Sunday, November 20, 2016

3.6 - Democrats refusing to recognize their own failures

Democrats refusing to recognize their own failures

Here's one last part of that normalization and it shows how progressives are stuck fighting a sort of two-front war: one against the reactionary policies and convictions of the Great Orange One and his administration and the other against the liberal political establishment represented by the Dummycrat Party and a significant number of those who falsely lay claim to the honorable title of progressive.

Specifically, I'm talking about the attempts by that establishment to avoid any blame for their failures in this election. Even more specifically, about the quote reasons unquote that Clinton lost.

Four big reasons have been offered:
1. blame third parties
2. blame sexism
3. blame Russia
4. blame James Comey

What do all those have in common? They mean you don't have to look at your own candidate, at her flaws and failings, at her baggage.

And you don't have to look at the failings of your own campaign, you don't have to look at the fact that despite all the talk about it was "the white vote" that put TheRump in office, Clinton did just about as well with whites as Obama did in 2012. But she did seven points worse than he did with blacks - a deficit amplified by the fact that black turnout was down. She also did eight points worse with Latinos, 11 points worse with Asians, and five points worse among young voters.

Blame third parties, blame sexism, blame whatever else you can think of, and you don't have to consider any of that.

The point of the excuses, that is, is to insist we did nothing wrong, to insist that all we need to do is "sharpen our message," to insist that there is no need for us to change.

That notion, we know, is wrong just as those excuses are all either factually wrong or deeply flawed. Here are some reasons:

- The argument against third parties is based on a bizarre calculation done at CNN that if Clinton had gotten all of Jill Stein's vote and half of Gary Johnson's vote in four states - Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida -it would have tipped the election. That argument was eagerly echoed by liberal darling Rachel Maddow.

Besides being an exercise in pure fantasy, it's undermined by fact: The BBC reports that according to exit polls, only a quarter of Johnson and Stein voters would have backed Clinton if they had to pick between her and TheRump. About 15% would have backed him. And most - as much as 60% of the total - said they would have just stayed home if their only choices were those two.

- There was a lot of blaming sexism. For one example, big time blogger and writer for Amanda Marcotte said the election proved that "America would self-destruct rather than elect a female president."

Which is a rather strange not to say untenable argument when you remember that as of November 19, Clinton won the popular vote by a margin of over 1.5 million votes with more still to count.

- The "blame Russia" argument is based on the idea that hack of the DNC emails was supposedly done by a Russian agency. But the argument is made without reference to the fact that it was what was in the emails that was damaging, not the hack itself.

There is also an ominous undertone to the argument, which refers to the emails coming out "in dribs and drabs." But it wasn't Russia that released them to the public and media, it was WikiLeaks, so the argument actually implicates WikiLeaks as being part of a Russian plot to manipulate the US elections.

- Finally, there is some truth to the "blame Comey" argument as there is no question but that re-opening the wound about the emails hurt the Clinton campaign. But again, it's an argument made without reference to the fact that the original wound, the email server itself, was self-inflicted.

I'm going to stop here because there are still two things I want to get to so I'm going to have to put anything more off until the next show, which I promise you will be the last one post-morteming if there is such a word, the election.

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