Newsweek’s Howard Fineman, in particular, is spending an awful lot of time during every primary’s all-night coverage on MSNBC worrying publicly that nothing can heal this terrible rift between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supporters in time to elect Obama president in November.
“Well, it is going to take a lot of work,” Fineman said solemnly last week, in the wake of Obama’s all-but-assured victory. “It is going to take a lot of diplomatic effort. And ultimately, it’s going to take Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and maybe Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama sitting down in a room together as principals working on this and piece by piece, brick by brick, time to put the party together.”
He called the possibility that it could be done at all “a big if.”
Pardon my French, but: Crap.
Who exactly are hardcore Democratic voters going to vote for in November? The man who thinks we should stay in Iraq for 100 years? The one who thinks he should be allowed to dictate a woman’s medical decisions? The one who admits in public he doesn’t really get the economy all that well, and hey, even if he did, let’s toss you a little gas-tax bone and call it a day? That dude? The one married to a beer heiress who thinks she can finance her husband’s campaign and not tell us about her taxes?
The one who’s spending all his time posing as a straight-talking reformer when he can’t even obey the campaign finance law with his name on it?
That guy. Yeah, I can see disgruntled Hillary supporters flocking to him in droves.
Especially women. You know how we like it, when old men tell us what our bodies are good for. You know how that always wins us over.
I’m not dismissing the very real hurt that people feel when their political hopes and aspirations come to naught. I am, after all, still John Kerry’s biggest fan, four years after our political romance smashed on the rocks of George Bush’s constituency of suckers (how do you like your gas prices now, guys?), so I’d never say you can’t harbor resentment.
But to allow that resentment to be an excuse to sit out an election as important as this one?
I don’t think most of my fellow Democrats are that — small.
Note: I realize, looking this over more than a week after I wrote it, that it kind of comes off, “Who else you gonna vote for, chump?” and that’s not what I meant at all. I meant that the idea that Democrats are damaged by this horrible primary and its horrible consequences and all the horrible hurt feelings that resulted and are therefore going to vote for John McCain, is a storyline that benefits Republicans and is being pushed by people like Fineman (the dude who thought Obama running for president meant he couldn’t make racist jokes, let’s all recall that tragedy) because it conforms to that which his halfbright readers already know: REPUBLICANS ROOL DEMOCRATS DROOL, and so on, and we shouldn’t get too het up about it people trying to warn us off the whole, you know, voting thing.
In other words, that I’d take the argument from someone with less of a visible vested interest in keeping us stupid and lazy.