The Wikileaks e-mails of Democrats’ correspondence show that the Hillary Clinton campaign feared running against the more mainstream Republican candidates such as Marco Rubio. So they launched an effort to legitimize the candidacy of Donald Trump, the assumption being that he would be perhaps the only candidate whom she could beat. The strategists put out the word and progressive journalists did their bidding. (The same journalists who wrote pro-Trump pieces during the primaries are frantically backtracking today.)
Alexandra Desanctis gives the details, linked and excerpted after the jump.
From Alexandra Desanctis, Hillary Clinton Campaign & Left Promoted Trump in the GOP Primary: Too Clever by Half | National Review:
In April of last year, Clinton’s staff circulated an e-mail with a strategy guide for discussion within the Democratic National Committee, describing Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson as “Pied Piper candidates” whom the Democrats should seek to elevate and legitimize. . . .
It seems that this argument resonated with the press, at least among progressive media figures; the longing to see Clinton face Trump rather than one of the more qualified GOP contenders wasn’t confined to the Democratic campaign.
Progressives writers hopped on board with the Democratic strategy, legitimizing Trump at the expense of more traditional candidates such as Rubio and Bush, who, especially initially, were widely thought to have a better chance at defeating Clinton. At Vox, for example, Matt Yglesias in February explained “why I’m more worried about Marco Rubio than Donald Trump,” noting, among other ridiculous arguments, that Trump was actually running on a much less extreme agenda than his “establishment” rival Marco Rubio, who’s offering a platform of economic ruin, multiple wars, and an attack on civil liberties that’s nearly as vicious as anything Trump has proposed — even while wrapping it in an edgy, anxious, overreaction-prone approach to politics that heavily features big risky bets and huge, unpredictable changes in direction.
That same month, Jonathan Chait offered a similar take at New York magazine. In “Why Liberals Should Support a Trump Republican Nomination,” he argued that liberals should favor Trump primarily because “he would almost certainly lose” and because “a Trump nomination might upend his party,” assertions that clearly echo the Team Clinton strategy. He also claimed that “a Trump presidency would probably wind up doing less harm to the country than a Marco Rubio or a Cruz presidency.” And, he continued, “it might even, possibly, do some good.” Just one month later, Chait made a hasty 180-turn in his follow-up piece “Donald Trump Poses an Unprecedented Threat to American Democracy.”
Last November, Slate’s Jamelle Bouie insisted that “Donald Trump is actually a moderate Republican,” the “median Republican” who, in stark opposition to the other GOP candidates, “stands at the center” of the party and was notable for his ability to be reasonable and to attract unique pockets of voters within the Republican base. Then, just yesterday, Bouie determined that Trump is actually not a moderate Republican but rather a racist demagogue and white nationalist whose supporters deserve no empathy.
These stunning feats of rhetorical backtracking are somewhat dizzying, and it seems that they began, among progressive writers and pundits as well as within Clinton’s campaign, as more people began to realize that Trump could win the nomination. But no one seemed to realize, especially in the closing months of the general-election campaign, that Trump had a decent chance to win the presidency,
Go to the article for links to the articles by progressive journalists supporting Trump, as well as their current “stunning feats of rhetorical backtracking.”