I had the opportunity last night to attend the Jefferson-Jacson DNC fundraiser in Manchester, NH. It was a pretty good event- outside, before the event, well over a hundred of us gathered, cheering on our candidate of choice and filling the air with our placards and dueling chants. There was even a bit of surprise when I arrived with a portable projector and showed part of Dean’s Boston rally on the side of a building across the street from the convention, facing the Kerry, Clark and Lieberman supporters with a twenty-foot image of the good doctor. Heh. Pity traffic kept me from arriving earlier….
Terry McAuliff gave a good speech, the most notable part being the instant, unanimous cheer when he asked that we all support whoever wins the nomination. I found the lack of hesitation on this point encouraging indeed.
But the most interesting part came late in the event when I noticed a man with a large poster calling for a write-in campaign for- no, I’m not kidding- Hillary Clinton. I asked him why, and he proceeded to tear into the pack of candidates like….straight off of the RNC spin/smear sheet. The level of hostility displayed towards every one of the Dems in the race was as shocking as his conviction that NONE of them stood any chance- whatsoever- of beating Bush. Only Hillary, he said, stood any chance of motivating Democrats to vote. Only Hillary could garner the resources to oppose Bush. Only Hillary. Nothing good was true about anyone else, nothing bad or challenging to H’s chances of success could even be discussed. Not the way to win converts!
At this point, I had to ask him if he was a Democrat. And, while he did indicate in the affirmative, I wasn’t convinced. A quick check in google revealed that the gentleman in question was none other than Bob Kunst. You may remember him from the battles with Anita Bryant and Jerry Falwell, as president of the Oral Majority. Or, as the independent candidate for Governor of Florida in 2002. To his credit, he has been active in calling attention to the theft of the election in Florida.
It turns out that most of the reasoning, as far as I can tell, comes from the fact that some polls indicate only 50% of the population can name a Democratic candidate, while Hillary polled at 46 to W’s 50% elect numbers. This is a matter of name recognition, not ability to conduct a winning campaign.
I know this is still the primaries, and pretty much anything goes. But, please, knock the shit off once we have a nominee. We do not need another splitting of the vote in 04.
State your case, but do not add to the ranks of useful Idiots. Division after the primaries is the last thing we need, or will tolerate.