From Me to You: Why Hillary Supporters Should Back Obama

So the media is blowing up over the idea that “embittered” Hillary Clinton supporters (affectionately called “Hilltards” by the Wonkette crowd) would be so angry at the DNC’s treatment of Clinton that they would vote for John McCain, who–get this– is a Republican.

I hope that these predictions do not come true, and I don’t believe they will. I have only encountered one person who, after Hillary lost, switched their allegiances. This person, “Mona,” responded to an email by the UC Berkeley campus coordinator who was trying to rally up support for Obama. Mona wrote (to everyone who received the original email):

When the leaders of the Democratic Party did not stand up to the Trinity Church of Chicago when they mocked Hillary Clinton and when they stayed silent while Randi Rhodes called her a f’ing whore and when the media disrespected her – they in turn showed me this is NOT a party I want to belong to.   Not only will I give my vote to John McCain I am seriously considering flying to a swing state – IF the race is close – which I doubt – to help GOTV on his behalf.  The DNC chose Barry before Country during the last 3 months of this race when she was kicking his ass.

When she was challenged by another person on the mailing list, she wrote back:

HILLARY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY DECISION and to blame her is frankly immature and just another “scare” tactic.   I have a brain — I am a leader not a follower.  I make my own decisions.  When Hillary stepped down today that left me a free agent.  I didn’t believe in everything Hillary stood for, however, I stood by her.  I for one hope she’s NOT the VP – she outshines Barry – he needs her – not the other way around.

You don’t get IT – what I am standing up for is WOMEN TO BE TREATED FAIRLY and with RESPECT.  That’s the stance I am taking.  The leadership of the Democratic Party needs to take heed.  When they lose in November they can blame themselves.  I won’t stay in an abusive relationship.

The whole exchange was melodramatic and frankly sad- the culmination of almost a year of hard work leading to a rapid decline and then failure, resulting in in-fighting and finger-pointing.

I quote this email because it gives us a glimpse of the logic behind a Hillary->McCain supporter. Otherwise, I really can’t grasp why any Hillary fan- Democrat or otherwise- could think that McCain is the better choice.

I mean, really:

  • Hillary- Pro-choice
  • Obama- Pro-choice
  • McCain- Mostly pro-life
  • Hillary- Against the war
  • Obama- Against the war
  • McCain- For the war (“100 more years!”)
  • Hillary- Against Prop. 8 (CA Constitutional ban on gay marriage)
  • Obama- Against Prop. 8
  • McCain- Supports Prop. 8
  • Hillary– Supports habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo detainees
  • Obama– Supports habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo detainees
  • McCain– Against habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo detainees

…. the list could go on forever. The fact is, John McCain, while not maybe as truly terrible as some many most Republicans, he is still a Republican, which means, like it or not, he follows in the footsteps of George Walker Bush (remember him? the President?). Another Republican president not only means 4+ more years of Republicans claiming to represent mainstream America, it also  means Republican Supreme Court appointees (bring us even closer to the overturning of Roe v Wade), and the people who currently advise Bush on issues of foreign and domestic policy will just switch over to the McCain administration. We can’t have this happen.

Hillary Clinton supports Obama. I find it fascinating that Mona can be so enraged by the DNC’s alleged maltreatment of Clinton and then completely disregard the endorsement of the woman she so passionately admires. Furthermore, the idea that Mona is somehow punishing the DNC by voting for McCain is both delusional and self-important. She seems to miss the fact that she is hurting herself and the very rights she supported when voting for Hillary by voting for the Republican party- and therefore against abortion, gay marriage, and, most tragically, the Constitution.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “From Me to You: Why Hillary Supporters Should Back Obama

  1. You’re making a case based on the issues. Hillary supporters who are flocking to McCain by the millions are doing so because of the person.
    There are two reasons most people vote. 1: Issues. 2: The candidate. – They either like one candidate and vote positively for that candidate or they so despise one candidate that they’d rather have the other guy win.
    That is why Obama has no chance at all of winning in November.

