Dispatches from the Empire

Hillary Clinton lost because she’s deeply unpopular

…we weren’t allowed to point out the clear danger of the moment because the media decided early in the cycle that any questions about Clinton’s electability were simply a stalking horse for misogyny. The party and its loyalists insisted that it was sexist to call a spade a spade and acknowledge that Clinton had severe vulnerabilities in basic public sentiment; here’s a version from the NYT. Under the conditions of 2016, with the incumbency advantages and Trump’s unique issues, you would have wanted to elect someone who simply didn’t have the level of negative baggage that Clinton did, someone who the country generally saw as inoffensive. Yglesias nominates Martin O’Malley, but of course Bernie Sanders fit the bill as well. Sanders beat Trump in poll after poll, and cleaned up with independents, which would seem to be important in a presidential election. Clinton apparatchiks have always scoffed at those polls, asserting without evidence that Republican oppo would have sunk him without caring much that Republican oppo was already sinking Hillary.

Bernie, of course, also would have energized the youth like no other, setting up the Democrats for durable gains down the road with that demographic.

I know several people in the year 2023 that are still litigating the issue. All of them, liberals to their core, insist that Hillary lost only because she was a woman.

This has never made sense to me. It starts from a place of assuming the absolute worst about people (that everyone, even fellow liberals, are complicit in misogyny) and ends with zero introspection about one’s own political biases. It’s lazy thinking.