Politics & Policy

The Corner

Here’s One Reason Why the Dems Still Love Hillary

Over at New York magazine, Andrew Sullivan is appalled at the Clinton family’s continued relevance:

It simply amazes me the hold this family still has on the Democratic Party — and on liberals in general. The most popular question that came from interviewer Nick Kristof’s social-media outreach, for example, was: “Are you doing okay?” Here’s Michelle Goldberg: “I find myself wondering at odd times of the day and night: How is Hillary? Is she going to be all right?” Seriously, can you imagine anyone wondering the same after Walter Mondale or Michael Dukakis or John Kerry blew elections?

And everywhere you see not an excoriation of one of the worst campaigns in recent history, leading to the Trump nightmare, but an attempt to blame anyone or anything but Clinton herself for the epic fail. It wasn’t Clinton’s fault, we’re told. It never is. It was the voters’ — those ungrateful, deplorable know-nothings! Their sexism defeated her (despite a majority of white women voting for Trump). A wave of misogyny defeated her (ditto). James Comey is to blame. Bernie Sanders’s campaign — because it highlighted her enmeshment with Wall Street, her brain-dead interventionism and her rapacious money-grubbing since she left the State Department — was the problem. Millennial feminists were guilty as well, for not seeing what an amazing crusader for their cause this candidate was.

I must admit that I’ve been amazed as well. I thought the Democrats would drop the Clintons like a hot potato, but now we’re seeing Chelsea receive fawning treatment, and Hillary still gets glowing coverage from multiple partisan outlets. Why?

If you’ll indulge some dime store theorizing, let me suggest that this is a simple function of human nature. We all tend to hate self-reflection. Since the #Resistance casts the political battle in such stark, moralistic terms, how can its members possibly face what they did when they nominated Hillary? Can they truly, humbly grapple with the consequences of nominating a corrupt machine politician for the presidency? Can they truly grapple with the full extent of her deceptions and evasions?

No, a clear look in the mirror means acknowledging that 2016 wasn’t a battle of good versus evil but rather a battle between two of America’s most dishonest public figures. A clear look at 2016 means dismounting from the high horse, and no one likes to dismount from the high horse. So they rehabilitate Hillary. They embrace Chelsea. And they keep believing they were on the side of the angels all along. 

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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