November 1, 2016

THE ATLANTIC’S MOLLY BALL: HILLARY IS ULTIMATE VICTIM OF 2016:

What had she been through over the past year and a half—what had America been through? She had prepared for a normal campaign, prepared for something like 2012, a boring slog against a sane and decent regular Republican whom she would strain to argue was Wrong On The Issues. Instead she got a hair-on-fire carnival ride, a Russian spy thriller, a national nervous breakdown of an election.

Every day she got up and recited the same jokes and exhortations, and every day the hackers released more of her advisers’ private communications onto the internet, and every day her improbable opponent, a sort of primal scream in human form, waved his arms and called her a criminal.

She had piles and piles of proposals*—to rightsize the prisons and roll back deportations and pay for child care and on and on—and then it turned out the election wasn’t about any of that. It was about trying to be as inconspicuous as possible and waiting for the fire to burn out. It was about being slightly less of a monster. Even then, about half of America looked at her and was not convinced.

Shades of John Kerry on 2004, who knew that as the Democrats’ presidential nominee, he had the entire MSM in his pocket, and that they would keep his radical chic worldview and past under wraps. But Al Gore’s invention, which allows information to flow in a decentralized fashion, unlike the Cronkite-era MSM, is a fickle mistress, as both Kerry and Hillary discovered. In early 2007, Joe Biden referred to Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Biden’s use of the word “clean” meant that Obama was relatively free of similar historical baggage (particularly when compared with rhetorical bomb-throwing past radical chic Democrat presidential wannabes such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton). That wasn’t really true, as we’ve since discovered (QED: Ayers, Wright, Alinsky, etc.), but Obama’s success as a “storybook” candidate, a self-described “blank slate” onto which any narrative can be cut and pasted, was a reminder that the DNC much prefers presidential nominees who have little or no unfortunate backstory to be exploited by their opponents.

Hillary is the very opposite of that, but she was next in-line, the backbench was very sparsely populated (in large part thanks to the disaster of Obamacare, ironically enough), and when you’re the Democrats, you go to war against the American people with the candidate you have, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld.

* Reading Ball’s past hot-takes, you just know she views Hillary as a real-life Tracy Flick, and that she thinks Flick is a character to be admired.