Democrats are getting snookered again. Rather than go through the difficult, but useful exercise of self-examination, Democrats are instead reimagining history and once again falling in line behind Hillary Clinton.
Noah Rothman, writing for Commentary, explains the Democrats’ current state of mind:
Try as they might, Democrats will find no peace in the wilderness. Not while they refuse to reconcile the conditions that led voters to relegate them to a position of impotence unseen by Democrats in nearly a century. Rueful introspection is, however, unpleasant. Democratic elites appear disinclined to put their members through any more trauma than they’ve already endured. That’s a recipe for disaster. As a result, the Democratic activist class is leading the party by the nose into heedless courses of action they will soon regret.
To be sure, the progressive left is leading the party down a dangerous path. One need look no further than their short-sighted push to filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court as the height of base-appeasing stupidity. Changing public opinion with stories about the legislative process is nigh-impossible, so why waste weak ammunition against a popular and qualified pick like Gorsuch and leave yourself no option for the next Supreme Court fight? The only answer is that grassroots progressives demanded their pound of flesh, even if it came from cutting off their own nose.
But let’s not let the mainstream elements of the party off the hook too lightly either. After all, they’re continuing to place their bets on uninspiring has-beens like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Tom Perez, each of which played a meaningful role in the decade-long destruction of the Democrat Party.
Even worse, they’re letting Hillary Clinton convince them that she deserves a continued seat at the head of the party table. Over the last month she’s engaged in a resurrection tour, meant to begin re-introducing herself to the American people and rehabbing her image through a series of defiant speeches to friendly audiences.
The problem is that she’s an awful storyteller telling an awful story. Rather than own up to any mistakes or discuss what she would do differently or, heck, just spend ninety minutes attacking Donald Trump, she instead attempts to walk a tightrope between humility and rebelliousness.
“Of course I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate. I was the person on the ballot,” Clinton recently said at a recent “Women for Women” event before completely switching gears and pointing the finger of blame elsewhere. “I was on the way to winning before a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people inclined to vote for me but got scared off.”
Nice try, but as former Obama White House adviser David Axelrod responded, the blame still lies at the feet of Clinton
“Jim Comey didn’t tell her not to campaign in Wisconsin after the convention. Jim Comey didn’t say, ‘Don’t put any resources into Michigan until the final week of the campaign.’” Axelrod said. “One of the things that hindered her in the campaign was a sense that she never fully was willing to take responsibility for her mistakes, particularly that server.”
And she still hasn’t apparently learned that lesson.
If Democrats want to know the real reason they lost, look no further than a study conducted by the Democratic research firm Global Strategy Group. McClatchy reports on the study’s findings:
Many Democrats have a shorthand explanation for Clinton’s defeat: Her base didn’t turn out, Donald Trump’s did and the difference was too much to overcome.
But new information shows that Clinton had a much bigger problem with voters who had supported President Barack Obama in 2012 but backed Trump four years later.
Those Obama-Trump voters, in fact, effectively accounted for more than two-thirds of the reason Clinton lost, according to Matt Canter, a senior vice president of the Democratic political firm Global Strategy Group. In his group’s analysis, about 70 percent of Clinton’s failure to reach Obama’s vote total in 2012 was because she lost these voters.
That’s a big, systemic problem, and one that Hillary Clinton was dramatically under-equipped to be able to solve. But rather than search for answers, Democrats are instead doubling down on a bad message and a worse messenger.