would we be on the 100th day of a Hillary Clinton administration?”

I didn’t vote for her. Despite everything — despite all the chaos I feel coming — I cite Edith Piaf:

Je ne regrette rien.

I read “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” a book by two reporters for The Hill who promise to make you feel sympathy for the defeated Democratic nominee and her followers. It didn’t work on me.

Like their subject, authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes ignore policy in favor of a behind-the-scenes investigation of how a Too Smart To Fail presidential campaign got clobbered by an orange reality TV star who spent almost nothing and who didn’t even have an organization in most states.

According to Allen and Parnes, there were too many warring centers of power within Clintonland. Without a strong leader at the top, her officials spent more time and energy vying for her loyalty (and stabbing one another in the back) than working on winning. She liked it that way, even though the same dysfunction had plagued her failed 2008 primary race against Obama.

Campaign manager Robby Mook is the book’s villain: so obsessed with granular data that he can’t see the big picture or feel the voters’ pulse, contemptuous of time-proven polling techniques, as convinced that he has nothing to learn from people with experience as a Silicon Valley Millennial. He’s the guy who told her she didn’t need to visit Wisconsin — and she hired others like him in 2008.

Staffers were blinded by personal loyalty, so they couldn’t perceive and move to address big problems before they blew up, like EmailGate. And they were ideologically homogenous. Coming as they all did from the center-right corporatist wing of the Democratic Party, they couldn’t Feel the Bern when Sanders emerged as a potent force or figure out how to reconcile with his progressive base who stayed home on Election Day as a result.

Most damning of all, “Hillary had been running for president for almost a decade and still didn’t really have a rationale [for why she wanted to win and what she would do if she did].” For such an experienced candidate, this was a rookie error; didn’t she remember what happened to Ted Kennedy when he couldn’t come up with an elevator pitch in 1980?

Page after page reinforces the conclusion that this is a woman who does not, cannot, does not want to learn from her mistakes.

When you think about her policy history, this rings true. After all, she voted to overthrow the secular socialist dictator of Iraq in 2003, lost the presidency in 2008 because of that vote, yet then as secretary of state advised Obama to arm and fund the radical jihadis against the secular socialist dictators of Libya and Syria. About which — despite creating two failed states — she has no regrets. There’s really no other way to put this, so I’ll just say it: this makes her an idiot.

She didn’t have the right personality to lead human beings. She didn’t deserve to be president. America, and the world, are better off without her.

Which does not mean I’m not scared of Trump.

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall) is author of “Trump: A Graphic Biography,” an examination of the life of the Republican presidential nominee in comics form. You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)


  • michaelwme
    May 1, 2017 4:38 PM

    It wasn’t easy, but Secretary Clinton managed to convince a lot of Obama voters to vote for Trump.

    I didn’t vote, but, if voting had not been very difficult for me, I’d have voted for the mug of beer who didn’t get enough votes to change the result.

    Secretary Clinton said Obama’s policies were badly flawed: the US needed to force regime change in Syria, to a regime that would kick the Russian squatters off their sole base on the Mediterranean and return that base to its rightful owner: NATO.

    Had it not been for the British Parliament, Obama would have implemented a Libyan-style ‘no fly zone’ of the, ‘We came, we saw, he died,’ kind in Syria. But Parliament voted, ‘NO!’ to regime change in Syria, and Obama backed down. Then Putin stepped up. Now Putin says he will never relinquish his sole base on the Mediterranean, and NATO must not try to take it.

    Secretary Clinton promised regime change in Syria and Russia starting on Day 1 at every debate, something that would not have been as easy as her advisers all said it will be.

    Candidate Trump said it was stupid to go to war in the MENA, the US should work with the governments of Syria and Russia to bring peace to the world. President Trump says regime change will be necessary in both Syria and Russia.

    This means that Trump has found his inner Hillary, but at least he’s going at it slowly, where Secretary Clinton promised victory in WWIII before 100 days had passed.

    I guess we should all be grateful for small favours?

    • Too bad your assessment is accurate. Things return to the mean….

  • “Page after page reinforces the conclusion that this is a woman who does not, cannot, does not want to learn from her mistakes.”

    Hillary thinks to herself, “What mistakes? It was the 30,000 viewers of RT that cost me the election.”

    Like all the crazies (and like Obama) Hillary will never apologize for America because America never makes mistakes (and neither does she, in her own, and not so humble estimation).

  • I’ve actually got some respect for Ah-node. He really is a self-made man. I remember the GOP talking about changing the Constitution so that Arnie could run for Prez, that was before they were talking about how horrible it would be if our Prez was foreign born. There’s just no pleasing some people.

  • So certain were her staff and she that she would become Number 45, they had champagne at the ready in anticipation of the victory. Cheers! 🙂

  • The really interesting thing – at least to my mind – is how the US political system presents that country’s voters with a choice like that between dear Ms Clinton and Mr Trump, with consequences not only for them, but also for us in the rest of the world. We see the same sort of thing, with somewhat less far-reaching consequences, is in the current French presidential race between Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron (aka Emmanuel Clinton) and Marion Anne Perrine Le Pen (aka as Marine Trump)….

    No wonder political systems of this type are hugely admired the world ’round !…


    • If America claims to be democratic, and also wants to rule the world, then why not allow all who live under the rule of the USA to democratically choose their USA based rulers?

      If the people are sovereign, then why shouldn’t the government of the USA submit to the sovereign, instead of lording over them?

      Who is bled by and who is to be served by the American Imperium?

      The answer is simple and not posed seriously, but only to point out the disparities between populist rhetoric and imperial practice, solely for my own amusement.

  • Trump’s in the position where he can really make long-lasting damage to anyone lucky enough to not be Rich, White, and Male, but the important thing is you got to maintain your political purity by not voting for Clinton, who while she has her faults, likely wouldn’t cause the lasting damage Trump will, and you get to feel smug and morally superior which is all that really matters. I mean, we could try to protect people via half-measures that while not the best solution, will still improve the lives of many of the working class, with the hope of working towards better solutions, or we can elect a guy who will do everything he can to make the lives of everyone who isn’t part of the 1%, so much worse. Government-run health care really would be the best solution, even better than the piecemeal Obamacare, but Obamacare did help cover a lot of people and did away with that preexisting condition BS.

    But I suppose you simply couldn’t allow yourself to vote for Hillary and, I don’t know, do everything you can to hold her feet to the fire, as well those of the DNC, via local-level elections, phone calls, and sending letters, to convince the Democratic Party that maybe they should listen to their Liberal base, and stop being Republican-lite.

    But maybe you’re right in that magically, four years from now, we’ll finally be able to elect a candidate who will meet your exacting purity standards. It’s just too bad for all those making less than six figures who will have to suffer until then.

    You and Trump are more alike than you know. Both of you favor pouring gasoline onto a raging inferno and burning it all down, if you don’t get what you want. Both of you have no compassion for anyone who risk losing everything, including their lives, as a result of that inferno you desperately long for.

    • «but the important thing is you got to maintain your political purity by not voting for Clinton, who while she has her faults, likely wouldn’t cause the lasting damage Trump will, and you get to feel smug and morally superior which is all that really matters.» Why thank you, «Emeryael» ; we don’t get the straight dope from the DNC as often on this forum anymore, since our capricious link to that organisation seems to have ceased posting. Good to see that you can see behind that fig leaf of progressivism to the heart of the matter, i e, that all-consuming and desperate longing for the inferno which we progressives, according to your analysis, share with Mr Trump. I congratulate you on your perspicacity and wish you further success in your research on der Todestrieb….


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