Does Anything Unite Democrats?
It seems that even suffering through the daily ignorance and bigotry and disastrous policy of a Trump presidency is still not enough to unite Democrats.
I voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary and general election because, as President Obama put it, no one has ever been more prepared to serve as our president. At the same time, I wish my preferred candidate had not written a book about the 2016 election.
Re-hashing that defeat, in my view (and mine is just one perspective) is likely to make it more difficult to bring Democrats together. I will likely read the book, but I think publishing it now is, as Doyle McManus puts it, “a gift to Trump and his conservative allies.”
“It would be one thing if Clinton’s book delivered new insights about what went wrong. But it doesn’t. Every one of her explanations has been hashed out already.
Here’s the pity: She could have written a different book — a book that briskly summarized the lessons of her loss and suggested a path forward for the causes she loves. It wouldn’t have been a bestseller, but it might have been more useful. Needless to say, the relatively brief, forward-looking part of Clinton’s message has been swamped in media coverage by all the juicy score-settling.”
It is possible that other Hillary supporters will read this as a betrayal. It is also possible that my friends who supported Bernie will misread this as me seeing the light and finally recognizing that HRC is the problem. Neither captures my message. My message to try to be the change.
In this case, to criticize my own ‘side’ when we behave in ways that make it likely we will fail to regain the House in the midterms. We need to give up all hope of a better past and move on from the 2016 election.
Continuing to rehash that painful intramural squabbling will extend the 2016 legacy of defeat. We all need to step back and focus our fury on the opponent who denies climate change and reserve our intramural critiques for finding ways for our own ‘side’ within the party to contribute to strengthening party unity.
So, even though it does not fit into the ‘war’ metaphor—my position is that I think my side is making a mistake here. My position rejects the either/or, sucker’s choice, framing of ‘you are either with us or against us,’ either with Bernie or with Hillary. Yes, I am criticizing HRC but not to side with Bernie against HRC, rather to make coming together more likely.
She doesn't spare herself, or anyone else, from blame.
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She needed to write the book, but we don't have to read it now or let it dominate every news cycle. We did and still do not need to get distracted by every titillating Trump tweet or outburst- that got him elected. I believe this is another opportunity to decide as a society which conversation we want to be having, not to decide who can speak and who cannot.
Fair point. We certainly need to combat the daily distraction that is Trumpisms bait n switch while real policy damage continues unseen. And it is true that we could individually choose to ignore this book. But it is hard to imagine a scenario when a person of this stature writes a book about an important moment in our recent history and the media ignores it. The key agent here is HRC: she knew the book would dominate the news cycle (and eventually Republican attack ads) and she wrote this book anyway, rather than a blueprint for how to bring us together to win the midterms and writing this book later.
It occurs to me while reading this that she may have fallen into the trap where women feel they need to explain themselves. We do not. Whatever course this woman takes, she will be criticized for. She's damned if she does and damned if she doesn't.
Also a fair point. HRC carries baggage like none in history. The far-right has spent billions on a 20 year campaign to smear her and it clearly had a huge impact on the election. And even without this very specific baggage, she was treated differently in ways that impacted the outcome, just because she is a woman. I want to hear her voice; just want to her to help us move forward.
We will lose the midterms because of gerrymandering more than anything else but we will think it's because of our message or infighting or Clinton or whatever.
Gerrymandering is just the outcome of decades of political activity on the right at the state level—an arena where Democrats have been soundly defeated and could be seen as MIA, which is one of many mistakes (under the leadership of the Clinton wing) to correct moving forward. For now, it is the rule of the game and we have to succeed within that framework.
Agree - she could have written a suggested path for the Democratic Party and democracy... and it could have opened new doors instead of rehashing old news cycles...