Saturday, September 09, 2017

Neglected Reason

Oh, don't worry about it, Mrs. Clinton. Politico reports

While Clinton in the past has openly taken responsibility for the failures of her campaign, she has also repeatedly lashed out those she saw as detractors, from former FBI director James Comey to the media to the Russian foreign influence campaign — a theme seemingly echoed in her new book.

“I go back over my own shortcomings and the mistakes we made,” Clinton writes, according to early excerpts of the book. “I take responsibility for all of them.”

But, she adds, “I wasn’t just running against Donald Trump. I was up against the Russian intelligence apparatus, a misguided FBI director, and now the godforsaken Electoral College.”

All those factors- Russian intelligence apparatus, Comey, the Electoral College, she herself- played a role in Clinton's defeat. Far less justifiably, she blames also then-Vice President Biden and Senator Sanders.

There are additional reasons for her defeat, including one often overlooked, and not well understood, as reflected in the Politico article in which Steven Shepard concluded

Donald Trump is losing support from voters who crossed over to back him in last year’s election, according to a new study released Wednesday.

A new survey from the bipartisan Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, which has been interviewing the same voters repeatedly for the past six years, identifies which voters have drifted away from Trump over the first six months of his presidency — and points to the danger for Republicans if the party can’t bring them back into the fold in the upcoming off-year and midterm elections.

The President has crossed swords with the Defense Department over transgender rights. North Korea has blown through his red line. The failure to repeal and replace "Obamacare" has highlighted the absence of legislative accomplishments. Confusion, disruption, and backbiting among Trump's appointees have flourished while the probe into the successful effort by the Russians to get their man elected President is getting closer to the Oval Office.   Ineptitude has been almost as pervasive in the Administration as has lying (not really).

Yet less than 25% of Obama to Trump voters disapproves of the job the current President is doing.

Politico finds this a large and significant percentage. Yet, we have been told- credibly- for the past ten months that the primary reason a surprisingly large number of individuals who opted for Democrat Obama in 2012 and Republican Trump in 2016 was displeasure with nominee Clinton.

This has made sense intuitively. And yet, fewer than 1 in 4 of these voters experiencing the near-disaster of the Trump Administration is dissatisfied with his job performance.

There is more. This past week, Trump made clear a willingness to reverse his campaign pledge about the Dreamers, satisfying neither the right nor the left.  His lack of conviction about his signature issue of immigration was coupled with an apparent cave-in to two of the base's boogeymen, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. And yet, the morning after Trump left the House Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader, both of his own party, at the altar and made off with Schumer and Pelosi, "Fox & Friends "co-host Pete Hegseth rationalized

And you know what, this is a clear shot at Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. Hey guys, if you can't get things done, listen, I'll go work with the Democrats.  And I'll work with things like raising the debt ceiling and the continuing resolution to fund the government, and Irma. Listen, Democrats are always happy to spend your money and they're always happy to raise your debt ceiling and those things so they're happy to come to the table. I think it's very strategic of this president. Clear out the underbrush of stuff  that could be contentious, that Washington likes to fight so that you can clear the deck to fight for stuff that really matters.

And now Fox News, including co-host Ainsley Earhardt who unironically suggested it was "the art of the deal," supports Mr. Trump as he works with liberal Democrats, essentially acknowledges that bills must be paid (traditionally low on GOP priority list), and eagerly spends our money.

Fox News both shapes and reflects the views of the Repub base. If Fox & Friends is any indication, they're all in for Trump, as are the overwhelming number of persons who voted for him, including those who switched from Obama to Trump.

It's time we concede something which one writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates- albeit overemphasizing race and underestimating economic distress- understands without stating explicitly. Neither Hillary Clinton nor her supporters, aghast at Donald Trump, will.  Neither will her detractors, especially those eage to convince us that President Obama enjoyed popularity among whites who despite Mrs. Clinton. Neither, obviously, will Politico, with its technically accurate but misleading headline "Poll" Obama-Trump voters drifting away from the President."

For reasons going well beyond that argued by Coates, and about which reasonable people will disagree: a lot of people genuinely like- and on November 6, 2016 liked- Donald J. Trump.

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