June 02, 2008


The Rude Abides

It makes sense (to me at least) that The Rude Pundit would compose the most common sense post I've seen so far about Hillary Clinton and her supporters. I was wondering how we were supposed to deal with people like this:

Now, I know:
Reasoning with the Unreasonable:
At this point in the neverending self-flagellation that is the Democratic Party's Trail of Tears to the nomination, it's worthless to attempt to reason with Hillary Clinton's supporters. No matter how much you try to point out that Clinton agreed to the nominating process at the beginning, they won't care. None of it matters: not the facts that she was the frontrunner and presumptive nominee up until the Iowa caucuses, that Harold Ickes (a man desperately in need of a punch in the nuts) voted to "punish" Florida and Michigan. You can't start an argument by saying that Clinton herself said that even elected delegates can change who they support; therefore, the fight for the "will of the people" or whatever in Florida and Michigan isn't really what's at stake. You can't speak to them metaphorically, like saying how if you start a game of stick ball, you can't in the middle of an inning say that second base ain't the car on the corner anymore, that it's the fire hydrant half a block down, just because it turns out the other team has faster runners. Or that we're no longer gonna score by runs, just by how many bases you touch. No, no, such figurative language won't do for Clinton's followers.

The Rude Pundit would like to think that if he was in the position of Clinton's voters, that his candidate was actually losing the nomination, he'd have the sense to toss in the towel, as many previous Clinton supporters are doing. He'd like to think that, well, shit, the rules sometimes suck, but so be it. And instead work to change the rules for the future. Yes, he'd like to think he'd be so gracious. Indeed, when it seemed that Clinton was the inevitable nominee back last year, the Rude Pundit was ready to go all in to defeat the real enemy, and that was never Hillary Clinton. And he certainly knows that he wouldn't keep fighting if Clinton got the number of delegates needed to win the nomination.

As Democrats, one of the things we have to figure out is how to respect the rage of the hardcore Clinton voters. While relying on commenters on a website for perspective is about as smart as thinking that your crack addict sister is actually gonna use that money you loaned to buy groceries for her kid, it's a bit alarming to read the rank hatred over at the Hillary Clinton blog in reaction to the statement by Ickes (a man desperately in need of a cock-kicking) to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee that he's pissed and might take it to the convention.

In the over 1400 reactions, there's despair and arrogance and, yes, insanity, as well as a kind of support group mentality mixed with mass hysteria. Most of the comments are about how to proceed, and there's roughly five paths: fight for the nomination all the way to the convention in Denver, consequences be damned; or, if Obama is the nominee, write-in Clinton, get Clinton to run as an Independent, vote for McCain as a protest against the DNC, or not vote at all. These sentiments are spread over numerous writers, not just a couple of people bitching at each other, as so many comment threads become.

Now, we can simply flip these people off, treat them like deluded children and say, "Yeah, right, get in line, fuckers. You'll be voting for Obama like a good Democrat." It'd be like the way the Republicans treat the religious right or the way Bill Clinton treated black people. But that's a bullshit way to act toward fellow Democrats.

We can also appeal to reason, saying that, just for the sake of Supreme Court appointments (which might include Hillary or Bill, gang), you gotta vote for Obama. Don't go all Nader on the nation.

But how, Christ, how do we treat members of the family who have become estranged? It's all such projection now, this whole quixotic battle that Clinton supporters are engaged in. It's projection of years of waiting for a female candidate that had an honest shot. It's projection for the way Al Gore was screwed out of the presidency. It's projection for how seven years of George W. Bush have left Americans feeling as if what they believed about government and the nation was worthless.

We who support Obama cannot take this rage for granted. Surely, Obama has his work cut out for him in reaching out to Clinton supporters, when he secures the majority of the delegates. When that moment comes, though, it's incumbent upon us, the Obama supporters in Left Blogsylvania, to offer comfort to Clinton's most rabid acolytes and give them another place to call home.

And then let's fuckin' tear John McCain's hopes and dreams to shreds.
Amen, brother.

All of the evidence is pointing in this direction. She believes and will claim that she has won the popular vote. Even if she has not actually won the popular vote, her message to the country and the democratic party will be that she can not let down all of the people that voted for her and made this primary process such a closely run event.

Add to this logic Hillary's knowledge that all politicians have a shelf life for presidential potential and that this may be her only real chance to run for the presidency and furthermore, that Hillary is likely to be feeling abandoned by her party and stabbed in the back by it's super delegates who have once again run to the side of a flash in the pan who in her eyes and the eyes of her supporters doesn't even have the experience to hold his current position as a senator.

This possibility has been in my mind for several weeks now but was solidified by Hillary's agreement to allow Obama to receive delegates from a state where he was not even on the ballot. This suggests to me that Hillary, although resigned to her loss in the democratic primary, by remaining in the campaign after such an act, clearly she is in this fight for the duration and her only remaining alternative is to run as an independent.

Doing so allows Hillary to continue campaign against Obama, whom she honestly believes would be a detriment to the oval office and McCain who she is against for philosophical reasons. Running as an independent also allows Hillary to honor her supporters in the most politically expedient manner and would gain her a great deal of respect and potential support from independent voters and borderline republicans alike.

Finally it would feed into the angry, spiteful and vindictive nature that is so much a part of Hillary the person, allowing her to stick it to the party and those super delegates she sees as having ridden the coattails of the Clinton name for far too long to be cast aside by them at the last minute for somebody she considers to be yet another weak democratic presidential candidate that cannot possibly win in the general election.

What could the Democratic Party possibly offer her to appease her at this point? What could they possibly bring to the table that she could not attain on her own?

Hillary Clinton will not stop her campaign, she will run as an independent and destroy the democratic parties presidential hopes and possibly create another presidential run opportunity for herself in the process, even if she does not win.
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