Friday, March 14, 2008

Hard feelings

I hate to admit it, but I'm in this area myself. As I mentioned, there's a great deal of enthusiasm for Hillary here in Long Beach. There's a lesbian couple that lives a few doors down from us and they have Hillary signs up, Hillary bumper stickers, etc. Prior to the California primary, these didn't really prompt a reaction from me, since I figured everyone in my Zip code was voting for either Obama or Clinton, no big whoop. Now, every time I walk or drive by, I'm seized by an urge to tear the sign down, to knock on their door and ask them if they approve of Hillary being such a destructive bitch, and all kinds of insults and means of lashing out that I'm uncomfortable even thinking.

It comes down to this: I'm not angry and disillusioned with Hillary because she's an assertive woman participating in the rough and tumble of politics. I'm angry and disillusioned with her because she's playing exactly the same politics of destruction and deception that have poisoned the well of American democracy for the last twenty or more years. In spite of her partisan differences with the man, Hillary is the fruit of the Lee Atwater revolution in politics. As Andrew Sullivan has noted, this is to a large part still the same damned fight—culturally, politically, societally—that started with Vietnam and the civil rights movement. Most Americans under 50 are past that conflict and this election represents our first real chance to get past it. Hillary's tactics represent the establishment's struggles to keep us in it and her supporters are the enablers who keep that struggle going.

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