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Maybe They Are Stupid Angry Enough to Vote for McCain

June 1st, 2008

I didn’t listen to all of it–it was way late at night here in Japan, and this was no MacWorld keynote or anything–but I did listen to the DNC Rules & By-Laws committee for about an hour last night. One thing that struck me was the partisanship of the Clinton supporters in the crowd. I had heard something about Clinton supporters mobilizing for this thing, but had forgotten about that when I started listening. It didn’t stay forgotten for long; every time a Hillary supporter on the committee made a statement that helped Hillary, the Hillary supporters in the crowd burst out into applause and cheers. Not polite applause, but raucous cheering. Points that favored Obama were met with more muted, polite applause.

I thought that was bad enough; apparently, I would have been more disappointed had I continued listening:

Catcalls and boos from Hillary Clinton’s supporters rained down as former Michigan congressman David Bonior, representing Barack Obama’s campaign, suggested splitting the state’s lost delegation in half and awarding a part to each of the remaining candidates.

Other crowd reactions:

“We just blew the election!” a woman in the audience shouted. … Some audience members heckled [a Clinton supporter on the committee who approved of compromise]. “Lipstick on a pig!” one shouted.Source

Clinton’s supporters jeered when results of the committee’s vote were announced inside a convention room at a downtown Washington hotel. They shouted “Denver, Denver, Denver” – signalling their hope to fight Obama all the way to the Democratic convention.Source

Judging by the anger index out there today, that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. They felt robbed — by Obama, the Democratic National Committee, but mostly the media.

“I’m about ready to kick you guys down the street,” one woman from Minnesota said when approached by a reporter.Source

Of course, that was not even the worst of it. If you need to shower anyway and don’t mind descending into rather uncomfortable depths, then read this report on the bottom-feeders among the Hillary crowd–they sound hauntingly familiar, so similar to the people who claimed that the Clintons were mass murderers.

Look. What was reached was a compromise, and it followed the rules that everybody knew full well going in. It was not everything either campaign hoped for, it was in-between–but with Hillary so far behind, anything but an absolute victory for her pretty much signals defeat. But that’s not a measure of unfairness to Hillary; it is simply a reflection of the fact that she’s behind and would need every blast thing to go her way to win this. You can’t expect to be given more than a fair split just because you’re desperately behind.

But Hillary supporters don’t see it that way. Some still are thinking that Hillary was entitled to the nomination and see this as robbery; and some are still raging at what they perceive as rampant sexism and–yes–even reverse racism. Geraldine Ferraro let go with a rant this week that I couldn’t finish reading, it was so filled with divisive and paranoid invective that made me wonder, could so many otherwise reasonable people truly believe all this? This is not even as thin as polling saying that 20% of Hillary supporters in West Virginia voted on the basis of race–at least in that case, there was some evidence of racism in play. But what Hillary supporters are reacting to is wholly perceived, not based on evidence or even opinions in surveys. It is based upon a highly subjective reaction not supported in fact.

What it boils down to is that these hard-core, die-hard supporters, like Hillary, will simply not give up. And there is a telling, not to mention chilling message in what a Hillary supporter shouted in the second quote above: “We just blew the election.” That says it right there: to many Hillary supporters, if Hillary doesn’t win, then McCain does.

Which means that to them, any attack or attempt to undermine Obama is okay because, after all, he’s never going to win anyway. That’s what scares me about this crowd: not necessarily just their invective, but the inference which signals a willingness to sabotage the party’s chances in November out of pure spite.

I suppose this quote pretty much sums up the Clinton crowd:

Hazel Rigby, a Clinton delegate from Virginia, disputed suggestions Clinton is too far behind to win, regardless of the outcome of the Florida and Michigan dispute.

“I’m here because I still think she has a shot at it,” Rigby said. “I want her there in the worst way.”

The worst way, indeed.

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  1. June 1st, 2008 at 16:42 | #1

    SHAME ON YOU! How dare you simply focus on Obama and Clinton and act like Kucinich doesnt stand a chance! clearly you are biased against men with absurdly hot wives!! lol

    But seriously, Do you think (as i suspect) that clinton supporters have been strung along, like an ugly prom date, by the media into thinking that hell-bent snowballs and avian-bovines are viable? the NYTimes had a cute graphic that you could slide a bar back and forth to see how many delegates clinton and obama needed and to be honest, it made sense in that context to see that clinton might have a chance. also clinton clearly can’t back down and to her credit she is such a dynamic speaker that many supporters may have fallen into believing in her emotional and irrational assertion that she had a chance. As an Obama supporter for over a year now, i am the first one to go check and see if any claims against Obama hold water. but i don’t check about hillary. could the reverse be true and people only pay attention to their hopeful candidate? as i write this, it occurs to me… is that so bad? i am young but i don’t remember this sort of radical fanaticism for Kerry or Gore! I think it’s good… but i do agree that Obama will also need all the Clinton supporters to vote for him in the general election and whether they do will fall heavily on Hillary’s response… maybe.

    Oh and wtf is with all the bugs! i have a moped and so many little bugs whip my face as i scoot past rice fields. yeeech.

  2. Tim Kane
    June 1st, 2008 at 17:03 | #2

    Honestly, I find all of this shocking. Shocking!

    What they are really saying is, anything short of handling Hillary the nomination is an abomination. It’s unfair, it’s immoral, it’ll lose in November. I am shocked at this attitude.

    Why? Well, for instance, my guy, John Edwards lost. Did I act or feel like any of this? No.

    Since then, I have set aside the calculus that had me going for Edwards, and have concentrated on Obama’s assets.

    What I don’t quite understand is what is fueling this reaction.

    Everybody has one ‘big’ thing that shapes their political position, and all other things sublimate to that. Many of my catholic friends, it’s abortion, and so, even though they are against every other thing Republicans tend to stand for, they rather ignore the worst of it, focus on the best of it and pull Republican overall.

    For me the issue is always economics – but that didn’t keep me from supporting Obama. I figured whoever got nominated would advance my core concerns more than a republican would. So I don’t understand these people’s one core issue that leads them to their intransigence and emotional response. I don’t get it.

    Is the issue identity politics of sex gender? If identity politics is the issue, do they really believe a female president is a more important agenda than a black male president? I’m sorry but 50% of the people are women and knows a women or at least, had a mother. Blacks are far more marginalized than women in our society.

    Hillary lost this nomination. My guess is history will say that she lost it way back when she voted for the war, and then confirmed that loss by botching up the execution of her campaign.

    She started out the campaign meekly enough, suggesting that it would be a conversation. It turned into a lecture, then a rant, then insanity. It’s obvious now that she and her ardent admirers felt that she was entitled to this nomination all along and any other outcome was a tragedy.

    My guess is she’s comparing notes with Joe Lieberman right now. The whole event looks like a repeat of Connecticut’s Senatorial election: An upstart insurgent wins the primary battle, the entitled incumbent runs a third party campaign, the third party wins on name recognition and promises to be a good democrat. Upon election is a Democrat in name only. Look for Hillary to run as an independent. Especially since the libertarians have a strong stalking horse chasing McCain. Hillary’s thinking she can ‘win the big states, the women voters and the white male working class.

    She’s already got her pretext lined up: the popular vote. She’ll figure she’ll be historical on two counts: a women and a third party candidate. I don’t know how the math works out, but I’m sure she’s looking at Joe Lieberman and thinking, if he did it, why can’t she?

  3. Tim Kane
    June 1st, 2008 at 17:05 | #3

    I meant the other 50% either know a women or at least had a mother.

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