Revisiting Electability–And Predictability

Before I get to the meat of the post, I’ll offer my usual disclaimer: I’m a life-long Democrat, canvassed/phonebanked in four presidential elections and a couple of down ballot races, and have given money, when I can afford it, to Democrats (so don’t bring the ‘you’re not a real Democrat shit here). I also want to Clinton to win.

That said, I’m perplexed by rants like this and this about how the media is mistreating Clinton.

Yes, it is unfair. It is stupid and harmful.

It was also entirely predictable. Do you remember all the way back to the Democratic primary, eleventy gajillion years ago, when the notion that Clinton was ‘electable’ and Sanders was not was being bandied around? I do.

Maybe I remember the 1990s different than some (and, of course, a fair number of pundits and commentators were children of various ages back then). But the political press corps has always gotten a huge boner when even a slight whiff of Clinton scandal–which is to say, usually overblown bullshit vomited up by the Republican puke funnel–appeared.

If the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”, then the definition of political insanity is doing the same thing since 1992 and expecting the political press corps to suddenly develop the self-awareness to realize they’re unhinged when it comes to the Clintons.

How on earth could anyone be surprised? And if Trump weren’t a self-sustaining toxic waste dump, it would be so much worse.

Finally, one more point: the sources above are correct–Clinton is plugging her policies as hard as she can. But those surrounding her and aligned with–including the Blue Nation Review–are spending too much time refuting all the bullshit. When they’re not doing that, they’re criticizing Trump over stupid things, instead of reinforcing Clinton’s message. Take, for instance, Blue Nation Review. On Aug. 31, I looked at the front page of the site. After scrolling through roughly thirty headlines, there were two that would tell readers how their lives would be better with Clinton. Not ‘they won’t suck as bad’, but better. Everything else was about how awful Trump is. If I were a journalist looking for story ideas or curious to see what Democrats are talking about, everything I would see would either be attacks on Trump or defenses of Clinton’s personal behavior. Where are the posts about how Clinton will make someone’s life better? (Again, not sucking as bad isn’t the same thing)

There’s a way to tout your policies while digging in the knife (Clinton is actually not bad at that), but most Democrats have to learn how to do this. And we better learn how to do this fast, not because Clinton will likely lose, but to win down ballot.


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