Jim Newell of Slate argues
We should blame all those people around the Clintons more than the Clintons themselves, and the Clintons themselves deserve a ridiculous amount of blame. Hillary Clinton was just an ambitious person who wanted to be president. There are a lot of people like that. But she was enabled. The Democratic establishment is a club unwelcoming to outsiders, because outsiders don’t first look out for the club. The Clintons will be gone now. For the sake of the country, let them take the hangers-on with them.
Amen. However, he adds
The few Democratic leaders who remain are going to say that it was just a bad note struck here or there, or the lazy Bernie voters who didn’t show up, or Jim Comey, or unfair media coverage of Clinton’s emails, to blame for this loss. I am already seeing Democrats blaming the Electoral College,...
When a nominee wins the national popular vote and is defeated in the Electoral College because of a string of narrow losses in several states, any one of a number of things can legitimately be blamed. They include the Electoral College, Jim Comey, and unfair coverage of Clinton's e-mails (lazy Bernie voters, not so much).
The Democratic establishment, whom he maintains "has beclowned itself and is finished," also will plead "just wait for Republicans to overreach. Then we'll be fine."
The GOP's presidential candidate did overreach- or at least reached as far as anyone humanly could. When he announced his candidacy, he claimed Mexican immigrants are "bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people," He lectured one opponent when he tweeted "So true. Jeb Bush is crazy, who cares that he speaks Mexican, this is America, English!" He called a Judge born in Indiana a Mexican, and told a journalist "Go back to Univision."
And of course, the wall, his "big, beautiful wall," which got ten feet higher every time he became annoyed.
But Democrats found out that in the mouth of the right messenger, there was now way for Republicans to overreach on immigration. None, because Trump ostensibly tried, and his crowds merely cheered him more the further he went.
Perhaps, as Newell maintains, Democrats can and "must win more white voters.... in a way that doesn’t erode the anti-racist or anti-sexist planks of the modern party, which are non-negotiable." But make no mistake. Their presidential candidate came up against a candidate who made statements as hate-filled as any major party presidential aspirant has since at least George Wallace in 1968, who received a whopping 13.5% of the vote.
Their presidential candidate came up against a GOP nominee who failed to unite his party, had never served in public office, and has a lifetime record of deceit, dishonesty, and depravity. "If the butterfly had teeth like the tiger, he'd never make it out of the hanger," George Peppard once remarked in his role as Polish-American detective "Banacek." The fictional character never anticipated a Donald Trump, who had teeth like a tiger. His major issue was opposition to immigration. And he won.