The Clinton Excuse-Making Begins

I’m already seeing columns and editorials declaring that if Clinton loses to Trump in November it’s Sanders’s fault because he won’t drop out and give her an unequivocal endorsement.

My Facebook buddy Bob Brigham wrote,

“A lot of otherwise smart people have a major blind spot on this. Bernie Sanders isn’t a fad, there is no cult of personality. Bernie is simply a vessel for pent up rage against our corrupt oligarchy. Pissed off progressives won’t vote for Hillary in November because Bernie says so. The only way is for Hillary to earn it.”

I also wrote earlier today, on Facebook,

Because I’m not actually psychotic I believe that Clinton will be the Dem nominee, and if Trump is the GOP nominee she will beat him. Frankly, the Dems could nominate a can of soup and beat him. He’s horrible enough that (I suspect) even the die-hard “Bernie or Bust” people probably will change their minds by November.

However, if the GOP manages to substitute another Republican (other than Ted Cruz) — growing more unlikely but still possible — all bets are off. Clinton would be about the worst nominee imaginable against a more establishment Republican, and in that event she’s going to need every Sanders supporter’s vote she can pick up.

Clinton supporters and media people have a weird idea that if Sanders would just say the word, his supporters would all fall into line and support Clinton. I don’t think so. The Sanders campaign has been less about him than about what he represents. The frustration and antipathy toward the establishment — including, possibly especially, the Democratic Party establishment — was long brewing before Sanders stepped up and declared his candidacy. To simply transfer support to establishment darling Hillary Clinton would be a betrayal of everything Sanders’s supporters had hoped to accomplish.

That said, I think Sanders will help Clinton if he can. He’s said more than once that she’d make a better President than any of the Republicans. He is absolutely not going to attempt a third-party run in November. But she’s got to dial down the arrogance and be willing to give him something, policy-wise, before he can do that. If he simply throws his support to her without her making that effort, it won’t mean anything to the Sanders voters. This campaign was never about his personal ambitions but about what he represents that Clinton doesn’t.

As I said, especially if Trump is the nominee a lot of people who are yelling “Bernie or Bust” now probably will change their minds by November. But Clinton and the Dems can help themselves a lot by how they handle Sanders from now on and at the convention. They’re going to have to be very careful. They’re going to have to treat him respectfully and give him a seat at the table, so to speak, and not shove him away like some fringe candidate weirdo. I hope Clinton realizes that.

I personally think Clinton would be a pathetic excuse for a candidate to not beat Trump. But if she doesn’t, that’s on her. Well, her and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

After New York, and yesterday, I think it’s going to be close to impossible for the GOP to deny Trump the nomination, however much the establishment may want to do that. The vote gap is too big. So it probably is going to be Clinton-Trump. Which is good for Clinton, because her whole campaign has been based on “vote for me, or you’ll get President Trump.” If someone else gets the nomination it’s going to throw her off.

28 thoughts on “The Clinton Excuse-Making Begins

  1. “I’m already seeing columns and editorials declaring that if Clinton loses to Trump in November it’s Sanders’s fault because he won’t drop out and give her an unequivocal endorsement”

    Who exactly? Anyone who believes that is a fool and not worth the time to read? I haven’t heard her actually call for sanders to drop out, why would she ask him to do what she did not do in 2008. Once we get to the convention and the nominee is apparent it will be incumbent on the loser to endorse the nominee, if not than yes the excuse would have some relevance, it’s way too early for all that nonsense now.

  2. Hillary is presenting a tough image.
    But too early. And it’s often been against Bernie.

    Yesterday, after she took 4 of the 5 primaries, she was conciliatory towards Bernie – but also a bit condescending, as if Bernie had decided to drop out.

    She’s going to need to be tough to handle the bigotry and especially the misogyny of tRUMP, and derogatory bullshit coming from the morons in the MSM, who loath her, and have since 1992 – if not before.

