Why, Hillary, Why?

[UPDATE: looks like it’s effectively over.]

I like Hillary Clinton1. Really I do. I voted for her in the Massachusetts primary. But if we had a do-over I wouldn’t do it again. She’s really been pissing me off.

It’s one thing to keep fighting when things look hopeless. The sort of gumption that requires is admirable, and probably necessary in anyone who really wants to be President. I don’t begrudge Hillary that; indeed, we should be thankful for it. The long primary season has been awfully tiresome, but it’s given Barack Obama some seasoning that he’ll need in the real campaign. McCain’s not the bastard W is, but the Republicans will certainly not keep the gloves on.

It’s the way she’s kept campaigning that’s the problem. As she’s gotten more desperate her tactics have gotten more despicable. Maybe that’s because there’s not a lot of non-despicable tactics she can use—after all, from the sound-bite point of view she and Obama are pretty much identical, and God knows they talked enough about “issues” at all those debates. But still.

I’ve been saying that in this election you have to be either a racist or a sexist2. I thought I was joking, but that seems to have become a main theme of the Clinton campaign, with the added proviso that “and many of you may as well embrace your racism.” The sexism part is fairly explicit. The racism angle is less so, of course, but really the hard core of her “electability” argument boils down to “Those troglodytes in the Hellhole Belt will never vote for a black man, but they might vote for a white woman.” I don’t know which is more offensive, the not-very-veiled implications of racism, or the insult to our intelligence that we might buy electability arguments.

And about electability. Her last gasp argument is that she is ahead in the popular vote, and hence is the proper choice both for reasons of electability and of democracy. Well. As to electability, I should think it’s pretty clear that small popular vote margins in primaries mean absolutely nothing in the general election. But that’s irrelevant, because her claim about the popular vote depends on some pretty twisted counting—as it must, because the nomination process just isn’t designed to measure popular vote.

And now there’s this weekend’s fiasco3. For the love of Heaven, Hillary, call off your legions of lunatic supporters! And I think I really do mean “lunatic” in the worst sense. There is no rational way to rank the candidates Clinton/McCain/Obama (unless you really are a racist). Supreme Court appointments alone are enough reason for any sane Hillary supporter not to even consider voting for McCain, or giving him half a vote by staying home. I am trying to assume that the loonies are a tiny minority, and that most of them will come to their sense by November.

OK, flame off. I just wanted to get that out of my system while I still can. With any luck, by tonight it will all be over, Clinton will have conceded graciously, and everyone will be friends again. The she can continue her career as a respected Senator or Vice President or Supreme Court Justice.

1 And her impersonators.

2 Both, if you’re a Republican.

3 I find I agree with pretty much everything Publius says recently.

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