Democrats Choosing These Clintonites To Read Are Getting Stuff From These Writers’ Behinds

Poking around Medium today, I came across this noxious little item, “Democrats Choosing Sanders To Lead Are Leaving Too Much of Their Base Behind,” by Sasha Stone and Ryan Adams. It’s written by a pair of delusional Clintonites, still trying to relitigate the 2016 presidential campaign, when their candidate failed so miserably. Maybe it was because I’ve had a slow last two weeks. Maybe I’m still rolling my eyes at my recent encounter with Susan Bordo’s absolutely brainless, anti-historical effort to deify Hillary Clinton. Whatever the reason, the article seems to have caught me at an odd time and really rubbed me the wrong way. I wrote a reply for its comments section, ran long and decided to turn the reply into an article itself, addressed to its authors:

“Hillary was and is incredibly popular.”

That’s the key line in your article, because it’s emblematic of the kind of delusional garbage “thinking” that underpins the entire enterprise. “Hillary was and is incredibly popular”! Meanwhile, in the real world, Clinton is one of the most hated figures in national politics. Clinton’s favorability ratings have been in decline for years and are and were abysmal. Both RealClearPolitics and Huffpost Pollster track and aggregate this data (there’s a great deal of crossover between the polls they use but both use some that are different from the others, giving some variance). The Huffpost database, which goes back further, shows that Clinton’s approval rating had been dropping since 2010. RealClearPolitics, like Huffpost, lets us make our own charts like this one, starting in 2013 and running to the verge of the Iowa caucus, the first contest of the 2016 presidential season:

By mid-March 2015, Clinton’s approval had fallen below 50%, never to return (Huffpost has this happening even earlier — in July 2014). By mid-April — the same week Clinton officially entered the presidential race — it was underwater, with more people telling pollsters they disliked her than liked her.

You try to blame Bernie Sanders for hurting Clinton’s chances in the general but all of this was before Sanders was even a factor. Clinton’s polling had been in long-term decline. The campaign probably helped it along — any time Clinton is in the public eye, her approval begins to fall — but the trendline was already down, down, down. As the chart above illustrates, she was already dangerously unpopular before a single vote had been cast. And her ratings continued to drop as the campaign continued. It went as low as 31% in at least two sequential CBS News/New York Times polls.

Throughout the campaign, the polls were showing most of the public had an incredibly hostile view of Clinton — some of the data was just brutal. Clinton then ran one of the worst presidential campaigns since John McCain in 2008, running as the Anti-Enthusiasm, the candidate of Diminished Expectations, the “I’ll be Obama’s third term’ candidate, which, contrary to the assertions of your article, is toxic to a candidate of the incumbent party in the shadow of a two-term president. Your efforts to claim the contrary then to use it to forgive Clinton’s ownership by Wall Street is more disgusting than Clinton’s own effort during the campaign to rationalize said ownership by invoking 9/11. Ultimately, she ended up as the “vote for me because Trump sucks worse” candidate. The second-most unpopular presidential candidate in the history of polling, and she lost to the most unpopular one. I’ve gone through all of this in some detail in an article I’ve written here. It’s a good starting-place for correcting dogshit like your own article. Whether Clintonites like it or not, Clinton was a weak, loser candidate and if the goal was to defeat a Republican challenger, it was always completely irresponsible to support her.

Your article continues Clinton’s own damnable practice of refusing to take any responsibility for anything, blaming everyone but Clinton for the loss[1] and failing to offer a single word toward any of Clinton’s infinity of blunders. Statements like “much of Bernie’s rise was facilitated by the GOP and Putin,” in particular, illustrates an intellectually empty contempt for the reality of what happened in 2016 that couldn’t be more complete — a barren appeal to the worst sort of emotional Clintonite butt-hurt, like nearly everything else in your article. Sanders tapped into and helped create a grassroots movement. He ran an issues campaign and those issues, unlike Clinton, were incredibly popular. That’s why people — particularly young people, the future of your party — connected with it. On the campaign trail, Sanders was drawing larger crowds than anyone of either party. “Popular” Clinton, by contrast, routinely had trouble filling even high-school gymnasiums. Today, Sanders is the most popular politician in the U.S., nearly 60% of the public saying they hold a favorable view of him. While you’re shitting all over him and his movement and adding nothing of value to public discourse, he’s in D.C. trying to get things done on behalf of the public.

Sanders isn’t, as your article falsely implies, some egomaniac — a disgusting bit of faux-psychoanalysis pulled from your own orifices — and he certainly isn’t, as you would have it, the center of some cult of personality with a following who regard him as “a god-like leader” who “could walk on water.”[2] After Sanders endorsed Clinton and began campaigning for her, those huge crowds he’d been drawing dried up to practically nothing. The movement wasn’t about him and he couldn’t command people to go against their conscience. Some “god-like leader.”

