Today’s entry in the Questions That Answer Themselves Department comes from the Morning Joe panel. Ron Fournier started the discussion by remote from Twitter with his hashtag #DemocraticFaultLines, and Joe Scarborough picks it up from there:
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) December 19, 2016
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) December 19, 2016
Elise Jordan suggests that all of this denial is an attempt to shift blame away from Hillary Clinton, but that’s only a part of it. The acute issue of responsibility certainly rests with Hillary, who had a beatable opponent and huge advantage in resources, and yet didn’t even bother to show up in key “Blue Wall” states. Her campaign also had the advantage of seeing how Barack Obama beat her in 2008 and won two general elections with superior organizing, including key ground-up activities that allowed them to adjust their message on the fly and disperse assets quickly and effectively. Rather than learn from those examples, Hillary repeated the same losing strategies from the 2008 primary and Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 general-election bid — sticking with a top-down, one-size-fits-all message and relying on a theoretical model rather than listening to people on the ground and relying on good data.
But that’s not why Democrats are still in denial. Blaming Hillary and Bill Clinton is easy enough, since they won’t be back again after this debacle. They’re in denial because the party went all-in on the Hillary 2016 project several years ago. The party’s establishment donors froze everyone else out; the DNC did everything they could do sotto voce to ensure that she would not get seriously challenged for the nomination. They did all of this in spite of glaring evidence of her lack of talent as an electoral politician, and in spite of all the baggage she carried into the election. When her secret e-mail server got exposed, they never acknowledged that its purpose was clearly to subvert the checks and balances of the Constitution in regard to legislative and judicial oversight over the executive branch, but instead called people misogynists for criticizing it.
Instead of finding an alternative in March 2015, when there would have been plenty of time to get an effective candidate in the race, Democrats closed ranks around Hillary while she repeatedly lied about the e-mail server and her exposure of highly classified information. Now they want to blame James Comey, but Comey wouldn’t have mattered had Democrats encouraged other potential candidates to enter the race at that point. And we know this because a Socialist-crank backbencher in the Senate who had never identified himself as a Democrat nearly beat her anyway, even while the DNC did the best it could to throw the race in Hillary’s favor.
Democrats are in denial, all right, but it’s not to protect Hillary. It’s to keep people from recognizing that they shot themselves in their political foot. And thanks to the hysterics over the election results that this denial creates, they’re in the process of shooting themselves in the other foot by telling voters what idiots they are for not voting for Hillary.