2016 Election Post Mortem

November 14, 2016 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election, Hillary, Trump


Since about 1 am on Wednesday morning I’ve been imbibing a remarkable volume of adult beverages and raging at anyone who’ll listen, including Juanita Jean, about the injustice of it all.  She has told me to get it off my chest, so here we go, like it or not. I’m wandering into a political minefield here, because I have things to say about Hillary, her campaign, and why I believe she lost the 2016 electoral vote to the worst candidate for the presidency in US history. And if you believe I’m a misogynist, you can stick that right where the sun don’t shine.  It ain’t so; I calls ’em as I sees ’em, and chromosome differences don’t count. All comments making that accusation will be deleted, no arguments. My advice in advance about this piece: Don’t like it?  Don’t read it.

All that said, a few facts about me:

  • I’m a progressive, but not a Democratic party loyalist.
  • I support candidates I believe can win, and refuse to support those who I believe are losers.
  • I believe the DNC and Texas Democratic Party is in rigor mortise with a fossilized leadership that has supported the same old, same old, for decades.  A cynic would say they do that to line their own pockets, but I won’t make that accusation.  I will say, however, that they do the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. A top to bottom house cleaning is due in DC, as well as in state and local parties.  After the purge, a heavy application of disinfectant would be appropriate to avoid re-infestation.
  • Lastly, to reiterate, I don’t care what people think, and will speak my mind, like it or not.

Now, to the campaign.  I opposed Hillary Clinton’s run for president from the very first moment. In 2008, I supported Barack Obama, and thought Hillary was a terrible candidate for President then, and felt more strongly about that when she decided to run again for 2016 especially in light of the email nonsense. Notice I didn’t say unqualified; I said terrible candidate. While very experienced and a dedicated public servant, she carries tons of baggage. That baggage may or may not be fair, but it is baggage nonetheless. Going further, let’s be blunt – the Clintons have lived on the edge of ethical limits for decades. She also has a less than compelling campaign presence, a key to success for any office, much less President of the United States. You can dispute that and call me stupid, but the evidence is compelling.

The obvious issues with Hillary were these:

  • Emails: The damage concerning her email was 100% self inflicted.  Despite all the prevaricating, she set up the private server for one reason and one reason only…to avoid public scrutiny.  C’mon, we all know that, so don’t even try.  She arrogantly ignored the efforts of the Obama administration toward transparency, and, against contrary advice, put her email on the former president’s server.  She didn’t want to be “inconvenienced” with multiple email accounts (like the rest of the developed world).  It was stupid, and her staff enabled that stupidity.  Were it not for the email controversy, Hillary would likely be President Elect tonight, despite all the other nonsense surrounding Clinton World.
  • The Clinton Foundation Pay to Play:  This one is more subtle, but no less compelling.  It’s clear to everyone but the most loyal supporter that they used foundation fund raising as a tool for access to Hillary and Bill.  Again, c’mon.  Anyone who’s been around foundation work by by public figures understands that this is just simple fact.  To deny that fact is to ignore reality.
  • Secretiveness: This one is especially prickly and a vicious circle.  Bill and Hillary have been targets of wild conspiracy theories for decades, fueled by behavior like in the two points above.  Because of the conspiracy theories, Hillary is very secretive and keeps a small, tight group around her.  Because she’s secretive, she does stupid things like keeping a private email server that causes conspiracy theorists to…you get the point.
  • Presence: Hillary has a weak public presence.  I’ve been around her a couple of times (at high dollar donor events), and she’s personally charming while talking to party insiders and big donors.  When it comes to connecting to the masses, however… er, uh, not so much.  Don’t get pissed about this, especially since she admits this weakness.  Connecting with voters is the lifeblood of a candidate, and she’s anemic in the inspiration department except to radical loyalists.
  • Machine Politics:  Hillary and Bill are traditional machine politicians whose positions evolve according to traditional polling.  Because of this, she has a reputation for flip-flopping, switching her positions according to audience and politics.  Yes, yes, a lot of politicians do the same, but Hillary has raised the skill to an art form.
  • Zippergate: Directly unrelated to Hillary’s run; however, her vicious attacks on Bill’s accusers were used against her in this campaign.  Fair or not, it opened her to broad criticism.  Just sayin’.
  • The FBI: Clearly, operatives within the FBI intentionally leaked information to the press about Hillary, and one could say, with strong evidence, that Comey intentionally issued his letter to Congress 11 days before the election to intentionally damage her.  Termed Trumpland, the FBI seemed to clearly oppose a presidency by Hillary.

