Since emerging from the woods near her home in Chappaqua after her concession speech, Hillary Clinton has engaged in a pathetic, yet due to the high level of psychological denial required, almost sad, blame-everybody-else-but-me tour in an attempt to explain her stunning loss to Donald Trump in the recent presidential election.
A favorite argument of Clinton’s is that, but for the last minute interference on October 28th, by FBI Director James Comey in connection with the status of the investigation into additional reckless dissemination of classified emails through her private email server, the election was hers for the taking. When asked recently by CNN journalist Christine Amanpour why she thought she lost the election, in a Clinton replied, “I take absolute personal responsibility. 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.” However, in the same breath Clinton claimed that, “If the election had been on October 27, I’d be your president.” “I take responsibility for every decision I make — but that’s not why I lost.” This is her idea of taking personal responsibility?
During a recent interview with New York Magazine, Clinton once again claimed the misogyny bogeyman played a crucial role in her defeat. She also made reference to the standard run of the mill explanations offered by the Democratic Party and members of the anti-Trump Resistance in support of their fantastical contention that somehow the election was stolen from her: Trump’s collusion with Russia, the Wikileaks’s disclosures as well as. In addition, the usual suspects were noted as well: misogyny, racism, Wikileaks. Without even a modicum of introspection, Clinton doubles down:
Besides, she argues, “what I was doing was working. I would have won had I not been subjected to the unprecedented attacks by Comey and the Russians, aided and abetted by the suppression of the vote, particularly in Wisconsin.” She agrees that there are lessons to be learned from her campaign, just not the same ones her critics would cite. “Whoever comes next, this is not going to end. Republicans learned that if you suppress votes you win … So take me out of the equation as a candidate. You know, I’m not running for anything. Put me into the equation as somebody who has lived the lessons that people who care about this country should probably pay attention to.”
Piecing together what happened, with six months of perspective, Clinton says she thinks she “underestimated WikiLeaks and the impact that had, because I thought it was so silly.” Those hacked emails, dripped out over weeks, says Clinton, “were innocuous, boring, inconsequential. And each one was played like it was some breathless flash. And so you got Trump, in the last month of the campaign, talking about WikiLeaks something like 164 times; you’ve got all his minions out there, you’ve got the right-wing media just blowing it up. You’ve got Google searches off the charts.”
Clinton has been looking at where some of the Google searches for WikiLeaks were coming from. “They were from a lot of places where people were trying to make up their minds,” she says. “Like, ‘Oh my God, I kinda like her, I don’t like him, but she might go to jail. And then what about all this other stuff?’ It was just such a dump of cognitive dissonance …” Clinton trails off and then smiles and nods to herself. “I have a lot of sympathy for voters in a lot of places I didn’t win,” she says. “Because I can see how hard it was.”
The only cognitive dissonance that is at play here are the unsettling ruminations of Hillary’s troubled psyche. Where does one start? For Clinton, the email scandal was a trivial distraction that was much ado about nothing. If true, why her serial and demonstrable lies about the reasons for her decision to conduct official business of the State Department away from prying Congressional Oversight Committees and FOIA requests? Apparently, Clinton refuses to acknowledge what was obvious to the electorate: What was she trying to hide?
In terms of the damage Comey allegedly caused to her candidacy by his investigation, a question arises: Whose decision was it to put highly classified information at risk by setting up her email communications network on a private server in her bathroom closet? Hillary seems to forget that some of the most damaging Wikileaks disclosures were disparaging statements made by her own campaign staff when they learned of the existence of her rogue server. Are we to include campaign operative Neera Tanden and campaign chairman John Podesta as members of the vast right-wing conspiracy?
A fundamental axiom of politics is that when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Not content to express her views during interviews with sympathetic correspondents, Hillary doubled down at the recent Recode conference in California:
Clinton said “Russian agents” released the emails shortly after a recording was leaked of then-candidate Trump speaking disparagingly about women on the set of “Access Hollywood.” The timing, she said, suggests the document dump was guided by someone in the U.S. seeking to blunt the backlash against Trump’s comments.
“They had to be ready for that and they had to have a plan for that, and they had to be given the go-ahead,” she said.
For the first time, without a shred of evidence, Hillary has openly accused the Trump campaign of active and intentional collusion with the Russians in a deliberate attempt to use Wikileaks disclosures to deny her that to which she was entitled: the presidency.
Not content to let sleeping dogs lie, Hillary had unkind words for the DNC:
“I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party,” Clinton said. “It was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, non-existent, wrong. I had to inject money into it — the DNC — to keep it going.”
These comments were a bridge too far, even for loyal Democrats, some of whom suggested after the conference, that the time has come for Hillary to exit the stage.
And, once again, at the Recode conference Clinton characterized Trump’s supporters as deplorables:
He (Donald Trump) really understands how to inflame people, bond with them… over whatever their grievance is, whatever their resentment is, or point of anger that you may have… Race, sex, xenophobia, anti-islamophobia… whatever it is.”
The “basket of deplorables” comment, which astonishingly Hillary refused to retract, was the breaking point for many middle class voters during the election. In retrospect, in terms of why she lost, did it not occur to Hillary Clinton during the election, that perhaps it wasn’t a smart idea to bastardize, in one fell swoop, an entire swath of the electorate whose concerns Democrats had long pretended to embraced?
Hillary Clinton lost the election because she was a wooden, uninspiring and inauthentic candidate whose only message was vote for me because I’m a woman.