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ON THE SHELF: Weiner’s Book Deal Terminated After Guilty Plea.

It was revealed in 2016 that Weiner, 52, had been sexting with the underage girl. The federal investigation seized Weiner’s laptop and emails to his wife, top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, led former FBI Director James Comey to publicly re-open an investigation into Clinton’s own private email server that ended shortly before Clinton’s presidential loss. Abedin had been separated with the former congressman for nine months before she filed for divorce the day he pleaded guilty.

But Weiner is not only losing his wife: his book deal with Foundry Literary + Media has also been severed, Page Six reported Tuesday. Foundry reportedly held onto the option of honoring the book deal with Weiner, but this was aborted after he tearfully testified to sending explicit messages to a North Carolina teen.

“I have a sickness but I do not have an excuse,” Weiner said while crying in court.

Prior to his career of exposing himself to women on the internet, Weiner was best known as the Democratic Congress’s go-to pitchman for ObamaCare.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Regime Change by Any Other Name?

Truth or consequences? Obama skated for far worse misdeeds. Election machines in three states were not hacked to give Donald Trump the election. There was never a serious post-election movement of electors to defy their constitutional duties and vote for Hillary Clinton. Nor, once Trump was elected, did transgendered people begin killing themselves in alarming numbers. Nor were there mass resignations at the State Department upon his inauguration. Nor did Donald Trump seek an order to “ban all Muslims” from entering the U.S. Instead, he temporarily sought a suspension in visas for everyone, regardless of religion, from seven Middle Eastern states that the Obama administration had earlier identified as incapable of properly vetting travelers to the U.S. The first lady did not work for an elite escort or prostitute service. She never said that she and young Barron Trump would not be moving to the White House. Barron does not have autism. Trump’s father never ran racist ads as a supposed candidate in a purported political campaign. Kellyanne Conway denies that in a private conversation between segments on MSNBC, she privately remarked to hosts that she had to take a shower after working for Trump. Donald Trump never suggested to the Mexican president that the U.S. was going to invade Mexico. Nor did Trump plan to mobilize the National Guard to send back illegal aliens. He did not remove a Martin Luther King bust from the White House. There was no evidence that he ever promised to ease Russian sanctions (much less that he promised the Russians he would be “flexible” after he was elected). He did not short the FBI of resources to conduct an investigation into supposed Russian collusion. He did not go to Moscow and watch prostitutes in his bed urinate where Barack Obama had previously slept. His deputy attorney general did not threaten to resign over the Comey firing. . . .

Fake news crowds out real news. Here is what we do not read much about: North Korea, long appeased, could well send missiles against our allies, perhaps even with nuclear payloads. Afghanistan is at a crux and will either implode or need more American troops. China’s role is in the balance, and it may or may not help defang North Korea. The greatest tax- and health-reform packages in years are now in the hands of Congress. Executive orders have revolutionized the domestic energy industry and achieved a stunning and historic reduction in illegal immigration. The stock market is soaring, employment is up, and confidence in the economy has returned. Wall Street seems to dip only on talk of impeaching Donald Trump. Commensurate Worry? And here is what no longer troubles us at all. In 2008, candidate Barack Obama used back channels to communicate flexibility to the Iranians (as in the later assurance he gave, on a hot mic, to the Russians), which may have helped undermine the ongoing Bush-administration negotiations with Iran. Hillary Clinton set up an illegal server, distributed classified information in an illegal and unsecured fashion, lied about it, and destroyed thousands of e-mails central to an investigation — and got off without an indictment. In the 2016 election, the head of the DNC conspired to massage the debates and help swing the nomination to the Clinton campaign. The prior attorney general of the United State met with the spouse of a presidential candidate under investigation, in a stealthy conversation on an airport tarmac, did not inform officials of that meeting until the get-together was discovered by a reporter, semi-recused herself under pressure only to turn over her prosecutorial discretion to the head of the FBI, in a fashion that was both improper and perhaps unconstitutional. We do not hear how exactly Russian interests at Uranium One obtained market control over 20 percent of U.S. uranium holdings, or the connections between Uranium One and their prior multimillion-dollar donations to the Clinton Foundation, or that the Podesta Group had numerous financial dealings with Russian interests, or that Bill Clinton received $500,000 in 2010 from Russian oligarchic interests while his wife was secretary of state — ten times more than what Michael Flynn was alleged to have received. . . .

The effort to remove the president is conducted by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the wire services, and the major networks. And we have seen nothing like it in our time.

It’s like we’ve been living in a banana republic for a decade.

HILLARY 2020: Because white women are the worst! Left zeroes in on white women as the new enemy because they elected Trump.

BRIAN BEUTLER: Democrats Should Proudly Call for Trump’s Impeachment.

Hillary should make it the focus of her Comeback II 2020: The Glass Ceiling Tour III campaign.

KURT SCHLICHTER GIVES TRUMP AN A+ SO FAR: “There can be no serious debate. Donald Trump has done a truly outstanding job of not being Hillary Clinton. His not being Hillary Clinton was and remains my sole expectation of Donald Trump’s presidency. Nothing else matters in the end; it is enough that Trump foiled Felonia von Pantsuit’s creepy scheme to subjugate forever the deplorable mass of normal people she despises.”

Plus:

Here’s the brutal reality: No matter what Trump does, he will always be evil, awful, criminal, and/or treasonous. It doesn’t matter if he does something good. It’s doesn’t matter if Obama famously did the same thing – or worse. It doesn’t matter if it’s an outright and obvious lie. It will never stop. The soft coup plotters’ plan is to generate a constant barrage of bullSchumer designed to eventually browbeat the weak-hearted among the GOP into going along with their impeachment scheme as the first step on the road to the left retaking power and consolidating it so that we normals can never again have our voices heard.

If you want to blame Trump for the phony “controversy” surrounding him, ask yourself – what actions could he take that would stop the liberal feeding frenzy? Be nicer and gentler and act like “the bigger man? Worked great for W.

Puh-leeze.

True. Weirdly, it’s the people claiming that Trump’s a tool for Putin to destabilize American politics who are taking the actions that destabilize American politics.

CAMILLE PAGLIA: Hillary Clinton ‘is a completely hollow woman.’

IT’S ALWAYS JUST AROUND THE CORNER: Jim Geraghty: When Does All That Evidence of Collusion Arrive?

If you talk to Democrats lately, they speak not as if the voters merely made a mistake, but that somehow history itself has gone wrong. They speak we’re living in an alternate timeline, experiencing events that “weren’t supposed” to happen. In their eyes, Hillary Clinton was obviously so much more appealing that Trump. She led in the polls! She had so many more campaign offices! She spent so much more money! She ran so many more ads! Surely, a result like this must be the result of someone cheating. Because so many Democrats associate Trump with apocalyptic threats – global warming, the sudden establishment of a repressive theocracy like the Handmaid’s Tale, nuclear confrontation, race wars – they all see themselves as their own personal Kyle Reeses, on a mission to save the future. With this desperate, all-or-nothing mindset, they will always insist that the evidence to take down Trump is waiting to be found, just around the next corner.

Sad and delusional and full of self-importance.

OH NOES: After Mueller, Trump Critics Worry: Maybe There’s No Scandal.

Eli Lake is right: The DOJ’s appointment of widely-respected former prosecutor Robert Mueller to lead the special inquiry into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia is a reprieve for a Trump Administration in crisis—a reprieve that it will almost certainly squander, but a reprieve nonetheless.

How do we know? Because the responses from Trump’s most dogged critics on the Russia question betray a kind of anxiety about the Mueller appointment—an anxiety that the no-nonsense law enforcement wise man will lower the temperature in Washington without actually uncovering enough damaging material to bring down the President.

Take, for example, Josh Marshall declaring that while he has confidence in Mueller to identify and expose any criminal activities undertaken by Trump or his associates, he won’t be able to prosecute the real Trump-Russia wrongdoing: a labyrinthian “conspiracy” which may not even involve any illegal behavior. . . .

Since the summer before the election, Trump’s critics have been suggesting or sometimes stating outright that Russia is involved with a criminal conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of Trump’s inner circle. But now that an unimpeachable bulldog prosecutor has been named to probe these very allegations, the critics seem to be trying to move the goalposts.

Well, we know from the book Shattered that the Trump/Russia thing was cooked up to explain Hillary’s loss to the true believers. “Hillary declined to take responsibility for her own loss. Hillary kept pointing her finger at Comey and Russia. That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. For a couple of hours [Hillary and her aides] went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

But will the Clinton Foundation’s dealings with the Russians — and with Saudi Arabia, and with the Gulf States — get similar attention? Why not?

HMM: Senate Demands White House Tapes, Comey Memos On Just About Everyone. “Interesting that they also demand all the ‘Hillary’ related memos too… If Comey ‘memorialized’ all his interactions – like he said he did for the Trump memo – then he must have the ones discussed with Obama, Lynch, Yates etc… regarding the Clinton case?”

HILLARY WON’T LIKE THIS: Elizabeth Warren Tests the Waters for 2020.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: “So far all the political violence associated with the election of Trump, from Inauguration to the latest campus rioting, has been on the Left. No pro-Trump crowds don masks, break windows or shut down traffic. The crudity in contemporary politics—from the constant sick jokes referring to First Family incest, smears against the First Lady, low attacks on the Trump children, boycotts of the Inauguration, talk and dreams of killing the president—is on the liberal/progressive side. The entertainment industry’s obscenity and coarseness have been picked up by mainstream Democratic officials, who now routinely resort to profanities like s–t and f–k to attack the president. Almost every ethical code—television journalists do not report on air private conservations with their guests during breaks, opposition congressional representatives do attend the Inauguration, Senators do not use obscenities—have been abandoned in efforts to delegitimize Trump. When Hillary Clinton assumed the mantle of the ‘Resistance,’ she was deliberately using a metaphor to convey the idea that she is analogous to a French patriot under occupation and Trump is a veritable foreign Nazi belligerent.”

