aside How The Democrats Lost Michigan And The 2016 Presidential Election

Image result for photo of rep debbie dingell and robert siegel
Debbie Dingell

Months ago, a strong Hillary Clinton supporter, Debbie Dingell, the Michigan U.S. Congress Representative, was a voice in the wilderness shouting that Hillary Clinton, would lose the state. Representative Dingell was listening to the angst of those in her community who were suffering from the repercussions of the 2008 recession. In the end, almost 90,000 residents voted for no one at the top of the ticket. These same folks who are not “deplorables,” could have won the election for Hillary Clinton if she and the democratic party had listened to her. While the republican party has been tone deaf to the average Joe, the democratic party is perceived as having taking him for granted. But Donald Trump stepped up to the plate, and by talking to him, gave him hope, and thereby, earned his vote.

Image result for photo of robby mookMrs. Hillary Clinton lost this state of Michigan  by less than 12,000 votes. Other residents of Michigan like Michael Moore, another Hillary Clinton supporter, sounded a similar alarm. I personally know someone who passed the Clintons’ a note at a Florida rally via Robby Mook, suggesting that she use the Clinton Foundation towards helping the citizens of Flint, Michigan with their lead poisoned water supply problems. The concept was that those reeling from this tragedy which had not been fully addressed after 2 years of governmental bureaucracy, needed a tangible sign that Hillary Clinton and the democratic party truly cared about them and that they were NOT just a photo-op opportunity.

Our former President Bill Clinton, known for his political instincts also strongly warned his wife’s campaign advisors against ignoring the working class population in the rust belt states. Although this group of voters were not natural constituents for Hillary Clinton, if she had taken steps to help Flint, Michigan in a concrete way, the right signal would have been sent, which was that she’d be working hard on their behalf and that they could count on her.

These messages were  dismissed out of hand. What happened in Michigan was repeated across the land in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and other Midwest states previously won by President Barack Obama.

Image result for photos of puerto ricans in floridaFlorida is another state where the democrats should have won but again a key group felt taken for granted. It was crucial for Hillary Clinton to win the sunshine state and thus, the democratic party was counting on winning the Puerto Rican vote by huge numbers along the I-4 corridor between Tampa and Orlando. The Puerto Rican community members were disappointed with Mrs. Clinton’s support of the recently passed PROMESA bill, designed to assist Puerto Rico restructure their huge burdensome debt. But too many were convinced that this bill fell far short in having the potential to be effective. Again I know someone who personally emailed multiple times, the Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters with data on this subject, info@hillary.com. I suspect that there were probably others who did likewise. The additional votes required to win the state for Hillary Clinton were not forthcoming.

Dear Readers, The sad truth is that by ignoring all these voices, the democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton and her party in their hubris, lost the election to a very flawed candidate who did get it. And this is true despite all the unfair obstacles that she had to overcome. Thus, this is the hand, we Americans have been dealt. How can we best play this lousy hand?

Image result for photo of rep debbie dingell and robert siegelOn the 11/9/16 NPR show, All Things Considered, Robert Sigel talks to Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan about the Clinton loss and how her people took Michigan for granted. Here’s the transcript:

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now reaction from a Democratic member of Congress to last night’s election. Debbie Dingell represents the 12th Congressional District in Michigan that stretches from the suburbs of Detroit up toward Ann Arbor. Welcome to the program once again.

DEBBIE DINGELL: It’s great to be with you on this day after the election.

SIEGEL: Can’t be a good day for Michigan Democrats. How do you describe what happened, and why did it go as it did in your state?

Flint: picture of  pipe leaching lead into water supply

DINGELL: You know, I was one of the people that said that this state was competitive, so I wasn’t totally surprised by what happened last night. But no, clearly it was not a good night. I think there was a lot of anger among many voters, particularly union households.

There was also a lack of enthusiasm. I really believe that the American people are tired of partisan politics, that they are still very much feeling the economic scars of the 2008 crisis. They don’t feel like anybody cares about them in either party.

SIEGEL: But when you say lack of enthusiasm, does that reflect on the candidate? Was Hillary Clinton just not that good a candidate in Michigan?

DINGELL: I think it was all – both candidates, to be – if I were to be perfectly frank. They’re mad at everybody. They see partisan bickering. They don’t see people working together to find solutions. Detroit turnout was down 10 percent. Flint turnout was down. So there were a number of factors.Image result for photo of hillary clinton in flint michigan

SIEGEL: Flint of course nowadays is synonymous with the terrible water crisis. If people there didn’t see any clear response from government, one can understand anger in that case.

