McCain Panders to the Left, Bitter Hillary Supporters Pander to the Right…

June 16, 2008

…could it be destiny?

Anyway, it’s often dizzying for me to flit between two different political universes.

On one hand, we have unrepentant Hillary Clinton bloggers who have decided to extend their primary efforts to elect Hillary into the general election.

Now, I can’t help but have some sympathy for these folks. Political campaigns are an addictive, disorienting rush: it’s like falling down the Alice in Wonderand’s rabbit hole and staying there for months. These bloggers bought lock stock and barrel into every negative thing ever said or thought about Obama. They posted novels worth of breathless declarations and outrage, retyping daily campaign emails and talking points, pouring on lifetimes worth of analysis, all of which self-confirmed, a little more each day, the conclusion that Hillary was the one true Democrat, and Obama the champion of everything phony and vile.

I’m not playing favorites here: in this sort of delusion, they are, of course, the precise mirror image of Obama’s own #1 fans. It’s just that for Obama’s boosters, there’s simple continuity, and the rush now continues apace without any wakeup call. For Hillary’s hacks, however, it means they have to let go of the drama and the obsession. To cool off, and realize that maybe, just maybe, campaign rhetoric is a teensy bit overblown for dramatic effect. But it’s not an easy thing to admit.

Still, I can’t remember quite this sort of viciousness when Howard Dean lost, and back in the 2004 primaries, I thought I’d never met people more fired up for someone than they were for Dean. Even so, all those folks seemed to get over it pretty darn fast.

On the other hand, over on the actual conservative side, we find that many folks aren’t too happy with what McCain’s been whispering into the ears of disgruntled Hillary devotees.

McCain, apparently, favors liberal judges and has the same position on gay marriage as John Kerry. Who knew? (I’ve just gotten over finding out that Tim Russert was somehow both a dogged liberal apologist and a Big Media Bush-lover who rolled over for the Iraq War, so maybe I’m just not ready for this new oxymoronic shocker.) Of course, I have a feeling that the “PUMA’s” (Party Unity My Ass) in question here might be taking wishful thinking a bit too far.

Amongst McCain’s former Hillary-supporting visitors, however, there was a rather uncomfortable note sounded when it came to light that a certain Paula Abeles was involved in organizing them.

As Ben Smith explains it:

… Abeles first made the news in 2003, when she and her husband, then-Monticello Association President Nat Abeles, led the fight to keep members of the Hemmings family — descendants of Jefferson slave and, some historians believe, mistress Sally Hemmings — out of a gathering of the Monticello Association, which is made up of lineal descendants of the third president.

She even went as far as to pose as a 67-year old African American woman named Cassandra Mays-Lewis in chat rooms to help in her husband’s efforts to lobby against the inclusion of Jefferson’s “blacker” descendants at “family” reunion gatherings.

For a group whose chief complaint against Obama was how dirty he was for supposedly “race-baiting” the Clintons, they probably could have chosen their own company a little more wisely.