Thursday, November 17, 2016

Some People Just Can't Let it Go

Denial is prevalent this election season. I'm no stranger to it myself, since I was in some amount of denial after the 2012 election and had witnessed Mitt Romney's loss to Barrack Obama. I made a promise to myself after that night that I would never get so emotionally invested in an election again. Fast forward four years to 2016 and the election of Donald Trump as our 45th president, and I am now on the other side of the coin, finding the utter denial and refusal to accept the results of a free and fair democratic election, thinking to myself "was I this distraught? Was I just as absurd looking as these folks?" All over youtube, snarky videographers are putting together various compilations of the complete and utter emotional devastation being felt by the left. Even supposedly impartial media personalities like Van Jones and James Carville are completely destroyed to their very core and are having a devil of a time not showing it. If they bother at all. In the case of The Young Turks, they didn't even bother to seem impartial once the final returns were in and called Americans "dumb" among other insults that we've all heard on the schoolyard when we were age ten and under.

Some of the denial is more mature sounding, but it's still denial. It's not crazy violent like the #notmypresident folks, nor is it grating to the ears like this person's temper tantrum was on youtube. Some of it sounds downright sophisticated, honestly; at least until you actually look at and listen to what is being said, and then you realize it's just another temper tantrum, but with a more verbose vocabulary.

This brings me to a woman named Rebecca Solin, whom I ran across while perusing's front page.  She wrote a column recently for The Guardian entitled "Don't Blame Hillary Clinton. It Took Decades of Scheming to Beat her.

Miss Solin is, it should be noted, an avid Occupy Wall Street supporter, according to the essays she's written about them on her site, and insists that the reason Hillary was beaten was because of a decades long scheme committed by Republicans to ensure that she would never set foot into the Oval Office.

This is, quite frankly, patently absurd. The tone of the article is one that reeks of conspiracy theorist garbage. Take the below quote:

...Trump was such a weak candidate it took decades of scheming and an extraordinary international roster of powerful players to lay the groundwork that made his election possible. Defeating Clinton in the electoral college took the 2013 gutting of the Voting Rights Act by Republican appointees to the supreme court. It took vast Republican voter suppression laws and tactics set in place over many years. It took voter intimidation at many polling places. It took the long Republican campaign to blow up the boring bureaucratic irregularity of Clinton’s use of a private email server into a scandal that the media obediently picked up and reheated.

The supposed "gutting" of the Voting Rights Act (which to this day has not disenfranchised anyone who had the legitimate right to vote as spelled out in the Constitution) had nothing to do with Clinton being elected and everything to do with updating a now outdated law for the 21st century. The Voting Rights Act, when written, made it abundantly clear that there was no longer a need to peek over people's shoulders and make absolutely certain that blacks weren't being disenfranchised. This isn't 1953 anymore. With the advent of such things as the internet, not to mention statewide voter protection laws that have been passed, those provisions of the act are no longer effective, and thus, worthless.

She also went on to criticize James Comey and his reopening of the FBI investigation into Clinton's emails. Her tone is nothing less than dismissive towards the embattled FBI director:

It took James Comey, the director of the FBI, using that faux-scandal and his power to stage a misleading smear attack on Clinton 11 days before the election in flagrant violation of the custom of avoiding such intervention for 60 days before an election. It took a compliant mainstream media running after his sabotage like a golden retriever chasing a tennis ball. It took decades of conservative attacks on the Clintons. Comey, incidentally, served as deputy GOP counsel to the Senate Whitewater committee, that fishing expedition that began with an investigation in a messy real estate deal in Arkansas before Bill Clinton’s presidency and ended with a campaign to impeach him on charges related to completely unrelated sexual activities during his second term.

Once again we are presented with the ever-ready argument of Clinton mishandling classified information on a private email server as a "faux scandal" and thus not worthy of even talking about, much less investigation by the feds. Where she really goes off the rails, though, is with calling the main stream media "compliant" when the only sources this humble blogger saw reporting on the scandal were internet resources like Fox and The Blaze. Never mind, also, that when Comey made his statement saying that Clinton would face no charges despite clear evidence of guilt, he was the best friend Democrats ever had, and then when the investigation was reopened he suddenly became public enemy number one.

