Want to know why Hillary Clinton lost the presidential race and helped ruin the Democrats’ chances of regaining control of the Senate? This remark she made in September has something to do with it:
You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.
It’s the sort of thing a cynical odd man out would say. A seasoned politico running for president ought to know better.
Hillary obviously thought her coalition of supporters — college-educated urbanites with good jobs, African-Americans and other minorities, middle-class women, young people — was strong enough to overcome the white working-class barbarians who had no use for her.
It was a stunningly stupid assumption, indicative of how greatly she underestimated the number of citizens damaged by the Great Recession and disillusioned by Barack Obama’s half-hearted efforts to repair the damage.
You don’t have to be a deplorable Trump supporter to remember the giddy optimism in the air when Obama was elected in 2008. Or the sense of betrayal that set in when it became clear that Obama’s recovery plan involved relying on the same gang of Wall Street insiders — creeps like Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers — who had backed the deregulatory actions that made it possible for the big banks to wreck the economy.
Instead of an effort to restore faith in the system we got bank bailouts. Instead of indictments of the Wall Street crooks we got Eric Holder, an attorney general who let them all off the hook. We got millions of home foreclosures and lost jobs, and a subsequent “recovery” that has resulted in a record-high level of income inequality.
And then, instead of the change agent Bernie Sanders, we got Hillary, the Democratic National Committee’s anointed candidate, who might be even more closely allied with the Wall Street crooks than Obama.
Skeptical Democrats were supposed to accept all of this. We were supposed to hold our noses and vote for Hillary. That’s what I did, but I’ll bet a significant number of Dems who voted for Obama twice didn’t vote for Hillary this time, even though she was running against a monster.
You can’t blame the Election Day debacle on the deplorables alone.