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Hillary: I Lost Because Bernie Promised Everyone a Pony

Politicians have cultivated economic illiteracy to make their pursuit of power easier.

Gage SkidmoreGage SkidmoreIn her forthcoming book about the 2016 election, What Happened, Hillary Clinton complains that her chief opponent in the primaries, Bernie Sanders, consistently undercut her by one-upping her "bold" and "ambitious" proposals without explaining how his policies would work.

In other words, Sanders did to Clinton what Democrats have done to their critics for years: Frame any worry about the costs and unintended consequences of a program as a lack of concern for the problem the program is supposed to address. After years of cultivating economic illiteracy, the party reaped the results.

In an excerpt tweeted by a supporter ahead of the book's release, Clinton compared Sanders to the deranged hitchhiker in There's Something About Mary whose get-rich-quick scheme involves cribbing the famous "eight minute abs" program with his own "seven minute abs." Ben Stiller, who picks him up, points out that nothing's stopping him from cutting it down to six-minute abs.

"On issue after issue, it was like he kept proposing four-minute abs, or even no-minute abs," Clinton complained of Sanders. "Magic abs!"

Clinton continued by sharing a Facebook post she said someone sent her. The post compared Sanders' various positions to a belief that "America should get a pony." When Clinton expresses skepticism about the idea, Sanders says she thinks "America doesn't deserve a pony" and his supporters declare that Clinton hates ponies. Her clarification that actually she loves ponies is then treated as a flip-flop.

The reaction to the excerpt helped illustrate Clinton's point. Several Sanders supporters in the Twitter thread complained that Clinton dared to compare single-payer healthcare to ponies. "Funny that she likens no one dying or going into debt because they don't have enough money to a 'pony,'" a typical response read. Projecting the worst possible motives onto your opponents is a lot easier than explaining your own positions.

On the specific case of single payer, the same process has been playing out in California this year. Supporters of single payer didn't have a plan to overcome the procedural hurdles they faced. So instead they disingenuously blamed Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who had to shelf the bill, and for that was the target of mass protests and death threats.

"Rather than committing to raising the millions of dollars that would be needed to overcome special interests and pass that initiative, they would, apparently, rather deceive their supporters, hiding the realities of California's woeful political structure in favor of a morality play designed to advance careers and aggrandize power," The Intercept's David Dayen explained. "That may sound harsh. It's gentle."

Clinton has identified a real problem in American politics, even as she elides its roots. Both parties have promoted economic ignorance, because that makes it easier to make wild promises and then find scapegoats when the promises fall through. The consequences are all around us.

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  • colorblindkid||

    She was so close. The problem isn't that Bernie was promising a pony with no way to pay for it, it's that Bernie was promising a bigger pony than the pony Hillary Clinton was promising, without any way to pay for hers either.

  • ||

    Come on -- all that is necessary is to cut back on war and imperialism and other public entertainments. The 'pay for' is not the problem.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Bernie, the Greens and the Communist party ALSO wanted carbon taxes and European laws against reliable electrical generation. The LP wanted energy freedom (328% market share increase with 4 Megavotes), and the Go-Pee copied that (and won the electoral college, sinecures, appointments and graft). Compare the platforms. Energy planks were the only important difference.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

  • albo||

    I still prefer Hillary's Inner Tracy Flick
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rleUPHX8yfM

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least its an ethos.

  • Don't look at me.||

    A pony in every pot.

  • Wizard4169||

    Pot for every pony!

    Seems more achievable, somehow.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    After years of cultivating economic illiteracy, the party reaped the results.

    Ka. Boom.

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    Yeah, I actually slow-clapped.

  • p3orion||

    What out-Democrats the Democrats? Socialism!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    In her forthcoming book about the 2016 election, What Happened, Hillary Clinton complains that

    Every nerd is going to make this reference?

    That's right!

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I certainly would have, had I read that far into the post.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Let's not bring Fred Willard into this mess.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Excellent alt-text!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Live by it, die by it.

  • BYODB||


    In other words, Sanders did to Clinton what Democrats have done to their critics for years:


    Yeah, it was only a matter of time until some wingnut realized that those tactics can be used on anyone. Sanders was a man ahead of his time, if only he could bother with trying. Socialism isn't known for it's work ethic, though.


    Remember, kids, when seeking higher office promise the moon and if your opponent questions you just call them a racist, poor hating bigot that wants to eat babies!

  • Malvolio||

    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the canidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury."
    ― Alexander Fraser Tytler

  • BYODB||

    Well, that's one potential source for the quote. Tytler was an interesting guy though, I still find the Tytler cycle instructive.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    SOP for politicians.

    Trump promised every US citizen would have the greatest government paid healthcare in history and he would cut taxes and balance the budget and not cut any entitlements at the same time.

