Right now you might be thinking that I am wasting time criticizing a non-factor in American politics. If so, you are wrong. Clinton remains an essential part of the landscape despite nearly everyone but celebrities and Madeleine Albright wanting her to vamoose. Nor is it only her Selina Meyer-like desperation for relevance that makes Clinton worthy of attack; one can’t help wondering if, after her laps and alone with her Chardonnay, she imagines what it would be like to run against Trump in 2020. Clinton is no longer in government, but her campaign strategy continues to guide the Democrats’ actions and messaging.
Joe Kennedy III’s response to the president was a case in point. His speech hit the same notes as Clinton’s a year and a half ago, with emphasis on the Dreamers, who apparently speak only Spanish, and a fillip suggesting that trans causes are equivalent to a drug epidemic that killed 52,000 people in 2015. Kennedy mentioned neither the word “job” nor the word “terrorism.” He said the word “trade” just once. There was the suggestion, if not threat, that future generations will remove obstacles along the southern border, and there were shout-outs to the social justice cause du jour: “You bravely say, me too. You steadfastly say, black lives matter.” This was the same identity politics that emboldened Clinton to label Trump supporters “deplorable,” to assume that Wisconsin and Michigan were safely behind the nonexistent “Blue Wall,” and to lose whites without college degrees by 31 points. You go, Joe.