by William Skink
By now it should be apparent what happened to the progressive blogosphere in Montana: it turned partisan, and the political winners became vociferous gatekeepers who’d rather scuttle what can’t be controlled. This continues today.
Last week’s Indy piece, Click Fate (read the comments, corrections will hopefully be forthcoming) was a tale told by the victors, a tale that conveniently left out the intriguing parts behind the shuttering of Left in the West and muting of 4&20 Blackbirds. What was included, like numbers regarding online traffic at 4&20, turned out be less than accurate.
For the record, my transgression, which earned me and JC the boot from 4&20, was speculating on the sheepdog factor regarding the Bernie Sanders campaign—the idea that Sanders is playing a helpful role corralling progressives for the eventual pass-off to Hillary. That was just too much, so Jay Stevens, the absentee landlord, suddenly materialized and literally locked out JC and myself.
Now the Democratic primaries are in full swing, and new attacks are being mounted by the partisans. Funny thing, it isn’t new at all, at least in regards to the Hillary Clinton strategy of smearing her opponent with the allegedly rampant online sexism of his supporters. This election cycle, it’s the Bernie Bro. In 2008 it was the Obama Boy (Salon, 2008):
Young people are voting for Obama; Clinton is a troubling candidate for many women and men; and there is a sense that younger women feel more distant from second-wave feminist leaders than ever before.
Yet some female voters have begun to express nearly as much disenchantment with the Obama-mania of their peers as with their Clinton-promoting mothers. And even while they voice dismay over the retro tone of the pro-Clinton feminist whine, a growing number of young women are struggling to describe a gut conviction that there is something dark and funky, and probably not so female-friendly, running below the frantic fanaticism of their Obama-loving compatriots.
And here is a Daily Kos piece about this year’s cycle, highlighting that the breakdown is more generational than gender, but that doesn’t stop the attacks on the gender issue:
If you follow Matt Bruenig at all, you’d know by now that the idea of the “Bernie Bro” is a complete myth. Indeed, poll after poll shows that the perceived “gender” gap is really nothing more than an age gap. Sanders polls much better than Clinton with young women. It’s like this entire primary is just old Democrats telling young Democrats to get off their lawn.
So, Sanders was recently forced to condemn mean sexist people on the internet. Yet, as Gloria Steinem says that young women support Bernie because they are just boy crazy, Clinton is not called to condemn her sexist supporters. And when Madeline Albright tells people that “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other out,” Clinton does not apologize. In fact, she just laughed.
When I wrote a post about the Bernie Bro attack, using a post from a Democrat partisan that featured absolutely no evidence or links of what he claimed was polluting his Twitter feed, this is the comment I received:
Those Iraqi children are sure glad you’re writing poetry, man. It really lifts their spirits in whatever afterlife they inhabit. The rest of us don’t even write them poems. And writing about other blogs? Whoa! That will really lift them up. The best way to take down the American empire is certainly to falsely equate concern about misogyny with disregard for kids killed by sanctions.
While the world is collapsing into a neoliberal or neoconservative hell, only some have the insight, decency, and courage to fight like you do. I mean, damn, you post some trenchant insight in those poems. I just wish the other bloggers showed your heroism.
I think I speak for all seven readers of this site when I say thank you.
Ridiculing substantive criticism with how a political campaign is run has become par for the course with partisans. Attacking my use of poetry is a particularly curious personal attack coming from an English teacher.
The fact of the matter is Hillary Clinton is no progressive, and electing her will absolutely exacerbate the neoliberal hell people are already experiencing in locales like Libya, where the situation is so bad a second war is coming to the land Hillary “protected” 5 years ago as Secretary of State with a humanitarian intervention cheered on by that partisan English teacher, among many others.