    The ponies just change colors every four-eight years.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    I'm glad to see that you are an equal opportunity buttplug.

  • Macy's Window||

    Any sympathy that I have for the Left disappears when I read vile, sophomoric crap from people like you, PB.

  • Juice||

    4 minutes working out your abs is a pretty good time. If you do that every day or almost every day then you'll have good ab muscles. It's not too good to be true. It's just true.

  • mortiscrum||

    People don't want strong trunk muscles, they want 6-pack abs. And 4 minutes a day is woefully inadequate to that task.

  • Lester224||

    You can have good abs with 4 minutes a day. However, you have to get all the fat off from over and around them to see them at all.

  • Macy's Window||

    ^This.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's one of those silly things. Most exercises are pretty easy and reasonable to do on any day to day basis. The hard part is doing it over time.

  • ||

    Projecting the worst possible motives onto your opponents is a lot easier than explaining your own positions.

    This place would be awfully quiet if we all did that, Ed.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Why do you hate Ed?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Six outrageous fucked up promises (Bernie or Trump?) made on health care:

    http://www.politico.com/story/.....ses-236021

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Only 6?

  • Sevo||

    Well, turd hasn't gotten to Obo yet. That's when the totals really start climbing.

  • Rebel Scum||

    'TheBern!' is just part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

  • some guy||

    Wait, I thought Clinton beat Sanders, then lost to Trump. Do people really think the run against Sanders cost Clinton enough votes to change the general election? I'm doubtful. What Happened is that she was one of the worst candidates in living memory who nevertheless ran her campaign like she couldn't possibly lose.

  • I can't even||

    The exposure to the fix the DNC had in for Hillary didn't help.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    That will be covered in the book, where she blames Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for not being manipulative enough, and Donna Brazile for not slipping debate questions to her a few hours earlier.

    And all the superdelegates she had in her pocket, for merely being mediocre.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The polls had her three points up so she soft pedaled while the Con Man kept lying 24/7. Unfortunately for Hil-Dog all three of those points were contained in California and she lost by only 80,000 votes in three swing states.

    Was she a lousy candidate? Of course she was. Romney or Obama would have trounced either of 2016's candidates.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.5.17 @ 1:22PM|#
    "The polls had her three points up so she soft pedaled while the Con Man kept lying 24/7."

    So she lost in the lying contest, turd?
    Whatever makes you feel like less of a loser....

  • Brian||

    How many scapegoats have to die before democrats can move on.org?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Peter, Paul, Mary, and Brian?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If Stephen Wright can have a pony I see no reason why all Americans can't.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Clinton compared Sanders to the deranged hitchhiker in There's Something About Mary whose get-rich-quick scheme involves cribbing the famous "eight minute abs" program with his own "seven minute abs." Ben Stiller, who picks him up, points out that nothing's stopping him from cutting it down to six-minute abs.

    "On issue after issue, it was like he kept proposing four-minute abs, or even no-minute abs," Clinton complained of Sanders. "Magic abs!"

    And people are embarrassed by President Trump.

  • Ron||

    what we learned from this is that she finally had time to binge watch all the movies she missed while trying to screw over America and thus she used an outdated movie to make a point

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Just another example of how she can't take personal responsibility.

    That's what happened.

  • Sevo||

    "The post compared Sanders' various positions to a belief that "America should get a pony." When Clinton expresses skepticism about the idea, Sanders says she thinks "America doesn't deserve a pony" and his supporters declare that Clinton hates ponies. Her clarification that actually she loves ponies is then treated as a flip-flop."

    Something regarding a petard comes to mind here.

  • Ken Hagler||

    I wonder how long it will be before the Democrat cheerleaders start insisting that Bernie Sanders is in league with the eeeevil Russians?

  • Tony||

    He was, although unwittingly (I assume--he was pretty cozy with them when they were the Soviets).

    Anti-Hillary trash flooded Bernie bros' Facebook feeds, direct from Russia. Hard to quantify the effect, but it certainly isn't nothing.

  • Carlos Inconvenience||

  • sarcasmic||

    I had a pony, her name was Lucifer

    (link is to a Dead Weather song that is like totally awesome and stuff, if you're into loud guitars, loud drums, and sexy female singers)

  • albo||

    Welcome to Who's to Blame for Hillary's Failure? Town. Population, you.

  • ATXChappy||

    It takes a village.

  • Jerryskids||

    Bernie was promising everybody a pony, Hillary was promising a nag.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ^^ for the win.

  • Longtobefree||

    And a 6.7 from the East German judge!

  • Longtobefree||

    I don't remember Bernie promising everyone a pony.
    Did I waste my vote?
    I really, really wanted a pony. It could be my comfort animal. I would train it to kick at every politician who walks by.

  • mpercy||

    She was the the consummate veteran politician and most qualified person to ever run for the office..."There has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton," Obama said.