None of these weaknesses in isolation is a huge problem, but roll them all up?  The bundle simply represents a fatal flaw in Hillary’s image obvious to everyone except loyalists.  Period.  Despite these obvious weaknesses, though, the big story in 2016 was massive disillusionment in the heartland that everyone, including pollsters, the media, and Clinton World missed.  The white middle class, after post-war decades of rising prosperity, was abandoned in the ’70s and ’80s by conservative trickle-down economics and stagnating wages that has continued to today.  The middle class dream of a home and an education became a cruel joke under increasingly conservative political leadership.

In the 1990s, the Democratic party was overtaken by neo-liberals (the Clintons), and the working class continued to become an increasingly disenfranchised segment of America. This disenfranchisement gradually lured the middle class into voting against their own interest by responding to demagogic rhetoric intended to divide the white working class from those considered as “other”; immigrants, Muslims, and African Americans.  It worked, better than conservative operatives ever imagined.  The tragedy, though, was that neo-liberals tried to hang onto influence by abandoning policies that supported the working class, advocating corporate friendly policy that benefited the elite class at the cost of everyday folks.  It worked, and, combined with the after effects of the Civil Rights Act, the decline of the Democratic Party began, even as it tried to morph into GOP-Lite.  Bill and Hillary were on the leading edge of this movement, followed by the Democratic establishment, abandoning the very constituents they claimed to champion.  Let’s be blunt about this fact:  Hillary’s positions, especially before Bernie Sanders pulled her to the left, are essentially those of an Eisenhower Republican.

The Shock that Few Saw: Conventional wisdom said that Trump (Cheeto Jesus) was a loser.  Even Republicans abandoned him, fearing backlash from his outrageous rhetoric and tweet storms.  What they didn’t calculate, though, were his celebrity, and that the middle of America had had enough. Cheeto Jesus, a career carnival barker, spoke to them on the level to which they responded and no one in the establishment, especially Hillary World, could counter. To make matters worse, his followers distrust the establishment and every part of the government even to the extent of refusing to talk to pollsters.  They chose to follow a man who admitted to sexual harassment, shouted racial and religious slurs, and made a career of stiffing banks, investors, and contractors for his own personal gain. The more outrageous his behavior, the more he endeared himself to a broad base of disaffected Americans. Even though the GOP had essentially created and fed this problem for over 30 years, they have generally been the beneficiaries of this tactic except for the 2008 and 2012 Presidential cycle.  Cheeto Jesus played supporters like one giant Stradivarius.

Cheeto Jesus blew the whole thing up, and Hillary fell to a populist uprising.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, she got the popular vote (thanks to turnout in big cities) but she lost the electoral vote, which is the only vote that counts. Would Bernie have done better?  Maybe, but we’ll never know, since he was crippled early on by Hillary operatives who had been embedded in the DNC for years (the subject of a future rant).  I continue to believe, had not Biden been scared off by the big Hillary wall erected against him, could have beaten Cheeto Jesus, due to his own populist appeal that Hillary certainly lacked.

By now, if they got through this post, Hillary loyalists will be seething and shouting “Nuh Uh” into their computer screens and furiously typing rebuttals in the comments section.  But, facts is facts.  Hillary, despite her obvious technocrat qualifications for this job, was a terrible choice as the Democratic candidate.  Terrible. No, it’s not fair, and yes, it’s a missed opportunity for us to have the first woman President.  In the end, though, there are two irrefutable facts:

Politics ain’t beanbag, and life’s not fair.


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77 Comments to “2016 Election Post Mortem”

  1. Anonomous Propagation says:

    el Jefe –
    You need to use that condom you stretched over your head to keep out others opinions and facts as a hat, not a reality screen. As a history teacher, I’ve seen some wild answers on current history tests, but yours is the least imaginative. You have spent most of your energy on factoids to support your opinions — your repetition of others’ opinions. As has become the standard since Obama’s inauguration, you are entitled to your opinion, but not a unique set of facts. You have adopted others’ opinions and conclusions as facts. They aren’t fact or facts.
    Once you got to secretiveness you got on the right track.
    Clinton’s problem from the beginning has been connecting with rural voters. She lost this general election before she ran. Until we find a racist, mysogynist Democrat, we won’t reap votes from the rural areas. Since they aren’t going to tax themselves to educate their offspring they aren’t going to develop new values; won’t grow, and mysogyny will prevail.

