Hillary Clinton described last fall’s presidential election as a “theft” in an interview with Anderson Cooper.
“I think it needs to be eliminated,” Clinton said of the Electoral College on CNN. “I’d like to see us move beyond it, yes.”
Like Miss Havisham wearing that wedding dress or Uncle Rico talking about throwing a football over a mountain, Hillary Clinton remains stuck in a moment.
If only she could gracefully grow a beard and make global warming documentaries, we could think more of her. But her sore-loseritis just confirms why we never liked her much in the first place. Hillary Clinton is inauthentic, and, unlike her husband, her fake persona strikes nobody as real. What Happened, a list of my-dog-ate-it excuses disguised as a book, shows us the answer even as it does not tell us.
The irony of her tinny whining appears rich even if story-hungry journalists refuse to bite.
The worst moment of her vanquisher’s campaign came not on Billy Bush Saturday but Premature Sore Loser Wednesday, when the Republican, down-and-seemingly-out in the polls, refused to pledge to accept the outcome of the presidential race should it not go his way. He announced of the election during the third debate, “I say it’s rigged.”
The Clinton campaign, and its press auxiliaries, came down hard on Donald Trump. A New York Times report called Trump’s reaction “a remarkable statement that seemed to cast doubt on American democracy,” while an accompanying video called the poor sport’s words a “most breathtaking moment.”
If a premature counterfactual about our electoral process makes one unfit for polite society, let alone the Oval Office, what does after-the-fact accusations of vote stealing and other unproven shenanigans say about Ms. Clinton?
Sixteen years after Bill Clinton’s vice president failed to graduate from the Electoral College despite passing muster with the people, Bill Clinton’s wife came up 43 credits short of her diploma after winning the popular vote. Whereas Al Gore contested the results for a few weeks before conceding, Hillary Clinton blames Russians, the FBI, sexism, the rules, and much else for her defeat, which, according to her, occurred as not so much her defeat as her unfair victimization at the hands of cheaters and scoundrels stealing her rightful place in history. A person who stood rather than ran for office paradoxically campaigns energetically postelection that she really, truly did not lose.
Winners say, “Congratulations,” upon defeat. Losers say, “No fair!”
Like the Senate, the Tenth Amendment, and the existence of state governments, the Electoral College reminds us that we live in the United States. These free and independent states, as the Declaration of Independence put it, elect a president, as the Constitution decreed it. CNN, in their ostensibly straight news account on Clinton’s remarks, described the Electoral College as “arcane.” But if parliament can elect a prime minister and cardinals can select a pope, why can’t the states pick the president without guffaws from the Fourth Estate likening the Electoral College to monocles and duels?
States remain the ultimate check upon power. They serve, as Justice Louis Brandeis put it, as the laboratories of democracy. They keep governance closer to home. For people who wish to lord over strangers from afar, states prove terribly frustrating entities. So, the call to kill the Electoral College comes as not just convenient but consistent with Ms. Clinton’s principles.
“We’ve been around for 240 years,” Clinton reflected during the final debate. “We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.”
And after 240 years, Hillary Clinton became the first politician to break a campaign promise without winning an election. She made history, all right.