It’s really nothing new that someone is suggesting Hillary needs to take a step back and stop whining about why she lost the 2016 election. People on the right have been doing that for more than a year. Even Democrats are gingerly saying the same thing out loud these days (or not so gingerly in some cases). Hillary’s own former campaign manager was pretty openly hinting she should dial it back a couple months ago. But this piece published by the Atlantic yesterday signifies a turning point. The left’s response to Hillary’s refusal to leave the stage is no longer a subject of piecemeal complaints. It’s now a kind of conventional wisdom which right and left both share. Simply put, Hillary’s endlessly blame-shifting and rehashing of 2016 has become broadly ridiculous even on her own side of the aisle.
What’s so wrong with Clinton’s letting off a little steam? For starters, she’s bad at it—by which I mean she too often winds up making herself look bad. Whenever she talks about What Happened, her recent book recounting her experience as a presidential candidate, Clinton comes across as self-pitying and self-justifying, in large part because she cannot resist bringing up all the other folks and forces she considers at fault. This has reached the level of bad political joke. (In October, Newsweek compiled a handy list of “Every Excuse Hillary Clinton Has Given for Her 2016 Election Loss.”)
Yes, now and again she’ll make some comment about how, as the Democratic candidate, she takes “absolute personal responsibility” for everything that happened. But such vague, half-hearted blame-shouldering simply cannot compete with her detailed, heartfelt, perpetual blame-throwing.
Even more damaging are the occasions when, in her frenzy of finger-pointing, Clinton’s disdain for everyday Americans seeps into view. Who can forget her trenchant bit of electoral analysis at a conference in Mumbai in March?
So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, Make America Great Again, was looking backwards. You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs, you don’t want to, you know, see that Indian American succeeding more than you are, whatever your problem is, I’m going to solve it.
Oof. That’s tone-deaf enough to make you miss her “basket of deplorables.”…
When it comes to the national political landscape, she has not yet reached the point where she can sound off in a way that doesn’t reek of self-pity and bitterness and rationalization. Until that changes, she should recognize the yuge favor she is doing the GOP—and, by extension, Donald Trump.
With that in mind, she really does need to stop. Just. Stop.
The message is pretty blunt: You need to stop this for the good of the party. But she’s not stopping. In fact, she’s become the energizer bunny of blame-shifting. She just keeps going and going. She made another newsworthy claim about why she lost the 2016 election just today. This time the problem was her support for capitalism. As Allahpundit noted, she’s probably not wrong on the face of it, but why are we talking about her 2016 loss again in May 2018? When will her list of excuses stop expanding like the Blob?
Hillary can be pretty disciplined when she wants to be. Notice I said disciplined, not honest or forthcoming. If she wanted to stop harping on this she could probably force herself to do that. So the conclusion I’m left with is this: She doesn’t want to stop. She’s enjoying the catharsis of telling people how others are really the ones responsible for the largest, most consequential failure in her life. I guess that’s comforting to her but it’s way past the point of being helpful to anyone else.