The general level of whining and cluelessness emanating from those in the Clinton Circle has been distasteful to watch. Any number of articles have been printed now discussing their angst and attempts to figure out how they "got it so wrong". (See here and here.)
This doesn't seem to me to be a higher math equation; it's more like a 2+2=4 kind of thing. That they still don't get it suggests exactly why they lost the election.
Progressives generally, the Democratic party more particularly, and the Obama administration specifically badly overplayed their hand in oh-so-many-areas of concern to the American people.
Immigration is my stock in trade; it's what I concern myself with, so I'll limit my observations to the shambles they have made of enforcing the immigration law: their constant thumb on the scales of immigration benefits to ensure they are always tipped in favor of the alien; their willingness to flood the country with cheap labor undercutting American workers struggling in a fragile economy and difficult job market; and to their absurd "post-nationalist" notions where borders allegedly don't matter and sovereignty is just one more anachronism, an artifact of the past, despite all evidence to the contrary. None of this played well with ordinary Americans.
Clinton promised more of the same, and the voters wanted none of it. Not seeing the obvious suggests a philosophical blindness that can't be cured by anyone but the afflicted themselves.
More puzzling, at least to me, are those on the right who appear to be equally sensorially deprived, including some of the "Never Trumpers" who, for reasons of conservative ideological purity or otherwise, stayed out of the fray, preferring not to sully themselves even though the stakes were enormous.
Suddenly we read blogs and editorial pieces opining that, having won, it's time for Trump to get right with "true conservatives" or with the factions of the Republican party that snubbed him; that it's time to show his maturity and make conciliatory gestures, such as abandoning his "extreme" immigration rhetoric having to do with border walls or ensuring that deportation becomes a realistic consequence of illegal presence in the country. Why? Why would he do that? Those promises, among other things, are what earned him the election, and he did it without the individuals and groups who now think he should make gestures.
One such piece that drew my attention (and, frankly, no small amount of dismay and ire) was, "A Trump Nomination to Heal the Party: Kelly Ayotte" by Shawn McCoy. Ayotte was running for senator of New Hampshire as the incumbent, and she still lost. She made a point of distancing herself from Trump and declining to endorse him. Did this have an impact on her loss? I don't know New Hampshire politics well enough to say with any certainty, but having lost her seat she's a professional politician without a job. McCoy's antidote?
With the election now past us and the seriousness of the task ahead now confronting Ayotte and Trump, the president-elect should give strong consideration to naming the New Hampshire senator his attorney general, defense secretary, homeland-security secretary, or Supreme Court nominee.
It seems to me that McCoy, who by the way is a pollster who admits he was doing the polling in New Hampshire where Ayotte lost and even now argues for the accuracy and legitimacy of his polling, is as out of touch as progressives.
I won't speak to all of the possible positions McCoy suggests, but will confine myself to secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) or attorney general. We have suffered for nearly eight years with a pathetic and ineffectual Department of Homeland Security, and a highly political and morally compromised Department of Justice. Why hand these critical positions over to Ayotte just because she needs a job? NumbersUSA gives Ayotte an overall report card grade of "D" on immigration matters, and in several specific areas, she drops to "F-".
It's worth keeping in mind that while the DHS secretary controls the operational immigration agencies, the attorney general controls the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals — functions every bit as important as the daily operations. Just this week Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) noted that backlogs in the immigration courts are hovering at 521,676, a backlog so substantial (and so unnecessary) that it virtually guarantees every undetained alien many years of liberty in the United States while awaiting a hearing. If the immigration courts and appellate tribunal are in the hands of someone who is ineffectual, or whose views are signally out of line with Trump's, he is virtually guaranteeing the American people that he will betray his campaign promises to them. How wise would that be?
Now back to that thing about "healing" and "gestures": Perhaps this is the one time the mountain does need to come to Mohammad. The purists made him go it alone and he did. So the gestures now, it seems to me, are not for him, but for others to make, and they need to be realistic in understanding that the gestures won't necessarily be responded to with instant gratification to the gesturers.