RIP ROGER AILES, AGE 77:  “The death of Roger Ailes takes from us one of the towering figures in American news — just when we needed him most:”

The truth is that — insofar as we encountered Ailes — he was just on fire about the news.

This, in our view, was the key to his astounding success at Fox — along with his ability to spot and inspire great talent, with which Fox was abundantly blessed under his leadership. We understand all the controversies about the populist tone of Fox (his broadsheet and network detractors, though, have plunged down the same path). We read, like everyone else, of his alleged misbehavior with staff (he maintained his innocence). Either way, historians are likely — net, net — to record him far less for any flaws than his achievements.

America could have used Ailes at the helm of a news network right now. It’s not that he understood, and was a friend, of Donald Trump (John Podhoretz has an illuminating discussion of that question at Commentary magazine’s latest podcast). It’s rather that Ailes understood and empathized with the plight of the people who elected Donald Trump president. He understood the scale of Hillary Clinton’s error with her remark about the basket of deplorables. When he was on his game he had few, if any, peers.

In 2013, I recorded a 20-minute podcast with veteran journalist Zev Chafets, who had recently completed a biography of Ailes, which you can listen to here.

Incidentally, over a decade before CNN imploded via jet planes into black holes, an annual New Year’s Eve dumpster fire, and Trump Derangement Syndrome, Ailes certainly had his competitor’s number:

OF COURSE THEY DO: Democrats Push Left as Midterm Campaigns Approach.

If you thought that Donald Trump’s victory would impel the Democrats to de-emphasize identity politics and social liberalism and pivot even modestly toward the center, think again. At the local level, Democratic politicians are under tremendous pressure to double down on the whole menu of positions favored by the party’s increasingly militant progressive wing. . . .

Some of the leftward march seems to be motivated by the sense that Hillary Clinton’s tepid center-leftism was a dud and the conviction that Bernie Sanders or someone like him might have had a better shot against Trump. This analysis may or may not be correct, but it is too one-dimensional. In fact, Bernie Sanders was to Clinton’s right on many cultural issues, including gun control, feminism, immigration, and identity politics. If you want to drive a Berniebro crazy, you could even argue that Sanders is the reason Clinton lost—that she couldn’t compete with his left-wing economic populism, so she moved even deeper into boutique academic/PC liberal territory to compensate, and that this was ultimately what did her in. And yet, the new generation of Democrats seems to be retreating to hard-line liberal positions in all areas, economic and social alike.

Trump 2020!

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Nightmares and the Realities of Never Trump.

Rarely in the last half-century have so many elite conservatives and intellectuals been so estranged both from a Republican administration and from those who voted for it—neither have they become so animated in their antipathy and disgust for a sitting president.

During the 2016 election, and the current Trump presidency, there have appeared four implicit tenets to the conservative “Never Trump” position that, we are supposed to understand, justified not voting for him, actively opposing him, or voting for Hillary Clinton:

1) The character flaws of the inexperienced and uncouth Trump would eventually nullify any positive agenda that he might enact; not opposing such a boorish character undermines one’s reputation as an empirical and fair-minded conservative;

2) Trump is a liberal wolf in conservative sheep’s clothing; at any given moment he will break his campaign promises and revert to his 1980s New York Democratic self. Or, Trump has no ideology and is an empty vessel willing to embrace almost any ideology he finds efficacious to his ambitions of the moment. Either way, he will do the conservative cause real damage;

3) Trump’s base supporters, while not irredeemables and deplorables, are prone to nationalist extremism and embrace certain prejudices that are antithetical to conservative values;

4) Clinton’s progressive agendas would not do as much damage to the nation as would Trump’s uncouth character. Thus the defeat of the Republicans in 2016, or the failure of an ensuing Trump presidency, would be cathartic. Only a Trump implosion would teach Republicans never again to allow such an untried and dangerous populist nationalist without political experience to highjack their party, while cleansing the movement of some odious figures and unpalatable ideas that have no business in it—or both.

How true have these nightmares so far played out?

Read the whole thing.

Plus, as I said yesterday: “The childish response of Democrats — and ‘NeverTrump’ Republicans — to the 2016 election has done more damage to American politics and institutions than any foreign meddling could do.”

I WONDER IF HE’LL LOOK AT HILLARY’S URANIUM DEAL? Former FBI Director Robert Mueller chosen as a special counsel to lead Russia probe.

NICK GILLESPIE: All This Impeachment Talk Is Pure Trump Derangement Syndrome. “For god’s sake, they wanted him impeached even before he was the Republican nominee.”

The Crazy: There’s a lot of that going around. But it’s still dangerous.

Plus: “Short-termers such as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz are already subpoenaing whatever memories James Comey jotted down during his generally mediocre-to-awful tenure as head of the FBI. Comey is the guy, we should recall, who tried to strong-arm Apple into undermining its phone encryption even though it was able to crack the San Bernadino’s phone just fine, who gave Hillary Clinton aides immunity and allowed them to destroy their laptops, and recently attacked the First Amendment because it gave Wikileaks space to publish authentic-if-purloined documents. The best thing you can say about Comey is that he’s no Louis Freeh or J. Edgar Hoover, which is the textbook case of damning with faint approbation.”

ELIZABETH PRICE FOLEY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES: Trump’s Statements Are Not an Obstruction of Justice.

Widespread howls erupted, including by editors of this paper, asserting that President Trump obstructed justice. But as distasteful as the president’s statements may be, they do not constitute an obstruction of justice. Indeed, if they did, virtually every communication between criminal defense lawyers and investigators would be a crime. . . .

Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Trump intended an implied offer of continued employment in exchange for Mr. Comey’s dismissal of the Flynn investigation, it would be implausible for Mr. Comey to construe it as such. Mr. Comey was aware that he was an at-will employee who could be fired by the president at any time, for any reason. Indeed, when President Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in June 2016 — during the height of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Secretary Clinton’s private email server — it would have been similarly implausible for Mr. Comey to construe Mr. Obama’s pro-Clinton remarks as an implicit offer of continued employment, in exchange for dropping the Clinton investigation. Even though Mr. Comey dropped the investigation one month later, he presumably knew that although it would please both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, it would not insulate him from being fired.

But even if one adopted an unprecedentedly broad conception of bribery, Mr. Trump’s purported statement still would not violate Section 1510. The statute is designed to preserve the free flow of information, prohibiting only acts that obstruct investigators’ access to information. Bribery of a potential witness, for example, is behavior prohibited by Section 1510. But telling the F.B.I. director that someone is a “good guy” and expressing the hope that an investigation will cease does not obstruct the free flow of information.

Another, broader federal obstruction statute is Section 1505 of Title 18, but even this statute does not fit. Specifically, Section 1505 declares that anyone who “corruptly” endeavors to obstruct the proper administration of law “under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States” is guilty of a felony. Even putting aside the difficulty of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that President Trump’s brief and generalized words evinced the necessary “corrupt” mind-set, Section 1510 applies only to a “pending proceeding.”

Read the whole thing. Also note that the Obama Administration made sure that Lois Lerner — who ran a corrupt, political effort to target political opponents using the power of the federal government — didn’t face charges. This was not called obstruction of justice, but “prosecutorial discretion.”

Plus: “Principled objections to Mr. Trump’s policies and leadership style should not blind opponents to the dangers of repeated, knee-jerk calls for criminal prosecution of the president of the United States. Let the evidence unfold, and reserve serious charges if and when the evidence warrants it. Crying wolf undermines the credibility of the opposition, further divides an already deeply divided country and breeds cynicism about American institutions that is as dangerous to our republic, if not more, than outside meddling.”

The childish response of Democrats — and “NeverTrump” Republicans — to the 2016 election has done more damage to American politics and institutions than any foreign meddling could do.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR DOUBLE STANDARDS THEY’D HAVE NO STANDARDS AT ALL: Silence from Hill, Liz on Maher speaks volumes.

We just had a vivid, striking example of what Zoob and King were talking about, courtesy of two faux feminists who shamelessly masquerade as heroines of their gender and guardians of our culture.

Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren would have us see them as they see themselves, towering women whose values and principles cannot be compromised.

So it was not surprising that neither could contain her horror when Donald Trump was heard making vulgar, sexist comments in a private conversation.

Both had bully pulpits and wasted no time using them to clobber him.

Then HBO’s foul-mouthed Bill Maher, looking for new ways to tear down the president, reached to the bottom of the barrel to imply he was having an incestuous relationship with his daughter Ivanka.

Anyone with a modicum of decency understood Maher had crossed a line; ideologies notwithstanding, nothing could justify such depravity.

But because it was aimed at Trump, not a peep was heard from Hillary or Liz, suggesting Maher’s smuttiness didn’t ruffle their feathers a bit.

It also suggested they assume their constituents are too superficial to connect the dots and see them for who and what they really are.

Here’s hoping they’re wrong.

We’ll see.

THE RUSSIAN HACK: It sounds like a Hillary conspiracy theory, and it is.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr:

How did we find ourselves at this comic pass with the Democratic Party warning us of the Russian menace — the Democratic Party whose members have included Alger Hiss and, more lately, Bill Ayers? Well, turn to the recently released bestseller written by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.” All the pundits are talking about it, and there are things to admire in it. For instance, turn to Page 395. There you will find this revelation: “Hillary declined to take responsibility for her own loss . Hillary kept pointing her finger at Comey and Russia . That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech . For a couple of hours [Hillary and her aides] went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.” Now it is the “centerpiece” of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party’s campaign against Donald Trump.

