From christofpierson at Tragic Farce:
I’m really, really not interested in the “Who’s better/more progressive/more electable/ more presidential: Hillary or Barack?” debate. From my perspective, this is irrelevant to present realities, no matter how endlessly fascinating the question may be for some. It honestly never was a useful discussion for any leftist, ever, even while it was was relevant.
But it is eye-opening to experience the violence of feeling ready to erupt among the Clinton refugees and, I tip my hat to them, sincerely: it does make me realize that I, like probably every former Obama supporter, no matter how hot or cold they were for their choice, had blinders on during those primaries.
Some Hillary people are wrong to the point of pathological about the nature of those blinders. If you read this person’s comment you should be able to see what I mean in the first paragraph. I don’t want to “go there” here, but I will say that speculating on the appeal of something or someone for another person and mistaking that speculation for “truth” or “psychological insight” is always a frivolous luxury that is utterly devoid of nutritional value at best and, at worst, self-poisoning.
But that doesn’t cancel out the fact that Obama supporters were blind, specifically to the travesties of primary political tactics the Obama team allegedly played, which the commenter alluded to in the snippet above. We were blind to them, many of us, because we did not care about the process, only about the end of it. Did the Democrats rig the primaries for Team Obama? I don’t know, but I’m inclined to believe, given what I know of the thoroughly corrupt electoral system, that they certainly could have. That is the way politics is played in the US of A. If the rules won’t elect your guy or girl, brute force will always do the trick, and campaign operatives are always devising ever cleverer ways of smashing the rules for victory’s sake. I usually hate to hear commentators dropping the brainless “both parties are guilty” line, but in this case, it’s absolutely true. Republicans happen to be more psychopathic about it, but Democrats clearly have noticed that in the American electoral system, psychopathy is solid strategy.
What is really clear to me now after my experience of yesterday is that Hillary Clinton supporters like my new friends are probably a bellwether for “the Democrats’” chances in 2012. (Why this crowd is resistant or downright hostile to OWS is a bit of a mystery that is useful to think about, and I intend to think about it more. Is it, perhaps, that they’re too close to the middle of the road to make out much beyond the yellow lines?) My friend is exaggerating and plain wrong when she (I’ll assume) says that the primaries caused “a tsunami” of change among “everyone else,” by which she presumably means non-Democrats as well. The fact is, only die-hard Clinton supporters were changed by what they witnessed in primary season. Clinton die-hards should make peace with that fact. And they should test to see what their own blinders prevent them from seeing. But, frankly, they should be proud of being in the avant gard of the clued-in.
So many juicy targets, where do I begin?
I long ago made my peace with the fact that most of the country doesn’t care about what happened in 2008. I will never make peace with what happened in 2008.
If Hillary were president and did all the same things that Obama has done, I would not be happy about it. But I would be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt because she earned my trust. Barack Obama has earned my distrust.
That doesn’t mean I would suddenly like Obamacare. It would still stink, as would the continuation of the Bush policies on war and civil liberties. But I don’t believe Hillary would do exactly what Obama has done. If you disagree, prove me wrong.
I lost my blinders in 2008. In losing them I came to realize several things, including the fact that the Democratic party was not my friend, and that individual Republicans were not my enemy.
As for why I am “resistant or downright hostile to OWS” the answer is simple. It is an astroturf covered veal pen for progressives. Its purpose is to distract and deflect attention away from Barack Obama and the Democrats, while ensuring they are ineffective and incapable of being a threat to same.
I am not a fan of banks or billionaires. I am outraged at what has taken place, including the financial meltdown, the housing bust, the growing gap between the rich and everyone else, and the persistent failure of our government to do anything about it.
But OWS is not the answer.
Let’s assume OWS succeeds beyond it’s supporters wildest dreams. The entire corrupt system is gone. What would that look like?
No government. No money. No economic system other than barter and trade. Starvation, war and disease. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse riding back and forth across the land.
What’s that? You don’t want to destroy the whole thing, just reform it?
Okay, then you need to embrace politics, not shun them. And you need to make your peace with the fact that YOU WILL NEVER ACHIEVE CONSENSUS.
Oh, you can get consensus on some issues, but we already have that. We all agree that rape and murder are bad things. Nobody wants to starve or die from contaminated food. We all love mom, apple pie and baseball.
But there are a bunch of smart, well-informed people out there who see all the same things that we do but who draw different conclusions. Where we want more government, they want less, and vice versa.
Whether you reform the current system or create a new one, you have to deal with that fact. Some of the brightest minds that ever lived have spent millennia trying to come up with a system that accommodated diverse opinions. They tried everything from democracy to dictatorship to no government at all.
They finally came up with the current system. It’s got lots of faults, but it works better than anything else ever invented. If you think you have a better idea, I’m all ears.