Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Victims Forever

There are a lot of reports of Clinton supporters pledging to support John McCain this fall. This is ironic for a few reasons.

First, they know that McCain would almost certainly appoint a pro life justice to the Supreme Court in the next four years, likely overturning Roe v. Wade, something that's supposedly dear to Clinton and certainly most feminists.

Second, Obama's policies are almost identical to Clinton's substantively, and McCain's are virtually opposite. This shows that the decision to abandon Obama is largely emotional - and is most likely driven by a feeling that somehow Hillary was wronged, or cheated out of the election. This idea of Hillary's victimhood first at the hands of an unfaithful husband and then by a right-wing attack machine and finally a sexist press and an unfair primary process, the latter ideas stoked by Clinton herself, has driven some supporters to reject Obama - even though he hasn't done anything sexist and certainly won fair and square despite long odds.

But the final and most striking irony is that because of this, some Clinton supporters are pledging to vote for McCain who abandoned his first wife (who had been disfigured in a car accident) for a younger, healthier woman! I mean of all the people to support - these lost Clinton supporters are choosing someone who actually ditched and cheated on his wife to punish Obama, who is by all accounts faithful to his!

Think about that for a moment - all those people who identify with Hillary as a victim are voting for a victimizer to spite a man whose campaign for the most part took the high road. It's almost as if they resent Obama's lack of identification with black victimhood more than McCain's willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade and his abandoning his wife because she was no longer attractive.

But I suppose that's what the mentality of victimhood is - not merely someone who's been wronged, but one who ensures that the wrong repeats itself and perpetuates one's identity as a victim. And come to think of it, Obama's more of a threat to their identity than McCain is. Obama is a counterexample to them - he shows there's another way to proceed. McCain is the other side of the same coin - he commits the outrages that they feed on. So if McCain gets elected, they can continue to whine and complain. If Obama gets elected, and asks blacks to rise above victimhood, those women are going to have to go along, too - or look feeble and pathetic by contrast. What a nightmare - to have to take responsibility for your own lives!

Clinton Should Not Get Help for Her Campaign Debt

The NYTimes reported today that Clinton has a debt of about $21 million and talks about her options for retiring it, one of which was raising more money from her supporters, another of which was having Obama's supporters help raise money. Both options strike me as ridiculous.

First off, the Clintons' net worth was more than $100 million before the campaign started. Why should people struggling to make ends meet give them a dime? (I'd presume most people who aren't struggling gave the $2300 maximum). The Clintons can retire the debt personally and still have $75 million or so in the bank, with plenty more to come now that Bill's free to continue speaking and having other undisclosed business dealings.

The idea of Obama supporters giving Clinton money is laughable. Clinton was throwing good money at bad long after her only hope for winning was an Obama meltdown. While people have given her credit for "grit" and "determination," in most other endeavors this would just be considered poor judgment - racking up debt in pursuit of a lost cause. And that's fine if she's going to take responsibility for that poor judgment and pay for it out of pocket. But to ask people for money in a bad economy to free her from its consequences is bad form.

The one option not discussed that I'd find reasonable is not to pay Mark Penn the millions he's owed, and when he sues her, to countersue for malpractice - after all, not only did he run a terrible campaign, he was on the Columbian government's payroll, lobbying for a trade deal that Clinton was criticizing. That's a conflict of interest that might void the obligation.