  2. You are correct, Kurt, in saying that many people vote on personality (unfortunately).

    You are terribly incorrect, however, when you claim that as a result of this, Obama is sure to lose. In addition to being way ahead on the Electoral College polls- (www.fivethirtyeight.com), he is generally way ahead in personality polls:
    http://www.reporternews.com/news/2008/aug/01/fun-poll-about-candidates-surprises/
    AND http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/04/of-candidates-and-carpools/

    He also consistently is rated more “likeable” than McCain:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25816799/

    So I’m not sure where you’re getting the “no chance” idea.

  3. RWR

    Kurt, While I agree that issues and personality are the major deciders, I don’t think your interpretation of what’s happening here is correctly attributing motivation. I, for instance, don’t have any “personal” preference for Hillary or Obama – or certainly had none before May of this year. I think all politicians lie, and picked Hillary because I found her experience and motivations made her brand of lies more predictable (and I note this has held true). I also felt she was better vetted. I had no warm fuzzy feelings for Hillary and I never had any dislike of Obama until recently, and even now that is relatively mild. I’ve voted for many a politician I didn’t personally like.

    Further, while I do think Obama and Hillary are close on the issues, I don’t think those “self-stated” issues are the only ones at stake. Additional issues include: a) the DNC and the media gaining, and utilizing, unprecedented powers of manipulation and coercion, and b) a culture of hatred and, more frighteningly, dehumanization within the Obama campaign. If one estimates that these issues are less important than other issues at stake that’s a difference of opinion I can respect. But to claim they are non-issues is a mistake.

    For most of us life-long democrats opposing the Obama-bid the issue is democracy itself. The issue is the future of the Democratic Party and the role of the media. And deeper issues are the nature of the voting and election systems and the structure of representative democracy. And yes, it is about “making a point” – but some points are worth making. I’ve worked in a communist country. I know what it means for the government and media to control the thought of the people. And I know what happens when naïve youth “movements” like the Red Guard to run rampant.

    To the author (Kantankerous?) – Where to begin…you title your post “From Me to You: Why Hillary Supporters Should Back Obama”. And yet in the first sentence refer to us as “embittered” and “Hilltards”? I only hope the Obama campaign has a few more like you tucked away, because your ignorance of social norms, basic psychology and how politics works are going to drive Obama numbers to depths I’m sure the “movement” hasn’t yet imagined.

    What scares us most is when you young Obamabots say things like “I find it fascinated [sic] that Mona can … completely disregard the endorsement of the woman she so passionately admires.” This is the difference. We think on our own. Most Obama followers WOULD do anything he says. God it’s frightening.

    You finish by calling a vote for McCain both “delusional and self-important”. But it is only delusional if we are wrong about the danger to democracy of an Obama win. And it is only “self-important” in the sense you mean, if it doesn’t work. A losing vote is always a waste, but a winning vote in a tight race, is always every bit as important as the voters thinks.

  4. RWR-
    Thank you for responding to this post. I think you misunderstand me in many ways.
    1) I was and am a Hillary supporter. I mentioned the “Hilltards” comment as a humorous addition to how some people view us- Obama supporters are known as “Obamatards,” on that site as well, or “Obamabots,” as you would say.
    2) “Embittered” is a word in reference to the media’s perception- I will put it in quotes for more clarity.

    I suppose I would respect your movement more if I understood WHY you don’t like Barack or the Democratic party- neither you nor Mona mention it in your statements. My problem with it is that it seems that you are completely disregarding the issues in an emotional retaliation to Hillary’s loss. You think things would be bad if Obama won? John McCain’s win would be even worse.

    And, once again, you are certainly welcome and indeed encouraged to think on your own. If you have been following the Obama movement, however, you would notice that his supporters are CONSTANTLY questioning what he does- his votes for FISA, off-shore drilling, etc. Your accusations that they (we?) do whatever he says are unfair and unfounded.

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