McCainocrats: Eager to Tell Me You Told Me So?
by Meteor Blades
Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 08:00:37 AM PDT
I’m not prescient or plugged-in enough to have any special window on how many of you Clinton supporters who are saying you will vote for John McCain in November will come to your senses by then. Many people I respect think that most of you will. I suspect they’re right. I hope they are. But it’s obvious that more than a handful of you are serious in your vindicativeness and will join Joe Lieberman to support the Senator from Arizona over Obama. That would be the anti-choice, hundred-year-war, two-faced, Republican Senator from Arizona.
Thus is born a new subspecies, McCain Democrats, McCainocrats.
If your shrieking can be believed, you McCainocrats are premeditating ballot support for an exclusive club of racist, union-busting, woman-suppressing, bedroom-peering, rights-scoffing, warmongering, torture-backing, buccaneering, global warming-denying, privatizing, public land-grabbing, Supreme Court stuffing, empire-building, Constitution-shredding raptors. All for self-indulgent revenge. You’re unhappy that your candidate has not won the nomination. I understand that. Mine didn’t win either. But you’re not just unhappy, you're also willing to contribute to the election of someone who stands against most of what your candidate has been promoted as standing for. That, I don’t comprehend at all. Emotionally, intellectually or morally. I get the feeling you would vote for George W. Bush in 2008 if the 22nd Amendment weren’t in the way.
You McCainocrats might recall that you have ancestors.
There were George Corley Wallace Democrats, for example. Whether Wallace was really a racist or merely used racism opportunistically is a semantics game I’ll leave for others to sort out. Having lost an election in which his foe was deeply racist, Wallace vowed never to be "out-ni**ered" again. Until he was reborn and publicly repented of his segregationist ways, nobody could doubt that his policies epitomized Jim Crow apartheid. Because of those policies and his ferocious rhetoric, millions of registered Democrats abandoned the party in 1968 to vote for Wallace, running as an independent against Humphrey and Nixon. Four years later, he attracted droves of Democratic voters, peppering his campaign with racist code phrases (while claiming he no longer supported segregation), and winning six primaries, including Michigan, where the open primary allowed massive crossover votes from independents and Republicans, just as it did this year. After that, he more or less faded away, and most of his supporters drifted permanently over to the Republicans.
There were the Nixon Democrats. The "official" group in 1972, Democrats for Nixon, was led by former Texas Governor John Connally, a conservative Democrat on his way, like so many Southern Democrats of the time, to becoming a full-fledged Republican. They had no desire nor means to restore the Democratic Party to its pre-1964 status. They were on their way out the door for good. And so were the rank and file Nixon Democrats, many of them Wallace Democrats with no home.
Proving that politics repeats itself endlessly, one of the ads put together by Democrats for Nixon showed George McGovern as a flip-flopper on issues such as withdrawal from Vietnam. So, while McGovern was transformed by the Republican Committee to Re-Elect the President from a heroic World War II bomber pilot into a pinko pacifist, fellow Democrats who soon would permanently join that Republican Party made a devastating hit on him, deploying the flip-flopping trope that provided a solid punch against John Kerry, three decades later.
Still, many rank-and-file Democrats, especially Southerners able to trace their party roots to ante bellum days, needed more than patriotic appeals to shift their votes. The "Southern Strategy" was just the ticket.
Watergate put an end to Nixon, and the elections of 1974 and 1976 briefly interrupted but did not reverse the outflow of Republican-cuddling Democrats. Along came 1980 and the Reagan Democrats.
The B-minus movie actor who became an A-plus Republican icon, sprung his campaign from Philadelphia, Mississippi, with a coded paean to states’ rights to regain the Wallace-cum-Nixon Democrats who had voted throughout the Old Confederacy (except in Virginia) for Jimmy Carter in ’76. Reagan Democrats, including fresh recruits among white working-class Democrats from the North and West, liked their man’s tough-talking persona delivered with a smile.
Even when he was redistributing wealth upward paid for by doubling the national debt, breaking unions, demonizing government, privatizing public patrimony, supplying guns to terrorists, and attempting to gut as much of the FDR social and economic legacy as he could get away with, all with harmful consequences for the very demographics most Reagan Democrats came from, they stayed by his side.
There have been Bush Democrats, too, though mostly Mister Bush has just managed to hang onto the leavings of his predecessors, the aged and aging Wallace, Nixon and Reagan Democrats.
You McCainocrats don’t run in a direct lineage from all these ancestors. For one thing, they had issues, many of them unlikable, even detestable, but understandable. You, however, clearly have no guiding philosophy beyond surly revenge. John McCain can’t possibly give you what you want if what you really want is what you say Senator Clinton has been in the running for this year. Only on the margins does he contravene the rightwing cabal that over time seized the party and has now left it in disarray. His discernible stances on almost everything of note are, or should be, anathema to any Democrat who is a Democrat. Much of the rest of his views are just contradictory meandering. When he opens his mouth, you never know which side he will speak from.
I’m no fan of third parties because history shows only one making the leap to even the lower rungs of national power. But I can at least understand voters who jump ship to a third party based on principle and symbolism and hope for a breakthrough in a direction amicable to their beliefs. You McCainocrats, on the other hand, are incomprehensible. Is the idea that voting for another four years of rightwing Republican rule would be worth it as long as you could say: "See? We told you Obama couldn’t win." Does the McCainocrat lunacy embrace the idea that four more years of a Republican in the White House would make Clinton a shoo-in for 2012?
If that’s what your telling me, if you’re willing to force the American people to suffer for your chance to say nah-nah-nah, I’ll have two words for you when you come around looking for my support for any candidate or any cause in 2012 or any other time in the future: Bite me.