Read the whole thing.

I’d just add that if Democrats had constantly shown this much concern about the Russians, we’d have won the Cold War ten years sooner.

CHARLIE MARTIN: Should We Trust the Trump/Russia Coverage? “The upshot of it all is that the Washington Post and New York Times have been wrong so often that they’ve become inherently unbelievable. Almost everyone remembers the story of the little boy who cried wolf. What happens if the legacy press actually gets a story that is adequately sourced and points to real malfeasance? Will anyone believe them? Should anyone believe them?”

That’s a problem. Flashback: Perhaps we should require reading “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in journalism schools.

I KEEP ASKING THE VERY SAME THING: How can we ‘Move On Together’ if Hillary Clinton won’t go away?

HILLARY 2020! RUN, HILLARY, RUN! Hillary Clinton’s PAC power play may underline Dems’ disarray .

Slogan: This time it’s really my turn, bitchez!

WELL, THIS SEEMS LIKE NEWS: Seth Rich, slain DNC staffer, had contact with WikiLeaks, say multiple sources.

The Democratic National Committee staffer who was gunned down on July 10 on a Washington, D.C., street just steps from his home had leaked thousands of internal emails to WikiLeaks, law enforcement sources told Fox News.

A federal investigator who reviewed an FBI forensic report detailing the contents of DNC staffer Seth Rich’s computer generated within 96 hours after his murder, said Rich made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time.

So this would seem to leave two possibilities: The DNC “hack” wasn’t a Russian operation at all, but an internal leak, blowing the post-November Hillary Russia narratove; or (2) There’s another trove of DNC emails out there that Wikileaks hasn’t released yet. I’m guessing it’s (1), but who knows?

WELL, GIVEN THE COMPLETE ABSENCE OF ANY EVIDENCE OF CRIMES, YES: David Frum: A Special Prosecutor Is Not the Answer. Well, except for Hillary’s emails. There’s plenty of evidence to support a special prosecutor — or just an ordinary DOJ criminal prosecution — there.

Related: Andrew McCarthy: What Crime Would A Special Prosecutor Prosecute? “Notice that although Senator Schumer casually asserts that ‘a serious offense’ has been committed, he does not tell us what that offense is. That’s because there isn’t one.”

The real crime was beating Hillary, of course.

KURT SCHLICHTER IS HAPPY WITH THE ZEITGEIST: Liberals Are An Inferno Of Flaming Crazy And We Should Pour Gasoline On The Fire.

This is great!

All this insanity is going to help us normals retain power, from your gyno-hat marches to the fake hate crimes to your insistence that the Russians are responsible for everything from Hillary losing the election to the rarely-discussed but well-known liberal epidemic of ED.

Here’s a little test. It’s been about six months since Trump treated The Smartest Most Accomplished Woman In The World like a NordicTrack treats Harry Reid, and does anyone know even one person who has said, “You know, I voted for Trump, but now after Neil Gorsuch, General Mattis and H.R. McMaster, I really wish I had checked the box for Felonia von Pantsuit?”

Except maybe for the disappointed white-nationalist crowd, nope.

SUPERMAN CHECKED OUT OF THE SUPERMARKET:

It was all very easy for a skeptic to mock, but the image of the redeemer prince, much embellished by Obama’s media devotees, proved immensely appealing in a secular age bored with secularism, a scientific age that found no salvation in science. John Stuart Mill described how, in a moment of disenchantment with the spiritual dullness of liberal progress, he turned for consolation to the poetry of Wordsworth. In 2008, the poetry, the spiritual consolation that a good part of the American electorate sought as an antidote to its own discontents, was Barack Obama himself—or rather, the image that that gifted fabulist impressed upon them.

It wasn’t entirely new. In his 1960 Esquire article on John F. Kennedy, “Superman Comes to the Supermarket,” Norman Mailer argued that a charismatic leader could liberate America’s hidden potential, all that virtù and desire that had been forced underground both by an unsatisfactory politics and by “mass civilization,” in which so many “electronic circuits” made “men as interchangeable as commodities.” Kennedy, Mailer believed, was the “existential hero” whose “royal image” could be a salve for America’s “malnourished electronic psyches.”

A rambling, self-indulgent piece of writing, Mailer’s essay was more a symptom of the hysteria that Kennedy aroused than a sober analysis of it. What he called his “rich chocolate prose” anticipated the inanities of the more outré expositions of Obama’s own splendors in 2008. Was America brave enough, Mailer asked,

to enlist the romantic dream of itself, would it vote for the image in the mirror of its unconscious, were the people indeed brave enough to hope for an acceleration of Time, for that new life of drama which would come from choosing a son to lead them who was heir apparent to the psychic loins?

This was a roundabout way of saying that it was not Kennedy’s policies that were liberating but his image. It was not his “prefabricated politics” but his charismatic person that would rouse the country from its dogmatic slumbers. That Kennedy was “young, that he was physically handsome, and that his wife was attractive were not,” Mailer maintained, “trifling accidental details but, rather, new major political facts.” A Kennedy presidency, he believed, would “touch depths in American life which were uncharted” and promised to usher in a post-political age in which the nation would “rise above the deadening verbiage of its issues, its politics, its jargon, and live again by an image of itself.”

And thus was born what Ace of Spades brilliantly dubbed the DNC-MSM’s “MacGuffinization of American Politics.” and after Kennedy’s assassination, their desire to dub every presidential candidate the next JFK, no matter how far to the left the party has drifted from Kennedy’s centrist worldview and no matter how ludicrous the comparison.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ ON OUR FRAGILE CIVILIZATION:

One of the weaknesses of the anti-Trump resistance is their inability to address the factors which brought the current administration into existence.  Too many think it’s all about one man.  This may explain why the Resistance to the Resistance has been surprisingly hard to push off the Hill and why Bernie Sanders is the most popular Democratic politician in America.  The key insight into the problem is that people didn’t vote for Trump but against Hillary, PC, and the ending of their world. Charles Sykes in New York Times noted this element of sheer reaction. “Mr. Trump’s most vocal supporters don’t have to defend his specific actions as long as they make liberal heads explode”.*

A hundred years ago the liberal project seemed easily attainable. “I have seen the future and it works,” wrote Lincoln Steffens, yet it’s proved surprisingly hard to close the sale. The reason why the masses should reject such a brilliant vision were hard to explain.  Despite Leftist fears their foes were never more than a coalition of amateurs with no particular ideology.  The alt-right didn’t even know it was alt-right until they were properly analyzed and labeled.

So why can’t such a stupid, ignorant and incompetent bunch be seen off?  That must be what troubles the Resistance. The scariest possibility is they are up against complexity itself, fighting a reality that refuses subordination to a narrative.  The world is hard to control, even when you dominate all the media outlets.  Jurassic Park was Michael Crichton’s parable warning against trying to linearly control complex systems. In history Marx may be friction’s equivalent of John Hammond.  “God creates dinosaurs, God kills dinosaurs, God creates man, man kills God, man brings back dinosaurs,” might explain the banging on globalism’s door when there should be nobody there.

The liberal project wanted the global world.  Maybe they didn’t understand what came with it.

Read the whole thing; though I rarely disagree with any of Richard’s analyses, they’re not liberals in the classical sense, they’re leftists; which is why they bring a whole lot of bad luck, to coin an Insta-phrase, when they’re running things entirely.

* It’s also better for us all that the left is largely unified in waging war against Trump, than say, an Indiana pizza shop owner or Washington state florist.

(Via SDA.)

BAZINGA: James Woods just used Elizabeth Warren to crush Hillary, and it was glorious.

UPDATE: Link was wrong before. Fixed now. Sorry!

ANDY McCARTHY: What Crime Would a ‘Special Prosecutor’ Prosecute?

Hey, Hillary lost the election — isn’t that crime enough?!

WRONG SQUIRREL! Oops: The New York Times Accidentally Exposed ‘The Hillary Clinton-Russia Nexus’!  (Also, this headline made me cackle like a madwoman, sending everyone in the house to see what I was looking at.)

KYLE SMITH: Why working class Americans voted with their middle finger:

[Hillary’s] rhetoric about helping the poor also turned off the WWC: The have-a-littles disdain the have-nots. Working people in the middle are proud of their discipline and resent the spongers they perceive as being rewarded for having none. They don’t romanticize welfare recipients as being hapless victims of circumstance because they see them at the grocery store every week.

Even when they qualify for aid, they sometimes make a point of rejecting it: “I don’t want a government handout,” they say. “I can do this on my own.” Accepting welfare is seen as a character flaw and leads to a serious loss of social standing in the community, according to a study of rural voters in California. Without such standing, you don’t get considered when there’s a job opening.

Bill Clinton understood this kind of thinking, which is why he signed welfare reform in 1996, when he carried such states as West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Louisiana. No Democratic presidential candidate since has won any of those states, and they’re no longer even trying.

Bill famously advised his wife’s campaign to do more to reach out to the WWC, but in what will surely be recalled as one of the defining moments of hubris on Team Hillary, campaign manager Robby Mook replied, “the data run counter to your anecdotes.”

It’s just too perfect that Clinton lost the election in part because she relied on a gay, 36-year-old Ivy League data nerd rather than a two-time winner of a presidential election to show her the path to the White House. If she wants to learn some anecdotes about how to repel people you’re supposed to be wooing, [law professor Joan C. Williams’ new book White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America] is an excellent place to start.

Read the whole thing.

 

OF COURSE NOT. THEY’RE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES. Eddie Scarry: Trump Can’t Win The Press.

The mania over James Comey’s firing would carry more weight if the press didn’t behave this way every time President Trump signed an order, wrote a tweet or flushed a toilet.

