Feminist Camille Paglia is no stranger to criticizing her own side. She has done so numerous times, at one point describing feminism, specifically after the 1970s, as moribund. She called Hillary Clinton a disaster during the 2016 election and feels that the Democratic Party’s inability to come together means that President Trump is on his way to re-election. She sat down with The New York Times’ Frank Bruni, where she made it known that she’s a Bernie Sanders supporter, who ended up voting for Jill Stein in the general election, before saying that the Democrats have overplayed their hand. She then recounted how she came to the realization that Trump could win and how it would send the readership of the Times into a crisis. Paglia did not mince words when she said these people, and the news media especially, live in bubbles, which heavily contributed to most outlets missing Trump’s rise and connectivity with the electorate. Bravo’s Andy Cohen admitted to saying that he read the poll projections of Clinton winning and then feeling like a total “a**hole” on election night (via RCP):
FRANK BRUNI: You feel like he is going to get reelected?
PAGLIA: Yes. The Democrats have overplayed their hand. And the -- I just can't imagine--
BRUNI: You're already betting on his reelection less than 100 days in?
PAGLIA: Yes because what the Democrats needed to do-- and the major media, Frank, needed to do was to do some soul-searching.
BRUNI: By that you mean the failing New York Times?
BRUNI: Yes, we're going to rebrand this 'Failing Times Talks.'
PAGLIA: If you read only the New York Times-- I said, 'Oh my God!' The readers of the New York Times are heading for a major, major breakdown shock if Trump is in fact elected.
BRUNI: Did you think he was going to be elected?
PAGLIA: I was the very first to call him a carnival barker, and I didn't take him seriously at all. And then, shortly after the very first Republican debate, I saw Diamond & Silk, the African-American sisters doing a pro-Trump attack on Megyn Kelly on their podcast, and I thought, I suddenly saw the populism, and from that moment forward, I could feel the momentum of it. And the New York media was in an absolute bubble about this. Let's not get started on the strategic errors of the Hillary campaign...
BRUNI: We're going to get to that, but let me ask Andy: When he came down the escalator, almost two years ago now, did you think it was possible we'd be sitting here tonight talking about him in the White House?
ANDY COHEN: No. Actually, I kept thinking in the back of my head, 'He could win!' I thought it was possible. I was the idiot who was going to FiveThirtyEight and looking at Nate Silver's percentages eighteen times a day. And I was like, 'It's okay, it's at 72% today, so it is going to be okay!'
I just felt like the biggest asshole on election night.
I’m nowhere near trying to ponder 2020 yet. I will say that the 2018 midterms, as always, could be a test, though Obama got shellacked in 2010, only to end up winning his 2012 re-election. Trump’s approvals are not stellar, though when asked about getting things done, keeping promises, and being a strong leader—the majority of voters agree this applies to the president. They may not like Trump, but I’ll bet that voters, especially those who have been at the end of an economic downturn, will vote for anyone who they have seen can get things done, approvals be damned. At the same time, with a government shutdown looming, health care back on the docket, and North Korea’s belligerence, there’s a lot on this White House’s plate.