“I’m back to being an activist citizen, and part of the resistance” — So said Hillary Clinton during a sit-down with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
Presumably she meant the #Resistance, which so far has existed on the same farcical level as La Resistance in the South Park movie. Yet that was before: surely success has been grasped now that they’ve added to their ranks one of the few people in America with the precise interlocking flaws and vanities needed to lose a presidential election to Donald Trump. The #Resistance was always self-flattering; with Clinton aboard, it risks becoming a promotional scam.
The reason is that this is what the Clintons do. They don’t adopt a cause or trend so much as they buy it out and fold it into their corporate juggernaut. Thus when asked in a radio interview back during the presidential campaign what one item she carries in her handbag, Clinton responded: “Hot sauce. Yeah.” That final “yeah” indicates she herself didn’t even believe the excruciating pander, but that moment’s campaign algorithm was appeal to Millennials; Millennials like Beyonce; Beyonce says hot sauce; hot sauce shall be assimilated. And it was.
So it makes sense that she’s now trying to merge Clinton Inc. with the #Resistance, a hot new trend to keep herself in all the headlines. Her interview with Amanpour shows that her political machine rolls onward, impervious to electoral humiliation, irrespective of the Democratic Party’s general health. Hillary might not run for New York mayor, but you’d better believe she’s going to remain in the public eye—she knows no other habitat.
To be sure, Clinton did concede yesterday that she took “absolute personal responsibility” for Donald Trump’s election. But then she set about blaming everyone and everything else. “I was on the way to winning,” she pronounced, “until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.” The inter-DNC shenanigans revealed by Wikileaks had at best a negligible effect on the election, and while pollsters will long debate the impact of Comey’s eleventh-hour intervention, the greater cause of that was Clinton’s dangerous use of a private email server. Yet there was no admission of wrongdoing from Hillary there. The Russians are at fault, though, as is misogyny, which she declared was “very much a part of the landscape politically, socially, and economically.”
Also part of the landscape was a general exhaustion with the feathered-nest Clintons and their endless malfeasances, of which the email scandal was only the latest example and which capsized Hillary’s approval ratings early in the campaign. Why was Clinton not clobbering the mutant Trump from the beginning? Why was her margin so razor-thin that a letter from James Comey could have closed it? Why couldn’t she rally the Obama coalition? That those questions went unasked and unanswered in the Amanpour interview says much about liberal America’s ongoing denial.
Clinton isn’t part of a revolution; that would be Donald Trump’s revolt of deplorables, with Hillary cast in the role of Marie Antoinette. “Let them eat polling data” was her motivating ethos. Thanks to the journalistic legwork of Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, we now know that Team Clinton, staring blankly at the numbers, couldn’t even divine “why Americans were so angry or how she could bring the country together.” That’s an almost comical level of cluelessness, one notably not suffered by Bernie Sanders. There are many culprits in “Shattered,” Allen’s and Parnes’ autopsy of the Clinton campaign, but none so guilty as the candidate roosted at the top, who had no raison d’être for running except that she deserved the presidency.
In an old-timey election waged over class, Clinton, who loves to posture over fighting inequality, never realized she was the quintessential political gentry against which working people had mutinied. That lack of self-appraisal is more than anything else what cost her the presidency. Now she wants to stick around, presumably to mold Democrats further, with her hated minion Tom Perez in command of their apparatus and the monarchical daughter next in line. As the South Park resistance sang: “Though they die, the Clintons live on.”