Monday, December 05, 2016

Why Hillary Clinton Will Lose This Election

Months ago I was grumpy one day and decided to distill all of my campaign criticisms down to one post, which I'd post-date until the day after the election and then we'd all hopefully have a good laugh at how wrong I was. A couple of days later I got less grumpy and decided there was no point to this exercise other than to be proved fucking right or fucking wrong for a laugh on the internet, and either way would just be pissing people off. More than that I decided I was wrong and deleted the post (in my self-defined rules I gave myself 5 days to delete the not yet published post or leave it up for all eternity).

Anyway, I didn't keep a copy and don't claim to remember all of my reasons at the time (whether smart or stupid, right or wrong), but there was one thing about the campaign which reminded me a bit too much of the 2008 primary campaign, and that was a tendency by it (very broadly defined, this was much more of a Clintonland thing than a Clinton campaign thing, though one doesn't always know where one began and the other ended) to dismiss criticism as being unfair. And, yes, Hillary Clinton faced a lot of things that were unfair including from actors (mainstream media) who fancy themselves as being the neutral purveyors of truth.

But pointing out that something is unfair doesn't make it go away. I'm all for working the refs - I think it's necessary, sadly - but the refs are not voters. Voters are going to have all kinds of incorrect, incomplete, and, yes, unfair views of political candidates. Saying "this shouldn't matter" (often true!) or "people are holding Clinton to a double standard" (often true, too, but worth remembering that potential Dem voters don't just have double standards, they have different standards) doesn't make those things not matter. And if you see your job as helping to elect someone, rather than simply aloof commentary (both are fine, but if you're going to be a hack be a good hack), you can't just wave these things away.

I don't claim to know, aside from Monday morning quarterbacking (should've put more resources into places you lost! throw more touchdowns!), what the campaign should have done differently given what they had to work with, but one thing they had to "work with" was 25 years of unfair views of their candidate. Wishing them away wasn't going to help.