Political commentators, news organizations and lawmakers on both sides had been calling for Comey’s ousting for months for his bizarre, inconstant approach in conducting the sensitive investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails and then Trump’s election campaign.

But now that he’s gone, the media act like America just lost its favorite uncle.

Everyone is now used to the simple fact that no matter what he does, Trump cannot win the press. And that’s why no one should look to it for an indication of whether he’s doing anything right.

Depending on what mood the Washington media wake up in on any given day, Trump is either dumb and expected to screw up (i.e. Charles Blow wittily referring to Trump in every column as “president” in quotes) or it’s, Hey, why isn’t he doing everything like a normal president? Constitutional crisis!

Most of them don’t actually seem to know what a “constitutional crisis” is, but then, most of them couldn’t pass a simple quiz on the Constitution.

FAUSTA WERTZ: A week of pearl-clutching.

The one thing that is clear from the start of the Trump presidency is that the media insists that it owns the narrative, regardless of the emergence of independent media, or whether, in this instance, people don’t care about a career bureaucrat, who, as Byron York points out (emphasis added),

is the FBI director who did not tell the Director of National Intelligence that the FBI had opened a counter-intelligence investigation involving Russia and the 2016 election.

The liberal media (I repeat myself) owned the narrative for so long that they took Hillary’s victory as a given. After the American people went against that narrative, the media will do anything to take Trump down, and will clutch ever-larger pearls, to the detriment of actual news.

Some of those pearls are the size of ice cream scoops.

Read the whole thing.

YES: You Want Checks And Balances? Stop Ignoring The Constitution When You’re In Power: The Democrats’ newfound adoration of separation of power isn’t credible. And that helps Trump.

Fact is, we’ve had (at least) two norm-busting presidents with authoritarian impulses in a row. Both believe in ruling with a pen and a personality, disregarding process whenever it suits their political purposes. One was a thoughtful-sounding, charismatic force, and a talented fibber; a virtuoso at erecting strawmen and offering false choices. He pushed his party farther to the Left than it has ever been. The other is a clumsy and transparent fibber, an incompetent novice, pushing his party into whatever ideologically untethered position is catching his fancy at the moment. Only one of these men, however, was given a free pass by most people in the institutional media because his progressive ideological outlook pleases their sensibilities.

You don’t trust Donald Trump to name an FBI director, even though it’s within his purview to do so? Well, I don’t trust Barack Obama to enter into faux treaties with a bunch of nations without Senate approval or to unilaterally legalize millions of people without Congress. I understand that you find those unilateral decisions morally comforting, but if process and norms matter they should always matter. (An example of the opposite would be an ACLU lawyer who argues that Trump’s immigration order might have been constitutional had Hillary signed it. This undermines trust.)

While there is plenty of hypocrisy to go around, Democrats’ newfound adoration of checks and balances simply isn’t credible. And once that trust has been eroded, it’s difficult to regain it. Most Americans aren’t impressed by procedure. So why would they surrender power when they’re certain you will abuse it again four years from now?

Yes, I have zero trust in — or respect for — all the people suddenly concerned about nonpartisan bureaucracies and the rule of law after eight years of Obama getting a pass. To hell with you people, to coin a phrase.

THE AUDACITY OF HYPOCRISY: Maxine Waters Thinks It Would’ve Been Fine for Hillary to Fire Comey, But Doesn’t Support Trump Firing Him.

I had to read that headline twice.

DOYLE MCMANUS: Hillary Clinton has a right to be a major voice in American politics — but maybe it’s time she moved on.

She has accused President Trump of pursuing what appears to be “a commitment to hurt so many people.” She called House Republicans’ healthcare bill “shameful.” She proclaimed herself “part of the resistance.” She’s traveling the country giving speeches. She’s reportedly organizing a new political action committee to raise money for Democratic causes. And she’s writing a book to explain her side of the 2016 presidential campaign. She says she doesn’t expect to run for president again. But she has been careful not to rule it out.

Clinton’s impulse to get back into the fight is understandable. Democratic politics has been the cause of her life, and she’s surely entitled to work through her grief over the campaign. If her book turns out to be a candid self-examination of what went wrong — a big if, based on her self-protective previous memoirs — that could be healthy for her party.

But by moving so fast and so visibly, and by keeping the door open to another presidential campaign, Clinton risks harming not only her own image, but the anti-Trump resistance she wants to help.

Run, Hillary, run!

TAMMY BRUCE: Why the media’s attempt to hobble Trump admin w contrived Comey drama will fail.

Mr. Trump’s one mistake upon taking office was not immediately sweeping out bureaucratic and partisan hacks like Ms. Yates and Mr. Comey. We wanted a team that was from outside the disaster, and with that comes a learning curve. With the firing of Mr. Comey, it became obvious that Mr. Trump now understands the nature of the beast he is assigned to dispatch.

The harpies in legacy media and in Congress scream about the timing of the firing, as though this is some evidence of nefarious intent.

That’s nonsense, and they know it.

The fact is this: With the firing of Mr. Comey, Andrew McCabe is now the acting FBI director. About Mr. McCabe’s wife, the Daily Mail reported: “Before McCabe was appointed as the Deputy Director of the FBI, his wife Jill McCabe ran as a Democrat for the Virginia State senate in 2015. Her campaign received funds from the state Democratic Party and a political action committee run by Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe is a close friend of the Clintons and before his group, Common Good VA, donated to McCabe’s campaign, Hillary Clinton headlined a fundraiser for the PAC.”

Even without this Democratic partisan waiting in the wings to take over the FBI, it’s clear no investigation at the FBI is quashed because the director leaves. No matter who takes the helm, the work in progress continues.

If Trump had immediately fired everyone who deserved it, we’d barely have any government left to function — not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I STAND WITH RAND: Rand Paul Doesn’t Want a Special Prosecutor on Russia: “I think a lot of the uproar is concocted,” the libertarian senator tells CNN.

I continue to think it eminently possible that the whole Russian-collusion thing was hatched after Hillary lost because there was so much illicit spying on the Trump campaign.

THEY’VE STAYED DIALED UP TO 11 EVER SINCE HILLARY BLEW THE ELECTION: Jacob Sullum: Firing the FBI Director Is Not a ‘Constitutional Crisis:’ Democrats should take a deep breath.

ROGER SIMON: Comey’s Out. Who’s Next for Rosenstein? “If I were Hillary Clinton, I’d be afraid.  I’d be very afraid.”

TWITCHY: ‘Calm down, Skippy’ Sen. Brian Schatz declares full-fledged constitutional crisis after Comey firing.

I’m so old I can remember when Comey needed to bet fired for spoiling Hillary Clinton’s surefire election win and/or handing the White House to Vladimir Putin.

USA TODAY: James Comey’s Firing Was Inevitable:

How the mighty have fallen. In March, Comey was hailed as “the most powerful person in Washington.” But those who are tagged “most powerful” have a funny way of quickly being shown up, particularly when they serve at the pleasure of the president. In Comey’s case, his power supposedly was based on his ongoing investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election, an investigation which has turned up nothing of great importance, certainly nothing to substantiate charges of Russia “hacking the election.”

In fact, Comey had been a dead man walking for some time. He was a director without a constituency. He had tried to strike a balance in a sharply divided political environment and wound up alienating both sides. He had to go.

Democrats blame him for Hillary Clinton’s election loss. Just last week Hillary Clinton said if the election were held October 27 she would be the president – that is, the day before Comey’s dramatic note to Congress that he had reopened the FBI’s investigation into her alleged mishandling of classified information through her bootleg email server.

Then two days before the election Comey said “never mind.” The Bureau had hastily reviewed the 49,000 potentially relevant emails it had found on a laptop owned by disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, and nothing there changed its conclusions from the previous July when he had called out Mrs. Clinton for lying but did not recommend prosecution.

Whether this rollercoaster ride had an impact on the election is one question, but Comey’s seemingly erratic behavior so close to an election was quite another. I was at a meeting with some senior members of the law enforcement community when Comey backed off the investigation and they expressed utter bewilderment at what he was doing. It went beyond how this would affect Comey’s career or his reputation; he was potentially tarnishing the Bureau itself. And for all this Comey said he had no regrets.

Read the whole thing.

BREAKING: FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY IS FIRED BY TRUMP.

As Ace writes, “I’m cool with that. FBI Director Rudy Giuliani?”

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): WaPo:

Officials released a Tuesday memo from the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, laying out the rationale behind Comey’s dismissal.

“The FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice,’’ Rosenstein wrote. “I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.’’

In a letter to Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he agreed.

“I have concluded that a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI,’’ Sessions wrote. “I must recommend that you remove Director James B. Comey, Jr. and identify an experienced and qualified individual to lead the great men and women of the FBI.’’

Shortly before the announcement, the FBI notified Congress by letter that Comey had misstated key findings involving the Hillary Clinton email investigation during testimony last week. . . .

In defending the probe at last week’s hearing, Comey offered seemingly new details to underscore the seriousness of the situation FBI agents faced last fall when they discovered thousands of Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s emails on the computer of her husband, Anthony Weiner.

“Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,” Comey said, adding later, “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him I think to print out for her so she could then deliver them to the secretary of state.” . . .

At another point in the testimony, Comey said Abedin “forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information.’’

Neither of those statements is accurate, said people close to the investigation.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the sight of Democrats who were calling for Comey to be fired suddenly turning him into a Saturday Night Massacre martyr.

Flashback: Ex-AGs Alberto Gonzales, Eric Holder, Michael Mukasey rip FBI director. Well, sure, those Republican hacks would — wait, what?

STELTER, TUR CLASH WITH JORGE RAMOS ON BEING ‘STAND-INS FOR DEMOCRATS:’

At a recent National Press Club panel on the current state of the U.S. news media, the fireworks really erupted when Ramos objected to a statement made by Tur, in which she basically exhorted journalists to uphold core journalistic standards.

