For a long time, I've been at times proud to be a member of the Democratic party, at times embarrassed, and sometimes quite frustrated. But in the last couple of years I've actually become ashamed. The feelings of shame started with Reid and Pelosi's supine passivity with a narrow congressional majority, but the hostility against Hillary Clinton — an expression of pure misogyny and Republican-style groupthink — has sealed the deal.
The overt, outrageous and inexcusable misogyny against Clinton has been amply documented, especially in the feminist blogosphere, at least that part that still considers feminism to be about the rights and status of women, and not a vehicle for excusing patriarchal religions and demands that women support every cause except women's rights.
I have no doubt in my mind that were misogyny as socially unacceptable as racism, Clinton would have won handily. And it's not just the Republican party or the conservative-dominated media. Any number of liberal bloggers, pundits and cartoonists have jumped on the misogynist bandwagon, including, to my astonishment and disgust, Barbara Ehrenreich.
Hillary Clinton is not "dividing" the Democratic party. The Democratic party was and has been divided, long before Clinton sought the nomination. As Will Rogers noted, "I'm not a member of an organized political party: I'm a Democrat." Deep divisions already exist — progressives vs. centrists, Republican appeasers vs. confrontationalists, socialists vs. classical liberals — and none of these divisions have anything whatsoever to do with the differences between Obama and Clinton. The only "difference" that Clinton is "exacerbating" is between those who believe a popular and viable candidate should take her candidacy to the convention, and those who think that the woman should shut the fuck up and get back in the kitchen — or at least take a back seat to some man.
To say that Clinton is dividing the party is to tell millions of her supporters not only are they outvoted, but that merely preferring a different candidate is positively evil. Fuck that. We Democrats aren't Republicans, i.e. sheep. At least we didn't used to be sheep.
Pundits, bloggers and the general public all seem to be under a major misapprehension about the Democratic presidential nomination process. The Democratic nominee for president is not decided by popular vote. It is decided by the party leadership at the convention. The rank and file party membership has a considerable voice in this process, as well they should, but their voice is the final voice only in the general election. Any candidate with even a single plausible delegate's vote is entitled to go to the convention. This decision is up to the candidate, not the press, the blogosphere, the punditry or even the voters. The convention itself is the process that the party employs to resolve differences within the party, as represented by the various candidates for the nomination.
If it's your opinion that Clinton should drop out of the race, of course you should voice that opinion. If you have an argument, of course you should make it. But to portray Clinton as a monster for not doing so is beyond the pale. This bullshit shows that even after almost 40 years of experience, the left still falls for conservative propaganda.
I've always been a member of the Democratic party first and foremost because they have supported the rights of women. Not perfectly, but they were feminists even when the going was tough, even when coldly calculated short-term interests would have argued that ending support for women's reproductive and economic rights might have won them an election or two. But no more. The Democratic party no longer stands for anything positive I believe in.
So congratulations, pundits: You will have your unified Democratic party. A party purged of progressives and feminists; a party united under the banner of Republican appeasement, conservative government; a party tolerant of sexism, imperialism, economic elitism and corporatism. In other words, Republicans without the batshit craziness... but still making sure that the batshit crazies are included.
No thank you. I'll take my business elsewhere, and if you're the only game in town, I'm not going to play at all.