Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Affective Death-Spiral


Nate Silver has a talent for slicing and dicing data. I don’t always agree with his interpretation, but I enjoy watching him marshal his arguments. Today he makes a point I tangentially agree with. He argues that while Hillary Rodham Clinton is a heavy favorite to win the Democratic Party Presidential Nomination in 2016, she is currently mired in a negative polling cycle that makes her appear vulnerable. Here’s what I believe Nate should have said. Hillary Rodham Clinton is caught in an affective death spiral, which makes her vulnerable to professional failure regardless of how well she does in next week’s polling cycle or the 2016 Presidential Election. Here’s what Nate does effectively tell us.

The Washington Post’s David Weigel recently observed that voters were hearing about only three types of Clinton stories, all of which have negative implications for her. First are stories about the scandal surrounding the private email server she used as secretary of state. Next are stories about her declining poll numbers. And third are stories about how Vice President Joe Biden might enter the Democratic presidential race.

Hillary’s affective death spiral explains far more of her problems than what gets written about her here or over at Memeorandum.com. The Clinton version of the affective death spiral is less idea-driven than what Less Wrong describes in the article I linked above. However, it has a similar mechanism that leads to comparable negative effects. The Clinton Death Spiral can be also described as “The Yes Man/Woman Bubble.”

Hillary is surrounded by a circle of people who have at least one of two characteristics in common. They can be personally loyal to Hillary for reasons that don’t involve rationality or they can be beholden to her for their continued advancement and sustenance. They are the pet rocks that never tell the boss she is engaged in unethical or illegal practices. It’s only after Nate Silver writes about the shower of feces being rained upon their bright and shining champion that they then ponder the matter of Hillary’s non-compliant server. They ask themselves in befuddlement “Should she not have done that?”

“Should she not have done that?” That is a question that the new American Royalty just doesn’t seem to find pertinent until negative feedback gets forced in their faces. Charles Hugh Smith describes just how bizarrely divorced from reality the rituals of The Hillary’s Gate Cult have truly become.

The most entitled and indignant couple in America might well be Bill and Hillary Clinton, famously crying poor while assembling a net worth in excess of $100 million. Their resentment at being challenged to account for their actions is palpable. When questioned about his sordid encounters in the White House, Bill Clinton’s body language and tortured, seething responses spoke of a grandiose entitlement to get away with anything and everything. We could almost hear his inner dialog: “Nobody questioned Jack Kennedy’s multiple affairs–I deserve to get away with it, too.” Hillary is expressing the same seething resentment at being questioned about her private email server. Her phony, resentful half-apology reminds us of nothing more than a spoiled, entitled teenager shouting, “OK, so I wrecked the car! So what? It’s just a lump of steel and plastic. What about me? I don’t deserve this! So what if I ran over that old guy. I didn’t mean to. Why should my life be ruined because somebody found out?” And so on.

Indeed, surrounding the Clintons with a circle of sycophants has led them to be the Tom and Daisy Buchanan of modern American politics. As such, Hillary neither knows nor sees any reason to find out what living in reality is like. People who live in reality are those without power to properly warp it to their own personal desires.

She is the Evil Witch-Queen of her own personal Disneyland. She would expect to wield the same, unchecked power as President of The United States. This, not her standing in the polls vis-à-vis Green Mountain Nut-Job Bernie Sanders is the greatest threat to her as a person. This is also the greatest threat to our nation if she gets nominated and elected to set up shop in what she would consider her own personal White Palace.