Many of the Clintons’ most rabid enemies are not Republicans. They are fellow travelers, Democrats, who have long resented Bill and Hillary’s success, their intelligence, the network of supporters they grew from scratch, and — most galling to the left — the Clintons’ talent at turning practical Democratic principles into votes on election day. Hillary’s new book gives the saboteurs a new reason to whack her on the knees.
Yeah, I’ll get to the most recent “election day” in a moment, but what’s on my mind today is the pattern of resentment that began from the moment she entered the White House as First Lady, to her concession speech last November.
Back then I wrote an article for the Quarterly, “Women Who Hate Hillary.” I wrote that she was too smart, too accomplished, too attractive for many other women — especially professional women — to accept, much less admire. Most of what I wrote back then was tongue in cheek, but 20 years later I think it was closer to the truth than I realized at the time. The only difference today is that the resentment is not gender-based. There are certainly enough men among the Hillary-haters crowd to say we have reach gender equality.
Let’s be honest and admit that there are numerous theories about why she lost to Donald Trump. Trump thinks Hillary lost because he was a great candidate. Many think she lost because she was a terrible candidate. Within that spectrum, we can point fingers at the FBI director, the Russians, Bernie and his band of lefties, the media that ran scared at the sight of Trump, an Obama backlash, bad advice from her campaign team, and Democratic party regulars who were intent on doing as little as they could to help the woman they resented for so long.
My take is that all those reasons — excuses, really — have some merit (except the first, sorry Mr. President). My personal animus is directed more towards Sanders than anyone else, but that’s just me and I don’t pretend to be very objective about it.
So now Hillary wants to discuss the campaign from her perspective. The losing candidate, a woman who broke more glass ceilings for women than anyone else in our political history, wants to write about her campaign. Heaven help us!
The smug egotists on the far left don’t want to hear from her anymore. Though she won the popular election by several million votes, they want her to just fade away like an old soldier and not talk about losing an election she could have or should have won. They say her continued appearance in the limelight will ruin any chances they have in 2020.
To them I say, “Too bad!”
Their endless bad-mouthing of Hillary speaks volumes about their real priority. We have a demented, erratic president who is an embarrassment to our democracy and a threat to the civil liberties of all Americans, not to mention a danger to the world. Instead of saying “Hillary was right” and giving her credit for that, they blame her. Of course, that would mean that their own political ideology comes first; Hillary, the country, and ultimately the fate of the Democratic party are all at the end of the line.
The Hillary-haters don’t understand how much they need her. The reason is simple: left to their own twisted view of reality, in 2020 they will give us the Democratic version of Donald Trump: an extremist ideologue who doesn’t know how to bring two sides of an argument into the same room and hammer out a compromise when one is needed. To them compromise is a dirty word, forgetting that our electorate is so diverse demographically and politically, that compromise is the only way to accomplish anything in Washington. Just ask Bill Clinton.
If their chances in 2020 are ruined, it will have nothing to do with Hillary or her new book, although I am certain they would find a reason to blame her if they fail. My fear is that the 2016 campaign will be an excuse to move even farther to the left. Assuming they are really concerned about the next set of elections, I suggest that they focus on the current occupant of the White House and the fascists who support him.
Hillary’s not the enemy. Nor is Bill Clinton. If they want to find the real enemy of their success, they just have to look in the mirror.