Remember when they told us Hillary, not Bernie, would beat Trump?


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/14/remember-when-they-told-us-hil.html


#2

I also remember a lot of Bernie supporters who spent the whole campaign gloating about how unpopular Hillary was and talking about how Bernie would have been so much better.

Marketing matters, when swing voters keep hearing people on the left re-enforcing GOP talking points about what a terrible person Hillary Clinton is they start to believe them. Instead of a decision between an unacceptable candidate and a less than ideal candidate it became a race between two unacceptable candidates.

She was by no means a perfect candidate, and she could have done a lot more to improve communication on some of the “scandals”, but she wasn’t nearly as awful as perceived. I believe the conservative base actually managed to create more unity around Trump than progressives did Clinton, and that’s how they won the election.


#3

Yeah, let’s run a candidate that is utterly incapable of securing support from 45% of the population due to 25 years of Pavlovian conditioning. GREAT IDEA.

I mean, it was so bad that she was the punchline to a joke no one needed to bother telling. Sure makes it hard to talk about issues when the inevetible response is “Yeah, but Hillary.”


#4

I think I’m just going to mute this thread immediately.


#5

Yeah, I’m confident that Bernie would have won after 6 months of the mainstream media talking endlessly about the atheist Jewish socialist. Sure, that’d play just great with the pissed off “Christian” white males. You betcha. By all means, let’s run a white guy instead of a female, since females can’t win.

This is not my favorite BoingBoing post ever. Yeah, I know, I get what I pay for.


#6

There has been a lot of analysis this past week as to why the Hillary lost the election. I think the very core reason is that the DNC, at the time headed by Debbie Wasserman Schultz (formerly of the previous HRC campaign) and Hillary sold America out just to gain the Presidency. Their blinders inhibited them from seeing the writing on the wall. America didn’t want another Clinton presidency just as it didn’t want another Bush presidency. Sanders and what he represented was the writing on the bathroom stall that they refused to read. Sure, he had his problems and the long game might’ve needed tweaking but he was bringing in Independents and due to various party rules during the primaries, many didn’t get to vote for their candidate.

I hated the fact that her campaign consisted of just scarring us with trump.

Maybe Sanders would have lost in the end. Maybe he would have won. We’ll never know now but at least the DNC would have embraced change and moved things forward instead of taking part in moving us back 50, 100 years.


#7

Just now created an account to say goodbye forever, Boingboing thanks to this piece.


#8

Was that all a secret during the primary though? Didn’t the people saying “yes, I’d vote for him over Trump” mostly know he was Jewish, was a socialist?

This is also not about the electibility of all women, it’s about the electibility of Hilary.

There’s a more general point here, that we should be far more wary when political analysts tell us that the polls are wrong, that the popular candidate will do worse in the long run. Really, when any analyst tells you to ignore the numbers.


#9

The next UK election with Corbyn, the nearest equivalent to Sanders, may be some sort of guide. The official view is that his party will be wiped out. The question is whether, by the time of the next election, people will have woken up to the fact that they were persuaded to vote against their own interests last time.


#10

There should have been a dozen strong candidates in the Democratic primaries, several of whom could have beaten Hillary and then beaten combover boy. There were not, because:

  • the Democratic Party apparatus allowed itself to be completely pwned by the Clinton family and all their grifting hangers-on. I am sure this deterred a number of good people from running.

  • President Obama, I think uniquely in American political history, has maintained personal popularity and has easily won election twice while having no coattails whatsoever. In fact, his coattail rating is downright negative. The result? fewer and fewer noteworthy state-level Democrats on the bench and ready to play.


#11

My take is that at the end of the day traditional Republican voters were going to turn out and vote for the Republican, and traditional Democrat voters were going to turn out and vote for the Democrat. We theorized maybe Trump was so bad the Republican base would repudiate him, but it didn’t happen enough.

Instead, Trump brought in fresh blood, attracted nontraditional voters.

