Monday, November 14, 2016

Excuses and the rush for narratives to blame the hippies for Hillary's loss

With the fight over control of Democratic National Committee heating up, the corporate Dems and the progressives are developing their respective narratives about the November 8 results. And so we're being treated to polemical versions. One of the many things that I like most political junkies would love to be able to give more attention.

Kurt Eichenwald rolls out a liberal-concern-troll narrative to blame the DFH's (darn freaking hippies, in the polite verion) for Hillary's loss, The Myths Democrats Swallowed That Cost Them the Presidential Election Newsweek 11/14/16.

He starts off with how he lost his temper when some fan of his in an airport admitting to having voted for Jill Stein. Glenn Greenwald tweeted about this today:

Eichenwald eventually winds up with, "Awash in false conspiracy theories and petulant immaturity, liberals put Trump in the White House." Sounds like he's positioning himself for something like kissing up to the Democratic establishment or the Trumpists or both by hippie-punching. I'm sure we'll see a lot of that the next few months. But something more than combing through the voting results seems to be at work with him there.

Two sentences later he writes, "On the I assume other hand, almost 5 million Obama voters either stayed home or cast their votes for someone else." By "Obama voters," I assume he means African-Americans, women and "millenials," for whom he seems to be dripping with contempt. I wonder how long before he gets to saying that the Democrats just can't depend on those *Obama* voters, so the they need to start doing those "Sister Souljah moments" again.

Yeah, I think he also meant women and those dang kids ("millennials"). But the concern trolls will get there soon. Black turnout was down significantly from 2012 in places like Detroit and Milwaukee that could have made a big difference in the Electoral College.

It's important to remember that Hillary Clinton won a larger plurality of the popular vote than Donald Trump did. That goes a long way to validate her pitch during the Democratic primaries that she was "electable." And Eichenwald does make some decent points about what Bernie's electability or lack there of might have been in a direct campaign against Trump. But his tone is so dismissive throughout that it's hard not to read this as a polemic to get the establishment Dems off the hook for losing to the Orange Clown. Steve M at No More Mister Nice Blog was a hardline Hillary supporter in the primaries. But he's underwhelmed by Eichenwald's argument about Bernie's vulnerability against Trump. (I Guess Republicans Didn't Have All That Much Oppo on Sanders 11/14/2016)

But one of the major takeaways from last Tuesday's results for me is that if the Dems couldn't turn out most of the black vote from 2012 when the Republican candidate was a raving white supremacist, I have to think there was something missing in the Democratic campaign.

Joan Williams of the UC Hastings School of Law gives her own concern-troll version in What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class Harvard Business Review 11/10/2016. Hers is mainly another iteration of the moldy media narrative about how the elitist Mean Libruls need to be more accepting of the pore, neglected white guys. Apparently by taking the position she expresses here:

I do not defend police who kill citizens for selling cigarettes. But the current demonization of the police underestimates the difficulty of ending police violence against communities of color. Police need to make split-second decisions in life-threatening situations. I don’t. If I had to, I might make some poor decisions too.
Not exactly an impassioned expression of concern over cops shooting unarmed black adults and children for no good reason.

Joan Walsh discusses some issues related to Hillary's loss in What I Got Wrong About Hillary Clinton—and What Other Feminists Get Wrong About Her Now The Nation 11/14/2016. And her article engages polemically with critics from the left. But she also agrees with a central point that progressives are making:

I also think, because I knew so much about the campaign — hey, inequality expert Heather Boushey was her transition team‘s chief economist! Of course she’s committed to progressive economic policies! — I couldn’t see how in the final month, in particular, Clinton’s larger campaign message focused on disqualifying Trump, rather than qualifying her. Even in North Carolina, where I spent the campaign’s closing days, the ads I saw tailored to black voters focused on continuing President Obama’s legacy, as more of a racial pride appeal than an economic one. Even the voice of God, Morgan Freeman, didn’t sell her as the economic warrior that workers of every race needed her to be, and few of us seemed to know that she had promised to be. I always assumed that we would see a more direct economic appeal from the campaign, and I was so distracted by everything that happened in the closing weeks—the “Access Hollywood” tape, Clinton’s huge debate victories, FBI director James Comey’s unforgivable intervention—I didn’t notice that it never came.
Cenk Uygur responds to some of the establishment Dem's blame-Bernie-and-the-DFH's narratives in Hillary Supporters Still Calling Liberals Sexist! The Young Turks 11/13/2016:

Cenk mentions noticing "liberal left" popping up as an establishment Dem insult against progressives. We'll see if that one catches on.

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