    She’s going to have to make a concerted effort to bring the Bernie fans aboard. And that’s why it’ll be important that he is front and center, and on the stump for her. Also, he’ll keep her more to the left than she probably wants to go in the general. And so will Sen. Warren.

    And, as the population is now finally veering away from over 30 years of extremist Reaganomic’s and “Christian” culture/social wars, not only does she need to realize that it’ll be important for her to stay true to this now younger, more liberal, and larger voter base to get elected, but also that she’ll have to govern like that, as well.
    If she does, we’ll help her.
    If she doesn’t, she can probably kiss reelection good-bye.
    And you know she doesn’t want to be a one-term POTUS!

  3. Well, Ted Cruz has already picked his running mate! Carly Fiorina.

    Just in case pigs fly.

  4. Doug,
    You don’t need to worry.
    You stuck it to the powers-that-be.
    Deviant Denny stick it into young wrestlers.

  5. They can not do that Doug. It is a slam dunk case of cruel and unusual punishment. Just call my attorney Bernie. He gives great referral bonuses. And I like his name. My Attorney Bernie….now there is a song title. Beats the hell out of MY Attorney Hillary. Thanks for graveyard humor at least Doug.

  6. Just a reminder that in 2008, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama slugged it out through the primaries, and there was a lot of bad feeling between their supporters. Then at the convention, Clinton did a class act and moved to suspend the delegate counting and nominate Obama by acclamation. And both she and He Who Cannot Be Named actively campaigned for Obama in the general election campaign. I’d say let’s challenge Bernie Sanders to emulate Hillary 2008.

    • Joel Dan Walls — At the convention, yes, but at this point in 2008 Clinton was behaving much worse than Sanders is now. Do you not remember the episode with the Michigan and Florida delegates, for example? Do NOT throw Clinton up to me as some kind of example of good behavior in 2008; she was absolutely horrible.

  7. Joe Dan W – There’s a huge philosophical difference between Clinton & Sanders – much more than between Obama and Clinton. If/When Clinton cinches the number of delegates, she has to be concerned with the general election. Herein lies the controversy. Do Sanders people roll over and adopt the Clinton viewpoint or does Clinton have to ‘move’ to a point somewhere between her preferred position and the Sanders viewpoint?

    If Clinton gives Sanders people the middle finger and says, “It’s me or Trump and it will be YOUR fault.” I say we don’t allow Trump but we attack Clinton whenever a decision should be left of Clinton’s moderation. She should feel the jaws of a left/right nutcracker every day she’s in office trying to please Wall Street first and the American people second.

  8. Doug …There’s a possibility that you could do your stint at Eglin AFB. That’s the same place that Chelsea Clinton’s father in law did a tour.. He was convicted of something like 42 counts of fraud..Not your normal elaborate fraud..the kind of fraud were an African Prince leaves million of dollars to the victim in his will and in order for the victim to claim it they have send a slight processing fee of a few thousand dollars.

  9. I’m distressed that on a day when we see Donald Trump Claim the republican foreign policy mantle and Ted Cruz appoint Carly Fiorina to chief hall monitor, we are fighting about centrist – v liberal. Democracy is messy and confusing but we are talking about Donald Trump and Carly fucking Fiorina? Don’t wait till its over.

  10. “or does Clinton have to ‘move’ to a point somewhere between her preferred position and the Sanders viewpoint”

    What politician has ever won an election and then decided that she was wrong and her opponent was right and so yes we will do some stuff just like him? Never, once this is over Clinton will offer exactly what President Obama did. I suggest you review 2008.

  11. FDR was under considerable political pressure from the left. Huey Long was preparing a populist run against FDR when he died. Politicians who want to govern from the center to please the majority DO respond to pressure from their flank when there’s a credible threat of insurrection. ie. a primary threat.

  12. Swami – Elgin was closed and it was consolidated with the Federal Prison at Pensacola which is on the Navy base there, and does farm out labor to Elgin. It’s considered one of the ‘preferred’ camps in the country, even lower than low security. We’ve requested it and the judge said she wold pass that along in her sentencing report to the Bureau of Prisons. It will be the luck of the draw and I’m impatiently awaiting word.

