Hillary Clinton has just published her latest book, “What Happened,” and it seems to have united both Democrats and Republicans.
Judging from their public comments, leaders of both parties want her to shut up and go away.
It seems like the former United States secretary of state, senator from New York and 2016 presidential candidate has the effrontery to suggest there are reasons why she lost the 2016 race in addition to her miserable performance as a candidate.
Among those who share the blame, she says, are former FBI Director James Comey, who reopened an investigation into her emails two weeks before the election, the media, who reported almost daily new stories of Donald Trump’s indiscretions and balanced them with daily stories about Clinton’s emails, Russia, which went on a full-scale campaign to discredit her, and of course her own failures as a campaigner.
It seems to me she might have a point there.
But I’ve spent several days listening to pundits from both the right and left who assure me that the real reason for her loss is that she didn’t campaign in Wisconsin and she didn’t tell coal miners she was going to save their jobs.
What they’re really saying is that Clinton is a loser and losers should slink quietly into the night and keep their mouths shut.
The Republicans don’t like her comments because they remind people that she actually won the popular ballot by three million votes, even after the Republican Congress savaged her for four years, Comey implied repeatedly that she was a crook, Russia did everything it could to tilt the election and media kept suggesting her emails were illegal, even though they weren’t.
The Democrats don’t like her comments because they remind everyone that she was their candidate in 2016 and they don’t have anyone better for 2020.
Here’s the problem with this bipartisan contempt:
First, Donald Trump is president of the United States. This is a national disaster that we will pay for today and in decades to come. We really need to figure out how this could have happened.
We are, in fact, fortunate that President Trump is such a clown. He does not appear to be an evil person, just a self-centered publicity hound with no fixed ideological principles.
But, if an election can be manipulated as easily as this one was, we have no guarantee that, next time, a truly evil person will not seize power.
Second, the attitude that winning comes first and all else is way behind vindicates Trump’s attitude toward life and politics. He, after all, is the guy who proclaimed that John McCain can’t be a hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese and tortured.
If that really is our national attitude, then Trump is not an aberration but a good example of the kind of people we have become.
I’m not yet ready to concede that.
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