Sometimes when you write for the web, you know as you write a particular piece that it’s going to piss off some people. I have a feeling this piece will probably piss off both die-hard Hillary people and die-hard Bernie people. So that probably means I’m doing it right…or completely wrong.
That’s the fun part of being a comedian covering politics; getting to admit that sometimes/a lot of the time/always you’re full of shit.
I will not do this in 2020, but this election I have been very candid about who I will — or won’t — vote for. I started as a reluctant “Clinton if no one else” guy, and then after the debate in New York, when Hillary just couldn’t utter even the smallest condemnation of Israel’s brutal 2013 onslaught against Palestine on the Gaza strip, that tore it for me. I was Bernie or Bust at that point, though with the provisos that a) I was doing it because I live in California and am asserting my blue state privilege (we pay about a 1,000,000,000% surcharge in cost of living to be here, so I don’t give myself too much shit about and b) if the polls tightened up and California was going to go red instead of blue, I’d do everything I could to not let that happen.
Essentially, that’s where I stand now.
But the speeches that Senators Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders made absolutely thawed me toward Clinton. Then our First Lady stepped out on stage, and goddamnit, even though I’ve been mightily disappointed at times with her husband, that woman just about turned me around on Bernie or Bust completely. In particular her line — which will certainly be carved into the annals of time — about going high when their opponents go low struck a chord, but not in the way one might expect.
“When they go low, we go high.” – Michelle Obama, 7/25/2016, Democratic National Convention
That line could actually pertain to myself and the Democratic Party.
You don’t get much lower than pretending to be neutral, as your party bylaws state you must be, and then doing everything you can do in secret to tilt the playing field. Matt Taibbi just slayed it in his newest piece for Rolling Stone, making the case that the DNC and Hillary’s camp were for all intents and purposes the same, which is about as low as you can get in politics — unabashed and, up to yesterday, unrepentant duplicity.
Still, Mrs. Obama’s words really did resonate.
Maybe I need to “go high” and vote for their tainted candidate, because there is no doubt that Donald Trump is every bit the walking, talking, shart in a terrible toupee that Democrats are painting him to be. His presidency would be a disastrous shambles of a clusterfuck, and I’m pretty sure that this country really cannot afford to make him president. So maybe even though the DNC did a lot of dirty stuff — and talked about doing even dirtier stuff still — maybe I should heed Mrs. Obama’s advice and go high on them.
Mrs. Obama’s speech was moving, especially the cold, hard fact that as a black woman she lives in a home with her black family that was built by slaves. That is so damned inspiring to anyone who believes we really can make this a more perfect union. Some of the other speakers made another point more than once that also spoke the logical side of my brain — the DNC platform is the most progressive ever.
Believe it or not, as much as I am angry and just over the Democratic Party in general, I am very interested in seeing its platform come to fruition…at least the parts that don’t give even more away to corporate America.
I may despise the bureaucracy of the Democrats, but I still care about progressive values, and on some level the Democrats are at least still paying lip service to them. I know that will anger a lot of people who are voting third party, and they will rightly point out that the DNC doesn’t hold the copyright on progressive values, but ultimately the Dems do have a really big megaphone they can shout into that the smaller independent parties just don’t have…yet.
As much as Bernie said last night that he’s “proud to stand by her,” I just simply wouldn’t be all that proud.
That isn’t because I believe stupid right-wing conspiracy theories. Or think she belongs in prison for breaking a law I can’t even name. It’s because, God for-fucking-bid, I actually would prefer she not be running the country.
I wouldn’t vote for her because Bernie told me to; I don’t buy into the cult of anyone’s personality. And I wouldn’t do it because any of the other very eloquent speakers told me to either. If I do decide that at the end of it all I’d rather vote for the corruption I know than the pseudo-human being that’s akin to AIDS wrapped in cancer dipped in race war, I’d be doing it because that’s how I decided to use my vote. All I’m saying right now is that a pretty convincing set of arguments was given to me last night, and not being an stubborn mule, I will consider those arguments in the coming weeks.
Any die-hard BlueDog Dems that want desperately for people to fall in should take notes from Booker, Obama, and Sanders. They did it right. Condescension is bullshit.
In the end, this comment from a reddit user might best sum-up how I feel about Hillary and the Dems. As a satirist, I feel like I might just have the opportunity to get some pretty good, honest digs in at President Hillary Clinton that show I may have voted for her, but under extreme protest and the side-y-est of side-eyes.
at this point, i think the right move is to elect her, and then spent 4 year humiliating her so badly that nobody ever thinks about pulling this kind of shit again.”