Courtesy of Chinaberry Turtle in a comment on an earlier post, I found out that one of the Blogger Boyz whose site I no longer visit characterized the battle between the Hillary and Barry factions of the party as some kind of "lover's quarrel", where, once the Hillary side realizes it can't win, they will kiss and make up with the winner. We wimminz (because we all know Hillary supporters are just typical old white wimmin) will come around and vote for The Precious and if we don't, well then we're infantile.
I hardly know where to start with this alleged analysis.
What gets described in popular culture as lover's quarrels has a more clinical name - domestic violence. It is the use of physical force and/or psychological manipulation against an intimate partner, most often done for the sake of exercizing power over that person. While mostly a behavior performed by males upon females, it can be the other way around and it occurs in same-sex relationships as well. Regardless of the actual genders of the people involved, the person inflicting the harm is in the masculinized position and the recipeint of the violence in the feminized stance, reflecting the society's gendered psychology of domination.
To describe the unrelentingly savage and misogynistic assaults on Hillary Clinton over the course of this campaign as some kind of lover's quarrel that her (feminized) supporters will "get over" is deliberately overlooking the strand of violence that has been present in this campaign season in a way that I have not seen since the bourgeois "riot" at the Florida recount. Domestic violence is a better description. Gang rape begins to come close, too. I have already deemed the attack on Hillary herself an honor killing. Hillary must surrender, and her supporters had best learn to lean back and enjoy it, or else we just can't tell what these wild young 'uns might take it into their heads to do.
Death threats called in to Black super delegates. Caucus goers threatend and forcibly blocked from entering the caucus location. Encouragement on major blogs to find out real life information about Hillary supporters and harras them in their place of work and in their homes. Threats of riots at the Denver convention If delegates fail to vote for The Golden One. Under the veneer of Hope and Change, this is a campaign that traffics in intimidation. You better do what we say... or else.
If this blogger actually used the term "infantile," then there is another level of offensiveness to the characterization, but the greater problem is an inability to truly grasp the gathering political storm. First off, to name principled opposition to the tactics of the Obama campaign "infantile" is simply an attempt to delegitimize the grounds of the opposition, much in the way women's protests against male privilege or minority opposition to white privilege is declared inconsequential, childish, irrational, overly personal, emotional, and other descriptors intended to demean and disempower. This is a time honored (if moronic) way to try to discredit an opponent, but the difficulty here is that it is candidate-centric (You silly Hillary supporters saying you don't like Barack!) and overlooks the legitimacy crisis that is driving the increasing rejection of Golden Boy Barry by party loyalists.
I think it is hardly infantile that people are upset the party is disenfranchising voters in two major states. It is not infantile to require the nominee to have been judged by all 50 states. It is not infantile that candidates' poor performance and questionable judgement be a matter of debate in an election. It is not infantile to be dismayed by reports of voting fraud and voter intimidation in caucuses. It is not infantile to say that the current electoral cycle has been manipulated by the main stream media and by the Republicans (forcing early voting, cross over voting in open primaries, interfering with the attmepts to revote MI and FL), and that the DNC itself has been putting its hand on the scale in favor of one candidate for reasons that have little to do with policy, legislation or even winning in November.
With the refusal to allow a revote in Florida and Michigan and to clarify the will of the voters in those two states, what could once have been characterized as the contest between partisans has moved into a whole new level of political upheaval, one where the party itself is at risk.
The blithe dismissal by a major blogger of the disenfranchisement of millions of voters as the voters having taken "one for the team" is seriously, deeply disturbed. Taking one for the team means being killed to prevent more harm to your fellows, like the Marine recently written up in the news who threw himself on a grenade to save the lives of his squad members. This blogger has characterized a candidate loved by millions, a public servant of the highest caliber, as nothing more than an enemy. He has decided that it is right and just that millions of voters will die politically (not have their votes counted or thir voices heard) to prevent his enemy from winning. He arrogantly sweeps those voters into his army, front rank privates to be sacrificed for the sake of his candidate's victory.
Another top name is currently being lambasted for his anger at Hillary for not getting out of the way of Golden Boy Barry's cakewalk to the nomination. He doesn't seem to notice that it is not, in fact Hillary who is preventing Barry from sweeping up the delegates, but the voters who are registering their lack of faith in The Precious at the ballot box. He imperiously demands that Hillary just stop all this nonsense, dismissing not just the candidate herself but the millions who have made their will known. All of those millions of voices are worth nothing to the media star, opinions that he can dismiss because they are simply delusional votes for Her, the enemy, silly little voters who should know to suck it up and let fate - or force - take its course.
There is throughout this campaign season a disturbing comfort with violence (verbal and physical) to force opponents to acquiesce to a candidate who does not hold a commanding lead in anything, only a marginal one obtained under questionable circumstances. It is domestic violence in a political realm.
How can legitimacy and authority be found under such circumstances?