  2. e platypus onion says:

    Dice-it wasn’t what the FBI released that hurt HRC, it was the timing and since the FBI was sharing info with Guiliani of Drumpf’s campaign, I think they should both be charged with collusion to steal an election. But HRC is the crooked one.

  3. The right believes everything that their propaganda machines deploy. And they often vote against their own best interests. Donald Trump is the vilest candidate imaginable and yet they still voted for him. Hillary Clinton is not a great politician but she is smart, very knowledgeable and experienced. Yet all we heard was emails and the Clinton Foundation. Trump is a thief and with the exception of very few journalists, no one seemed to be interested. She has done a lot of good things yet we did not hear much about those deeds. Perhaps more emphasis on her accomplishments and her true character and things might have been different. But then there would still be James Comey and his merry band of FBI agents.

  4. Annabelle Lee says:

    A thousand years ago, when Bill Clinton was running for President the first time, someone asked Mrs Clinton whether she could bake a cherry pie. I forget what she said, but it was defensive and unmemorable.

    A columnist at the time said something like, if she had played it off like Reagan – if she had stuck her chin out and said, “I sure can!”, there would be no limit to how far she could go. But that’s not who she is.

  5. Thank you. I had problems with Hillary from the jump. It had nothing to do with Bengazi, emails, or Bill not keeping it in his pants. It had to do with her being a lap dog for Goldman Sachs et al and her support of neo liberal economic policies that strip mine the working and now middle classes. I am a middle aged and a proud leftie and the whole elect her because she has a vagina and it is her turn thing was always suspect to me. It was obvious to everyone but beltway denizens, party insiders, and the pundit class that the majority of people wanted change. The DNC in it’s infinite wisdom offered up a status quo candidate and are shocked shocked I tell you that the lunatic who promised anything but the status quo is now our president elect.

  6. I would differ with you on MOST of your platform; I would rather have voted for Hillary Clinton in MOST any circumstances. You and other ‘progressives’ were the Nader/Perot contingent of this election. Should Bernie have conceded (sic) in more of a timely fashion Hillary would still have lost progressive voters, or should I call that ‘hypothesis after the fact’?

    We live in Arizona; I am already plotting my driving routs, and my entrance to various businesses. Hope you progressives learn to live in this world, especially as an African American.


  7. My DH grew up in Beaumont. Between that and the Baptist upbringing, I learned early on that the cold hearted, mean sumbitches outnumber the rest of us. Hillary didn’t stand a chance. Also, my first adventure into politics was for Barry Goldwater. I liked his position on the environment and equal rights for women. That lead me to the John Birch Society. They got what they have been working for since then.

    The Republicans are so good at sending the daily talking points to everybody with an R stamped on their foreheads. With the help of their cadre of media people they are great at staying on message and getting their point across. The Ds don’t even try. That blonde idiot woman Marsha ? from Tennessee is on tv all the time. I can’t remember seeing Nancy Polosi.
    The Democrats need to learn how to toot their own horns.

  8. Despite Trumps comment on immigration,the border(wall) and deportation, one thing did not occur to until the Friday before the election.

    I go into the local junior college bookstore once a week or so on business, on that Friday the bookstore manager was talking to two of the student employees about the election and showing them the Rep. and Dem. positions on a computer.

    The manager is a Latino as were both of the students and probably over 40% of the students as a whole. The manager was agreeing with many of the Dem. points…until it came to abortion. The manager said” and this is the biggest one to me.” Then went on to explain that is why they would vote for Trump even though not liking anything else about Trump.

    I thought to myself ” Uh oh, this election is going to be tougher for Clinton than I thought.”

  9. e platypus onion says:

    OT but did any of you happen to watch the Supermoon rise just recently? OMG WOW!!!

  10. El Jefe, I have at least one up on you. I am right in the middle of the storm track. When Hillary accepted Sec/State she asked State Dept. security for the same kind of telecommunications the President had cuz she was aware that the State Dept. servers leaked!!! She was told No, only the President rated the unhackable. Hence she made her choice. Congress has refused to keep the State Dept. servers repaired and safe. Their isn’t a tech lover among the appropriators. They don’t know, don’t understand, and don’t damn care. Had that been little old me I would have simply pulled out and told whoever to stuff it. She apparently felt some sort of patriotism regarding everything.

  11. Don A in Pennsyltucky says:

    I am most disappointed that Juanitajean has seen fit to give a set of keys to the beauty salon to someone who promises to delete comments. Sounds like the kind of person who would deny press credentials to reporters who don’t slant their stories in the right direction. Feh!