Your account of Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton reflects the rhetoric of peripheral Clintonites at the time but is no closer to the truth:

“Heading into the convention Bernie refused to concede, giving Fox News and Infowars anti-Clinton news for days. It took a stern talking to by President Obama, Joe Biden and Harry Reid to shake some sense into Sanders and he eventually conceded. By then, it was way way too late.”

Sanders stayed in the race until the last primary contest on 7 June was over; he endorsed her five days later, all of this over a month before the Democratic convention, and while you wag your finger at him for this, you remain curiously silent on the fact that this is exactly the same thing your own champion Hillary Clinton did in 2008. And even after that, she kept causing trouble right into the convention, letting her supporters threaten a walkout if her name wasn’t placed into nomination there.

Comments like this — “without Bernie, there would be no Wikileaks” — are just mind-boggling. Wikileaks damaged the Democrats by showing that the party had its thumb on the scale for Clinton. Without a corrupt Democratic party trying to rig the election in favor of one candidate over the other, there would be no Wikileaks problem. The spectacle of a primary/caucus system rigged in favor of Establishment candidates is a public relations disaster for the party — it goes to basic fairness. Your effort to race-bait and sexist-bait those who express any concern over it is as entirely unhelpful as it is despicable.

You dismiss analysts who

“will say that Hillary didn’t try hard enough to woo the white working class and that’s the reason we lost. Well, that task would have been a lot easier for Hillary to achieve if such a noisy faction of her own party had not constantly been protesting her very presence, chanting ‘she’s a liar’ at rallies, booing her while Bernie egged them on, insinuating she was a whore for her speaking fees and fundraising skills.”

Yes, why didn’t the Democrats just forget the primary process, ignore much of the party who wanted another option and just coronate Clinton? That’s the implication that runs throughout your article, the same ugly sense of entitlement that emanated from the candidate herself (and even more so from her more enthusiastic followers) throughout the campaign. Clinton, of course, had it entirely within her power to foil that evil scheme by the Berniecrats to insinuate “she was a whore” by not prostituting her future administration to Big Money interests at every turn. But Clinton’s never responsible for anything, is she?[3]

The Sanders movement is trying to put the party back in line with it’s base, not, as you insanely suggest, to alienate it from same. The headline items of the Sanders agenda have the support of the overwhelming majority of the Democratic voting base and the overwhelming majority of the public itself, including, in many instances, a majority of even Republicans (something else I’ve recently covered at some length). You invoke those billionaires who lurk in the shadows, funding Republicans, but the “neoliberals” who currently dominate the Democratic Establishment — including Clinton — are just as much in the pay of those same elements as the Republicans and there’s no public support from any quarter for that bought-and-paid-for economic agenda. It’s all just bribery and corrupt donor service and is otherwise incredibly destructive (TPP is the most recent big example). For a few decades now, those same “neoliberal” elements have insisted they have to move further and further right to suck up to Big Money interests and get that long green in order to remain politically competitive. Sanders has just proven, beyond any doubt, that is a lie. Run a campaign about which the public is enthusiastic and they’ll finance it themselves. You can’t wag your finger at the Sandersites about money in politics while backing trash like Clinton. Well, you can, but the sane who are well-informed will be unanimous in denouncing you for it.

A few weeks ago, I read an article with a similar theme and decided it was the worst I’d seen in my brief time on Medium. With this one, you’ve definitely taken that prize from that earlier dolt. Yours is a disgraceful waste of words in the service of a disgraceful — and false — premise. Refusing to assume so much as a hint of adult responsibility for the disaster you — Clintonites, not Sanders, Putin, Martians or Who D. Fuckever but you — have brought about, historical revisionism, lies, libels, buck-passing, vile race-baiting and sexist-baiting and sliming much of the Democratic base — this is all you have, and after offering it up, you write that Democrats “cannot afford to keep fighting among ourselves, but how can we ever unite under these circumstances?” Your kind is a political plague on the United States, as bad, in your own way, as Trump and his Trumpanzees. Stew in your poisonous bile while you can; the liberals will sweep you aside and politics will be no poorer for your passing.

— j.

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[1] Then, without any sense of self-awareness, you trash Sanders’ supporters for not “accepting responsibility for the defeats of their failed candidates.” This is particularly deplorable given that, only days ago, Berniecrat Jim Thompson nearly flipped a 2/3-red district in Kansas while your precious Democratic Establishment refused to provide him with any real help, preferring, instead, to spend enough for a Senate seat on a bullshit House race in Georgia’s 6th District that just failed. A fraction of those dollars may have been able to put Thompson over the top but the Democratic Establishment thinks it’s better to have a Republican win than a liberal.

[2] And while the lack of self-awareness inherent in hardcore Clintonites offering that sort of “analysis” of the Sanders phenomenon in the midst of an article like this is admittedly delicious fodder for wit-crackers and meme-makers, it’s also disturbing and a bit of a trend.

[3] Portraying this prostitution — in effect, whoring out a portion of America’s future — as “fundraising skills” is reprehensible but it’s in line with your complete refusal to acknowledge the existence of a problem of money in politics beyond its impact on the Republican party and its officials.