Soooooy un per-de-doooor

>> Saturday, August 16, 2008

And why do I have the chorus of Beck's classic rolling through my head right now? Oh, come on, take a guess. If you guessed that I just read the news that Senator Hillary Clinton's never-say-die legion of sore losers have whined their way into a role-call vote at the Democratic convention in Denver, you called it. Possibly in one.

I'd really like to stop writing about this woman at some point before the year is up. Give me a few months to sorta forget about her, maybe--although I'm not really sure it's possible--give me enough time to heal up and fondly recall the days when I liked her. At the risk of sounding like one of the sexists who supposedly cost the Senator her shot at the '08 nomination, Senator Clinton could be kind of like one of those ex-girlfriends who put you through utter, devastating hell when you were dating but who, years later, eventually becomes someone who isn't remembered too badly. Who perhaps is even remembered well; yes, we fought a lot back when we were seeing each other, but she was cute and funny and smart, and we had some good times. No, really--we did! And all your buddies roll their eyes and even quote some of the mean things you said at the time, and you protest, "Well, yeah, but that was a long time ago and I was drunk when I said that!"

In other words, I don't want to rule out the possibility the Senator and I might sort of run into each other on the street, maybe have a few drinks, maybe even hook up; probably wouldn't amount to much, but no regrets on either side and a lot of hatchets buried (along with the mouldering corpses they're in). Metaphorically, I mean. You get the idea, I hope.

I don't want to rule it out, but the fact the Senator keeps acting like crazy-ex-girlfirend isn't helping. And--because this whole issue is so freaking fraught with accusations of sexism--please allow me to rush to assure any female readers that you can substitute "vindictive-shithead-ex-boyfriend" into the conversation at appropriate moments and the point will be exactly the same; indeed, let's rush to be ecumenical and to clarify for gay or lesbian readers that you can make whatever substitutions you'd like for "lunatic I formerly dated" and this will all be worth the same at a one-for-one exchange rate.

This, incidentally, is the madness of the Clintonian black hole. By penning the above paragraph, I have clearly demonstrated to any Clinton partisans dropping by that I am a sexist, fascist conservative who feeds infants to bears. Mean bears. Mean bears with pointy teeth. Mean bears with pointy teeth who were formerly on the board of Enron. Dick Cheney, in other words. I am Dick Cheney. Thank you, hate machine.

Back on topic. This role-call vote. Who is it to benefit, exactly? Oh yes, I know who they say it will benefit: it's to provide a cathartic moment for the Clinton partisans who continue to make excuses and blame everybody except Senator Clinton (and her husband) for the Clinton-death-spiral of earlier this year. Here is a definition for catharsis from Dictionary.com, just for the record:

ca·thar·sis /kuh-thahr-sis/
1. the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, esp. through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.
2. Medicine/Medical. purgation.
3. Psychiatry.
a. psychotherapy that encourages or permits the discharge of pent-up, socially unacceptable affects.
b. discharge of pent-up emotions so as to result in the alleviation of symptoms or the permanent relief of the condition.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Origin: 1795–1805; < NL < Gk kátharsis a cleansing, equiv. to kathar- (var. s. of kathaírein to cleanse, deriv. of katharós pure) + -sis -sis]


Now, I have to confess: I reproduce this not so much because I couldn't define the word myself, but because it amuses me that the definitions allude to such unfortunately appropriate matters as relieving "socially acceptable affects" and to the purging of emotions through tragedy; had the definition said through travesty, it would have been spot on.

Why am I worked up about this? Because this is ridiculous and reflects badly on Clinton by suggesting (yet again) that her supporters are whiny bad sports who are not mature enough to accept the fundamental truth of winner-takes-all political contests: that one person wins, and the other (by definition) loses. Senator Obama--love him or hate him--ran a sufficiently capable campaign that he was able to take the spoils, all of them--and Senator Clinton, because there had to be a loser and because she did not run nearly as effective a campaign, lost and takes nothing, not even her ball to go home with as her supporters clearly want to do with their sham of a protest vote--I mean cathartic last hurrah. What bullshit. Senator Clinton's supporters' actions demonstrate that they--hopefully unlike their candidate--are not ready to play with the grown-ups.

Oh, but what of the sexist media and the way the media fawns over Senator Obama? You know, accepting it's true (a debatable proposition, but why not?), so fucking what? No, seriously, so fucking what? Fair? No. Right? No. But them's the breaks, the rules you play by. It's not fair when one team has the sun in their eyes or one team doesn't have as much money to recruit top-notch players. Or choose another metaphor if you'd like. If a professional sports team showed up and whined about the gross unfairness, they would be mercilessly mocked, and properly so. If Senator Clinton had secured her party's nomination, hostile press bias (if it existed, if it were noted) would have been rightly crowed as a triumph over adversity. (And do we need to go over, again, all the advantages of being a little-known black candidate with a funny-sounding name that's uncannily similar to not one but two of the most hated enemies of America of the past twenty years? I.e. should Obama follow up winning the nomination with winning the office, surely his win will be a triumph over certain obvious disadvantages going in.)

This is not catharsis that the Clinton partisans want. It is protest. It is whining. They will not be any happier after they've shouted their candidate's name during the role call vote. In catharsis, the bad feelings go away once they've been given voice--that's the whole point, you see. The Clintonites are not going to shout the Senator's name and then say, "Phew! Now I love Obama!" They're going to shout their Senator's name and then they're going to piss and moan some more. They will go away still mad.

Son perdedores.

2 comments:

Janiece Murphy Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 2:09:00 PM EDT  

They will go away still mad.

Eric, at this point, as long as they just go away, I'll be satisfied.

Nathan Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 4:00:00 PM EDT  

Actually, the point isn't that they should go away.

The point is that they ought to suck it up like previous generations and get behind the guy their party nominated. They should hold their fucking noses, if need be, and lustily cheer him into office. They should present a united fucking front instead of, yet again, letting the party implode and hand the Republicans a win.

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