KATY TUR, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: Continue to report on the facts. Be as fair as you possibly can be. Be partial to the truth, and don’t be alarmist when it’s unnecessary.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: May I, uh, disagree?

After interrupting Tur for apparently advocating a much too orthodox approach to the practice of the profession, Ramos proceeded to urge the attendees at the National Press Club event to favor instead his ‘holy war’ approach to covering Trump.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Our position, I think, has to be much more aggressive. And we should not expect the Democrats to do that job. It is our job. If we don’t question the president, if we don’t question his lies, if we don’t do it, who is gonna do it? It’s an uncomfortable position…

BRIAN STELTER, HOST, CNN’S RELIABLE SOURCES: You’re almost saying we’re a stand-in for the Democrats.

“Almost.” Just think of them as Democrat operatives with bylines (and in Ramos’ case, a daughter who was employed the Hillary campaign) and it all makes sense.

VIDEO: Obama Communications Director Doubts Hillary Would Have Won Before Comey.

RUN, HILLARY, RUN! Hillary’s election loss excuse means one thing — She’s running in 2020.

Michael Goodwin:

With the party demoralized and divided, and holding the fewest number of elected seats in a century, Clinton’s return will likely prolong the misery. While she’s a media magnet, she’s also a political dead end, having lost two presidential runs and ceded the future to the Bernie Sanders’ socialist wing.

It’s hard to imagine her as the party’s savior, yet, instead of going away quietly, she’ll be competing with its candidates for money and attention. Anything she gets will come at the expense of new leaders and ideas.

On the other hand, what’s bad for Dems is great for Trump. Clinton’s decision to jump back into partisan politics is a gift to the president.

With polls showing little buyers’ remorse over the election, any contrast between the sitting president and his defeated opponent favors him. Especially because Clinton is stuck in the same tiresome blame game that helped cost her the election.

Her excuse-mongering has become… deplorable.

SALENA ZITO: Hillary’s perfectly crafted untruths.

Trump’s willingness to say what he thought during the 2016 campaign endeared him to his supporters. Unlike the press, Trump supporters understood that Trump shot from the hip and would make mistakes. To many of them, his walking-back of some of what he said then makes sense; is a sign of learning, not of duplicity.

Compare this to Clinton’s interview Monday with Christiane Amanpour: She conceded to mistakes during the campaign, offered to write a “confessional” seeking “absolution” — and then blamed it all on FBI Director James Comey.

Bruce Haynes, founding partner of the bipartisan Purple Strategies consulting firm, calls this typical political doublespeak: “She may as well have said, ‘Wasn’t on me, bro.’ She says she takes responsibility but, in the next breath, she blames James Comey, WikiLeaks, Vladimir Putin and who knows who else.”

“Clinton neglected to include things like calling voters ‘deplorable’ and ‘irredeemable’ and failing to adequately campaign in states like Michigan, where voters had the highest levels of economic anxiety and the biggest questions about what her policies would do to help,” Haynes said.

The reality is, she put her campaign at risk by using a private email server, while the campaign’s decision to try to manipulate the Democratic primaries in her favor (and its embarrassing internal emails that others exposed) also helped to put her in a bad light. Comey didn’t put the email server in her basement, Putin didn’t invent the phrase “basket of deplorables,” and Julian Assange didn’t write the embarrassing campaign emails, said Haynes.

It’s clear that Clinton just isn’t responsible or mature enough to be President.

UPDATE: Link was incorrect before — fixed now, sorry!

I FEEL SAD FOR THE ALTERNATE-GLENN WHO HAS TO LIVE IN THAT UNIVERSE: Hillary Clinton imagines an alternate universe in which she is president.

CHOOSE YOUR HOLLYWOOD DYSTOPIA: Hillary Clinton Warns of a Handmaid’s Tale Future.

As opposed to The Giver: A Chilling Cinematic Peek into Hillary Clinton’s Infamous Village.

SALENA ZITO: Hillary’s Perfectly Crafted Untruths.

Last week two politicians made news for the ways they communicated to Americans: Clinton’s words were crafted, deliberate and dishonest; President Trump’s words were a string of thoughts bouncing everywhere — with no craft, no massaging and they contained great gaps of context.

The press reacted wistfully to the former; to the latter, it went into full meltdown. Again.

Which is, of course, Trump’s goal.

CENTRAL CASTING WOULD PUT HER IN THE FAYE DUNAWAY ROLE: Hillary Clinton Warns of a ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Future.

ASHE SCHOW: Hillary Clinton Still Blames Everyone Else — And Even The Left Isn’t Buying It.

DAVID HARSANYI: Comey Didn’t Sink Hillary. Hillary Sank Hillary.

Clinton’s counterfactual tale about the infamous “Comey letter” has been a security blanket for many Democrats. But, as luck would have it, the FBI director was testifying in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee today, and he reminded us of some factors that Clinton ignored. That’s because even if we concede that Comey’s letter to Congress helped sink Clinton, Hillary deserved that letter, and the FBI director had no choice but to send it.

In essence, what many Democrats have been arguing for the past six months is that Comey should have actively buried evidence that was pertinent to an ongoing congressional investigation — one that, incidentally, had turned up plenty of potential wrongdoing — because it might hurt their preferred candidate’s chances.

On Tuesday, Comey, in fact, confirmed that the FBI had learned that classified emails were forwarded from Clinton’s email account by Clinton aide Huma Abedin to her husband Anthony Weiner so he could print them out. (This appears to be illegal, but perhaps all those immunity deals Comey was handing out came in handy.) Her computer, like other servers and laptops that Hillary’s staff tried to dispose of, hide, clean, and whatnot, were supposed to have been in the hands of the FBI.

It’s worth pointing out that everything in the Comey letter was almost surely going to leak anyway. Not only because of its connection to the Hillary investigation, but because this “fella Anthony Weiner,” as Comey referred to him today, had access to classified information. That may not have made things any better for Hillary, but it certainly would have made the FBI look like it was actively protecting a candidate — which is undoubtedly why Comey said it was potentially “catastrophic.”

The fact is that Comey’s superiors at the Justice Department did actively protect Hillary Clinton as best they could, as Charlie Martin posited yesterday:

Comey knew that the Justice Department was no way going to indict Hillary. The “intent” excuse was just that — an excuse (18 USC 793(f) again.) At the same time, he could not bring himself to let a multiple felon be elected President.

There’s no way of knowing what Comey’s thinking really was, but Charlie’s theory goes a long way towards explaining Comey’s erratic behavior.

The best thing for the Democrats would have been not to use the DNC to stack the deck against Bernie Sanders, and not to use Justice to “hack” the election for Clinton — but it seems they just couldn’t help themselves.

And for once, a Clinton was hoist on her own petard.

RUN, HILLARY, RUN! Hillary Clinton Will Launch a New PAC.

The Democrats’ bench is as thin as it’s ever been — so why not?

OUR SAD, RACIST, FORMER PRESIDENT TREATED WOMEN AS OBJECTS: “A close mutual friend of the couple recalls Obama explaining that ‘the lines are very clearly drawn. . . . If I am going out with a white woman, I have no standing here.'”

“Hollow core.” Weird that none of this stuff came out before now. On the other hand, if it had come out in 2008, we would have gotten President Hillary. So thanks, conspiracy of silence!

LAWS ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE, PART I: Comey Tells Congressional Panel: Classified Emails from Hillary’s Server Were Forwarded to Anthony Weiner.

“SHUT UP,” SHE EXPLAINED. Wasserman Schultz: Public should mind your own business on Obama $400K speaking fee.

“Of all people to question … their commitment to getting money out of politics, to really making sure we restored integrity to political finance process, President Obama couldn’t have done more,” Wasserman Schultz told CNN host Erin Burnett on Tuesday evening.

Wasserman Schultz, who was ousted as Democratic National Committee chairwoman last summer for colluding with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, said Obama has a history of fighting “against the big banks,” despite his decision to now accept a large sum of money to address the Wall Street group.

“Look, it is none of anyone’s business what someone who is a member of the private sector decides to accept in terms of compensation,” Wasserman Schultz added. “With all due respect to anyone who chooses to comment publicly on what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or anyone earns as a member of the private sector, it’s just MYOB.”

To translate into ObamaSpeak, “If you like your opinion, you can keep it to yourself. Period.”

GERSH KUNTZMAN: Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be writing a book — she should be drafting a long apology to America.

Hey, Hillary Clinton, shut the f— up and go away already.

I voted for Clinton on Nov. 8 and thought she’d be a good president.

But she lost. And she still wants us to feel bad about that. And, worse, she’s still blaming everyone else.

On Tuesday at the Women for Women conference, she reminded us again what a flawed candidate she was last year — and what a flawed person she has always been.

In her talk before a friendly audience, Clinton said she’s writing a memoir — and said it’s “painful” to revisit how Donald Trump beat her like a ragdoll in an election that was a lock.

Painful? We’re the ones in pain, Hillary. You’re making millions to process it. We’re the ones living it.

The lingering bitterness isn’t limited to Hillary herself.

SHE’LL BLAME EVERYBODY BUT HERSELF: Clinton blames Comey, WikiLeaks for election loss. She’s willing to take responsibility for her defeat, but not the blame.

But hey, run, Hillary, run! Hillary 2020 — the Revenge Tour!

AND I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT TOO, IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU MEDDLING KIDS AT THE FBI! Hillary Clinton: ‘I was on the way to winning’ until Comey probe, WikiLeaks:

She did say that now she’s focusing on being a citizen and part of the “resistance” when she’s not “in the woods,” a joke at her own expense from the early days after the election when a photo of her hiking in the woods went viral.