    Mr. Obama had campaigned more for Democrat Hillary Clinton than any modern sitting president had for his party's nominee.

    And Trump is perhaps the most vilified person (and not without cause) ever to run for the office and before the election, and he is despised by many in his own party.

    And she still couldn't muster the win?

    The rookie Trump strategically and tactically outplayed her.

    She lost 5 states that Obama carried twice...she needs to just STFU and go home.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""she needs to just STFU and go home."'

    But first she needs to publish a book so the Clinton foundation can spend millions buying them to help her be a NYT bestselling author.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    The pony is there, you just have to keep digging.

  • Shapu||

    Huh, wasn't the main difference between the two that Clinton restricted her pony-promise to everyone except the "rich" and white males? Just to have someone pay for all those ponies? And enough immigrant labor to clean up after them?

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    Every freaking month now: "I lost because of [something that absolves me of blame]"

  • Tony||

    Many of the explanations that blame her don't wash logically. It can't be that she was the less-liked candidate, as she got the most votes by far (both primary and general). It can't be anything related to that. You can't say the election hinged on charm and personality and then say "She couldn't even beat that revolting cretin Trump." Makes no sense.

    She won the popularity contests. She just lost the stupid-ass nonsensical electoral college contest. So fault her for miscalculating that worthless piece of shit system.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    She only won the popularity contest in California, which is exactly why that idiotic system doesn't determine the outcome. And if you want to persist playing that game like the lying idiot you are, more people abstained from voting than voted for that evil psychopath.

    Trying to blame her loss on anything but her being the most hated woman in the damn world hold no water.

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    Up until this election, we didn't know how dirty the politics of our presidents were until after they were elected. Hillary's corruption was well known from the 1990's, and then reaffirmed just before this election. That's why she lost the election. Plain and simple. To argue that several thousand people in swing states weren't either swayed or at least turned off by this corruption is illogical. Blame Podesta if you like for getting phished, but at the end of the day the corruption was all Hillary's.

    Trump was an outsider. And while he made overtly sexist and racist comments at times, it wasn't obvious before the election that he was anywhere nearly as corrupt as Hillary.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "she got the most votes by far "

    oh, really?

    Clinton, 61,350,000

    Trump 60,584,000

    Total 121,934. Clintons edge was 766,000 nationwide.

    That's less than .01 of the total.

    That is a looooong ways from being "by far".

    It was statistically a tie.

    Not only are people economically illiterate they are mathematically illiterate.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "she got the most votes by far "

    oh, really?

    Clinton, 61,350,000

    Trump 60,584,000

    Total 121,934. Clintons edge was 766,000 nationwide.

    That's less than .01 of the total.

    That is a looooong ways from being "by far".

    It was statistically a tie.

    Not only are people economically illiterate they are mathematically illiterate.

  • Raff||

    Where did you come up with those numbers? The final tally was Clinton with 65,853,516 and Trump with 62,984,824.

    Cook vote tracker

    FEC official results

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    It can't be that she was the less-liked candidate, as she got the most votes by far (both primary and general).

    Not really. More people voted for someone other than Hillary.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I'm gonna have to get a couple of hundred terabytes of storage space to keep track of all of Hillary's excuses for losing.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Apparently the Russian thing has played out? It's so hard to keep up with who's to blame. Can't we go back to simpler times when we only had to choose between Bush and global warming?

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    I bet Russia is still in there. If I were to guess, having no plans to ever read it, the book is structured so that each chapter assigns blame to someone else

    Chapter 1: Russia
    Chapter 2: Podesta getting phished
    Chapter 3: Anthony Weiner
    Chapter 4: The media
    Chapter 5: Sexism
    Chapter 6: Obama administration not investigating Russia harder
    Chapter 7: Racism
    Chapter 8: Comey
    Chapter 9: Bernie
    Chapter 10: Jill Stein

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Chapter 11: My Emails

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Perhaps chapter three explains it all.

    She's never been good with Weiner.

  • Len Bias||

    There's also Chapters 12,13,14 & 15: Also Sexism

  • Len Bias||

    No, she lost because Obama promised everyone a pony.

  • Tony||

    This should have been a more prominent critique during the primary. Apparently Obama told her to lay off Bernie. Didn't want to enrage those weirdos anymore than they already were by the fact of her shrill voice and what not.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|9.5.17 @ 6:06PM|#
    "...Apparently Obama told her to lay off Bernie."

    So Tony proposes Chapter 16

  • JohnKing||

    I thought Sanders promised everyone a Free Unicorn!

  • teeduke||

    This woman has become a painfully tragic figure who has Groundhog Day'd herself into tragicomedy. Please, no more coverage of her. For our sake and hers. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point she is placed on a suicide watch by her family. Although some would argue that she already committed suicide.

