I have been a lifelong Democrat since my days as a student volunteer for Robert Kennedy’s presidential run in 1968. I admit it because I am about to endure the scorn of my political brethren by speaking badly of two of the beloved icons of the side. But here it goes.
Many of the problems America faces today can be put right at the feet of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and it’s time they stopped being given a license for their actions. See, I said it.
In 2016, Democrats anointed Hillary Clinton with her party’s nomination because it was “her turn.” But history tells us that my turn has never been a good reason for such an honor. Just ask Mondale, Dole, Gore, Kerry, McCain or Romney. It was all their turn and they all lost. In fact, 34 years ago George HW Bush was the last “my turn” candidate to win the presidency before Joe Biden.
Conversely, it’s often those who don’t turn — Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama, Trump — whose uprising took them to a surprise victory. Unfortunately, the Democrats chose to ignore this truth and instead outrageously stack the deck in the nomination process to favor their favorite. They should have known storms were coming when, despite the game being repaired, she barely managed to beat an elderly little-known socialist from Vermont.
Once nominated, the carefully orchestrated crescendo turned into a misguided campaign from Day 1. Her arrogance was evident everywhere, and such inner divinity prevented her from campaigning candidly to acknowledge her weaknesses. Her relationship with the media was terrible and its erosion was felt by ordinary people. She failed to get young people and minorities, two constituencies she desperately needed, enthusiastic about her candidacy. She has misjudged voters’ appetites for change rather than consistency. Worst of all, she could never really explain why she was running, except because it was her turn.
Despite all this, she still won the popular vote by three million, indicating what a winnable election it was. But the popular vote has never been the payout window. And think about this: While Clinton won the popular vote by three million, she won California (a state that strategically ignored Trump) by four million. That means she lost the other 49 by over a million.
It was also Ruth Ginsberg’s turn. Unfortunately, she didn’t know when it should have been her turn, and for that she deserves both credit and criticism: credit for her passionate desire to serve and criticism for ignoring the political consequences of her actions.
Her well-documented health problems began in 1999 when she was diagnosed with colon cancer, the first of her five bouts of cancer. Nearly a decade later, Ginsburg fell in her office and broke three ribs, for which she was hospitalized. At the hospital, a CT scan showed cancerous growths in her lungs. She underwent a lobectomy of the left lung, and months later she completed three weeks of targeted radiation to remove a tumor in her pancreas. Less than a year later, Ginsburg was again treated for a recurrence of cancer.
When John Paul Stevens retired in 2010, Ginsburg became the senior judge on the court and rumors circulated that she was retiring due to old age, ill health and the death of her husband. Several times during Obama’s presidency, progressive lawyers and activists called for Ginsburg to retire so Obama could designate a like-minded successor.
In 2013, Obama invited her to the White House herself when it seemed likely that Democrats would lose control of the Senate, but she refused to resign again. We all know how that ended. In the ultimate ironic twist, it turned out that this heroine’s latest act among feminists was to do women a great disservice by staying on the bench during the transition to Republican president. Judge Breyer should be credited for not making the same mistake.
If the Democrats hadn’t stacked the deck in 2016, or if Clinton had even run an adequate campaign, there would have been no Trump presidency, meaning no mockery of climate change, no arrogant response to COVID-19, no big lie and no January 6th
As for Ginsburg, if she hadn’t let logic be obscured by stubbornness in 2013, her seat would have been occupied by Obama, not Trump. That wouldn’t have meant a dramatic shift of the judge to the right, voting rights wouldn’t be jeopardized, the Second Amendment challenges would likely have a very different outcome, issues of separation of church and state would be tried more balanced and the cause for which they came. fought a lifetime to protect – Roe v. Wade – would not have been abolished.
Hillary and Ruth. Two very smart individuals. Two very loyal Democrats. Two heroes to millions. But as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.” Unfortunately, this time the tragedy is the state of our republic.
Ross K. Goldberg is a resident of Westlake Village and author of the book “I Only Know What I Know.”
This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Hillary Clinton and Ruth Bader Ginsburg deserve some of the blame