Donald Trump’s inauguration is hours away and the Left remains stupefied.
The Left remains stunned by Hillary Clinton’s defeat. (Snowflakes are melting.) Her defeat, and Obama’s legacy, augur ill for the progressive agenda.
From Obama and Hillary to identity politics and bumper stickers, the Left is in need of not just a new messenger, but a new message.
Hillary Lost – Get Over It
Hillary, the worst candidate Democrats could have nominated, lost to the worst GOP candidate ever.
Analysis by Dan McLaughlin strongly suggests that Trump won despite himself and that a far more traditionally conservative GOP nominee “would have fared far better.” According to McLaughlin, “A candidate with nothing but the historical wind at his back would have fared far better than Trump. Only his singular underperformance of the historic trend kept this race even close.”
But Hillary still lost!
Hillary had “an astoundingly poor performance,” according to McLaughlin, winning “a majority of the popular vote in only thirteen states, the fewest of any major-party nominee since Bob Dole in 1996.” Indeed, though she faced the “deeply flawed” GOP candidate “that Democrats were visibly salivating over running against,” Hillary “carried a popular majority in half as many states as Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, barely more than half as many as Mitt Romney.”
Indeed, “Hillary managed the worst Democratic performance as a share of eligible voters over the past five elections in 17 states, almost all of them states with above-average white populations: West Virginia, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan, Rhode Island, Alabama, Louisiana, Kansas, and New York.”
To whom did Hillary lose? Donald Trump.
McLaughlin observes, “All told, across the 765 counties in 28 states where Trump got fewer votes than the Republican candidate for Senate, he received 2.176 million fewer votes.” Moreover, in “counties Trump lost by 10,000 or more votes, we get a much longer list of 52 counties, in which more than 21 million votes were cast and Trump got 1,377,179 fewer votes than Republican Senate candidates.”
Trump was extremely unpopular; Hillary even more so.
Obama has Left Liberalism in Crisis
What was Hillary message? She as going to out-Obama Obama. America has rejected that agenda.
President Obama’s legacy is one which has actually left liberalism in crisis. Michael Barone points out: “Republicans have now won House majorities in 10 of the past 12 elections, leaving 2006 and 2008 as temporary aberrations.”
“Republican success has been even greater in gubernatorial and state-legislature elections, to the point that Democrats hold both the governorship and legislative control only in California, Hawaii, Delaware, and Rhode Island. After eight years of the Obama presidency, Democrats hold fewer elective offices than at any time since the 1920s.”
Ramesh Ponnuru addresses the leftward momentum of the Left: “On criminal justice, on entitlements, on immigration, on abortion, on religious liberty, Democrats staked out positions and adopted rhetoric that were much less moderate than they had previously been. The new Democratic consensus included Hillary Clinton, who ran in 2016 as the heir to Obama rather than to her own husband.”
As Rich Lowry notes, Obama’s “favorite rhetorical crutch was to portray his positions as the centrist path between two extremes, although this was convincing only to people who already agreed with him. His inability or unwillingness to seriously compromise proved devastating to his party, which got wiped out in 2010, 2014, and most importantly 2016. This puts much of what he accomplished legislatively and unilaterally in jeopardy.”
Straightjacketed by Identity Politics
The Left has become straightjacketed by the identity politics for which both Obama and Hillary are poster children. The Year of the Woman failed in 2008 and 2016. Appealing to voters on the basis of race, gender, and class is becoming increasingly counterproductive.
Hillary and the Left lost in large measure due to the politically cancerous identity politics it is obsessed with and which taints everything the Left does.
The Million Woman March slated for the day after Trump’s inauguration epitomizes the nonsense that permeates the Left. Organizers for these protests in the name of all women actually exclude those who are neither liberal nor pro-choice. They also reject white women, claiming their oppression is significantly less than that of minority women.
Heather Wilhelm notes, “There are many different types of oppression, intersectional feminism teaches – based on race, class, sexual identity, and more that layer upon each other. In the world of intersectionality, victimhood is sorted by category, tallied, and ultimately ranked.” Sounds a lot like those good old days of apartheid in South Africa.
“Apparently, at this point,” writes Wilhelm, “the way forward involves a cavalcade of left-wing causes – abortion, as usual, is taking top billing – buckets of vague platitudes, lots of hectoring, and endless, obsessive, identity-based infighting.” As usual in situations like this, the loudest bully wins, kind of like in Lord of the Flies.
Leftist Political Dynasties
Progressives are always seeking progress – moving forward. Hence their disdain for tradition, especially in traditional values, religious beliefs, and patriotic fervor. For them, we must get beyond the foibles of nationalism and embrace a globalist citizen-of-the-world ethos.
But progressives also like to anchor their progress and their victories in hero worship. Hence their love for political dynasties.
Leftist admiration for political dynasties is particularly undemocratic and peculiarly foreign to the precepts upon which America was founded. (Remember the Declaration of Independence?) Once leftists have power, they are loathe to give it up.
In the 1960s, the Left dreamed of a Kennedy dynasty (John, Bobby, Ted). Now they fervently desire an interwoven dynastic reign by Obamas and Clintons.
Lowry observes, Obama “will be remembered – and revered – by his admirers as his generation’s JFK. Lasting substantive achievements are beside the point when ascending to this iconic status.” As I pointed out, “At least JFK loved America, fought against communism, valued free market, tough on crime.”
One bumper sticker encapsulates this self-destructive pathology on the Left. It read: Hillary 2016, Michelle 2024, Chelsea 2032, Malia 2040, Sasha 2048.
What qualifies any of the (exclusively female) names on this list to be President of the United States?
Hillary’s singular accomplishment was to be more hated and less trusted than Donald Trump. HillaryCare bombed during her husband’s first administration. She was a lackluster senator and an abysmal Secretary of State who presided over the collapse of stability in the Middle East and the mushrooming of Islamism. Her singular achievement (apart from Benghazi and her secret email server) was setting a Guinness world record for frequent flyer miles.
Michelle Obama is indeed accomplished – at decimating public school lunch programs across America.
What are Chelsea Clinton’s accomplishments, credentials, and qualifications to be Commander-in-Chief? She received “an eye-popping $600,000 annual salary for an irregular stint as an NBC special correspondent.” Yes, she’s a “political heiress” engaged in crony capitalism.
Finally, in case it escaped anyone’s notice, Malia and Sasha Obama are children!
What do all these wonderful people have in common? They are all women and they all share the name of Clinton or Obama.
Obama’s Unraveling Legacy
Obama’s legacy is unravelling even as Trump prepares for his inauguration. Hillary’s political ambitions are effectively dead. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has again become her party’s standard-bearer in the House. Leftists continue to pursue their leftward momentum even as most Americans reject their policies.
President Obama’s “central case for government’s existence,” writes David Harsanyi, “rests on the notion of the state being society’s moral center, engine of prosperity, and arbiter of fairness. Obama speaks of government as a theocrat might speak of the Church, and his fans return the favor by treating him like a pope. This was true in 2008. And it’s true now. Just check out liberal Twitterdom.”
Some delusions die hard.