  • KH||

    That's funny, when I was an organizer, it was "...and he'll give every little girl a pony." Now we're promising little ponies to everyone? That's just irresponsible.

  • ||

    That was Vermin Supreme, Hillary. Bernie offered less deodorants. I mean, I get that at this point, it is hard to distinguish between candidates, just as it is difficult to distinguish between you and the symbol of political corruption in America. That is even impossible, I´d say.

  • Gordon Hilgers||

    I laugh every time Libertarians and conservatives advocate for more erasure of social welfare programs, i.e. "the pony", mainly because those were part of a national security strategy, tried and true in both Europe and the US, that intended to and actually did keep revolutionary communist insurgencies from steering economic disenfranchisement into revolutionary unrest. Along with independent unions, which knocked the IWW out, social welfare programs have also helped a lot of people.

    The erasure of these, the end to unionization, and the repeal of important commercial regulation will have an interesting effect: the return of the same insurgencies Liberalism defeated the first time around. And, no, Ayn Rand's dippy wannabe philosophy isn't going to cut it anywhere.

    Marxists probably consider American conservatism to be the best "convenient idiot" friend they could ever wish for, and my bet is on a fierce blowback to the unwise policies driven by people who are apparently far too dumb to realize that their private welfare depends upon the public welfare they find so inconvenient.

    Antifa seems scary. Just wait. I predict so much rancor the editors of Reason are going to be running through the streets in their underpants because they just weren't quick enough to keep that wolf from their doors, pony or not.

    Have a great time when it happens.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Your poetry is shit, Gordo.

  • Gwen||

    Actually, that was Vermin Supreme that ran on the pony platform.

  • swampwiz||

    I am a "yellow-dog" Democrat, but anytime i read an article about Hillary, I get nauseous.

  • Craig J Bolton||

    Bernie may have "promised" (try "proposed" if you want to be accurate) free universities and single-payer medical care, but he couldn't top Hillary on the America World Policeman and condescension fronts. (After all, she married into the aristocratic class of, ah, Arkansas.)

  • Marshal||

    He can't promise everyone a pony!

    Right, only we can promise everyone a pony!

  • Thomas O.||

    Wasn't John the one posting in articles relating to gay marriage or whatever about "everyone just wants their pony"?

    I think Hillary ripped him off (hoo hoo)

  • Sugarsail||

    I must say I'm enjoying watching fascists and communists whine about each other's losses.

  • skunkman||

    What we all think of Trump is irrelevant. Hillary lost because she was the worst candidate that has ever run for President in a major party. The democrats need to stop the whining and examine how they got screwed into having no legitimate competition against Hillary. Yes, it follows her SOP - corruption. She didn't lose because she was too focused on policy or because others promised more. She lost because she sucked. Until the democrats realize that Trump was not elected because every person that voters for him is racist or stupid they will probably continue to lose. I refused to vote for the orange fool, but only an imbecile could believe that she would have been better. Americans had two awful choices and the one chance the LIbertarians had was blown because they soiled themselves and chose a Tommy Chong stand in and a half wit New England elitist as their 'team." Yay, team.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The parties with the worst planks lost. The parties with the best planks won.

  • Sevo||

    skunkman|9.6.17 @ 6:49PM|#
    "..."She lost because she sucked..."

    How badly does she suck?
    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO badly that she lost to an obnoxious blowhard named Trump!
    THAT'S how bad she is.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Democratic party platform did not offer to repeal prohibition--a gimmick that worked from 1932-1952. Instead the Dems promised to ban fuels and make electric power a controlled substance. That platform lost. The LP plank wants energy kept safe, legal and unsubsidized. The GO-Pee copied that plank and then some.
    The outcome? The pro-energy planks won the popular vote and electoral college. The combined Dem, Green and CPUSA anti-energy plank vote draw lost in the popular and electoral college vote counts. This was the only significant difference among the looter parties.

  • Rockabilly||

    You lost cause you're a blood thirsty war monger, a liar, a cheat, hate individual liberty, and are an all around bitch.

    Hillary Clinton will NEVER be president !!! LOL @ U Loser!!!

    LOL x infinity !!!

  • mysmartstuffs||

    Just another example of how she can't take personal responsibility.

    That's what happened.
    My recent post: Laptop Legacy Review
    My recent post: eCom Summit Review

  • mysmartstuffs||

    Actually, that was Vermin Supreme that ran on the pony platform.
    My recent post: Disruptive Design Origin Collection Review

  • rxc||

    But this would make so many people feel better - more secure, happier, without worries. And that is the ultimate Progressive framing - all of their proposals are based on feelings, which don't contribute anything, don't produce anything, don't really help anyone, and in the end, are meaningless.

    In the words of the immortal Mayor-for-Life Marion S. Barry - "Get over it."

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