Posted by Damozel | Anglachelg has written a brilliant piece on the 'gathering storm' of anti-Obama feeling among Hillary Clinton's supporters. Though I'm on record as urging Dems to band together when the dust settles to prevent a McCain presidency (because anything would be better than a McCain presidency), this post perfectly articulates the anger and frustration of Hillary's Democratic supporters----and the seething indignation that both the media and the disingenuous tactics deployed by Barack Obama and his supporters has engendered.
Obama has rudely lost the good regard of Democrats like me. The hysteria and hate of the elite punditocracy who have declared me and my candidate to be illegitimate in an attempt to bully her supporters, while giving him a free ride, cannot be rewarded. The Democratic Party is choosing to declare Hillary voters to be expendable (can’t count your vote if it would change the outcome of the race) and of lesser worth than Obama supporters. And all of this is being viewed with increasing disgust by a growing number of Democratic voters.(Anglachelg).
First, there is the contempt with which the media and Obama supporters in the blogosphere, and subsequently the DNC and some of its prominent representatives, has dismissed her and her supporters as merely an unwarranted obstacle to the inevitable process of crowning Obama king of all the Democrats.
[T]he presumption of the punditocracy that we all know that a Hillary victory cannot be for real....has expanded to include the Democratic Party itself. This crisis brewed for some time, but took form when HRC was not permitted a level playing field in the campaign. The refusal to grant her equal footing may have begun with the MSM, which has always hated her, but they were soon joined by progressive blogs and the other campaigns, producing a phalanx of elite opinion trying to delegitimize her at every step...
To those several million people who support Hillary or who at least regarded her favorably, this pointed attack upon her as a person as well as a candidate, coupled with the relatively gentle treatment granted the other candidates, had the effect of solidifying a great deal of our support. To declare her unworthy of participating, a monster who would “do anything to win,” was seen for what it was, straightforward demonization of a perfectly acceptable candidate, one with a deep well of support and an enviable record of public service. We simply don’t accept the elite framing of our candidate. (Anglachelg)
This is precisely the process by which I evolved from someone with a slight leaning toward Hillary---it took me 20 minutes to choose between her and Obama (not that it matters, as I am a Floridian). But to have my choice---and my candidate---written off with airy contempt or with a barrage of harsh and unwarranted slaps offended, and eventually, infuriated me. Many of those will surely wonder in the future what got into them..
For one thing, it is their relentless efforts to delegitimize and demonize Hillary for the benefit of Obama that have been most damaging to Obama.
[A]mong HRC supporters, the effect of this particular campaign has been to erode the legitimacy not of our candidate but of Obama. As polling shows, his presumption that he automatically inherited her supporters has been proved untrue, in great part because he assumed that no one could really support that “monster”....(Anglachelg)
And it is precisely the contempt and disdain with which his campaign---and many of its supporters---have treated Hillary and her supporters that has created the current wave of revulsion against Obama among Democrats who favor Hillary.
[R]ank and file Democrats who vote for Hillary...are the bulk of the Democrats who voted (as opposed to all who participate), people for whom being a Democrat is a part of their personal as well as political identity..... There is some anger here over the treatment of Hillary, but even more it is rejection of Obama himself as a candidate due to his own actions and statements....
The more they hear, the less they are inclined to support....The sneer about Ohio voters who failed to vote for him as “Archie Bunkers” was a slur that every solid Democrat understands. He was calling those voters stupid racist bigots. Then we got the Wright controversy, which has simply added more fuel to the perception of Obama as an elitist liberal who does not honor his country or respect his countrymen. (Anglachelg)
If Obama gets the nomination---as I am repeatedly told he must---the disenfranchisement of voters in Florida and Michigan threatens his candidacy in the general election.
In these places, Hillary voters are being written off, dismissed as illegitimate voices in the process. The insistence on only one aspect of the rules, the penalty, while ignoring the full set of rules that could be used to manage the situation is eroding Obama’s claims to legitimacy because people don’t care about arcane party rules. They want their votes to count. The acts by Obama to prevent a revote have done nothing to increase his standing with ordinary voters, let alone strong Clinton partisans. This does not make him attractive to people who will have to switch their allegiance should Hillary not be the nominee. Conversely, her insistence on having votes counted will earn her greater legitimacy as well as benefit her with extra delegates.(Anglachelg)
Obama illustrates the hubris of a candidate swept along by his own hype to run before he'd paiu even a modicum of dues.
In Obama’s set piece speeches he excels at tapping into the leftwing version of the patriotic narrative, about equality, justice and opportunity. This was the power of his keynote speech in 2004. But the promise of that speech has not been present in the candidate. The spousal unit sums it up in a single sentence – he ran too soon. He did not give himself the time to distance himself from the Chicago mess (political, financial, religious) and put some substantive national level public service under his belt. In some ways, the Chicago power base has insulated Obama from the conundrums of running a Democratic campaign in a centrist nation.(Anglachelg)