HRC: The End (or is it?) – by Amanda S. Green
This is the final post on HRC’s book, What Happened. I almost wrote “HRC’s novel”. Why? Because in a lot of ways this has been the best fiction writing I’ve seen in some time. I swear she isn’t recounting the same election season I remember. But it is over, or it will be as soon as I finish this post. What isn’t over is HRC’s belief that she is still relevant and has a role to play in the U.S. political landscape.
I’ll admit up front that I skimmed much of the last 80 pages of the book. Why? Because it is not much more than a rehash of the same sort of things she spent the previous 380 pages or so talking about. Even I have my limits and I finally reached it with this book. In answer to a question one of you asked in the comments a week or so ago, I continued reading and blogging about the book for two reasons. The first was it became like a car wreck. You know as you approach and see the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles that you should look away, but you can’t. You just have to see what happened.
The second reason is a little better. I read the book and blogged about it because the best way to recognize the next HRC to come down the pike is to do our best to understand this one. I’ve come away with a couple of conclusions along this line. The first is that HRC hasn’t admitted, to herself or anyone else, that her political career is truly over. The second is that even if she doesn’t run for office again, she plans to try to pull strings from behind the curtain. The third is that she truly does see herself as some legend in the making, a woman leading a movement and she isn’t about to give that up without a fight.
Campaigns are full of minor annoyances and major frustrations, but at the end of the day, it’s inspiring to watch our democracy whir into action. When all the arguments are made and rallies are finished and TV ads have aired, it comes down to regular people lining up and having their say. I’ve always loved that quip from Winston Churchill about how democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others. I still believe that, even when our system feels totally nuts. (Electoral College, I’m looking at you.) (pg 378)
That sounds good, doesn’t it? In fact, I’m sure most of us could agree with Churchill’s sentiments. However, when looking at the quote in context, you can see why HRC didn’t give more than one very small part of it. Had she done so, her cut at the Electoral College would quickly fall apart.
The quote comes from a parliamentary debate on November 11, 1947. You can read more of it here, but this is what I found interesting when looking at HRC and her complaints – er, observations about the 2016 election:
Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time; but there is the broad feeling in our country that the people should rule, continuously rule, and that public opinion, expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide, and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.
“[P]ublic opinion, expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.” It is clear Churchill understood something HRC continues to deny: elected officials are to be servants of their constituents and not the masters thereof. He also recognized that there are constitutional considerations that come into play – ie, the Electoral College – again, something HRC wants to turn away from. It is clear from everything HRC says in the book that she feels only certain peoples should have a say in how our country is run and that only certain segments of the public should have their opinions considered. That is, in my mind, very far from what Churchill talked about that day in 1947.
For weeks, I had been carrying around heavy binders full of memos relating to the transition and the first decisions I would have to make as President-Elect. There were Cabinet Secretaries to pick, a White House staff to hire, and a legislative agenda to begin working on with Congress. I loved diving into the details of governing, but in the homestretch of the campaign, it was hard to focus on anything past Election Day. (pp 379-380)
Hmm, maybe that was part of the problem, Hils. You got ahead of yourself. You were so focused on what would happen AFTER you were elected that you forgot the first hurdle you had to clear – getting elected. She complained earlier in the book that people couldn’t relate to her and she didn’t understand why. Maybe she ought to take a harder look at herself. Her attitude of assuming she already had won the White House meant she didn’t need to connect to us lowly voters. She didn’t need us. The election was in the bag.
Except, as she and the DNC soon discovered, it wasn’t.
In the chapter entitled “Why” (and you can probably guess what she referred to there – Why did she lose the election? Why didn’t we love her?), she had this to say:
I go back over my own shortcomings and the mistakes we made. I take responsibility for all of them. You can blame the data, blame the message, blame anything you want – but I was the candidate. It was my campaign. Those were my decisions. (pg 391)
Wow, is she actually going to take responsibility? Don’t hold your breath. There’s more.
