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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Betraying Hillary Clinton

They call themselves "PUMAs" -- an acronym for "Party Unity My Ass." I've called them "dumbasses." I think my description is probably a little more accurate. These are former Hillary Clinton supporters who can't take "you lose" for an answer and, in what seems to be an unreasoning fit of pique, are now supporting John McCain. Because John Freakin' McCain is just so much like Hillary Clinton.

A fine example of one of the dumbasses is former Clinton delegate Debra Bartoshevich, who was stripped of her delegate status for supporting John McCain. The McCain camp cut an ad featuring her, where she calls herself a "proud Hillary Clinton Democrat." It was at a press conference about that ad that Bartoshevich proved her dumbass status:

Direct quote from TIME:

Going back to 1999, John McCain did an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle saying that overturning Roe v. Wade would not make any sense, because then women would have to have illegal abortions.

The problem, of course, is that McCain has since reversed himself on that position -- as he has on just about every issue. That she doesn't know this just demonstrates the depth of her ignorance. Debra Bartoshevich supports John McCain because she totally misunderstands what he stands for.

The Republicans then went out of their way to correct Bartoshevich, lest anyone get the idea that the GOP candidate was pro-choice -- despite months and months of high-profile brown-nosing of right wing Evangelicals.

Was she going off message? Or are Republicans engaging in some cagey multi-messaging? After the event, an RNC spokesman reiterated that McCain has been very clear about his position on abortion this campaign cycle. And he has. He speaks about the life issue at almost every campaign event, and his campaign has aggressively courted evangelical voters by highlighting McCain's consistent pro-life voting record, and his stated determination to appoint Supreme Court justices like Alito and Roberts. Just last week, in his weekly radio address, McCain hammered Obama on abortion. "I can assure you that if I am president, advancing the cause of life will not be above my pay grade," he said.

The fact of the matter is that anyone who'd jump ship to McCain because Hillary Clinton wasn't nominated is stupid. That's not an opinion, that's a demonstrable fact. The truth is that John McCain is against just about everything Hillary Clinton stands for. Any Clinton supporter who'd vote for McCain is a world class idiot.

But America is a big country, with a diverse population, and that population includes some real chumps. When you're dumber than cold gravel, it's easy to mistake an anti-choice, warmongering, gay-baiting neocon for a pro-choice feminist. It's also easy to mistake an anvil for a flotation device. A USA Today/Gallup poll shows that only 47% of former Clinton backers "solidly back Obama." I'm not sure what the "solidly" qualifier's supposed to mean -- it may be a meaningless stat. Only 27% of former Clinton backers are true dumbasses who support McCain.

What these people don't seem to realize -- mostly because they seem incapable of deep thought -- is that their continued tantrum harms Clinton's future chances at a White House run. If Hillary Clinton can't lead her own supporters, the case can be made -- extremely easily -- that she wouldn't be able to lead the nation. If even her most ardent supporters won't follow her, how could she possibly lead a nation that includes those who didn't support her? They're throwing their candidate's political future out the window. Smooth move, dumbasses.

Clinton will speak at the Democratic convention tonight and it would serve her well if her more insane supporters shut the hell up, calm the hell down, and listen. It would also serve Hillary well if she used her time to attack McCain, to spell out just where she and McCain differ, and just what a disaster for women and Democrats a President McCain would be. From day one, I've said that Democrats need to equate the GOP nominee with Bush, then run against Bush. There is no better candidate to suit that strategy than McSame.

She needs point out that supporting McCain would be a betrayal. That needs to be clear as glass. Hillary may be a conservative Democrat, but that makes her a centrist -- John McCain has remade himself as a far right lunatic in the mold of Bush. No one should -- and no thinking person would -- mistake Clinton's positions with McCain's.

It needs to be made clear -- very clear, because these are very stupid people -- that McCain is not where she's leading her followers. That voting for McCain is voting against Hillary Clinton. She needs to keep her supporters from ruining her political future.

She needs to lead her followers away from a personal disaster that would make her the new Joe Lieberman.


1 comment:

Mark said...

I've given up on worrying about people with so little clue about politics that they're willing to vote for the other party's candidate because their own lost the primary. I mean, how serious could such voters have been in the first place?

I also think this might have something to do with mistrust of the system, something Bush's "election" in 2000 has really helped foster. It's too bad. Obama needs to work on rebuilding trust once he becomes president. (knock on wood)