- - Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell often says, “There’s no education in the second kick of a mule.” Democrats appear to want to test the proposition.

Desperate to convince themselves they didn’t lose the national election, Democrats wasted several weeks on a futile attempt to persuade Electoral College members to overturn the result on Nov. 8.

The result? More electors abandoned Hillary Clinton than did Donald Trump.

Citing the popular vote as the only legitimate measure of a presidential victory is akin to a football team wishing to advance in the playoffs based solely on yards gained. Everyone knew the rules ahead of time, and it’s points that count, not yards.

Mrs. Clinton lost the presidential race in a perfect storm, with several factors combining to end in a narrow “Blue Wall” victory for Mr. Trump that pushed him over 300 electoral votes.

Clintonites are blaming everyone but themselves. They blame the FBI. They blame Russia. The blame the media. They blame sexism. Are they taking any responsibility whatsoever?

Maybe they could blame themselves for nominating a candidate under investigation by the FBI?

Maybe they could blame the Democratic National Committee for rigging the game against Sen. Bernard Sanders, who would have won the nomination in a fair fight?

Maybe they could blame Mrs. Clinton, for running a terrible and uninspired campaign with no economic message and an unwise “status quo” strategy in a change year?

Maybe they could blame President Obama, for decimating the Democratic Party over eight years, weakening its infrastructure, hollowing out its bench, leaving it effectively penniless and passing the torch to his chosen successor at a time when seven in ten Americans think the country headed in the wrong direction?

Maybe they could blame Mr. Obama for knighting Mrs. Clinton, and not the loyal, tireless, and relatable Vice President Joseph R. Biden, perhaps as her reward for agreeing to serve as secretary of state after a brutal 2008 primary loss?

Maybe they could blame Brooklyn for paralyzing arrogance, of a type that ignored Wisconsin entirely and allowed for only two visits to Michigan the entire general election?

Maybe they could look inward, and realize that unless the Clintons had created a private server and never set up a government email address, there would have been no FBI investigation?

Maybe they could look inward, and realize that raising foreign donations for a family foundation — while one spouse is serving as secretary of state!! — would at a minimum invite serious questions and perhaps even suggest criminality?

Forgive my gullibility. I allowed my mind to wander into a parallel universe where Democrats allow for introspection, honesty and responsibility. Given the choice to analyze honestly and soberly how they lost to Mr. Trump, a previously unimaginable outcome, or to shift blame and pretend it did not happen, you can guess which path Democrats took.

Mr. Trump has demonstrated that he can win white blue-collar voters across the midsection of the country. Democrats have not. As a result, Republicans now claim 52 U.S. Senate seats, 240 U.S. House seats and 32 governorships.

Indeed, Mr. Obama has been very good for growing the Republican Party and winning elections.

The question facing Democrats now is this: What did they learn from losing the 2016 election? They pledge to oppose President Trump no matter what he says or does.

However, 10 Democratic senators are up for re-election in 2018 from states Mr. Trump carried, four in states he won easily. Will those Democrats ignore their own re-election chances to slavishly march to the beat of coastal Democrats who have learned nothing?

Ignorance may very well be bliss, but reality eventually mugs anyone who ignores it. The mule will kick again soon.

Matt Mackowiak is the president of Potomac Strategy Group, a Republican consultant, a Bush administration and Bush-Cheney re-election campaign veteran, and former press secretary to two U.S. senators. He is the host of a new national politics podcast, “Mack on Politics,” produced in partnership with The Washington Times. His podcast may be found at WashingtonTimes.com/MackOnPolitics.

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