DINGELL: A lot of anger there. Their water got poisoned. They want somebody to fix it.

SIEGEL: Is there a chronic problem for the Democrats with white, working-class voters? Has the relationship between the party and that very, very large bloc in the population – has it been broken?

DINGELL: I don’t know that it’s broken, but we as Democrats have to take a very strong look at what happened. People don’t view Democrats as always been there for working men and women. Or what does it mean? Who’s really going to fight for them?

I will tell you that I, for a year, have said to people – well, more than a year – I told Dennis Williams, the president of the UAW, a year ago after spending August at union picnics we had a problem.

Image result for photo of hillary clinton in flint michigan

SIEGEL: Were you getting a satisfactory answer? Oh, I see; you have a problem; we’d better get more resources deployed to Michigan or send more people.

DINGELL: I think that it took a while to – people I think took Michigan for granted. People didn’t necessarily listen to me at first to be perfectly frank. But it wasn’t just Michigan. It wouldn’t have mattered if they had done some of the things that they did do in the last week which did energize bases and address the complacency.

What you saw in Michigan is what happened in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and other Midwest states, which is why we have to look at what working men and women, union workers feel about who’s fighting for them, who understands their issues, who understand how they feel.

SIEGEL: Representative Dingell, I just want to ask you about one moment early in the Obama presidency and how it has played out in the Upper Midwest. President Obama bailed out the U.S. auto industry. The fear was that if Washington didn’t do that, the Upper Midwest mostly could lose 800,000 jobs. Those jobs were saved.

Instantly in 2010, the Democrats lost everything and all the states where those jobs had been preserved. And now once again, those places have voted against the Democrats. Is it, what have you done for me lately? Did the auto bailout not go over well? How do you describe that?Image result for photo of president obama in flint mi

DINGELL: First of all, I don’t think we’ve done a good enough job of telling people how much was really done. If that had not been done, it wouldn’t have just been the jobs in the Midwest that you’re talking about that would have been gone. The American economy would have collapsed. Quite frankly, we didn’t do a good enough job of saying, Donald Trump would have said let the auto industry go bankrupt.

SIEGEL: And do you expect there to be a season of self-scrutiny in the Democratic Party to try to figure out what went wrong and how to do it right? Or are people still too stunned to get into that?

DINGELL: I think that we will move quickly from being stunned to let’s look at what happened. Let’s understand it, and what do we need to do?

SIEGEL: Debbie Dingell, U.S. representative from the 12th District of Michigan, Democrat, thanks for talking with us.

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20 comments

  1. I can’t help but wonder at the number of policy issues that went unquestioned and unaddressed by the media’s relentless pursuit of the latest outrage from Donald Trump and the distraction of Clinton’s emails. One of the things our media is ‘supposed’ to do is force the candidates to address policy. These questions were absent during the debates and in the media’s reporting on the campaign. Hillary Clinton was no doubt flawed, but Trump is an alleged rapist. I agree with you that Clinton could have been more focused but the people who don’t want poison in their water sat out an election. They still have poison in their water and the humiliating President ever elected.

    • Dear Rob,

      Like you I have been putting a lot of thought into this whole mess. I feel traumatized because I didn’t see HRC losing but I should have. There are important facts that I’ve had to digest. For the most part, a lot of the same folks in WI, OH, MI, PA, FL, ETC. who voted for Trump, voted in 2008 and 2012 for President Obama..

      NOT ALL Trump supporters are deplorables..A good 1/2 were simply hard working stiffs who were reeling from the 2008 recession. They lost jobs, homes; had ruined credit; lost pension pay; lost savings; weren’t able to afford to pay for college expenses even to a local community college for their children; lost their self value and all that goes with this level of this loss.

      Trump heard them. Bernie Sanders heard them but HRC did not. Bill Clinton begged HRC campaign advisors to attempt to connect with these blue color workers but it was decided that HRC did not need this voting block. Others like MI US congress rep Debbie Dingle also bent over backwards to get the attention of HRC campaign mgmt. that HRC could lose MI if the democratic party took these folks for granted. MI resident Michael Moore was saying likewise. THEY WERE WORRIED BECAUSE THEY WANTED HRC TO WIN BUT THE CAMPAIGN TEAM WAS NOT LISTENING.

      Her detailed multi page policies meant little to these folks who were seriously hurting and needed someone to give a damn. The rest is history…

      The sad fact is that she lost this election by her and her campaign’s poor decision making. If she had shown that she cared by taking concrete steps, these same folks wouldn’t have paid attention to her email mess, the FBI ill timed letter; WikiLeaks emails etc But she didn’t make the overture and so she lost. DT did get it and he won.

