Monday, January 25, 2016

Feeling Slightly Less Futile

Great googly-moogly! Somebody possibly reads my blog!

(Outside my circle of friends and robots from Russia, I mean.)

A short time ago, I wrote a post called "Misogyny? Seriously?" which questioned the prevalence of "Bernie Bros" who supposedly defined Bernie Sanders' supporters. I did not question that they existed. Every group has terrible members who don't get it and need a talking to. But I strongly doubted there were very many, mainly because Bernie Sanders had essentially inherited the draft Elizabeth Warren movement.

So imagine my delighted surprise when I ran across an article entitled, "Progressive Brothers: You Don’t Have to Hate Hillary to Love Bernie (and Don’t Drag Elizabeth Warren Into It)."(1) 


Or maybe not. It is entirely likely that the same thing has already occurred to others.

Okay, probably the latter. I mean, the article probably does not address my arguments because it was not written to address my arguments. But still, the article has problems I feel I need to address because this is the Internet and I have a blog. WITNESS ME!(2)

The main problem with the article is suggested by the title, or rather the author's explanation of it: 
The title of this piece is purposely direct. Every time I raise the issue of sexism in 2016, every time I point out that the blind, irrational hatred of Hillary is driven by more than just support for her opponent, I get the same response: Elizabeth Warren.
Somehow, it’s OK to bash one female politician if you can name another one you like.
Wait. Is this guy saying that I cannot mock Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman either?

Probably not, but I think I know what he was trying to say, even though it came out wrong. He is suggesting that a kind of tokenism is afoot, and in some instances he is likely right. After all, it is certainly possible that Bernie Bros are cynically invoking Elizabeth Warren the same way that, say, white racists routinely compare themselves to Rosa Parks. Shit, it is not only possible, but probable. It is easy to say you support Warren after-the-fact since she is not running.

But it would be equally dishonest to ignore the fact that progressives really wanted Warren to run. And we really wanted her to run. Accordingly, we convinced ourselves that we could persuade her. We took hope in the fact that she pointedly (still) had/s not endorsed Clinton despite (once again) Clinton being anointed as the inevitable nominee. Warren's obvious lack of enthusiasm for Clinton mirrored ours. In my aforementioned post, I linked to an interview Warren did with Bill Moyers in which she expressed her profound disappointment with Hillary Clinton.

The point is I don't think the majority of Warren's supporters were faking their enthusiasm so that they could switch their allegiance to a male candidate at some later date. I don't know if any of the folks pushing the Bernie Bro story actually believe that. But there are only two logical implications to their narrative and neither of them is one that centrists have really thought out: Either the progressive movement is dominated by misogynists pretending to be feminists or it is far larger than they wish to admit. This puts them in a bind because the first possibility is paranoid and the second is demoralizing.

So, pick your poison: The vessel with the pestle or the chalice from the palace. The later has the brew that is true, but I think you will still find it pretty bitter tasting.


(1) The site of the article, Blue Nation Review, has been a Clinton organ since last November.

(2) There, in two words, is the sum total of Twitter. Yeah, I got one of those.

No comments:

Post a Comment