She then goes into detail about how evil Trump supposedly is, complaining about how his ten year run of Celebrity Apprentice "deified" his supposed behavior, and take a swipe at everyone from global warming skeptics to Vladimir Putin:

It took a nearly decade-long reality TV show, The Apprentice, that deified Trump’s cruelty, sexism, racism and narcissism as essential to success and power. As the feminist media critic Jennifer Pozner points out: “Everything Trump said and did was framed in a way to flatter him, and more importantly, flatter his worldview.” The colossal infomercial fictionalized the blundering, cheating businessman as an unqualified success and gave him a kind of brand recognition no other candidate had.


Many intelligence experts say it came from Russian hackers, and Putin made it clear that he favored Trump’s win. The day Comey dropped his bombshell, the New York Times ran a story reassuringly titled Investigating Donald Trump, FBI Sees No Clear Link to Russia with its own astounding, underplayed revelation buried inside: “Investigators, the officials said, have become increasingly confident, based on the evidence they have uncovered, that Russia’s direct goal is not to support the election of Mr Trump, as many Democrats have asserted, but rather to disrupt the integrity of the political system and undermine America’s standing in the world more broadly.

So, let me get this straight: Trump, Wikileaks, Vladimir Putin, and global warming skeptics are to blame for Clinton's loss. I will give her a break here and say that Trump's time in the media spotlight did help him win the election. I myself was imagining him in full suit and tie, turning the Oval Office into a version of the board room from Celebrity Apprentice and pointing at various cabinet officials and giving them a terse "you're fired" should they fail to meet his standards on the job. The difference between me and people like the author of this piece, however, is that I was doing it jokingly. Like many, Rebecca Solin has decided that the nation has now turned into a four-year episode of Trump's old TV show, with a healthy garnish of racism and Nazi Germany for flavoring. I suppose that's why his detractors use the name "Drumpf" when referring to him in a negative light.

She almost gets it right with the following analysis into the left's constant disparaging of fly-over America and white Conservative Christians:

And it took a shortsighted campaign of hatred on the left, an almost hysterical rage like nothing I have ever seen before about any public figure. Some uncritically picked up half-truths, outright fictions, and right wing spin to feed their hate and rejected anything that diluted the purity and focus of that fury, including larger questions about the other candidate and the fate of the Earth. It was so extreme that in recent weeks, I was attacked for posting anti-Trump news stories on social media by furious people who took the position that to be overtly anti-Trump was to be covertly pro-Clinton. If the perfect is the enemy of the good, whose friend is it? The greater of two evils?

So close, and yet the paragraph is really just another complaint. She's right about the media picking up half-truths and outright fictions and running with them, though what sort of "right wing" spin she's talking about I have no idea, since she doesn't go into it. It sounds to me, honestly, like she's trying to dismiss any pro-Trump media stories as spin. It would certainly fit with her image of Trump as a "deified" sexual predator, narcissist, and all around demon in human clothing. She conveniently forgets, of course, that there are plenty of people on the right who didn't like Trump at all.

Entirely-too-long story short, Solin and those like her are simply upset and blaming everyone but the person with whom the blame actually lies: Hillary Clinton. Her scandals and, in some cases, her own words, doomed her campaign. The fix was in from the beginning regarding her run against Bernie Sanders, who appealed to the youth in a way Hillary just could not do. Color me skeptical, but when you have to rig the primary by convincing unpledged superdelegates to vote for you before the votes are completely in, that amounts to a bit of suspicion. Her attempts to appeal to the youth vote came off as stiff and robotic, like this cringe-worthy video she took of herself "chillin'" during the campaign.

That, and her words about coal miners being put out of a job, whether taken out of context or not, spelled certain doom for her in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two very prominent coal-producing states within Coal Country.

In short, Miss Solin, it wasn't because Trump is the devil that Hillary lost. It was because Hillary Clinton, for many reasons, sabotaged her own efforts unwittingly, and was unable to shake the scandals surrounding her. Call them faux all you want, but the reality is that they cost her the election, as the level headed among us predicted long ago.