The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Left Just Can’t Quit Hillary Clinton

It never fails. Every single time I write about Hillary Clinton, I get some version of the same response. “Move on, Republicans. Stop distracting from Donald Trump.” But wait. Didn’t she write a book that she wanted people to discuss? Doesn’t matter. Move along. Didn’t the New York Times just break news that further illustrates that she’s not just a terrible politician but also a terrible cultural standard-bearer for #MeToo? Doesn’t matter. Move along. Didn’t she do this at the Grammy awards last night?

Doesn’t matter. Move along.

I can be dense, but I’m slowly learning the rules. When Hillary demonstrates fire and spirit and determination, then we should be all, “Yassss! Queen!” When Republicans push back, then we’re “obsessed.” We’re all into “whataboutism.” In other words, what “move along” really means is, “Shut up while we write the history of the 2016 election.” 

Sorry, but no. The Left doesn’t get to hand us one of the worst and most corrupt major-party nominees in American history and then later recast the election as some sort of battle between good and evil. The Hillary rehabilitation project is the Left’s rehabilitation project, and they simply don’t get to launch it unopposed. 

That’s not to say that all discussions of Hillary are worthy. Such is the lingering disgust on the Right that the mere mention of her name is reliable for ratings and clicks. So it’s tempting to constantly revisit old news in the absence of new news. It’s even tempting to, yes, distract from Trump scandals with a dash of the bad kind of whataboutism. Hillary has indeed lost. She’s not coming back (at least I don’t think.) Nothing Trump does today can be justified by anything Hillary did yesterday. 

Here’s my own standard. I refuse to allow the Left to relitigate the election without dissent. I will comment on important and relevant new developments about the past. And when she inserts herself into the present, it’s worth commenting on her actions — just as we’d comment on any past major-party nominee. She’s still an important public figure, as the Left itself acknowledges each time it tries to turn her into a pop culture hero. 

So, you want me to move along? I’ve got a simple response. You first. 

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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