By Thomas L. Knapp
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think [the Russians] have got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” said Hillary Clinton on her former campaign manager’s podcast. “They know they can’t win without a third party candidate.”
Was Clinton referring to US Representative Tulsi Gabbard, CNN asked? “If the nesting doll fits,” her spokesperson replied.
Nearly three years after losing the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton’s still trying to find someone other than Hillary Clinton to blame.
If it’s not women voting the way their husbands tell them to vote, it’s James Comey’s unconvincing job of “exonerating” her for her grossly negligent handling of classified information.
If it’s not the media taking too much notice of her scandals, her health problems, etc., it’s Bernie Sanders supporters staying home instead of going to the polls for a candidate who hated them as much as they hated her.
Whatever it is, it can never, ever, ever be the fact that she’s among the most disliked and distrusted politicians of the last century, or that she ran an incredibly inept campaign, or that she failed to pay sufficient attention to Rust Belt voters upon whom Donald Trump lavished attention and promises to “bring the jobs back.”
And sooner or later it always comes back around to !THEM RUSSIANS!
!THEM RUSSIANS! spent a miniscule amount of money (a fraction of a percent of what Clinton’s campaign spent, and far less than !THEM RUSSIANS! donated to Clinton’s family foundation) on cheesy Facebook ads.
Donald Trump made a secret deal with Vladimir Putin! He’s a Kremlin “asset!”
!THEM RUSSIANS! backed a third party candidate (Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party), who “stole” enough votes from Clinton to throw the election to Trump.
And now !THEM RUSSIANS! are at it again. The long arm of the Kremlin is reaching into the very heart of the Democratic Party itself to once again wrest a presidential election away from Hillary Clinton (or from someone, anyway).
There’s no obvious evidence that Tulsi Gabbard plans to defect from the Democratic Party and run for president as an independent or on another party’s ticket.
On the other hand, given her treatment by the Democratic National Committee — including gaming polls to try to keep her out of primary debates and out of the running — and now by Hillary Clinton, who could blame her if she did?
Furthermore, in what universe is an independent or third party presidential candidacy any less legitimate than a Democratic presidential nomination?
Votes belong to voters, not to parties. Democratic and Republican candidates aren’t magically entitled to your vote. Whether or not they’ve earned that vote is your call and no one else’s.
If Democrats are interested in winning next year, they might want to consider publicly dissociating themselves from Hillary Clinton, who’s gone in a mere three years from even whinier than Donald Trump to even loonier than Lyndon LaRouche.
Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal