This is definitely an overstatement, but I'm of the opinion there are two kinds of Hillary supporters: The sane ones who keep it to themselves and the crazy ones who don't. For example, I suspect that Digby was a Hillary supporter, though is slowly moving in the Obama direction as he's proven his abilities on the campaign trail. Same goes for Atrios. But it's not really that they were Hillary people. Instead, it's the basic fact that this was always Hillary's nomination to lose, and you kept her as your top choice unless someone better came along. And that's been Hillary's biggest problem the whole time: Someone better came along.
And let's face it, there were certainly some crazy Obama people who hated Hillary. I'm fairly sure that at least some of these were either Hillary people trying to make us look bad or Rove people trying to start a fight; but I know of several Obama people who definitely were real people and clearly hated Hillary. And that happens. People have opinions. What can you do about it? Not much. I tried to tell them to tone it down, but they wouldn't. Oh well, that happens. You just can't control what people say.
And so with these crazy Obama people out there, you'd have to be crazy to be all-out in support of Hillary. And I suspect that's what happened, which is why so many Hillary people seemed so entirely unhinged: Only the crazy ones got loud about it. Like someone named Anne at Carpetbagger, who didn't seem like a bad person; but she had a huuuuge chip on her shoulder regarding Hillary and would get heavy criticism for tossing out some of the most egregious pro-Hillary spin imaginable. It's as if Mark Penn had an evil twin.
The Fix Is In
And I was thinking about this just now, while reading a decent post by Michael Berube at TPM Cafe (Full Disclosure: I was once on Berube's blogroll, shortly before he pulled the plug on his blog and left me hanging). The professor was talking about another TPM writer's post on Hillary's next attack, and asks what that attack could possibly be, as the Clinton campaign has shown itself to be "message incompetent." He then goes on to evaluate the Clinton claim that she's proven her ability to face down the Republican Attack Machine; a theory he's doubtful of.
Now, while this is far from Hillary praise, I fail to see how any of this is improper or rude. In fact, only a fool could look at these campaigns and suggest that any of this is untrue. You could quibble over whether Hillary has beaten the attack machine, but it's a debatable point. And no one could suggest that Hillary's done a decent job of attacking Barack or suggest good avenues for her to attack him on. Or if there were such attacks, Hillary certainly hasn't done a good job of highlighting them, as she keeps trotting out the embarrassing ones.
But all the same, the crazy Hillary supporters came out, particularly some dude named "Andrew Strat" (a fake name if I've ever heard one). And Strat insists that Hillary has been "battered by Liberal Democrats" and suggests that because some liberal bloggers like TPM, Kos, and Huff Post say negative things about Hillary and Chris Matthews, MSNBC, and CNN also say negative things, this is proof that "the fix is in."
Because I mean, what are the odds that different people would have the same opinion about the same thing? Not very likely. Especially not if you're a crazy person who only sees things in black & white and can't imagine that anyone could ever have an honest difference of opinion with you. He tells us that some consider him a "paranoid crank" for saying this, but suggests that "maybe it takes a paranoid to unravel the level of opinion manipulation that is going on."
And I would just like to take the "maybe" out of that sentence and replace it with a "definitely." It would definitely take a paranoid to unravel the conspiracy that says Josh Marshall and Kos got with Chris Matthews and CNN to "fix" opinions against Hillary. And it takes a full-time crank to turn this conspiracy into something you'd laugh at rather than fear.
Things I Learned From a Paranoid Crank
Here are some random tidbits from poor Andrew:
If you don't denounce Hillary haters for wanting her to "be a 'lady'", you are "on the bandwagon with it all."
Obamamaniacs are "like groupies, either for one or the other, blind as bats to anything more complicated than that."
If you talk about Hillary's flailing campaign you are trying to "savor the last moments of her defeat; like drinking yesterdays cold cup of coffee." Because we all love to savor old coffee.
The Obamamaniacs are "sanctioned by the Obama campaign."
Obama's "bloviating rhetoric" is part of his "obvious manipulation of the feeble latte drinking yuppy mind." Because latte drinking yuppies are notoriously feeble-minded. And yes, insulting Democrats during a Democratic primary is a great idea; particularly when repeating rightwing attacks against the Democrat.
All "reasonable Liberals" think that "there must be some misogynistic motive somewhere underneath all that asymmetric concern with Hillary’s shortcomings and only adulation for Obama THE MALE."
And finally, in a comment he addressed to me personally, I discovered that if you don't think "the fix is in" against Hillary by Liberal Democrats and the MSM, then you either think this is all an accident, a coincidence, or that "all the media hates Hillary because she is obviously a vile unlovable creature, just like 2+2 is obviously 4." I guess the critical praise of the film Juno was also part of some "fix."
At his profile, I also learned that:
"We liberals go the extra mile for aspiring African American politicians" because we overlook "the cult mentality of the Obama phenomenon. Nay we don't just overlook it, we embrace it." Which I guess is his way of saying we have Affirmative Action programs for black cult leaders, unlike white politicians, who aren't allowed to be popular.
But this won't help us in the general election because "the rest of non-liberal America don't share our eagerness to see the end of racism as we do." Hell, why stop at insulting Democrats in a Democratic primary when you can go ahead and insult everyone else too?
Now, it's possible I got some of these out of context, but for the life of me, I can't imagine what possible context makes any of these better.
Cult of Hillary
The worst part about it is how much he attacks Barack and his supporters, while insisting that all we do is engage in one-sided attacks. But this isn't just him. Lots of the crazy Hillary supporters do the same thing. Their strongest attack against us has always been how we're all irrational Hillary haters in the Cult of Obama and how we should all be stopped from saying negative things about Hillary. And unless we praise Hillary and defend her against these attacks in everything we write about her, we're accused of being Hillary Hating Obama Sycophants; just as I was.
And I'll readily admit that there are too many Obama people who do the same thing. But there is a stark difference: They're not playing the victim. When they debate these Hillary people, they blast Hillary with both barrels; often in ways that I think hurts Obama. But the Hillary people keep insisting they're innocent in everything and start insulting all Obama people with all sorts of attacks on our vile and evil nature.
And you get the same kind of thing from her campaign, and I'm sorry, but that's no way to run a campaign. I don't want a repeat of the 90's, where Clinton remained popular because so many people felt sorry for him. I don't want a victim for president. I don't want to be in constant defense mode, where even our side's attacks need to be defended by me. I want a president who can define the debate, not someone adept at winning someone else's debates. And most of all, I want a president who doesn't need me to protect them against the people whose job it is to tell everyone what's going on (ie, the media).
And that's the worst part about Hillary's campaign and the Hillary people: Ever since she lost in Iowa, we keep being told how everyone is unfairly keeping her down and that they need to stop it so she can get on her feet and fight fairly. And if they don't understand why that's the absolutely dumbest sales pitch for president, then it's obvious why they're behaving so crazy now.
Hillary the Invincible was a decent campaign pitch that just wasn't good enough. Hillary the Victim is simply pathetic. I don't dislike Hillary as a person and I wish her well, but victimization is just not a good platform for the presidency.