(Jacobin) — Hillary Clinton needs someone to tell her what a bad idea looks like.
One of the former Democratic presidential candidate’s most renowned weaknesses has always been her tendency to reward loyalty over competence, with the effect of saddling her with ineffectual staffers like the disastrous Mark Penn or the data-worshipping Robby Mook. And as Shattered, the behind-the-scenes tell-all about Clinton’s 2016 campaign, argued, her campaign staff was too afraid of missing out on cushy White House jobs to criticize her.
All of which brings us to the present moment, where Clinton has made the baffling decision to not just attack Bernie Sanders in her new book, but to double down on her attacks in subsequent interviews.
Were there someone in Clinton’s orbit who could safely tell her she was acting on a bad idea, they might have informed her that: attacking the most well-liked politician in the country at the same time that her public approval rating is at a historic low is unwise; that the attacks and her book would appear to the public as nothing more than sour grapes and excuses for what is widely viewed as a flawed campaign; and that video clips of her recounting how her loss affected her personally, and the “frenzy of closet-cleaning,” “yoga,” and “alternate nostril breathing” she embarked on to deal with her disappointment, might appear out of touch given that she is far from the chief victim of her election loss.