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Monday, September 12, 2016

Basket of Deplorables? Seriously, What Was Hillary Thinking?


As most people are now aware, last Friday at a private gathering of some of her supporters, Hillary Clinton remarked:
To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorable. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.
It's hard to believe she was dumb enough to say this (although her opponent says stuff like this on a regular basis). It strikes me that in political campaigns it's strategically okay to go after your opponent but it's never okay to attack your opponent's supporters (at least not their person -- attacking their actions is fine), regardless of what you might privately think of them. To her credit she expressed regret for her remarks the following day ("Last night I was 'grossly generalistic,' and that's never a good thing. I regret saying 'half' -- that was wrong"), but at least in the short-term the damage was already done.

It may all be forgotten, however, given that almost passed out on Sunday at a 9/11 ceremony due to complications from pneumonia, which was first diagnosed on Friday night. It could turn out to be ironic that her bout with pneumonia may help distract from one of her more unfortunate comments (at least from the perspective of her supporters) on the campaign trail to date.

Note: In something of an ironic twist, at a rally in North Carolina today where Trump called on Hillary to apologize for her "basket of deplorables" remarks, one of his supporters hit two protestors in the head ("Man at Trump Rally Hits 2 Protesters in the Head"). You can't make this stuff up.

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