  13. I’ve been paying pretty close attention to the Democratic side, and I’m not finding much to support the notion that the Clinton campaign is already making excuses. They seem like a pretty confident bunch to me. They’ll be waging a campaign against a spoiled and extremely thin-skinned brat who has already insulted Latinos, African Americans, and women, and whose policy issues are both scatter-brained and very often contradictory. The big picture here includes the Supreme Court and Congress. Turn those entities leftward and you will pave the way for a Sanders-type progressive’s success in the future (not to mention the restoration of voting rights). We have to start repairing the system somewhere, and it may take some time. Thus, unless you can demonstrate that Hillary Clinton plans to nominate a SC justice in the ideological neighborhood of Scalia or even a Roberts, then I will gladly vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. It’s pretty clear from where I sit.

    • wburke — you’re right; it’s really not so much about making excuses as it is keeping people afraid of the Great Boogyman, Donald Trump. I’ve been saying all along that it would take monumental incompetence to lose to Trump, but from what I can tell (I don’t see the teevee ads) Clinton is mostly running as the One True Trump Vanquisher, using fear of Trump to frighten people into voting for her. My only consolation regarding this election is that if Clinton runs her usual scorched-earth, dirty, viscous campaign against Trump, he’s not going to know what hit him.

  14. “Politicians who want to govern from the center to please the majority DO respond to pressure from their flank when there’s a credible threat of insurrection. ie. a primary threat”

    I agree and I think that has happened here, Hillary has definitely moved to the left in this primary. Once the convention is over and if she becomes the nominee I would expect her to move back toward the center, sort of standard procedure, but the Sanders campaign impact will be lasting I suspect?

  15. Doug, I worked at a federal prison up in Oxford Wisconsin for a few months it had a low security camp outside the medium security walls. Most of the guys from the camp worked outside the walls, motor pool, grounds keeping type stuff. It seemed tolerable? Dan “postage stamp” Rostenkowski did his short stint there!

  16. The funny thing is that I’m seeing excuse making from Trump supporters, which blame everyone and everything except Trump being a bad candidate.

    • Teach — That’s kind of common among people who believe they’ve found THE candidate of their dreams. If the Magic Candidate loses, it’s everybody else’s fault.

  17. OT, John Boehner: Ted Cruz is ‘Lucifer in the flesh’

    John Boehner excoriated his former Capitol Hill colleague and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz during a talk at Stanford University…

    “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends,” Boehner said, according to the Stanford Daily. “I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

    Totally appropriate that he picks Cruella de Vil as his running mate.

  18. Yeah, it’s kind of poetic that Teddy and Cruella found each other.. Acrid spirits. A match made in hell.

    Misery loves company?

  19. Swami,
    Did you catch Carly singing a song at her into, to Teddy Cruz-ader’s kid?

    Cruz & Fiorina:
    Creepy & Creepier!

  20. Yeah, I caught it, gulag. Come to Auntie Fiorina my pretties! Her love for Cruz’s children is as barren as her womb.

  21. Got to admire Cruz for courage. Fiorina has black widow blood flowing in her veins. Put her one step from the presidency and she may take that step.

  22. “Clinton would be about the worst nominee imaginable against a more establishment Republican”


    Hillary is the most qualified candidate in the history of the United Sates and will make a terrific President.

    • jharp

      “Hillary is the most qualified candidate in the history of the United Sates”

      Cult of personality, much?

      “and will make a terrific President.”

      If you had put aside your fawning adoration of Mrs. Clinton and actually read what I wrote, you might have noticed I was not addressing what sort of president she might make. I was talking about her as a candidate. And I think that against a conventional, establishment Republican she would lose. A lot of people across the political spectrum really despise her — her unfavorability rating is at 55 percent right now. Normally that would be the kiss of death for a presidential candidate. The only way she can be elected is running against an opponent who either disgusts or scares the socks off a majority of Americans. And I think she’s going to blow Trump out of the water.

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