What he said

Before the weekend, I had a half-composed post about Hillary Clinton’s asinine invocations of RFK’s assassination, but I wasn’t done when weekend fun-n-games began, and now it’s dated and irrelevant. I only mention it because I would’ve linked to Atrios’s excellent and correct advice to the Clintonites: Stop Sticking Finger in Brain. The post had the same title as today’s and quoted the observation that “the various historical comparisons the Clinton campaign is making are in the ‘isn’t it great that people are so stupid that they’ll swallow this horseshit’ category. It did not take her husband until June to effectively have the nomination, and the 1968 primary season started much later than this one.”

I was particularly taken by the observation that “We’ve had little but dumb arguments like this from the Clinton campaign for some time. I’m not entirely sure if they’re stupid enough to believe them, or if they just assume we’re stupid enough to believe them. Either way I’m tired of having my intelligence insulted.”

Today, I again must defer to Duncan Black, whose confusion about the avid Clinton-backers matches my own:

I just stare and scratch my head and wonder what it’s all about. I appreciate that there are people who don’t like Obama for whatever reasons and prefer Clinton for whatever reasons. But he, you know, won?

I confess that I never really got why people would be jazzed about Hillary, what with the war-mongering, the dynastic overtones, and the fact that we could’ve done better in the ’90s, and I’d rather move forward than backward anyway. Honestly, I’m a bit disturbed at how often the symbolism of electing a woman seems to trump the symbolism of nominating a candidate who backed the war in Iraq and was comfortable backing another Bush war in Iran. Like lots of people, I got to know Hillary Clinton for 8 years, and while I have nothing against her, I just don’t feel passionately about her candidacy, and I’d rather have a nominee who isn’t strapped to a failed healthcare plan in the ’90s and a failed war in the ’00s. We can do better.

But obviously people have gotten very emotionally invested in her, and that’s great. She ran a stupendous campaign, and in any other year she’d be the nominee. She ran the best campaign of the 20th century against the first great candidate of the 21st, and she lost. It undoubtedly stings for her backers; my only comparison would be to Dean’s collapse in ’04, but that can’t even be close. People have had more time to get behind her and to make her candidacy part of themselves. Like I say, I don’t know exactly why they did that, but it’s to be applauded.

I assume and hope that the Clinton-backers are motivated by the same thing I am, a desire to end and reverse the Bush legacy, and replace Justices Stevens and (possibly) Ginsburg with men and women who will uphold key American values, unlike any justice who’d be nominated by McCain. Given my hopeful assumption about Hillary’s supporters, I’m optimistic that the bizarre attacks on Obama-backers will settle down shortly, so we can all get together and send John McCain to a well-earned retirement.


  1. #1 Carl
    May 28, 2008

    The one that really confuses me is the babble about Clinton winning a greater share of the popular vote. How can somebody “win” a contest that never took place?

    Look, if the goal were to win more popular votes, both candidates would have campaigned differently, at different times and places, and maybe even on completely different issues. To take a campaign in which the candidates competed for delegates and then try to score it as if they had competed for raw votes makes as much sense as, say, trying to change the rules on counting Florida and Michigan after the fact. Oh, wait…

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