Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Strange Phenomenon Among Democrats

(Instalanche: Welcome. The best way to browse here is to click on a random month in the archives, or one of the "extended comments" links on the right.)

I work in the dramatically liberal field of Human Services, and I do not bring up politics at work unless
A) The other person is aware of my conservatism and is comfortable with it, agree or not.
B) The other person is a repeat offender making bigoted statements about conservatives. Come to think of it, I seldom mention politics at those points, but make comments about reasoning or prejudice.
C) My comment is nonthreatening enough to dampen possible hostility. For example, a Will Rogers quote or a comment about Calvin Coolidge or politicians in general is seldom problematic.

Today, the day after the NH primary, had many Democrats making remarkably hostile comments to each other. I have not heard this before, and I have worked there since 1978.

I walked into a nearby office in which one resident was stating, with no little asperity "I think she's a vindictive bitch." Sensing some nastiness brewing, I tried to rescue the situation. "No, see, that's the part I like about her. I can visualize a Maggie Thatcher/Falklands scenario with Hillary. I like irritability, which is why I liked McCain and Thompson." No one thought that was in the least humorous, nor did my offering my Republican neck in sacrifice distract them.

I stumbled upon other angry, defensive people throughout the day. "But what has Obama done? What's his resume?" "I think that crying of hers was fake." "She was tired from campaigning, why wouldn't she cry?" It was fun for me, because I had whole new audiences for my line about having Obama at least run a golf tournament before we make him president, and mentioning that a Democratic strategist had recommended that Hillary appear more vulnerable just a few days ago. I thought many times during the day how the criticisms of Hillary are exactly - did I mention precisely? - what the most fevered of right wingnuts have been saying for over a decade. I didn't say that out loud, of course, but I marveled at it. Criticisms that aroused rage and accusation a decade ago even when watered down are now considered common knowledge among Democrats. Seemingly, half of them know that Hillary is corrupt and deceitful and say it more forcefully than Republicans were allowed to in polite conversation as recently as a year ago. The netroots even has people accusing Hillary of stealing the election with Diebold machines. I can only conclude that deceit and corruption were not considered a problem when they were used for uh, good causes.

Will it last? I rather doubt it. Like siblings who fight but defend each other to outsiders, it may all calm down for the general election. As a conservative, I'd love to see the light dawn on many, but I don't expect it. Something interesting in all this, though. Close elections in the primaries won't hurt Republicans at all - they will keep issues in the forefront. Media likes to focus on horserace news, which is never to conservatives advantage. But state-by-state close primaries won't do the Democrats any good at all. Pressure reveals truth.

Update: Much the same today. Psychologists were much worried about what it meant about NH that people would tell pollsters they voted for Obama when they hadn't. It was mentioned with meaningful glance that this used to be a Republican state. Oh sure. Like the behavior of Democrats is our fault. Sheesh.


Anonymous said...

Obama is President Wintergreen from Gershwin's musical Of Thee I Sing. Wintergreen won the election on a campaign of LOVE.

Assistant Village Idiot said...


Anonymous said...

This is so much fun!

Anonymous said...

"Psychologists were much worried about what it meant about NH that people would tell pollsters they voted for Obama when they hadn't." The fallacy here is that if you look at the poll numbers on Monday, they had Obama at 37%. He got 37% of the vote. What appears to have happened is that Obama didn't get the bounce from the undeclared/undecided that might have been presumed and Hilary's support eroded Edwards' support. Anyway, it must be no end of amusement to see the sniping even if it doesn't last.

SukieTawdry said...

I've spent the last week or so among the left expressing my honest opinions/reservations about both candidates. Frequently consigned as I am to the VRWC, never have I so felt the love.

The Obama camp eagerly lap up facts about the Clinton's, in particular Hillary, which, while hardly new, have been ignored or defended by these same people for years now. More and more Obama partisans are declaring that they will go third party or sit this one out (some even suggesting they'd give John McCain a nod) if Clinton is the nominee. They claim they never will forgive the Clinton's for the shabby way each has treated their man. They liken Clinton to GW Bush, not only as regards policy but now also her propensity to "steal" elections.

Over on the Clinton side, they're in a bit of a state of shock and cry on my shoulder about the horrible, hurtful things their former comrades say about them and their candidate. They spout what they would normally call right wing talking points about the inexperience and vapidity of the other. My impression, however, is that most of this group will line up behind Obama if he's the chosen one.

It's been an experience and it's somehow comforting to know that the lefts' vitriolic (and even sometimes downright demented) slings and arrows can be flung just as viciously at their ideological fellows as at their ideological opposites.

Who would have believed it would turn into such a fascinating election. On both sides.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

sukie - great name. Did you take it from the song, or from Beggar's Opera?

Anonymous said...

Is there some law requiring people to speak to pollsters, let alone tell them the truth? I don't talk to them myself, and if I were I'd probably lie just on general principles.

AVI - I think, regarding Suki Tawdry, the song and the stage play are pretty much one and the same. They both come from Threepenny Opera, by my favorite Marxist playwright (well, second favorite counting Shaw, I guess).

SukieTawdry said...

Both, I guess, although I knew the song as a teen long before I knew the opera. Always loved the name and was happy for the opportunity to assume it. My engagement with the left, however, is being done under my own name.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Actually, I had an outside hope that it was from the John Gay version from 200 years ago. That was spelled Sukey Tawdrey, though, so I suspected it was more recent.

An earlier version of the Assistant Village Idiot took a degree in theater.