Saturday, May 14, 2016

I'm So Over Bernie.




Oh, God, I am so over Bernie and Bernie's lecturing finger and Bernie's strident voice and Bernie's repetitive stump speech and Bernie's whining about the unfairness of it all.

I've been a Hillary supporter since the beginning but I felt a certain amount of affection for good Old Bern. I am not as left-leaning as he is but I agreed with him on several of his issues, particularly income inequality. I admired his passion for that subject. I respected the terrific campaign he was able to wage and the way he has connected with young voters. Although I thought a lot of his promises were pie-in-the-sky ideas that he could never accomplish in the polarized climate of America today, still I considered him a positive participant over all.

But then I began to get nasty comments to my posts supporting Hillary. Not just, "look here, this is how Bernie is better", but "he's the only honest candidate - she's corrupt - she's a liar - she's this - she's that - just compare her to our Savior and you'll see it and you're a moron (or corrupt yourself) if you don't."

Well, I thought, that's his fans. He can't help it if they are young and single-minded about their views. That's the way young people tend to be. So, I shrugged them off, simply replying that if Bernie was nominated, I'd happily (well, okay, maybe not so happily) vote for him. Let the race go on and may the best man/woman win! We're all in this together.

Most of the Hillary people I knew felt the same but I heard in no uncertain terms from the Berniebots that no, we certainly weren't all in it together. It was Bernie or screw the system. They wouldn't vote or even worse, maybe they'd vote for Trump. That will show that Hillary bitch. And bitch was one of the kindest names they called her.

Don't even try to talk to them about the minimum wage or the Supreme Court or Citizens United or healthcare or any other issue where Bernie and Hillary are close together compared to the Republicans. Because, don't you know, for them it is purity of principle before commonsense. They'd rather go down crying about no loaf than to settle for half.

So, the campaign went on. Leave the super-delegates out of it and Hillary was still winning by hundreds of earned delegates and millions of votes. The Bernie folks have a hundred excuses why this is. The system is rigged. The establishment is cheating in Hillary's favor. Closed primaries aren't fair because they favor her. (Of course, caucuses are fair although they favor him).

Suddenly, groups that support Hillary, such as Planned Parenthood, are part of the nasty old establishment. People like me who've fought for the Democratic party all our lives are hacks. We need to move out of the way for the Bernie babies.

And Bernie's criticisms of her get progressively more vitriolic. He's practically writing Donald Trump's negative ads for him. He vows to go to the very end and to try to rustle her super-delegates as he goes. He's going to insist on a floor fight at the convention. He raves about her donors. He rants about her speeches.

He has the zeal of a missionary, him and his Children's Crusade both. The ends now justify the means because the ends are so right (which, of course, are famous last words for people doing wrong).

But politics is not religion. Politics is practical. Politics is about pragmatism and persuasion. It's about  doing your homework and compromising where you have to. It's about getting as much as you can get and living to fight another day.

So, really, want a smart, tough, experienced negotiator. I don't need a Preacher to lead me to the Promised Land.