“I’m now back to being an activist citizen, and part of the resistance,” said Mrs. Clinton.

Imagine if McCain or Romney had said something similar about “resisting” Obama’s socialism six months after their respective defeats.

Related: “’You cannot get cell coverage for mile,’ Clinton says of the places that voted against her.” Plus, “Most amazing thing Hillary accomplished was making a billionaire living in a gaudy gilded tower seem more down to earth to middle America.”

More: “It’s truly amazing to watch Mitt Romney who was all but raped by the press never blame anyone for his loss while Hillary blames shadows.”

IN THE MAIL: Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.

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And, remember, brand new Lightning Deals, updated every hour. Get them while you can!

RIGGED: DNC argues in court: We don’t owe anyone a fair primary process.

The Democratic National Committee is currently defending itself in court against a lawsuit brought by Bernie Sanders supporters over the Democratic presidential primary process. And the proceedings, including an April 25 hearing in which the party argued the case should be dismissed, are already becoming quite amusing.

As Michael Sainato puts it in the Observer, “lawyers representing the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz double[d] down on arguments confirming the disdain the Democratic establishment has toward Bernie Sanders supporters and any entity challenging the party’s status quo.”

Hillary 2020! Slogan: This time, it really IS her turn!

MARC THIESSEN: The past 100 days have been a disaster — for Democrats.

But most damaging has been the Democrats’ seemingly nonstop efforts to further alienate the millions of Americans who twice voted for Barack Obama but switched to Trump last year. The president’s critics have pointed to a Post-ABC News poll, which showed that Trump had not expanded his base of support since he took office. Well, Trump did not need to expand his base. He won the election (and the poll suggested that if the election were held again today, he would not only defeat Hillary Clinton again but also win the popular vote this time).

The ones who need to expand their base are Democrats — the party that lost — and they utterly failed to so. According to the Post-ABC News poll, only 2 percent of Americans who voted for Trump regret their votes, while fully 96 percent say it was the right thing to do. In other words, after 100 days, Democrats made no inroads with these Obama-Trump voters. Quite the opposite, today just 28 percent of Americans say that the Democratic Party is in touch with the concerns of most Americans today — 10 points behind Trump.

Perhaps one reason is that Democrats have made clear their deep-seated contempt for the values of working-class, socially conservative Democrats who left their party in droves last year.

Even uber-lefty Greg Sargent gets it:

Top Democratic pollsters have conducted private focus groups and polling in an effort to answer that question, and they shared the results with me.

One finding from the polling stands out: A shockingly large percentage of these Obama-Trump voters said Democrats’ economic policies will favor the wealthy — twice the percentage that said the same about Trump. . . .

50 percent of Obama-Trump voters said their incomes are falling behind the cost of living, and another 31 percent said their incomes are merely keeping pace with the cost of living.

A sizable chunk of Obama-Trump voters — 30 percent — said their vote for Trump was more a vote against Clinton than a vote for Trump. Remember, these voters backed Obama four years earlier.

42 percent of Obama-Trump voters said congressional Democrats’ economic policies will favor the wealthy, vs. only 21 percent of them who said the same about Trump.

Well, when you’re the party of urban gentry and $400,000 Wall Street speaking fees, people will tend to think that. And I don’t think Tom Perez, who looks like a 1970s central-casting Marxist agitator, will change things either.

PERSONAL AMBITION IS NOT A MANDATE; GREED IS NOT A VOCATION: Hillary’s presidential bid was doomed from the beginning.

I REMEMBER WHEN PEOPLE WERE PREDICTING THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WOULD GO THE WAY OF THE WHIGS: Exit the Dems, Stage Left:

This week the Draft Bernie for a People’s Party got a rather high-profile devotee in Harvard professor Cornel West, who used an op-ed in The Guardian to announce his imminent departure from the Democratic Party.

“We must admit that the Democratic Party has failed us, and we have to move on,” he wrote. “Where? To what?”

The People’s Party, he added, “builds on the ruins of a dying Democratic Party and creates new constituencies in this moment of transition and liquidation.”

West, a professor of The Practice of Public Philosophy, did a fair amount of public philosophizing about the 2016 election, insisting that it was one “which Democrats lost more than Republicans won” in large part because the party “put forward a Wall Street-connected and openly militaristic candidate with little charisma.”

Ouch! It’s enough to make you feel sorry for poor Hillary. And apparently the current darling of Democratic progressives, Massachusetts’ Sen. Elizabeth Warren, just won’t do.

“Only the ubiquitous and virtuous Bernie remains true to the idea of fundamental transformation of the party — and even he admits that seeking first-class seats on the Titanic is self-deceptive and self-destructive,” West wrote.

As for issues, well, the movement wants single-payer health care, is opposed to fracking, opposed to TPP (just like Donald Trump) and West in particular is “opposed to Israeli occupation” (it’s unclear whether that means simply the West Bank).

And, of course, there is the matter of age. Sure, Bernie’s a robust 75 today, but that would make him 79 in 2020. Guess there’s no expiration date on lefties.

Old people with old ideas, running as the party of youth.

SAMANTHA BEE ON CNN: THERE IS NO ‘SMUG LIBERAL PROBLEM:’

During their discussion, Tapper dredged up a New York Times opinion piece from September 2016 warning Hillary Clinton of her “Samantha Bee problem.” The column noted that not only Bee is the problem but all stuck up liberals as well. Bee laughed and denied such a problem existed.

“Oh my God, my name was in an article. It’s me! It’s not racism, it’s just me,” she quipped, targeting President Trump’s base. “You know what? I’ll just wait—I’ll wait for all that evidence roll in and then I’ll— then I’ll make up my mind after that.”

After Bee and Tapper joked around about her negative influence, he asked: “Does he have a point about smug liberals? I’m not talking about you. But is there a smug liberal problem?” “I just can’t take responsibility for the way the election turned out,” she responded before denying that such a problem played a role in 2016.

Yeah, I just can’t see it myself, either.

UPDATE: “Please, please keep this up, and Trump will win 48 states in 2020.”

HE’S NOT A MESSIAH, HE’S JUST A VERY NAUGHTY BOY: Maher on Obama speaking fee: Isn’t that what cost Clinton the election?

HBO host Bill Maher on Friday slammed former President Obama for reportedly accepting $400,000 for a Wall Street speech this fall, asking, “Isn’t that what sort of cost Hillary the election?”

The “Real Time” host faced off with panelists on the “Overtime” segment of his show over reports that Obama will speak at Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s healthcare conference in September for $400,000.

Former GOP communications director Tara Setmayer defended Obama’s decision.

“Personally, as long as he’s not running for office again, I don’t care how much money he makes,” Setmayer told Maher. “If people want to pay him that, it’s a free market value. Who cares?”

Maher responded by noting the crushing criticism Hillary Clinton got during the presidential election for her paid Wall Street speeches.

“But wait a second, the current president is trying to undo all of his Wall Street regulations, and then he goes to Wall Street and takes [money]. Isn’t that what sort of cost Hillary the election?” he asked.

“Are those ‘horrible’ speeches she made to Wall Street and she couldn’t release the transcripts of it?”

Actor and liberal activist Rob Reiner said the comparison isn’t applicable because unlike with Clinton’s speeches, Obama’s are coming after his political career is entirely over.

“The difference is, ‘Are you in the pocket of Wall Street?’ And [Hillary Clinton] was running for office. He’s not running for anything right now.”

Maher responded that Reiner’s stance seemed hypocritical.

“Seemed?” Trump should troll Obama by proposing a 90% excise tax on speaking fees by former Executive officials. And announcing that he’d be happy to pay that tax!

THE DEVIL SHALL NOT BE MOCKED AND HILLARY CLINTON SHALL NOT BE INVESTIGATED: Hillary Clinton insisted on calling the FBI investigation into the private email system she established to conduct official business as Secretary of State a “security review.”

I WORKED AT FYRE FESTIVAL. IT WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A DISASTER:

Then yesterday, to my dark delight, the rug was pulled out from under them. In the morning headliner and all-around relevant band in 2017 Blink-182 pulled out, citing sub-par production standards. Last night the festival evacuated almost everyone off the island on account of they didn’t have food or tents for anyone (minor details). Today, after a wild night of #fyrefestival terror broadcast on social media, Fyre announced the festival would be indefinitely postponed.

I cannot explain how or why the bros running this festival ignored every warning sign they were given along the way. The writing was on the wall. I saw it firsthand six weeks ago. They overlooked so many very basic things. And baby, they forgot to make me sign an NDA.

Heh, indeed.™ Was the Fyre Festival organized by out of work Hillary campaign staffers?

THE FANTASY-BASED COMMUNITY: Cersei Lannister, Hillary Clinton, human nature, and bad government.

TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY: The Democrats’ First 100 Days.

Matthew Continetti:

Democrats feel betrayed. The Electoral College betrayed them by making Trump president. Hillary Clinton betrayed them by running an uninspiring campaign. James Comey betrayed them by reopening the investigation into Clinton’s server 11 days before the election. Facebook betrayed them by circulating fake news. This sense of resentment isn’t so different than the sort Democrats attribute to Trump supporters: irritation at a loss of status, vexation at changed circumstances. The despondence of a liberal is alleviated when he sees throngs of protesters, hears Samantha Bee, scrolls through Louise Mensch’s tweets.