      Saying this does not make me happy. Double Hugs, Gronda

      • I think that you’re right. There was much more that Clinton could have done; but let’s remember
        that the President is a human being and the process of becoming President requires that the institutions we use to compensate for human failings must work as we intend them to.

        Therefore you are right when you point to these weaknesses.

        But I don’t know what she could have done.

        My feelings about democrats and liberals always border on angry because they don’t seem to understand that the attention goes to the biggest mouth.

        They want ideological purity from their leaders but they are unwilling to do the work to hold them accountable and in this election they were unable to answer a basic question about our character
        as a people:

        Are we courageous enough to place our emotions aside and use the election as a moment
        of show the world that we are a fundamentally decent people even in our discontent.

        This Veterans Day we honor the men and women who gave their lives for our democracy.

        All we had to do was vote for the person with the most expeience with the understanding that
        we would have to hold her accountable.

        I have always wished that the left could find a way to tap into the sheer will and passion of the right.

        Passion.

        They show up.

        They lay aside their factional differences and unite around their definition of liberty.

        I admire the right for that.

        In this sense I see how Clinton failed:

        Clinton felt uncertain of the commitment from Sander’s supporters so she reached out to disaffected republicans. I found that troubling but I also understood it as her job as a nominee.

        Democrats still believe that a President is supposed to represent ALL Americans.

        But her worst obstacle was a right wing press that spewed 24-hour garbage about her and a supposed ‘liberal’ press that unquestioningly repeated it.

        Can you recall a time in our history when the press repeated criminally obtained information
        funneled to it by a hostile government without placing that information in context?

        Has there ever been a time when a GOP member of Congress tweeted a lie to the media and had that lie repeated a thousand times over because no one bothered to verify the source?

        In fact, Clinton’s most consistent and passionate media support came from Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, and Seth Myers.

        They disliked her but they also disliked the dishonesty of the media and the naked hypocrisy of the GOP Congress. The only ‘news’ media that served to counteract the false moral equivalency promoted by our corporate media was the fake media of comedy.

        After the release of the TrumpTapes Clinton’s lead entered double digits. The press seemed to turn on Trump though it continued to give him free airtime. At no point did CNN remove the Trump operative it had in its employ as a reporter.

        This was when FBI Director Comey was deployed.

        Comey’s announcement shifted the narrative away from Trump’s narcissism and lack of fundamental ability to Clinton’s ‘imminent indictment’ as a ‘career’ criminal.

        The following is an excerpt from a piece I found in the Daily Kos. I need to verify this so I’m not
        sure it’s entirely correct but it sounds right.

        Clinton could have run a much better campaign: but she was up against
        a coordinated effort to subvert the political process with disinformation and voter suppression.

        From What I told a Client, the Daily Kos

        Ok, I normally don’t discuss politics with clients, but since you asked: Trump is the most appallingly unprepared, unqualified person ever “elected” (he didn’t win the popular vote) to the presidency.

        Russia – aided by an astonishingly unprofessional FBI director James Comey — succeeded in swaying just enough votes to swing the election. Yesterday the Russian Foreign Ministry actually confirmed that Russia had worked with the Trump campaign to help get him elected. For months the Trump campaign had vigorously denied this even after it had to fire campaign manager Paul Manafort after his ties with Putin and pro-Putin Ukrainians were discovered. Russia also officially confirmed that it was indeed behind the hacked Democratic Party servers and the leaking of emails to try to change the talking points by creating controversy about Clinton while suppressing anything negative about Trump. Imagine if something like that had surfaced regarding Obama or Clinton during their campaigns – the right wing would have gone apoplectic – but now all we hear is crickets. The Russians have cultivated Trump for years; they know he can be manipulated to allow them to gain the upper hand in whatever areas they wish. Trump is, as the Russian saying goes, Putin’s “useful idiot”: Полезный дурак Путина.

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/11/11/1597017/-What-I-told-a-client

        Remember that our government confirms that Russia was behind the attacks on Clinton’s character via WikiLeaks.

        This is no conspiracy theory.

        I therefore cannot dissect this election along the normal lines of what either of these nominees could have done better.

        This election was not a normal election and Trumps win, regardless of Hillary’s mistakes is not
        a normal outcome.

        To accept Trump’s win as normal is to accept the possibility that the American
        people are so emotionally stunted and selfish that they would willfully destroy
        their democracy just days before honoring the men and women who
        gave their lives to preserve it.

        And triple hugs to you my friend

        • Dear Rob, You are absolutely right in everything you’ve said and I couldn’t agree more. Michael Moore couldn’t agree more and the same goes for US congressional rep. Debbie Dingell. We all wanted HRC to win and we are all devastated that she lost to the likes of DT.

