Toxic stages of grief trope alive and well in our famously free press
"These things always take time to heal," said Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst. "I think Clinton's supporters are waiting to see if Sen. Obama will pick her as vice president. That would certainly be very healing to them."
"If he doesn't pick her, a later stage of grief is depression and then acceptance," Schneider said. "In the end I expect Clinton supporters will accept Obama, because they will listen to Sen. Clinton, who has said the stakes are too high for Democrats to sulk."
Well, a universal health care plan that actually was, ya know, universal would go a long way toward "healing" this "sulky" and increasingly tepid Obama voter. As would unshitting the bed on FISA (though it would be harder to show that's not kabuki, absent some moves on the Senate floor that had actual results, like killing the thing and not kicking the can down the road 'til after the Convention). Yeah, FISA... That was depressing. So depressing some people actually moved back a stage, toward anger.
But why is Schneider running the tired old "stages of grief" gag, anyhow? What's he trying to reassure the Village about? Polling results like this:
In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey completed in early June before the New York senator ended her White House bid, 60 percent of Clinton backers polled said they planned on voting for Obama. In the latest poll, that number has dropped to 54 percent.
Interesting data point.
In early June, 22 percent of Clinton supporters polled said they would not vote at all if Obama were the party's nominee, now close to a third say they will stay home.
Seems like they're not going to vote for McCain, then. Interesting.
43 percent of registered Democrats polled still say they would prefer Clinton to be the party's presidential nominee.
Were these results anticipated, given that Obama has -- we are told -- run a flawless campaign? One could make the argument that indeed they were; after all, Hillary's supporters tend to be those who need government to actually work for them, and that takes money, and you can be sure that if a Democrat is elected, and allowed to take office, that magically, and mysteriously, all the money will have been disappeared (except for faith-based programs like ethanol. Naturellement). So, why not throw them under the bus now, to save trouble later? Because otherwise, they'll just cling....
Alternatively, we could assume that the results are not anticipated, and the fact that Obama, remarkably, has actually managed to lose support among Democrats after becoming the presumptive nominee will be perceived, by some, as a problem to be solved, and not simply a reality to be experienced.
Solution one, no doubt, will be to blame the [not Obama] voters; boiled down: "Shut the fuck up and send Obama more money. He needs it!" Although that strategy -- particularly the "shut the fuck up" part -- earned Obama the nomination, it's not clear it's going to win him voters in this new, post-primary phase.
Solution two, no doubt, will be to blame the PUMAs. (See this story for how off the radar the PUMAs have been; voter Sharon Chang actually uses the "Party Unity My Ass" slogan, and the reporter, even a McClatchy reporter, didn't pick up on it.) Come to think of it, though, that's exactly the same as Solution One!
But before we blame the PUMAs, and civil liberties loons like Glenn, and the dry pussy demographic for the latest polling, it might behoove us, as good liberals, to ask ourselves a question:
Who has the power, here?
And the answer can only be:
1. Obama has the power, since he's the presumptive nominee.
2. Obama has the power, since he's got the party leadership behind him; Reid, Pelosi, et al.
3. Obama has the power, since even if the press will tilt toward McCain, they press hates the Clintons worse than either (as Schneider shows).
So, the problem isn't the PUMAs, or Glenn, or tepid Obama voters like me, or people who won't shut the fuck up and send Obama money.
They aren't the ones with the power. Obama is.
So, perhaps Schneider, the Village, and the Obama campaign, could "accept" that people with a lot less power than Obama are exercising leverage on policy in the only way that they can? By withholding their support? And that, just possibly, their concerns are legitimate and that the Obama campaign should address them? If they're not too busy working out the Sop Of The Day for the right?
Nah. I know what the problem is.
They're racists. Wait for it.
NOTE But let's be optimistic! All is not lost! Our famously free press has always hated the Clintons, and when the Obama campaign smeared them, especially Bill, as racists after NH, that worked out just fine:
Much has been made of Bill Clinton's role in his wife's White House bid -- the increasingly aggressive campaign style, the sharpened attacks leveled at Obama that some [yeah, like the Obama campaign, the press, and most of the A list] viewed [falsely] as carrying racial overtones and the outbursts at some reporters over what he viewed as unfair media coverage.
Among all registered voters questioned in the latest poll, his approval rating is down 9 points in just more than a year, from 60 percent to 51 percent.
Well done, all! Who would want the last Democratic President on the campaign trail this time? Not me! He's a racist!
And what helpful advice does Schneider give?
So can Clinton, who left office eight years ago with approval ratings well over 60 percent, repair his image with most Americans?
"He needs to show he's gotten over it," Schneider said.
Classic! Racists, of course, being known for their ability to do just that....