The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mind Palace

Since the election, the Democrats have created a steady stream of excuses for Hillary Clinton's loss. First, it was James Comey, then it was Wikileaks, then Anthony Weiner, then fake news, then "dirty politics," then "the Russians", even Huma Abedin. It turns out that few Democrats want to be introspective—to look at the candidate herself, her ideas and policies, her dishonest, condescending and elitist behavior, or for that matter, the poor results of eight years of Democratic governance under Barack Obama.

John Kass comments:
The Clinton Democratic left has created a vast mind palace, an artificial world where they may craft a safe space, protected from post-traumatic Trump (election) disorder.

In this pleasant mind palace of theirs, where they don't have to address Democratic failings, Hillary Clinton's numerous faults and stupendous strategic blunders, two things stand out:The CIA is now the left's champion of truth and beauty.

And Russia, once the friend of the useful American left, is now its enemy.
My, my. How times have changed. Kass continues:
It might be also useful to remember the uproar of the campaign, when during the last Clinton-Trump debate, the Republican wouldn't immediately say he'd concede if he lost the election.

That was the time when most (not all) analysts had Clinton running away with it, and they repeated again and again there was no path to victory for Trump.

"We are a country based on laws," a horrified Clinton said. "And we've had hot, contested elections going back to the very beginning, but one of our hallmarks has always been that we accept the outcomes of our elections."

Unless, of course, reality doesn't turn out as expected, and a mind palace must be created, a place so lovely that some never leave and lock the gates from the inside.
Ahhh ... fantasy is such a useful mechanism for some progressives. For example, many are now trying to persuade members of the Electoral College to abandon their state's voters, their party, and long-standing precedent, and vote against Trump. James Toronto writes about the Democrat's scheme to subvert the electoral college:
Call it the “Animal House” ploy, after this exchange from the classic 1978 comedy: “I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!” “We’re just the guys to do it.”

Fantasies like a electoral college revolt allow some Democrats to reside in a "mind palace" where only blue states and blue attitudes exist, where failure can always be blamed on other less evolved people, where morally enlightened progressive leaders of a big intrusive government know best, and where "free" everything is the norm because "the rich' have finally been forced to pay their "fair share."

On second thought—the real question is whether that fantasy is a palace or a prison.


Chris Stirewalt discusses the pre-election antics of Trump and the post-election antics of the Democrats. He recounts (no pun intended) the excuses I noted in the main body of this post and then writes:
... there is damage here beyond the shattered hopes of the true believers.

Worst of all, this bitter-enderism further degrades confidence in our already weakened institutions. Refusing to accept the results of a duly conducted election is straight Banana Republic business. We will all be poorer for the degree to which first Trump and now Team Clinton are diminishing our system of elections itself.

But there’s also the fact that this endeavor, which has the support of Clinton’s former campaign chairman, is ensuring that Democrats will take exactly the wrong lessons from their defeat.

The fast-hardening conventional wisdom on the Blue Team goes something like this: A toxic stew of sexism and white nationalism fueled Trump’s success with blue-collar white voters but Clinton couldn’t rally her own counteroffensive because Russian hackers and FBI Director James Comey kept dropping bombs on her head.

You can certainly preach it that way. And when Clinton gathers with her biggest donors Thursday at a campaign wrap party at the Plaza Hotel in New York, there will be lots of versions of what the campaign’s communication director said at a CNN post-election slugfest between the two staffs: “I would rather lose than win the way you guys did.”

Feeling virtuous about a defeat is nothing new. Many Republicans believed that their party lost four years ago by bribing voters with “free stuff” or that their nominee was too gentlemanly.

But the lesson in these tropes about the cause of Clinton’s defeat could greatly prolong the party’s time in the wilderness.

Rather than nodding knowingly about Russian hacks and Trump’s army of internet toads, Democrats would be better off spending their time reading Edward-Isaac Dovere’s piece on the staggering dysfunction of the Clinton campaign.

It reveals a campaign that became exactly what Democrats had feared: top-heavy, wasteful, musclebound and unable to adapt. The anecdotes would be heartbreaking for any Democrat: the desperate calls from state activists, the wasted money, the irrational data dependency. Simply a disaster.
Hmmm. It's not clear why the Dems feared that. After all, "top-heavy, wasteful, musclebound and unable to adapt" sounds an awful lot like the model for Democrat governance that we all experienced over the past eight years. Maybe that's one reason why Hillary lost—and lost badly.


And this short comment from Mark Hemingway:
If I wanted to discredit an entire political party, I’d do exactly what Democrats, grassroots and party bosses alike, are doing: whining and making excuses at every opportunity, right up to insisting there must be some fantastical way to overturn a decisive electoral drubbing.

The first step here should be to shut up and do some meaningful self-reflection about why Democrats lost. Yet precious few smart and influential Democrats are actually doing this. To paraphrase Mark Twain, it’s better to remain silent and be thought a loser than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Even worse, the bellyaching about Trump’s victory has become tired and predictable even as it amounts to little more than wishcasting.
"Wishcasting" in the "mind palace." Has a nice ring to it.

It appears that despite Twain's admonition, the Dems are doing everything possible to "remove all doubt."