Makes him feel better. But his party is in tatters, reduced to 16 governors, 30 state legislative chambers, a historically low number of state legislative seats, 193 members of the House, 46 senators. The Democrats are leaderless, rudderless, held together only by opposition to Trump. The most popular figure on the left refuses to call himself a Democrat while sitting alongside the newly elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee. That chairman, dirty-talking Tom Perez, represents a professional, technocratic class that supports Wall Street and globalization as long as there is room for multiculturalism and social liberalism. That is a different strategy from both the 50-state approach of Howard Dean, Rahm Emanuel, and Schumer that brought Democrats control of Congress in 2006, and the anti-Wall Street, protectionist, single-payer left of Bernie Sanders. Perez fights with Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi over whether there is room for pro-lifers in the party—Perez thinks not. Pelosi enjoys the distinction of being an American political figure less popular than Donald Trump.

What is the Democratic agenda?

The question can be answered with just three words: “Resist we much.”

STILL NOT HITLER: 100 Days in and the Reichstag Hasn’t Burned Yet.

With President Trump’s 100 day mark approaching, those prophesying apocalyptic doom have not come out looking so good.

There have been no mass arrests of peaceful protestors. Federal judges rule against presidential orders, the President sputters in indignation—and the rulings stand. Putin hasn’t been offered the code to the nuclear football. Late night comics excoriate the president and the Gestapo doesn’t knock at their door. The grifters and mountebanks who hopped on the campaign wagon back when nobody in the establishment was willing to help the Trump operation are either learning to play in the big leagues or being edged toward the exits. The stock market is strong; the economy hasn’t tanked. An avalanche of leaks hasn’t exposed the collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign that so many people were sure was going to lead to impeachment.

In other words, life in our constitutional republic is still rolling on much as usual—or at least, closer to usual than any of the hyperventilators predicted. Congress and the courts are functioning as they did before; the powers of the President are still limited by the rule of law. . . .

But the Trump-Hitler folks made buffoons of themselves with paranoid fantasies and steamy, overheated scenarios of impending doom. Some will be big enough to admit their mistake, look hard at what they got wrong and why, and emerge as smarter and more creditworthy participants in the national conversation. Others, many others, will try to act as if nothing has happened, and will wonder why nobody listens the next time they cry “Wolf.”

Yep. Flashback: Perhaps we should require reading “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in journalism schools.

AND WE’RE ONLY LEARNING OF THIS IN 2017 BECAUSE…? FBI Convened a Grand Jury to Investigate Hillary Clinton in 2016.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Democrats are still rushing to extremes.

Jolted by Hillary Clinton’s unexpected loss to Donald Trump, Democrats and progressives have retreated to an alternate reality. In this safe space that they’ve created for themselves, Clinton didn’t lose so much as the Russians won.

Red Mania hasn’t been confined to the fringe, but is being promoted by Democratic representatives, including Maxine Waters and Ted Lieu.

Waters took it so far as to suggest on MSNBC that GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, is leaving Congress because of his “connections” to “what is going on in the Ukraine and perhaps in Russia itself.”

Their reward for pushing this craziness? Becoming national heroes to the Democratic faithful.

As Mencken said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

TRUMP WON’T SELL AS MANY AS BARACK DID, OR HILLARY WOULD HAVE: New AR-15 Rifles for 2017.

IT TAKES A HEART OF STONE NOT TO LAUGH LIKE AN HYENA: Hillary camp scrambling to find out who leaked embarrassing info.

WHITE MALE STALKERS OF MEDIA PATRIARCHY DARE QUESTION CHELSEA CLINTON!

I’m so old, I remember when the left chastised white male patriarchal stalkers because they supported a Clinton woman.

And Chelsea is even less ready for her close-up than Norma Desmond Hillary Clinton.

Click to watch.

DEMOCRATS GONE WILD: With children on stage behind him, Perez told an audience in Las Vegas this weekend that Trump “doesn’t give a shit about health care.”

From the comments, a new GOP ad is suggested: “They won’t behave on stage. Imagine how they’ll behave with your money. The American people deserve better.”

It was just a few months ago they were going to the fainting couches over Trump. Remember? Hillary Ad: “Our Children Are Watching.”

GOODBYE, NANNY STATE: Joel Kotkin & Wendell Cox: The Politics of Migration: From Blue to Red.

Democratic “blue” state attitudes may dominate the national media, but they can’t yet tell people where to live. Despite all the hype about a massive “back to the city” movement and the supposed superiority of ultra-expensive liberal regions, people are increasingly moving to red states and regions, as well as to suburbs and exurbs.

This is the basic takeaway from the most recent IRS data and Census Bureau estimates, which have been widely ignored in the established media. Essentially, Americans are rejecting what Walter Russell Mead has labelled “the blue model,” and relocating to cities, states and regions that are less dense, less heavily taxed, and less regulated.

This suggests not an intrinsic political calculation so much as a series of very personal decisions by individuals and families. People move for varied reasons — cheaper homes, lower taxes, employment opportunities, better schools, more value to the paycheck — but the upshot is that they are settling in states that tend to be red or, at least, purple in political coloration.

In 2016 alone, states that supported Donald Trump gained 400,000 domestic migrants from states that supported Hillary Clinton.

Well, Blue cities are cesspits of racism, corruption, crime, and violence.

STUFF JUST GOT REAL: French Parties Unify Against Le Pen: ‘This Is Deadly Serious Now’.

Pieces like this one are trying to pass off centrist Emmanuel Macron as an outsider, but his centrism is what made him the French establishment’s preferred candidate-of-last-resort.

MORE HUMILIATION FOR HILLARY: Poll: Trump would beat Clinton in a rematch among 2016 voters. “Good lord. It’s one thing to blow an election once, but to lose hypothetically to a guy with a 42 percent approval rating again? Is there no limit to the humiliation the Clintons will suffer at Trump’s hands?”

WAPO: Trump Polling Badly — Except With His Base, Which Loves Him.

There are no signs of major slippage in support among those who voted for Trump. His approval rating among those who cast ballots for him stands at 94 percent. Among Republicans, it is 84 percent. Asked of those who voted for him whether they regret doing so, 2 percent say they do, while 96 percent say supporting Trump was the right thing to do.When asked if they would vote for him again, 96 percent say they would, which is higher than the 85 percent of Hillary Clinton voters who say they would support her again.

Trump is also satisfying the substantial share of the electorate that voted for him with some reservation. Among Trump voters who say they were “somewhat enthusiastic” or less excited about supporting him, 88 percent approve of his current performance and 79 percent say he understands the problems of people like them.

Wow.

WELL, THAT WAS ONE OF MANY THINGS NOT TO TRUST HER ABOUT: NYT: Comey distrusted Lynch on Clinton.

FBI Director James Comey distrusted former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and senior officials at the Justice Department, believing they might provide Hillary Clinton with political cover over her email, according to a new report published Saturday by The New York Times.

The Times described Comey’s “go-it-alone strategy” in the Clinton probe as emerging largely from his suspicions that Lynch and others at Justice might seek to subtly downplay the Clinton investigation.

As an example, the Times reported that Lynch, during a meeting in September 2015, called on Comey to use the word “matter” instead of “investigation” when publicly discussing the case, three people who attended the meeting told the Times.

Lynch reportedly reasoned that the word “investigation” would raise a number of other questions. Furthermore, she argued that the department should maintain its policy of not confirming investigations.

After referring to the FBI the question of whether classified information had been improperly handled by Clinton through her use of a private server, a step toward a criminal investigation, Justice clarified that it was not a “criminal referral.”

This also raised suspicions at the FBI, according to the Times. Clinton seized on the wording to say that what the FBI was conducting was “not a criminal investigation.”

Lynch came under pressure to recuse herself from the investigation entirely after she had a discussion with former President Bill Clinton in June 2016 on he plane as it sat on the tarmac of Phoenix’s airport.

Lynch did not recuse herself, but the situation did lead her to say she would accept what ever conclusions career prosecutors and the FBI reached.

The DOJ under Lynch (and Obama) was corrupt and politicized. And most of the people who were there then are there now.

IF ONLY SHE HAD A HUSBAND WHO WAS A PAST MASTER OF RETAIL POLITICS: Hillary’s staffers “stumped for month by how to explain why their candidate wanted to be president:”

The real protagonist of this book is a Washington political establishment that has lost the ability to explain itself or its motives to people outside the Beltway.

In fact, it shines through in the book that the voters’ need to understand why this or that person is running for office is viewed in Washington as little more than an annoying problem.

In the Clinton run, that problem became such a millstone around the neck of the campaign that staffers began to flirt with the idea of sharing the uninspiring truth with voters. Stumped for months by how to explain why their candidate wanted to be president, Clinton staffers began toying with the idea of seeing how “Because it’s her turn” might fly as a public rallying cry.

Ted Kennedy could not be reached in Hell for comment and belly laughs.

SOMETHING IS HAPPENING HERE BUT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS, DO YOU, MRS. JONES? “The campaign had no central message and, worse, it featured an unpleasant but clueless Hillary Clinton, who confided to a close friend, ‘I don’t understand what’s happening in the country.’”

Epistemic closure — now there’s a confidence booster in a presidential candidate. Say what you will about Trump’s excesses, he did understand on a gut level what was happening in the country, and acted upon it accordingly.

Related: “Wouldn’t it have been nice to know there was a ‘feeling of impending doom’ inside the Clinton campaign last year?”

FAKE NEWS? Old-school journalists ‘pissed’ about Gayle King’s vacation with Obamas:

Gayle King’s serious CBS colleagues had a lot to say about her recent yacht jaunt with former first couple Barack and Michelle Obama in Tahiti, and it wasn’t positive.

“The ‘Capital J’ journalists are pissed and raving mad that she was on a yacht with the Obamas over the weekend. The old-school people were talking about it. She shouldn’t be doing that. She’s an anchor of a news program that covers the White House. You’re held to a different standard. It’s one thing to be friendly. It’s another thing to go vacationing on a yacht,” a source told us of the backlash at CBS.

