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. Now is the time to be honest, so I implore Democrats, if you catch yourself making any of the following arguments about why Trump shouldn’t be president, check your party before you wreck your party.
1. Clinton Won the Popular Vote, Or the Electoral College Is Unfair
Yes, we know she got more than two million more votes than Trump. But the popular vote is never how presidential elections in this country have been decided. It’s called the “United States” for a reason. …
… 2. James Comey and the FBI Wanted Trump Elected
It’s conceivable, per Nate Silver, that the Comey letter in late October gave Trump momentum and possibly swung the election. But my response, like most Americans, is “So what?” …
… 3. The Russians Are Coming!
I don’t want to be too flippant here, because Russia is a serious threat and I have no doubt that they want to meddle in our elections. The fact that top Trump aides might be, say, laundering money for Russian mobsters makes a lot of people understandably queasy. Republicans in Congress agree with Democrats that Russia’s attempt at influencing things unduly needs investigating.
However, the evidence that Russians had any real impact on the actual election results is embarrassingly scant and wildly disproportionate to the amount of supposedly legitimate media outlets and public figures taking the idea of Russian hacking seriously. If the roles were reversed, I have no illusions that the media and their Democratic allies would be pretty dismissive of this given the lack of hard evidence.