          We as the American public have been badly mistreated in that we will never know if HRC would have still lost / or if she would have won in a fair and aboveboard election process which was far from the case with this election cycle. And we as taxpayers deserve better. But this is the subject matter for another blog.

          TRIPLE HUGS, GRONDA

        • Dear Rob, Both articles are right on!! I subscribe to both the above print media. Incidentally I blame both papers for helping DT win.

          I had written to both (I am certain that I was not alone) about if DT won, that they would have helped him win. I wanted them to end their coverage of treating both candidate with a sense of false equivalency because there was no comparison between the two.
          Then they were the ones commenting on WikiLeaks emails which their editors knew was stolen from the DNC and John Podesta’s computer by the Russians. This was so unfair because, we the public did not have stolen emails from the RNC and the couple of DT’s campaign managers to make a comparison. Like it or not, they could have made a different choice. Instead they chose to collude with the Kremlin. Woop di doo.

          It is a little late to be talking about DT’s campaign practice of gaslighting.

          Did you hear this terminology during the election cycle?

          Do you see any of these outlets apologizing for helping to screw up this election process?

          They are the ones who lied to me and other Americans about HRC chances of winning. They were wrong by a lot for months..

          We as in you and me saw DT lie like every time he opened his mouth. He didn’t believe the Russians did the hacking etc; he and his team had no discussions with the Russians which is even counter to what the Russians are saying. The Russians were celebrating that they successfully messed with the US election process.

          Where was the press? They were colluding with Russia by commenting on the WikiLeaks emails with the caveat that the content had not been confirmed.

          I will be writing a blistering letter to editor to both plus the LA Times, and WSJ which will never get printed but I will not let them get away with claiming righteous innocence with this outcome.

          We were robbed of an above board election process and of course, I am furious.

          DT got away with his scorched earth politics, gaslighting, their back door orchestration of the FBI letter, etc because the media helped him!! They focused on the red herring of HRC’s emails v the fact that Rome was being burnt (our election process) to the ground.

          You are right in saying that DT is a liar, a con artist, a bully, dirty etc, but who let him get away with constructing his pile of manure.

          I’m at the stage of the grieving process by being way past furious. And no I will not go quietly into that good night by being accepting of this outcome. He is the same person now that he was before and we know this. He may have conned enough folks to get elected but he didn’t succeed with most of us. HRC did win the popular vote.

          Quadruple Hugs, Gronda

        • Dear Rob,

          There is nothing willful about this, Vulnerable peoples were conned and it is up to everyone of us to make sure that DT lives up to his commitments to these folks and that he does not succeed with a bait and switch con. This is what we need to focus on now!!

          Hugs from someone who refuses to buy his con, Gronda

        • Gronda, what are his commitments?

          Trump promised to deport Muslims, wall out Mexicans, dismantle the ACA, reverse LGBTQ rights, stack the Supreme Court with right wing ideologues and lower taxes for corporations.

          I’m not going back into the closet to make some semi-literate straight white man feel better about his refusal to take responsibility for the fact that his economic deprivations are the result of decades of voting his racism.

          When I have an opportunity to vote to empower the poor I always do it. I do not vote to limit the lives of innocent people.

          People who do use their vote for this purpose are unforgivable and must be resisted at every turn.

        • Dear Rob,

          His main sales pitch has been that he is going to create lots of jobs for American workers; and he planned to update our infrastructure. This promise was repeated so many times that he needs to follow up even if we have to make him do so.

          What I suspect is that his sales pitch could be a bait and switch con where he pushes a conservative agenda, a lowering of tax rates for the rich v focusing on lifting up the middle class.

          Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear Horty,

      The unheard voices include those from the PR community in the Orlando area where she could have made the overture of saying that she would approve the release of Oscar Lopez or that she would end the 1920 Jones Act, for example. I am not a happy camper to figure out that she blew it to the likes of DT

      Thanks a million for all of your support and for this reblog. Hugs, Gronda

        • Dear Horty,

          We are now left with a mess. I, you, our fellow bloggers and the world never dreamed that a DT victory was possible. How many times did I predict DT’s political obituary?. I did not see this coming. None of us did.

          But we will overcome this set back because we must! Hugs, Gronda

        • Hugs back! I’m still numb! At a loss … I wake up every morning & it hits me! He’s the prez!! Jeez …. I need some time still! I need to recover … feels like ‘deflated’ … no desire for menial stuff, funny memes, etc. Yes, a mess indeed! 😳

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