It just keeps happening. One major political pundit after another, whether on the left or right, on television or online, is stepping forward to caution Hillary Clinton not to bother getting involved with the Resistance. Or bother speaking. Or bother ever showing her face in public again. Not only is it bad advice, it’s an insult to everyone who voted for her. Particularly the women who voted for her.
Most of these pundits, particularly on the left, want Hillary Clinton to go away because they don’t want her serving as a public reminder that Donald Trump is their own fault. These pundits assumed from the start that Hillary would win, and so they used the entire election cycle as an opportunity to score cheap and easy points by promoting any underdog who came along.
The leftist pundits formally endorsed Elizabeth Warren even though she wasn’t running and didn’t want to play their game. Then they eagerly got behind Bernie Sanders, a career politician with no accomplishments, and immediately tried to build a mythical aura around him that they knew he could never live up to. They even begged Joe Biden to belatedly enter the race, knowing he would have fallen flat on his face if he entered that late in the game. These pundits were desperate to help themselves at Hillary’s expense by using any prop they could find. They didn’t even care if they ultimately hurt the underdogs they were propping up against her.
None of this was necessarily personal against Hillary. These liberal pundits just wanted to pretend to be brave by standing up to the liberal frontrunner, and to look cool and trendy by supporting any liberal underdogs they could create. These pundits knew how to read national poll numbers; they knew Hillary would win the nomination by around a 60-40 margin, which is how it played out when she won the primary by several million votes. If anyone was surprised by that result, they hadn’t been paying attention to the national polls all along. Once the primary got past the atypical opening states of Iowa and New Hampshire, it was never ever going to be a close race.
But then the pundits pushed the crazy hoax that the primary had been rigged for her, because they figured they could earn further progressive street cred with that lie as well. And hey, she was going to win the general election anyway, so who cares how much they lied about her? But what they weren’t counting on is that all the sabotage they did to Hillary ended up setting the stage for ongoing Russian disinformation and last minute FBI disinformation to hand it to Donald Trump. The irony is that, by winning the general election popular vote by three million votes even after all this sophisticated multi-layered sabotage, Hillary Clinton proved that she was the right candidate at the right time, and that the pervasive “flawed candidate” narrative the pundits had created around her was mere self serving fiction.
These liberal pundits know they’re the real reason Trump is in office. All the external sabotage in the world wouldn’t have worked, if they hadn’t spent all that time firing so many dishonest broadsides into Hillary’s campaign and character to begin with. And so the impending reemergence of Hillary as a Resistance figure in 2017 is bad news for these pundits. They’ve staked themselves to a series of (often sexist) lies about her. If they fail to resume those lies now that she’s back, their true believers will think they’ve gone soft. But if they do start attacking her again with the same old nonsense, bystanders will be reminded that they’re the ones who put Trump in power. Either way, these pundits are screwed.
So of course the pundits, particularly the opportunist ones on the left, are cringing at this week’s news of Hillary Clinton launching a new political group to fight against Trump’s agenda (link). But here’s the real problem: when these pundits try to silence Hillary, they’re also by extension trying to silence those who tried to defend her against those false attacks, and those who voted for her. And that’s just not going to work.
Whether or not these pundits consciously intended to be sexist when they falsely attacked Hillary Clinton during the election, it had the net effect of preventing the most qualified candidate in history from becoming the first woman President. It ended up being the most overtly sexist act of all time, in a society whose every tenet is still sadly interlaced with sexism. It was a slap in the face to everyone who supported her, but particularly to every woman who supported her. Now that Hillary is reentering public political life, it’s a given that these pundits are not going to be able to silence her or the women who voted for her. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report