Nearly a year after she lost the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton is promoting a book about how her defeat is everyone else's fault. So much, so familiar.
What's striking is that even though she has barely begun her book tour, Clinton has already given the game away, reverting to her self-pitying idea that half her countrymen are "irredeemable" and "deplorable."
Remember that riff she got into at a 2016 private fundraiser? No? Well here it is, to freshen your recollection.
You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people -- now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks -- they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America."
Clinton later issued a half-cocked apology for casting aspersions on tens of millions of her fellow citizens. She didn't repeat exactly those words this past weekend when trying to flog her book, but she might as well have done. In an interview with Jane Pauley, she said Trump "was quite successful in referencing a nostalgia that would give hope, comfort, settle grievances, for millions of people who were upset about gains that were made by others." She then clarified that she meant "millions of white people, yeah."
This is actually an uglier comment than the one for which she pretended to apologize during the election. It's a characteristically self-centered and selfish remark that should remind the nation why it can be glad Clinton didn't become president and never will.
Hillary couldn't even bring herself to credit poorer white voters with having real grievances or concerns that should be treated as legitimate. The only reason they could have voted against the smartest woman in the world, she suggests, is that they were angry about "others" doing well when they weren't. Such envy often makes people ideal for exploitation by Democratic politicians promising spending. Clinton fails to recognize that there was something more and deeper to her failure than this.
Millions of these white working-class voters in such places as southeast Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and western Wisconsin had earlier voted for America's first black president. In choosing to vote against Clinton, they were not showing themselves to be racists. Indeed, they were showing that their motive had to be something other than race.
Between 2009 and 2017, Democrats and the Left forgot how to make arguments for their political positions. They leaned on Obama's blackness, and argued that all his critics must ipso facto be racists. It was facile to make the accusation, but it seemed worthwhile at the time because it obviated the need for the sort of clear-eyed introspection that can make people, even politicians, question their beliefs and come up with fresh ideas. But convenient though it was to hide behind unthinking charges or bigotry, it eroded the Democrats ability to back their policies with facts and cogent reasoning.
It was always a weak argument. Voters saw through in two midterm elections and again in 2016. But how much more contemptible it is to see that same racial crutch used by to prop up the amour propre of a whiter-than-white, uber-privileged politician who rode into public life on her husband's coattails. As soon as she hopped off (at the beginning of the homestretch) and attempted to win the race on her own merits, she fell on her face.
Remind us, who are we supposed to think is deplorable?