  12. Joseph of Cannonfire is blazingly angry about the Sanders campaign and its ‘helping’ the Democrats. His perspective as an older adult apparently inspires trying to dig out lots of relevant bits & pieces, and to tie all his investigations together with supporting historical information.
    Within that article http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2016/11/reconcilation-with-bernie-faction-never.html … the bits to watch for = Manafort (Trump campaign), Devine (Sanders), the Russians’ influence via trolls and Wikileaks, and — the Nemesis!! … most especially Nixon dirty-trickster Roger Stone (Trump).
    And he did a post on a modern hacking method — http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2016/11/question-and-answer.html

  13. JAKvirginia says:

    Thank you, Maggie. You and I must get our news from truly real journalists.

    And El Jefe? I welcomed you here the other day, but now I take it back.

    If you ever again post such unresearched BULLSHIT I will find a way to reach through the intertubes and rip your effing throat out and don’t think for a minute this fag won’t or can’t do it.

    You may indulge yourself in the fantasy that “you get it” but you are just as delusional as the average Fox viewer. And just as shallow. Goody for you — you found someone to blame and constructed a logic thread to support it conveniently leaving out issues that weaken or destroy your conclusion. Congratulations! You have a bright future on The Blaze.

    If this is an example of your contributions in the future, I wil be spending my time elsewhere.

  14. Barbara Elliott says:

    How would I know if I don’t like what you wrote without reading it? While I don’t disagree with many of your points, I don’t really agree with your overall conclusions.

    I have been dismayed for the last 25 years by Fox Noise and Conservative Talk Radio. A Republican Propaganda Network designed to tell the uneducated mind what to think with no regard to facts or reality. In my opinion, their labors have come to fruition and the masses no longer can identify the difference between propaganda and news. The left and right in this country are so diametrically opposed because they inhabit separate realities with completely separate “facts.” Case in point the extremely large number of Republican voters who believe Obama was not born in this country.

    That’s just my two cents. The only way I can figure that voters considered Hillary more dishonest than a pathological liar.

  15. Hate- yes.
    Misogyny- yes.
    Criminal collusion with Russia and the FBI- yes.
    SnacilbupeR voter suppression- yes.
    Terrible “journalism”- absolutely. The media kept alive the fake “email scandal” while giving a pass to the Cheetoh-faced Ferret-wearing Shitgibbon Cocksplat. Minimal to zero fact checking, hyping absurd sound bites, pitiful “debates.”

    I put the lion’s share of responsibility for this election fiasco on the media.

  16. BTW, not that anyone asked, but I’m an FDR (Eleanor really)/ McGovern/ Wellstone Liberal Democrat. I could never be anything else. George McGovern, from my home state of South Dakota, was the last presidential candidate who was truly liberal enough for me. I knew him and his wonderful wife Eleanor (What a great name!) personally. Paul Wellstone, a Minnesota Senator and former college professor, died in a plane crash during a campaign.

  17. Mother Jones' cat says:

    Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    El Jefe’s piece was well thought out and fact based. He went out of his way to be polite and decent in presenting his thoughts. It is a shame that he did not receive the same courtesies from the other customers.

    I have a news flash: Donald Trump didn’t win this election; Hillary Clinton LOST this election. And she lost it for all the reasons El Jefe pointed out plus a few more.

    The comments I have read to El Jefe’s piece are pretty much what I saw throughout the election. During the primaries if I dared to say something about Hillary Clinton’s poor favorablilty ratings people would say things to me like, “if you don’t think Hillary Clinton is a saint I’m going to rip your ffing throat out”. There could be no discussion, no civil discourse. Tell me, how did that kind of behavior work out for you all???? Not too damn well because now we have an idiot for President. And I am here to tell you that if you don’t do some serious thinking and introspection we are doomed to have many more vile Presidents in our future.

    I, myself, am pretty ffing mad because all the Clinton supporters with blinders on cost us this election. But, don’t worry, I’m not going to call anybody names. The fact that these blindered people insisted on running someone who couldn’t get elected even when her opponent was someone as vile as Trump amazed me. The fact that these same people continue with that behavior NOW when we are in this god awful mess terrifies me. At the risk of talking in cliches I would just point out that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

    El Jefe, I’m glad you are here. I look forward to more of your civil and well thought out pieces. And I hope we can all engage in civil discourse and perhaps learn a thing or two from each other. That is a lot more productive and pleasant than name calling.