I also think about the strong headwinds we faced, including the rise of tribal politics in American and across the globe, the restlessness of a country looking for change, excessive coverage of my emails, the unprecedented late intervention by the director of the FBI, the sophisticated misinformation campaign directed from the Kremlin, and the avalanche of fake news. Those aren’t excuses – they’re things that happened, whether we like it or not. (pg 391)
Oookay. Can you imagine how the Left would scream if Trump, or any conservative for that matter, talked about “tribal politics”? Note how she continues to fail to recognize why America wanted change. It’s just bad because it wasn’t the change she was offering. Nor does she discuss the role her own people, and folks from the DNC, played in the Russian connection. And all that “fake news”. Remember, just a couple of chapters earlier, she was excoriating the rest of us because we had lost faith in the foundations of our country, foundations that should be educating us about politics and those running for office. One of those foundations was the media – the same media she now appears to blame for “fake news”.
And we get a laundry list over the next 20 pages or so of why she didn’t win. First there were the 40,000 voters from Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania who voted for Trump instead of her. If they’d just voted for her, she would have won. There is the “false” claim by Joe Biden that she didn’t have an economic message. HRC claims Biden’s statements were false because she talked about the economy. According to her, she talked about it a lot. But she doesn’t get that talking about the economy isn’t the same as having an economic message. Once again, she didn’t connect with the voters, especially in the Rust Belt, because she didn’t tell them not only what she wanted to do to help them and their employers but how she planned to do it. Remember, she admitted earlier she’d made a mistake in that area by talking about shutting down the coal mines and focusing on new energy and renewable energy sources.
She blames those who voted against her instead of “voting for” Trump. She also doesn’t understand it because she had such high approval numbers when she left State. Poor Hillary, we didn’t love her the way she thought we should.
After all, the polls all said she should have won. “So, no, all the polls weren’t wrong. It’s possible that my lead throughout the race was slightly overstated – but not significantly. It’s reasonable to conclude, therefore, that something important and ultimately decisive happened at the very end.” (pg 401)
So, who else does she blame? Comey, of course. After all, he dared speak out about her emails. (pg 405) Russia is next. (pg 406) Economic anxiety and bigotry also make her hit list. (pg 410) She makes no attempt to hide her disdain for those voters who supported Trump. She also manages to throw Bernie Sanders under the bus and Jill Stein quickly follows him.
That said, a small but still significant number of left-wing voters may well have thrown the election to Trump. Jull Stein, the Green Party candidate, called me and my policies “much scarier than Donald Trump” and praised his pro-Russia stance. (pg 411)
If that’s not enough, she claims Trump exploited “racial and cultural anxiety”. (pg 412) I’m not saying that all Trump voters are racists or xenophobes. There are plenty of good-hearted people who are uncomfortable about perceived anti police rhetoric, undocumented immigrants, and fast-changing norms around gender and sexual orientation. But you had to be deaf to miss the coded language and racially charged resentments powering Trump’s campaign. (pg 413) In other words, you are as bad as Trump because you didn’t vote for her.
But it doesn’t stop there. She claims there was voter suppression, citing a claim by an “unnamed” Trump staffer on the issue. (And can you hear the cries of foul if conservatives made such accusations about her campaign and cited unnamed sources?) Oh, and she blames the Supreme Court for “gutting the Voting Rights Act in 2013”. (pp 418-419). Notice how carefully she avoids mentioning the armed “concerned citizens” who did their own forms of voter suppression in 2008 and 2012, those times for the Dems.
There’s more but you get the drift. She finishes up talking about how “love and kindness” had been a fundamental part of her campaign. (pg 441) I guess I didn’t pay close enough attention because I missed that part. What about you? Oh, and she doesn’t carry around any bitterness after the election. She just couldn’t live that way.
So why the hell is she still going on and on about how bad Trump is?
What’s the final verdict on the book? Part of me is glad I read it. I am most definitely glad, after reading it, that she isn’t our president. It won’t surprise me at all to see her trying to make a powerplay of some sort at the next election, whether it be another attempt to win office or to determine who should be the Democrats’ “anointed one”. But the book is done. There are no more blog posts and my liver survived.
(You can find the other installments in this series at the following links: What Happened or How I Suffered for this Blog and had to Share, Grit and Gratitude, HRC Gets Caught Trying, A New Deal, A Square Deal or How She Wanted to be the Next Roosevelt, It’s All His Fault, Turning Mourning into a Movement, HRC: Idealism and Realism, HRC: Making History , HRC: Those Damn Emails and HRC: The Russians Did It – Amanda S. Green.)
[I know this is hard to watch, imagine what it must be like to read the book. If you want to help finance Amanda’s liquor bill, use this address Send the woman a drink-SAH]