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Be our guests

I have a couple of guest posts today for your perusal. These are two interesting and insightful posts taken from our comment section. I’m going to go with the most recent comment first. This one is from Tamens in WA state who attended a county caucus to vote for state level delegates to the Democratic convention. It sounds like a trying day:

I spent six hours at my county caucus in WA State. There were 400 of us there to elect 13 delegates to the Washington State Convention.

It took our county officials four hours to count the 210 (or so) local delegates and alternates that had to be seated so they could vote for the 13 state convention delegates. While my county officials were counting assigned delegates, and alternates, we had to listen to 3 1/2 hours of “open mic” for Bernie. It was excruciating.

There was a particularly conspiracy theory believing man yelling about how such and such volunteer was trying to SUBVERT the process because she didn’t know the “white paper” had to go to the delegate counter instead of the delegate himself. And so she was trying to make his vote NOT count…even though he was an alternate and not a pledged delegate.

There were people yelling about how only Bernie cares about climate change, and free college, and he likes guns, and there free college. And some asshat talking about how dare Hillary defend a rapist IN 1975! And how she bullied Bill’s side pieces. And those were just the interesting ones, plenty of people up there talking about how only Bernie could lead the party/country, and why did we insist that Democrats run the primary. And about those super delegates….how dare they exist!

So when we finally split into our 32 Clinton person caucus, it was so nice to be with like minded people! We were courteous to one another, nominated our two Hilary delegates, voted them in, said good bye and as we were leaving, some young woman came over from across the gym to ask us to be quiet as Bernie people were trying to give their speeches. I simply looked at her, and said “we’re leaving”. And left!

I can not wait until this primary is done. I’m over caucuses forever, and it was an awful day.

The second post is from commenter William who had a lot of good insights about political scapegoats and why the left needs one:

Yes, Hillary is the modern political scapegoat. Tragically and awfully, the human race has seemed to need scapegoats throughout its history. The Jewish people have been scapegoated for every event, including invented ones, for the last two thousand years. Humans search for someone to blame for every thing that they do not like, or which frustrates them.

This country fortunately has not done too much of that. kind of scapegoating. But both the Right and Left have found the need for political scapegoats. Strangely, Hillary fits both of their needs. The Right has a mythology of some halcyon time in America; maybe the 1870’s or the 1950’s, whee everyone was patriotic, accepted their lot in life, were cheerful good neightbors. The Left has one mythoogy which revolves around JFK and Camelot, destroyed by the assassination, and leaving a Democratic Party which does not live up to what they want to believe were the thoroughly lofty ideals of the Kenendys. Their other mythology is that of noble revolution, the days when they could root for the Maoists against the imperial Chinese; Castro against Bautista, Sahndanistas against Contras. America seen as the imperalists; the other side glorious freedom fighters. And on the domestic front, they have long believed that various Democrats have sold out New Deal principles. For fifty years they have looked for purity; championing the likes of John Anderson, Gary Hart, Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader, Howard Dean, and now Bernie Sanders.

They did not like Bill Clinton, and they apparently like Hillary even less. Nothing she does or says is good enough for them. They want a holy war against corporations and the industrial complex. They have no real idea how this would happen, or what would be the result of it, but they want the rhetoric, and they want the exhilaration of being able to charge into the breach. They have spent 25 years blaming the Clinton administration for every failure to turn this country into something that it never was, a paradise for workers and consumers, something like they imagine small and homogenous Scandinavia to be. The thing which bothers me the most, besides the incredible unfairness to the very gifted and competent Hillary Clinton, is that it is impossible for her, or for anyone, to compete with a fuzzy and wishful political ideal. By the metrics of the activist Left, everyone falls short. They thought they got one of their own elected in Obama, but of course they were very disappointed in him. But then, rather than admit their own lack of perception, their cognitive dissonance allows them to blame that on Hillary, or to just assume that their next favorite is the true messiah, and that Hillary is once again in the way of his ascension. It is impossible to argue with religious zealots of any denominaton.

And to throw in one more comment, I have no interest in Facebook, or any of the social media sites; which may be my loss, or not. I am glad that President Obama is such a cool guy that he is comfortable with Facebook, and wants to be buddies with the press corps, joking about Hillary’s difficulties in mastering such a cool thing. Obama has gone through eight years of not accomplishing much of anything, and of costing the Democrats about 70 congressional seats, by not stressing the need to vote in midterms, or the need to elect Democrats; but he has been very pleasant and congenial about all of it. He has stuck Hillary with a crucial “swing vote” Supreme Court nominee who is by all accounts a very decent and bright man, but much more centrist than anyone the other side ever picks. No one blames him for that, though; and it is a good laugh that these cool guys and gals are good at Facebook, while “Aunt Hillary” is not.

The “Aunt Hillary doesn’t know how to use Facebook” joke is pretty cringeworthy, IMHO. Apparently, Obama doesn’t know that Facebook is old technology. That just saps the cool right out of him.

I’ll try to be back later tonight.

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