Earlier today Ed Morrissey covered the shocking story of how Hillary Clinton’s popularity has totally failed to bounce back since her election loss, remaining even less popular than Donald Trump. (And by “shocking” I mean “not really shocking at all.”) He offered a few possible explanations for this phenomenon, but in his usual way, Ed tends to get bogged down in things like facts, data and common sense. Where’s the fun in that?
There’s got to be a hotter take out there which will satisfy the masses yearning for an answer. And to find it, we need look no further than Dave Weigel at the Washington Post. You can forget all of the tawdry details that Ed listed when it comes to this question. The real reason that Hillary isn’t growing in popularity is that you people just can’t let go of the 2016 election. And by “you people” he means pretty much everyone.
Why is this happening? Simple. Many people, including the president of the United States, refuse to let the 2016 election end. Few defeated candidates loom as large in our national conversation as Hillary Clinton, who has been some combination of famous and infamous since 1991. With that size comes an unusually lengthy half-life, as political actors who could move on have no idea how to frame their arguments without her.
Here’s the chief list of culprits included in Dave’s analysis:
The president can’t quit Hillary.
Okay, he’s got a point there. The POTUS does still tweet about her quite a bit and I for one could probably do without some of it.
Conservative media can’t quit Hillary.
That may be true, but she makes it pretty hard for us to do so. She just keeps showing up, making speeches and staying “in the mix.” Also, the activities of those associated with her during the campaign are still under scrutiny in Congress as well as the press. Believe me, plenty of us would love to be done with it but the curtain hasn’t dropped on that circus yet.
The left can’t quit (dunking on) Hillary.
You’re talking about the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren wing of the party here. And can you really blame them? If you want to find a villain to pin this one on, perhaps you could talk to Donna Brazile and Debbie Wasserman-Schutlz. They essentially shut Bernie out and set Hillary up for failure. If your own tribe is upset, they have fair reason to be.
But with all of that out of the way, what is Dave really saying here? It’s not just a case of former candidates being better than they were portrayed by their opponents or going forth to do good works and rehabilitate their image (the way Jimmy Carter has done for decades). The real reason, you see, is that time eventually binds all wounds and allows us to forget the ugliness while hanging on to the beauty. If all of you cretins would just stop talking about Hillary for a while we could begin the healing process. You’d eventually forget about the secret email servers, the mountains of shady money being laundered in her foundation and all the rest of it. And then we could just dwell on the more pleasant aspects of the Hillary 2016 experience, like the… er… the… um…
If you stop talking about her for a few months I’m sure I’ll come up with something.