Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Democrats and the 2016 and 2018 Elections

Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential election despite having more overall popular votes while losing several states by small margins. All those things are true. What is controversial is why. Some Democrats think Trump would never have won if the Republicans hadn't had help from James Comey and the Russians. Of course, Republicans won the House vote by 1.4 million votes and James Comey and the Russians had nothing to do with that.

Hillary Clinton clearly falls into the camp of "it was James Comey and the Russians." Believing this works for a few reasons. She doesn't have to accept responsibility for the loss and who wants to accept responsibility? That makes us fee bad. And other people get angry at us. And we might think that our policies aren't supported by enough people or that we are personally flawed. Better to blame it on others.

That's not to say that James Comey's letter, which he defends as justified, and the Russians didn't impact the election. Without them, Hillary Clinton would've won the popular vote! Oh wait. She won it anyway. We don't know how many people were influenced by either of these things and it's certainly possible that enough people in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were to flip the election.

On the other hand, about a half dozen women accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. People assumed what they were saying was true, but none offered any evidence. I'm certainly not defending Donald Trump's treatment of women but then I'm not defending Hillary Clinton's treatment of classified information either. Let's say all but one of those women were telling the truth but that last women cost Donald Trump 100,000 votes. No one knows for sure and in a close election we can cite any number of factors which may have cost people votes. One thing that is true is that the leaked DNC emails were real and Hillary Clinton did mishandle classified information. It wasn't like James Comey was accusing her of killing Vince Foster.

I agree with David Axelrod. James Comey didn't prevent Hillary Clinton from campaigning in Wisconsin. Sometimes external factors are going to break against you. Sometimes they'll break for you. I don't get the feeling that anyone from Barack Obama's campaigns would complain about James Comey's letter. No, they'd work as hard as they could and would've won anyway. Of course Obama did have the advantage of never being the target of an FBI investigation. Some guys catch all the breaks!

Blaming the FBI and the Russians for the 2016 loss completely obscures that Democrats did lost the House vote by a point and they failed to beat vulnerable Senate Republicans. Priorities USA, a Democratic Super PAC, decided not to chalk up weak Democratic performance to the FBI and the Russians. They went out and found out why two time Obama voters voted Trump or not at all. And the answers were enlightening. You have to be doing something wrong when people who voted Obama as recently as 2012 switch to the Republicans.

The good news for Democrats is that they control nothing in Washington. How is that good news? Because the party in control gets a ton of blame for everything that goes wrong and people vote for the other party regardless of their policies. The Republican party wasn't offering much in 2010 other than Obamacare repeal, how's that going?, but America voted for them anyway. Because they weren't Democrats. As long as the Democrats don't do anything stupid like tell anyone opposing abortion not to vote for them, tey should do very well in 2018.

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