  18. Mark Schlemmer says:

    I’ll still get my hair done here. I welcome a broad range of view-points. I am not particularly politically correct. I think the progressive friends I have – and there are many here in Portland, OR, do themselves a real disservice when they refuse to listen to others, or interject their opinions too rapidly. People need to be heard for there to be any progress politically or any other way. Many people in America are hurting. Many people who voted for Trump do not share any of his racist, hate-filled and stupid ideas. But, they loved his middle finger approach because they are feeling screwed. Plus, lets face it – there are a lot of idiots out there. I’ve been a history buff my whole life. We have had bad leaders before and we will again. We CAN survive this IF we work together and listen to each other. There is no alternative that ends well folks.

  19. It wasn’t Hillary Clinton who lost the election. It was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who, with her conniving to keep an electable candidate off the ballot, who lost us this election. Anyone who hasn’t recognized and accepted this has not been paying attention.

    Hillary was so deeply flawed – mostly by her disdain for the little people she was depending on voting for her, and her inability to cover that up – that she never really stood a chance. Schultz found a genuine progressive reformer like Sanders so odious, and an elitist conservative like herself so attractive, that she has all but destroyed the party with her manipulation of the primary process to get her favorite elected. And progressives, if they want to ever elect a president again, are going to have to either coöpt the Democratic Leadership Council wing of the party and push them out of leadership, or abandon the Democratic Party outright and give it the decent elitist Clintonian burial it has come to so richly deserve.

  20. e platypus onion says:


    Mark this is the kind of feces us libs hear when we listen to them.This is from intelligent voter in South Dakota. Enjoy.

  21. Mother Jones' cat says:

    There is a wonderful article on another great blog that explains why the DNC went Hillary all the way from the very beginning. The Hillary Victory Fund which was supposed to be split three ways (Clinton campaign, DNC and 38 state parties) was only split two ways (Clinton campaign and the DNC). They did this through the Hillary Victory Fund.

    It is too detailed to go into the specifics but the upshot is that the DNC was beholden to the Clinton campaign before the primaries even started and needed her to be the candidate in order to get them out of the financial hole that they had gotten themselves into.

    Here is a link for a complete explanation with the detailed specifics:


  22. Temper, temper, JAK. I gave a warning to loyalists at the beginning of the post, but apparently you didn’t listen, and now you’re mad. I deleted your comment at first, but on second thought decided to leave it up. If you feel like trying to “rip [my] effing throat out”, knock yourself out. You’re scaring me to death. Can you tell I don’t respond well to insults and threats? It’s OK – I’ve heard it all before.

  23. Maggie, I am a news junkie and missed that. Even with an offspring in the business. We also get the Monitor and MJones print and computer. What should I be reading?

    Why the hell were the Ds not shouting that from the rooftops on every damn tv program in the USA? For weeks on end to anybody who would listen?

  24. What kind of an elitist would climb a fence and muck through a field just to talk to a farmer? That was Hillary running for Senate and no, I don’t believe she left that fence climber behind.

  25. Jadedhaven says:

    There are lots of lessons Dems could learn and changes they could make to do better next time. But simply not running Hillary might suffice.

    Voters really didn’t like Clinton. Maybe that was reasonable, maybe it wasn’t. Anyway, she’s not the Trump alternative anymore.

    It would do Democrats some good to think about the good reasons people disliked Hillary and not just the bad, sexist ones. There were lots.

    For one, nobody made her spend 2013 and 2014 pocketing as much bank speech money as possible.

    El Jefe is worth listening to.

  26. Steven Hernandez says:

    Here is something I have learned in politics over the past few decades. In any election, the loss belongs to the candidate and the win belongs to the team. Clinton lost the election. It was her campaign and the fault is hers. Sure she had help DWS, Brazile, et al. but all of that was her choice. Had the DNC, et al not helped her she would not have been the nominee. But she put herself ahead of the people and that has sunk us all. (For the record I voted for her and I had high hopes but I knew she lost the second I saw an interview with her deputy communications director at 6 P.M. C.S.T. In all of my political life I had never seen someone so high up in a national campaign look so scared.)

  27. I’m with you. Although I’d be happy to serve on James Comey’s hanging jury. I don’t think he managed to put the final nail in her electoral coffin. I think it was the things you cited, but mostly that she represented a continuation of business as usual, no changes, billionaires working on being trillionaires and the people who work their asses off to keep this country going having to double and triple up to afford both housing and food. I lived in the northeast long enough to know Trump’s reputation for stiffing everybody (it’s how he stayed rich) while lying through a smile and I despise him. Still, the only consistent thing about him is that he’s a liar, and that means the real hell of this is that we don’t know what he’s going to do to us. Good luck to us all, we’ll need it.