Out of touch critics of the DNC

Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Primaries by getting more people to come to the polls and vote for her than her opponents did. She won the majority of voters in the general election too — although the Electoral College gave the win to the loser. She won the majority even though core voters for the Democratic Party and her strongest supporters were the targets of a successful voter suppression campaign. Black voting turnout was down in this, the first election in fifty years where there was no Voting Rights Act protection. For example, Wisconsin kept 200,000 voters from the polls and Mrs. Clinton lost by only a few thousand votes.

Electoral Map 2016 adjusted for population (from Mark Newman)

Although voter suppression clearly hurt Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, the claim that the Democratic Party “cheated” to get Hillary Clinton the nomination is common among both the Fox News set (who also have a story based on nothing about how “millions of illegal voters” gave her the majority in the general election) and people who claim to be “progressives”. In fact, Fox news “conservatives” and the Bernie-or-Bust “progressives” have similar messages on multiple points. For example, both groups insist that the Democrats are “out of touch” with the public. Good try, but the person who won the most votes is more in touch with the public than the losers I think. Of course Hillary didn’t run the best campaign, but despite that, despite the Russian intervention, despite the suppression of black and hispanic votes, the public agreed with her message and not with the messages of either the Republicans or the Bernie-Progressives.

A typical whiny article complaining about the primary elections, from a“progressive” college professor appeared recently in Salon. The Professor explains that

And yet, rather than face the extremely low support for the party, Democrats are busy avoiding and ignoring their own credibility problems. Even Hillary Clinton has refused to take any responsibility for losing the election,

Hillary Clinton got more votes than both her primary opponent and her general election opponent. Does 66 million votes seem “extremely low” to you? Here’s what Clinton said:

“I take absolute personal responsibility,” Clinton said of her November defeat during a sit-down with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at an event titled Women for Women International in New York. “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.

Here’s a tip on reading political analysis and any other kind of essay: if you catch the author making outright false statements about things you can check easily, you should be on your guard, And I don’t mean, if you find something you disagree with strongly, I mean: if you catch the author making false statements. It took me 20 seconds to find the story about Hillary Clinton’s comments on the election in which she says “I take absolute personal responsibility” and the Prof. writes: “Hillary Clinton has refused to take any responsibility for losing the election”. Either the Professor is lying outright or she can’t be bothered to do a 20 second Google search. Neither answer should inspire confidence.

Professor McClennon goes on to tell us that the Democratic Party is an “elitist, corporatist, cronyist, corrupt system that consistently refuses to listen to the will of the people it hopes to represent.” I’ve heard those exact words from right wing Republicans. Sounds like something Newt Gingrich said, in fact. And it’s bullshit whoever said it. I disagree with some of the people in the Democratic Party — it’s an ungainly coalition. But is it corrupt? Compared to what? Professor McClennon’s only instance of “corruption” seems to be that in private emails Putin stole from Democratic Party officials, they expressed opinions she dislikes. Clinton won both elections in the popular vote. She’s not the one who is out of touch.