Sanders seemed to be doing the same. He was generating enthusiasm among younger voters (who turn out poorly in general). He was generating enthusiasm from Rust Belt state voters who felt abandoned by Democrats.

The Republicans would scream “socialist”, but they were never voting for the Dem. Traditional, moderate Democrats might have been turned off, but I’m betting just like the Republicans would have bit their tongues and said “at least it’s not the other candidate” and supported him.


#12

It does seem that the trend across (western) countries these days is a xenophobic nationalistic swing - which, long term, doesn’t bode well for the world. The Democratic party is pretty shredded at that the moment with the deck stacked heavily against it. It does seem that the long term prospects are pretty dim.


#13

Leftist criticism of Hillary was not the Benghazi/emails/pneumonia/Bill/sexism drek that the GOP was harping on.


#14

It wasn’t a secret, but the Clinton campaign surely didn’t push that line (as well they should not have), so it was a non-factor—it’s not like there were hundreds of ads trumpeting those facts, with a nefarious spin on them. But of course the bigger issue is that there’s a big difference between primary voters and the general election voters.


#15

This, I agree with. I would have liked to have seen at least a few more options.

While Bernie may not have created the illogically seething hatred that Hillary received from some people, I’m unconvinced that he would’ve maintained the popularity to beat Trump, personally. I think, if anything, his track record would’ve engaged Trump more and backfired on Bernie.


#16

It’s pointless to speculate and point at dubious polls of “what if”. Fact: Trump is now the President. Now it’s time to deal with the new reality, come what may.

To say the Democrats lost because “Ah, geez, Hillary?” is a gross over-simplification. There is the inescapable fact that a lot of Obama voters, including many who voted for him twice, voted for Trump. And I don’t think it’s an unreasonable assumption to say an even larger percentage of Obama voters just stayed home or left that part of the ballot blank or 3rd party (which was, in effect, a vote for Trump).

The only thinkpiece that I feel really, really hit the nail on the head is not the current tidal-wave of 5-paragraph, simplified distillations of “Welp, we just ignored the Rust Belt and white working class voters.” It’s from the Atlantic, and it’s rather complex, lengthy, but still devastating and eye-popping analysis of the 4-decade long betrayal of the Democratic Party’s Wilsonian and FDR legacy, which emerged from the wreckage of Watergate. Sit down with a cup of coffee and prepare to work out your mind. It’s a tough, but essential read:

Trump is right. We do need to Make America Great Again…but by returning to the robust, compassionate, and sensible policies of the New Deal that shepherded us out the Great Depression and prevented another economic catastrophe for half a century. We need to stop turning a blind eye to our so-called “liberal progressive” leaders who talk a good game with social justice and what not, but then turn around and support unbridled drone strikes, investment banks running amok, and ignoring the very real concerns of the much maligned “flyover states”. We lefties had this reckoning coming for a long time. The chickens have come to roost, and they put a white supremacist in office.

Please don’t spout at me until you’ve read this article and learned your liberal history. And then before yelling at me, let’s instead figure out how we can prevent another election of a con-man…“liberal” or “conservative”.


#17

The skepticism is warranted, but it’s worth looking at the counterpoint:

A man won after two decades of the mainstream media talking about his buffoonish incompetence, and at least a year of them talking about his horrible bigotry.

It doesn’t matter what your enemies say to tear you down. It matters what you tell your supporters, to build them up.

Talk to a Trump supporter. See if they care about if the guy promising to help send their kids to college is a Jewish socialist. I think you’d be surprised at how few do.


#18

Maybe. But the campaign would have been about Bernie’s ideas, not about Hillary’s Nixonian backstory.


#19

We should remember that relying on polls for this election was not really as reliable as we’d thought. It’s esp. pointless in fantasy scenarios. The oppo research on Sanders was brutal. If he was actually in the general he would have been savaged, and there’s a fair chance he’d have gone down in flames.


#20

I posted that same article here a week or so before the election, and suggested it as a lead article. The I’mWithHer smog was so thick, I didn’t stand a chance.