David Rogers: Hillary nose-cutters could cost Obama the election

David Rogers

There are exceptions, of course, but as a group, extremists are annoying. There’s really no reasoning with them. These people have such a slanted view on their topic of choice that any kind of give-and-take or dialog with them is virtually impossible. Even worse, extremists, and their first-cousins, radicals, are more than willing to cut off their noses rather than concede a point or argument. In other words, pragmatism and common sense often go out the window.

Nose-cutters are prevalent in a wide range of issues, but one of my favorite groups are bicyclists who blow off traffic rules and then make rude gestures to drivers for almost running them over.

In the world of politics, perhaps the most aggravating bunch of nose-cutters are those Hillary Clinton supporters who say they’ll cross party lines and vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain this November.

These vocal supporters have expressed their indignity over the way their candidate was treated, not only by the press or Democratic candidate Barack Obama, but men in general.

To be fair, Hillary supporters have a beef. From the tone and tenor of her voice to her choice in clothing to the tears she shed on the campaign trail, she was skewered in ways that her male counterparts weren’t. It’s proof that sexism is still prevalent and that it has played a crucial part in the 2008 campaign season.

During the days leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the McCain campaign has been trying to tap into that vein of angst in an attempt to persuade Hillary-ites to turn their backs on the Democratic Party and vote for McCain. It’s a wise and shrewd strategy. Considering how close this election is shaping up to be, if McCain can convert but a small percentage of disenfranchised Democratic voters he could take some make-or-break swing states (Ohio, Florida, Indiana and Colorado).

This is why these anger-ridden Hillary nose-cutters are so frustrating. Fine, you may not like the way Hillary was treated in the primary or you may find Obama to be as substantive as a lemon meringue pie. But look at the alternative. McCain is pro-life, he skipped a vote on a Senate bill giving women a chance to make as much money as men for the same job (Ledbetter Fair Pay Act) and he’s willing to continue the war in Iraq for as long as necessary. God forbid, something happens to 88-year-old liberal-minded Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens during McCain’s tenure in the White House. 

Some may answer that four years of McCain followed by Hillary in 2012 is better than eight years of Obama. But do you really want to look back and realize that you let McCain con you into giving the Republicans the White House? After the way George W. Bush, owner of the worst approval rating since approval ratings were calculated, has handled the job, why would any Hillary supporter want that? If logic is applied, then that thought alone should be enough of an incentive to vote for Obama.

With any luck, Hillary and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, will have masked their obvious disdain for Obama long enough to deliver two knock-out speeches at the DNC, and, in the process, convince all but the most radical Hillary followers to support Obama.

Even if they simply convince these last hold-outs not to vote at all, that would be better than them tipping the scales in favor of McCain and the Republicans.

David Rogers is the editor of the Tri-Town Transcript in Massachusetts. E-mail him at: drogers@cnc.com.