Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dems, stop lying to yourselves about Hillary: Sure, she “gets s*** done” — atrocious s***, that is

The argument that Clinton can navigate the nightmare of D.C. better 

than Bernie is simply wrong


EnlarDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about recent comments from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign stop Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Salem, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)(Credit: AP)
What’s most troubling about the daily invective launched against supporters of Bernie Sanders isn’t that it is mostly wrong but that it functions to obscure a substantive, interesting and historic conflict over the future of the Democratic Party.
The smokescreen at its most basic level is that Hillary Clinton is a pragmatic realist who will be able to work with Republicans, while Bernie Sanders is an uncompromising idealist whose proposal for a socialist utopia is dead on arrival. There is not much explanation as to why Clinton is more likely to reach a compromise with a group of House Republicans led by a man who has consideredAyn Rand “required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff.” But never mind.
The next line of attacks is designed to put Sanders supporters back on their heels: Clinton is a realist, warts and all, because she is a woman: “YOU DON’T LIKE THAT SHE PLAYS THE GAME? THAT SHE HAS TIES TO THE ESTABLISHMENT? FOR ONE THING, THAT’S HOW SHIT FUCKING GETS DONE. FOR THE OTHER THING, THE BIGGEST THING, A WOMAN DOESN’T GET THE FUCKING OPTION *NOT* TO PLAY THE GAME.”
To recap, Clinton voted to invade Iraq, backed job-killing trade agreements, suggested that black women on welfare were “deadbeats” who were “sitting around the house doing nothing,” called for “more police” and “more prisons” and “more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders,” and bases not only her campaign finances but her entire social universe on and amid the superrich who she resides among in Westchester and the Hamptons — because she is a realist who can get things done.
Or because she had to do it this way because she is a woman. Or both.
No matter Sanders’ legion of women supporters, including many outspoken socialists. This argument renders those women invisible in an effort to inoculate pro-Clinton women’s arguments from criticism. The fact that a Sanders supporter might also be a big fan of Elizabeth Warren, and in many cases initially lobbied for her to run for president, is also an automatic nonstarter, as Rebecca Traister made clear: “spare me the wistful paeans to Elizabeth Warren…citing a fondness for her as a get-out-of-sexism card is a dodge.”
Ad hominem attacks against Sanders supporters are on the rise after Iowa, and they are increasingly unkind. Clinton partisans are likely motivated by uncomfortable data points: 86-percent of women under 30 caucusing in Iowa said they support Sanders.
And so the sexism argument doesn’t wash. But since opposing Clinton necessarily entails some unsavory or unfortunate motivation, there are other arguments to pursue. Like that young people, God bless them, are innocent of how the world works.
“Bernie’s attractiveness as a candidate relies on the premise of purity — a political value as ancient as politics itself,” wrote The New Yorker’s Alexandra Schwartz, dismissing her youthful cohort for their naivete before knocking them for not even being very cool young people to begin with. “When his campaign tweets that it’s ‘high time we stopped bailing out Wall Street and started repairing Main Street,’ you have to wonder why his youngest supporters, so attuned to staleness in all things cultural, are letting him get away with political rhetoric that would have seemed old even in 2012.”
Anger at Wall Street in 2016. How out of touch!

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