Saturday, December 2, 2023

Hillary's Republican


As the non-race of the Trumpist party's pretend primaries moves towards its inevitable conclusion, there's a peculiar bit of pushback against the candidate who appears to be consolidating her position as a futile, distant second.

From Trump's camp, there were recent efforts to make hay of the fact that Nikki Haley once noted in passing that she was inspired by Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency.  

"Ahah," cried his hounds.  "Look at her!  Haley said a nice thing about Hillary!  Hale-aree!  SHE'S JUST LIKE HILLAREEE RINO RINO CLINTON HILLARY HALE-AAAA-RrrEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (insert inaudible dogwhistle sound here)!"

This is an odd thing for Trumpists to highlight, simply because were it not for Hillary Clinton, Donald J. Trump would never have won the Republican nomination in 2016.   

By saying this, I'm not saying "Donald J. Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016 because he was the best person to win against Hillary Clinton."  I am also not saying:  "Hillary Clinton was such a terrible person that opposing her made Donald J. Trump seem like a perfectly reasonable choice."

I am saying: "Donald J. Trump was the person that Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign chose to win the Republican nomination in 2016, as she and her campaign successfully did everything in their power to get him nominated."

Why?  Because Trump was (and is) not just the worst possible candidate for the Presidency...venal, amoral, incompetent, and self-evidently unfit for office.  He was also the only Republican candidate in 2016 that Clinton's internal polling told her she had a shot at beating.   In the emails that Russian operatives hacked from Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta, which were subsequently disseminated through Wikileaks, it's without question that Hillary's strategy revolved around manipulating the media to cast Donald J. Trump as her main adversary. 

I mean, it's right there.  There are receipts.  It's a Known Known, as Rumsfeld might have put it.

Knowing how much the Clinton Industrial Complex was loathed by the far right and ultraconservatives, positioning Trump as her opponent would naturally strengthen him in the primary process.  It worked.  Rank and file conservatives took that bait.  I mean, if you're one of the souls who voted for him, you're living proof.

It about half of what the Democratic party does, and most of what McKinsey recommends...the sort of disastrous outcome that rises from being too smart for your own good.  

Because whenever you intentionally bend probability in a dark direction to your potential gain, your gamesmanship increases the chances for a catastrophic outcome.  If your candidate only beats a potential opponent...whose incompetence is a danger to the only two to three percentage points, you shouldn't be thinking about elevating that opponent.

What does it benefit you, to paraphrase an old friend, to gain a few percentage points but lose your republic?