Hillary Clinton just can't quit, writes Kathleen Parker
She can't let go.
She can't stop talking about what happened. She wrote an entire book about it. Now she's telling people in other countries about why she should have won. In India last weekend, she told an audience that she won in all the smart, cool places — and then hit a pandering low that puts a catalogue of others to shame.
Hillary Clinton just can't quit herself.
Not then. Not now.
In case you missed it, she won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes but lost the electoral college. Like it or not, our electoral system was set up this way — with both a popular vote and the electoral college — ostensibly as a bulwark against mob rule.
Americans either love or hate the electoral college, depending on whether it benefits them. And every few years, we want to scrap the whole thing and let the majority have its way. Or, should I say, let demographics and birthrates rule the day.
Irony, meanwhile, is one happy glutton these days. Donald Trump's unexpected victory meant that the "mob," as perceived by Clinton supporters, merged with the electoral college to pick a populist demagogue.
To say a majority of the country awoke the morning after Election Day shellshocked and mute is to understate the effect not so much of Clinton's loss but of Trump's win. As in, What?! On my block in very-blue Washington on the morning after, three neighbours simultaneously ventured outside to collect the newspaper or walk the dog and stood staring at each other, wordlessly. It was as though the presidency had died.
But life does skip right along, doesn't it? A triumphant President Trump hasn't slackened his pace as he shows one staff member, appointee or Cabinet member after another the door. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson , the most recent (but surely not last), was fired Tuesday in the nick of a bad-news cycle — a possible Republican loss in a special congressional election in Pennsylvania and a lawsuit filed by an alleged former lover (Windy, Snowy, or some such) who was allegedly paid not to tell.
No good seems to come to those who serve in this administration. Cue Peter, Paul and Mary: Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?/ Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?/ Gone to graveyards, everyone/ Oh, when will they ever learn?/ Oh, when will they ever learn?
The same song could be sung about Clinton, if only she could hear the music. But then, she was always a little tone-deaf. In India last week on a private trip with her friend and loyal adviser Huma Abedin, Clinton gave a few speeches as part of her ongoing global book tour to promote, wait for it, "What Happened."
At least Al Gore, who suffered a similar fate — winning the popular vote in 2000 but losing the electoral college to George W. Bush — went on to only grow a beard and make documentaries about the end of the Earth. Clinton seems committed to a personal Groundhog Day, in which she adds not new talents and feats of heroism but fresh targets to blame for her destiny denied.
She has variously blamed former FBI director James B. Comey, Russia, sexists, "deplorables" and, during a speech in Mumbai, racism. In one of her worst-yet panders — quite a distinction if you remember Clinton's 2007 speech in Selma, Ala. — she apparently noticed the darker pigmentation of her Indian audience and adapted.
She started out by reiterating her disdain for those who failed to recognize her virtues, saying that she won in places "that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward," compared with Trump voters who are always looking "backwards." Then, mockingly, talking to "those people" who voted for him, she continued: "You know you didn't like black people getting rights, you don't like women, you know, getting jobs, you don't want to, you know, see Indian Americans succeeding more than you are."
Yikes. So, the people who voted for Trump resent Indian Americans' success? Funny, because surely her audience was aware that the president selected Indian American Nikki Haley to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. And it's a good bet they knew Haley had previously been serving her second term as the governor of South Carolina, where she was the first woman and ethnic minority to be elected governor in the state's history.
Such a lack of awareness, combined with Clinton's clear disdain for millions of Americans whom she would have served as president, confirms she shouldn't have won after all. By her insinuations, she has demonstrated a loathsome prejudice against the poorly educated and unemployed, as well as rural whites, social conservatives and women who stay home with their children — to name a few.
What happened, you ask?