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Sunday, December 18, 2016

On hating Hillary Clinton

When Bernie Sanders held a town hall for MSNBC in Wisconsin last week, he engaged some people who had voted for Barack Obama but voted for Trump this past election.  When moderator Chris Hayes asked a union man why he, a Democrat,  had voted for Trump,  the man answered, "Because he's not Hillary."

That reply reveals a degree of derangement that has still to be diagnosed.  It is to be expected from Republicans because they are programmed to deny any facts that call into question the corporate agenda that forms the plank of their party and to cling to any falsehoods that discredit their opponents,  no matter how absurd.  But when Democrats move beyond justified disagreements with Hillary's policies or expressions of disapproval of some actions into blinding hatred,  they appear to have succumbed to some massive attack on the brain.

As the contest between Clinton and Sanders indicated,  there are factions within the Democratic Party that place emphasis on different matters.  Intra-party disagreements and their resolution are routine and normal in the development of a plank and a roster of candidates.  People, including party leaders,  work and wangle in behalf of their favored ideas and candidates.  When Wikileaks released a cache of hacked e-mails from the Democratic National Committee,  it revealed some strategies being suggested or applied  by Hillary supporters to advance her over Bernie Sanders.  The revelation forced the resignation of the DNC chair and created a disruption in the campaign.  And for those who opposed Hillary,  the cry was to read the e-mails to see what a conniving and disreputable person she is.  For those who did, in fact, read the e-mails, there was a preponderance of usual party business.  And there was the usual suggestions by the usual number of useless idiots,  such as using Bernie's Jewishness against him.  Or some leaders looking for some promotional advantage for their favored candidate.  Anyone who has been involved in party business, on whatever level,  knows there are small-minded people with malevolent ideas who think of themselves as ingenious strategists.   Dealing with them is a noisome but inevitable task.  The essential business of a political party is finding and making acceptable compromises.  If it does not have people who can do that,  the party is dysfunctional.  The primary race between Clinton and Sanders was attended by the usual petulant stupidities that competition inspires,  but it was a straightforward process.  And as political process works,  it did result in Clinton adopting many of Sanders' key platform points.  But among the dedicated Hillary haters,  that was not enough, and along with battling Donald Trump the party had to try to manage internal  dysfunction.  We ended up with Trump.

It  would be interesting to see the exchange of e-mails within the Republican National Committee and what kind of strategies were posed by the Trump and Never-Trump forces.  

The accusations against Hillary's corruption are often conflations from policy disagreements or surmises about her e-mails and her decisions.  Democrats who hate Hillary often post accusations that have been disproven by fact checkers.  They ally with the Republicans on those points.  While all of Trump's corrupt practices are documented on videos and in verified news accounts,  Clinton's alleged corruption is in a nebulous haze arising from personal hatreds.  Still the anti-Hillary Democrats hold her in malignant intolerance while displaying a remarkable tolerance for Trump. I wish in a way that Hillary would challenge Trump to launch an investigation for the purpose of trying to lock her up.  The charges against her have been processed by both Justice Department and Congressional investigations and no specific, chargeable violations have been produced.  Still Trump's are documented and flaunted by him for all to see,  but Hillary is the hateful one. It is doubtful that any further investigation can finally incarcerate her,  but that's what Republicans and Hillary-haters demand.  It is derangement,  the stuff on which true dysfunction based.  

In the matter of Russian-sponsored hacks into the DNC and other U.S. agencies,  the Democratic Hlllary-haters take up Trump's position.  They post materials that suggest that the intelligence community is in a conspiracy to generate hatred for Russia as a diversion.  This is despite the fact that 17 intelligence agencies of the U.S. have agreed that Russia has made a cyber invasion of the U.S.,  as if somehow 17 different agencies can be whipped into a conspiracy. And despite the fact that since the rise of Putin,  former Soviet republics have revealed Russian intrusion into their political affairs,   and that a number of Euro countries have uncovered such attacks from Russia.  Despite Russia's absorption of Crimea,  its belligerence and subversion in Ukraine,  and its participation in atrocities in Syria,  the Democratic fellow travelers dismiss Russian actions as a contrived ploy to divert attention away from Hillary Clinton's lost election.  And they deride liberals who express concern about Russian interventions and Trump's conflicts of interest as figments of liberal thinking coming from failures of critical thinking.

There are many Democrats who have acknowledged Hillary Clinton's evasiveness and the compromises the Clinton family has made with the corporate world.  But they have also acknowledged the record of her service to the liberal principles and policies that Democrats believe define a true democracy.  There is a blizzard of analysis about what the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party did wrong.   But one salient fact emerges.  Hillary won over Trump by nearly 3 million popular votes,  2.1 percentage points.  That salient fact is that whatever blame can be contrived to explain the loss,  the dysfunction within the Democratic Party is what won the election.  To Trump's campaign the factor is the useful idiots,  who keep blithely marching on into Trumpland.   May they enjoy their triumph.  The rest of us will find ways to resist or escape from them and the Republican menace.  

They are all the same.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States