CBS is denying that there’s any rancor internally directed at King, which makes sense, considering that her colleague Charlie Rose pretended to have no clue about candidate Obama’s foreign policy stance on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, and last year sat with two of Obama’s speechwriters while all three laughed on air about the Big Lie of Obamacare — the over 36 times Obama told Americans, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

CBS Nightly News anchor and 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley once compared global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers, and admitted recently to accepting at face value the Hillary campaign’s story and not investigating further the cause of her infamous collapse on September 11th last year.

John Dickerson, the host of Face the Nation and the “political director” for CBS, wrote an article for Slate in 2013 charmingly titled “Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.” This was followed last year by his asking Obama, ‘Is honesty overrated as a presidential quality?’

And the boss of CBS’s news division is David Rhodes, the brother of Obama’s infamous former deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes.

Just think of them all as Democrat operatives with bylines and lavaliere microphones, and it all makes sense.

OF COURSE THEY DID: Clinton Camp Instituted ‘Loyalty Scores’ Following 2008 Loss.

Clinton had two staffers “toil” to rate every Democrat members of Congress on a scale of one to seven — one being the most loyal — after she lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama in 2008. Her husband Bill Clinton then deliberately campaigned against the disloyal “sevens” in subsequent primary elections, and succeeded in getting some of them removed. Some of those who remained apparently took note, and were quick to endorse Hillary in 2016.

The idea of this person controlling the weaponized Executive Branch is beyond unnerving.

MATT TAIBBI: It still isn’t Hillary’s fault.

Shattered is sourced almost entirely to figures inside the Clinton campaign who were and are deeply loyal to Clinton. Yet those sources tell of a campaign that spent nearly two years paralyzed by simple existential questions: Why are we running? What do we stand for?

If you’re wondering what might be the point of rehashing this now, the responsibility for opposing Donald Trump going forward still rests with the (mostly anonymous) voices described in this book.

What Allen and Parnes captured in Shattered was a far more revealing portrait of the Democratic Party intelligentsia than, say, the WikiLeaks dumps. And while the book is profoundly unflattering to Hillary Clinton, the problem it describes really has nothing to do with Secretary Clinton.

The real protagonist of this book is a Washington political establishment that has lost the ability to explain itself or its motives to people outside the Beltway.

First it was Russians, then it was misogynists specifically, then it was men generally, and now Hillary’s loss is the fault of the “Washington political establishment.”

Of which Clinton was, I suppose, never, ever a member.

SO SHATTERED REVEALS SOME DEEP DISHONESTY ON HILARY’S PART ABOUT EMAILS, AS HUGH HEWITT NOTES:

HH: Jon Allen, you sly dog, throughout the course of the writing of this thing, you’ve been on my show a number of times, but we’ve had a number of cigars. We’ve lit up a couple of cigars and had long talks about the campaign. You never gave away any of the bigs. And I must tell you the biggest of the bit, and you know, I’ve read this thing, and I’m looking at it objectively as a reporter, is that Hillary autopsied her own server from 2008, and you never ever gave me a blinking look into that story, you bozo. How, you all along knew that had to be the lead, right?

JA: You know, that’s what we thought. We thought that was something that people would really latch onto. I’m surprised it hasn’t, you know, I’m not surprised that you latched onto it, but I’m surprised it hasn’t been more prominent in some of the reviews and the stories since the book has come out, although it’s only a day old. Yeah, she basically at the end of the 2008 campaign instructed one of her close aides to download the emails of some of her top campaign advisors to figure out who’d been talking to the press, who’d been doing the backstabbing, or presumably if anybody had been talking bad about her, and because she felt that this loyalty was a huge problem for her in 2008. So what she did was figured out how to get all these emails. Now you know, a few years later, she’s making the argument that she didn’t understand what she was doing in setting up a private server outside the State Department system. But it’s very hard to, it’s very hard to reconcile the idea that she understood well enough that she could download her own aides’ emails, but didn’t understand that by putting a server outside the State Department, she was basically preventing people from getting her information during a campaign season, unless of course as happened, there was a court order to retrieve those emails.

HH: Amie Parnes, the implications of this revelation in Shattered are actually very enormous. And if in fact she ever comes before either a prosecutor or a Congressional committee again, they will be going to intention, management of her server as a result of this autopsy. Can you explain a little more at length while Duane redials up Jon to get a better connection? What actually happened here after the campaign of 2008 vis-à-vis her campaign server?

AP: Basically, she wanted to know what happened in her campaign. She wanted to know, obviously, leaking was a problem, a huge problem on her campaign. And she wanted to know exactly who was doing what. And she had this crazy, it was this enormous sort of autopsy that she did, a post-mortem where she met with lots of people, wanted to basically find out exactly what went wrong. This was part of it. So she ordered up one of her staffers to kind of go through, read all these emails and find out who was leaking what and where it all went wrong. And this was part of all of that. This was part of her post-mortem.

As a reader emails, “All of this contradicts her later statements & even testimony about how she didn’t know anything about servers.”

BUT THE GOP SHOULDN’T GET COCKY: How Democrats overplayed their hand with Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s special congressional election.

One event to watch will be this coming weekend’s Georgia’s sixth congressional district Republican Party convention. If the Republican family starts coming together fairly quickly, this will bode well for Handel in the run-off.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Gray or Moody will start knocking on doors and raising money on behalf of Handel, but in talking to political operatives, most are saying that Gray and Moody supporters will eventually fall in line and cast their vote for Handel.

Handel says that Republicans in the district know that, “…There is too much at stake” for Republicans to remain divided. She is right, but more importantly Republicans outnumber Democrats by a healthy margin. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, which rates how much a congressional district leans Republican or Democratic, this suburban Atlanta district has a PVI score of R+8. That’s sizable no matter how you slice it.

In short, the dynamics for a special election run-off in a non-presidential year in a safe Republican district between a Democrat and a Republican favors Republicans. It’s that simple, no matter how hard Daily Kos would have us believe.

Ultimately, what will doom Democrats is all of the attention that they generated for this special election they really had no business winning. Ossoff is a weak candidate that is hardly an electric, dynamic or natural retail politician. He was, is and will continue to be a vessel for progressive dissatisfaction that still cannot believe that Hillary Clinton lost and Donald Trump is president.

That election drove a lot of Democrats (and some Republicans) more-or-less literally crazy. They’ll do better once they become sane, if they ever do.

AND JUST IMAGINE HOW SHE WOULD HAVE GOVERNED: Hillary ran the worst presidential campaign ever:

Campaign chairman Bob Teeter called Bush’s speechwriters into a meeting in June 1992.

Teeter set before them a chart that looked like the layout of “Hollywood Squares” or the “Brady Bunch” title sequence. Each of the nine boxes had a message the speechwriters were to use in crafting their work — things like “I have been president for 3½ years: Major accomplishments/record.”

There was nothing else in the box. “What I want from you,” Teeter said, “is to help me fill this empty box.”

After nearly four years as president, eight years as vice president and nearly 20 years in public life before that, Bush and his closest advisers could come up with no simple reason to give the voters for presenting him with a second term.

So, too, Hillary Clinton. Whatever Trump’s manifold weaknesses, that is what he had in abundance — Make America Great Again.

And Hillary? It was the empty box all over again.

Really? “I’m With Her” and “Ready for Hillary” and H with an arrow through it (that took three months to design) weren’t enough to put her over the top? But she had top men working for her behind the scenes. Top men.

STEVE HAYWARD: THE FATE TRUMP SPARED US.

The Trump White House may or may not be a scene of chaos and personnel conflict and Trump may yet turn out to be a poor president—certainly the media has an interest in exaggerating any difficulties there may be—but one thing is certain from the release of the new book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign: Trump has spared us a much worse fate in the form of President Hillary Clinton. . . .

Imagine the self-pity and doom the nation would have had if she had won, given that her administration would have been just as out of touch and incompetent as her campaign.

But cheer up. I see Chelsea Clinton is on the cover of Variety. So we have that to look forward to. We’ll never be rid of these people.

What did Variety do to her face? It looks like a bad photoshop job.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Hillary ran the worst presidential campaign ever.

John Podhoretz:

Campaign honcho Robby Mook “was worried about overspending . . . so he declined to use pollsters to track voter preferences in the final three weeks of the campaign.” Mook had learned from his time on the Obama 2012 campaign, Allen and Parnes write, that “old-school polling should be used for testing messages and gauging the sentiments of the electorate and that analytics were just as good for tracking which candidate was ahead and by how much in each state.”

Guess not.

Allen and Parnes report that the Republican National Committee did know — but just couldn’t accept it. The RNC didn’t brief reporters on early November polling data it had developed in Michigan and Pennsylvania, “because the upticks there were so rosy that party officials didn’t believe their own data.”

The day after the election, Hillary asked Mook “which decisions had been misguided, where they had erred in strategy and tactics. ‘Our data was wrong,’ he said . . . ‘OK,’ she replied.”

It is true that, but for 100,000 votes in three states, Hillary Clinton would be president today. It is also true that she ended the election with 3 million more votes than Trump. But it is also true, as “Shattered” makes indisputably clear, that she was unquestionably the worst major presidential candidate in our lifetime.

Others (like Bob Dole) did far worse. But they likely never really had a shot. Hillary had no business losing an election to Donald Trump — but Allen and Parnes pile up headshaking detail after headshaking detail from the very beginning of her campaign to its end showing that she and her people were incapable of making a good call.

But other than that, the question remains: “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?”

I THOUGHT SYRIA, LIBYA, AND IRAN TOOK CARE OF THAT: Hillary’s image of competence ‘shattered.’

LIBERAL TEARS: Hillary Clinton to President Obama on Election Night: ‘I’m Sorry’ I Lost.

She had to apologize to the man who kept her out of the White House in 2008 for losing the White House in 2016.