Friday, July 11, 2008

Cutting Your Nose Off to Spite Your Face:

It’s a really bad idea.

I’ll freely admit that I don’t like PUMA. I think it’s a terrible idea to work against the Democratic nominee, especially since PUMA members believe in most of the values Hillary believes in. I don’t fully understand what they’re trying to accomplish. Are they punishing the party, or do they think Hillary has a chance to win the nomination? I agree with them on many things – caucuses are undemocratic, the process was unfair, Hillary was treated like sh*t by the media. So I concur with them in a lot of ways, but in weighing my choices, I’ve come to the conclusion that supporting Obama is the only logical path to take. From a purely selfish point of view, if I want to protect my own rights as a woman, he’s the only option for me. While I understand the PUMAs’ pain, I do think they’re being somewhat irrational, and I’m furious at a lot of them for working against Hillary and harassing those of us who are trying to do what she asked us to do.

And yet, on some fundamental level, I understand them. They’re hurt and angry. They worked hard for a woman I love and invested a lot of their time, money, energy, and emotion in her campaign – just as I did. I respect that. It’s painful when people I used to get along with call me a faux Clinton supporter because I’ve been open-minded about Obama. It’s painful because what I’ve done – what all of us have done – has been hard. No one is enjoying this. There was a time when my excitement and happiness about the 2008 presidential elections was nearly rapturous. I couldn’t wait to see Hillary rip McCain to shreds in the debates. She’s a fighter, a scrapper, a champion, and I couldn’t wait to see her take on (and take down) the GOP. Whenever I felt sad or distressed about anything in my personal life, I used to close my eyes and imagine watching Hillary being sworn into office; it never failed to bring a smile to my face. I gave her more money than I could afford, and spent hours upon hours making calls for her. It didn't work out. The dream died. But I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Despite the hurtful things they’ve said, I hold out hope that most of the PUMA people, particularly alegre, will return to us.

The people for whom I have no sympathy, however, are the purity trolls who are accusing us of being concern trolls. In attacking C4O, they’re attacking linfar, who has given her phenomenal support to the Democratic nominee, and who was arguably the strongest advocate for Hillary on MyDD, aside from alegre. They’re attacking atdnext, who’s gone SO far out of his way to build this group and work for Obama. They’re attacking canadian gal, who I consider a cherished friend, and who was consistently the most polite, fair, and level-headed Clinton supporter on MyDD. They’re making a special effort to harass psychodrew, who has made many sacrifices and is fighting to defeat John McCain, despite his anger and pain over Hillary’s loss. Naturally, they’re also attacking me and disregarding the fact that I’ve been defending Obama for over three months, much to the annoyance of other Clinton supporters I respected. I was loathe to do it, too. A lot of Hillary supporters learned to have little tolerance for me. CG and I always got along, though we sometimes disagreed, and I got on well with aurelius, Denny Crane, and a couple of others. Beyond that, I was not well liked by the people with whom I agreed; I was often ignored, and sometimes faced outright hostility.

Other than the C4Os and a handful of Clinton supporters who never spurned me, most of my friends on MyDD are Obama supporters. For months, I’ve been friends with people who were thorns in the side of the majority of Hillary’s advocates. I listened to Obama supporters’ grievances, and then I told them mine in reasonable (most of the time), measured tones. We got to know each other better than I’ve ever gotten to know most of the Clinton supporters, and it was because we were forced to talk in order to work out our differences and come to a mutual understanding. I didn’t get to know Hillary supporters as well precisely because I agreed with them – I read their comments, nodded in silent agreement, and uprated them; there was little need for dialogue between people I agreed with. Maintaining friendships with Obama supporters involved a good deal of compromise and a lot of talking, explaining, sympathizing, and sharing. Those people helped me see Obama in a new light, and I helped them learn to look at Hillary in a new way. I adore the people who showed me that Obama has many admirable qualities, and I owe them a debt of gratitude. Because of them, I’ve probably had a much easier time giving my support to their candidate than most of the other C4Os have had. We’ve all made sacrifices in the name of our candidate, and in the name of the Democratic nominee. For people to accuse us of being trolls is beyond the pale. Forgive my melodrama, but…

How. Dare. They?

How dare they demean and denigrate our efforts? How dare they attack us when we’re doing more to elect the nominee than they are? You will notice that they haven’t written any pro-Obama or anti-McCain diaries lately. They may have written a few hit pieces on Hillary, but that’s about it. Hardly a contribution to MyDD. I’ve rarely seen more divisive people, and their antics are dangerous because, quite frankly, they help dampen my enthusiasm for Obama, and they reinforce the idea that Obama supporters are impulsive jackasses. I know that most Obama supporters are good people, but a lot of Hillary supporters still haven’t realized that basic fact. That’s NOT what we want PUMA people to see. We don’t want them to see Obama supporters attacking us for supporting their candidate – why would anyone want to help him if they know they’re going to be attacked by the people who should be working alongside them?

I’m sick and tired of these people. I don’t really know why they get under my skin so much. Maybe it’s because I think we all deserve a little civility, considering what good sports we’re being. That’s why I’m taking a short break from MyDD. I’m tired of fighting a two-front war: An influx of PUMAs and purity trolls doesn’t make for a pleasant environment. I know I’ll be back soon; people are asking me to return, and I know it’s somewhat cowardly and immature for me to abandon a site I like because I’m avoiding inconsiderate trolls. Still, I need awhile to get my head on straight. I don’t want to lose my cool. In the meantime, we have several Obama supporters defending us, and that makes me happy. It makes me think I should return as soon as possible so that I can stand up for them, too.

But for just a short while, I’m going to sit back and watch the destructive purity trolls damage their nominee. If they want to cut off their own noses to spite their faces, who am I to stop them?

[EDIT: BN finally wrote a diary attacking McCain and the MSM. It's a miracle! Wonder if it had anything to do with some of us pointing out that we were doing more work for the nominee that s/he was? Doesn't matter, though: s/he's still a lying, useless, divisive sack of crap.]


canadian gal said...

omg - what a completely, fabulously, wonderfully awesome screed!

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