Why Hillary Fans Get Angry

If you’re not a fan of Hillary yourself, this piece will take some suspension of disbelief. It’s an attempt to explain why her “love and kindness” supporters eventually reach the end of their ropes and post mean replies to Sanders fans.

We don’t feel like we started this fight. Many of us liked Sanders early on, for all the reasons his diehard fans still do. Equality and democracy are important Democratic principles and he said some great stuff.

But then he kept saying exactly the same stuff. If you’ve seen one speech you’ve seen them all. His published proposals failed to add up. He started attacking institutions and people dear to the DNC. So many of us stepped back and said, “not only can he not accomplish what he’s promising, he’s actually working against us on several fronts.”

We became the subject of attack. Somehow Hillary was worse than Trump or Cruz or Kasich or Bush. Somehow she was the great evil power to be defeated, and anyone who sympathized with her was a sell-out, a shill, blind, ignorant, heartless, undemocratic, “establishment.”

We tried to explain the economic flaws in Sanders’ plans. He can’t deliver on his promises. A quick glance at Sweden’s history with a 50 basis point Financial Transaction Tax and the resultant capital flight demonstrates not only how short Sanders would be on funding, but a liquidity risk to the world markets on the level of the 2008 crash. His infrastructure proposal relies on an unprecedented 5% growth rate. “Break up the banks” is a hollow goal, according to those in the know.

Sanders fans wouldn’t hear it. They preferred not-an-economist Robert Reich over Nobel economist Krugman. They pointed at the list of 170 mostly-not-economists that endorsed Bernie’s plan and ignored analyses by top tier folks like Romer & Romer, IGM and the many ex-White House economists that pointed out the basic flaws in BernieMath.

The same head-burying happened with delegate math. Sanders was all but eliminated after the first Super Tuesday. Sure, there’s technically *still* a chance if millions of prospective voters flip, but history says Hillary has a lock on this, and Sanders faced a delegate gap three times larger than had ever been bridged. Hillary’s inauguration aside, we were honestly trying to soften the inevitable blow our friends were going to experience.

We tried to help, at first. There are decades of vehemence against Hillary rooted in Rush Limbaugh and other AM talk radio hacks, and it was somewhat painful to see our friends side with them over her. We wanted this primary to wrap up so we could all join forces against the eventual GOP nominee. Instead it’s May and the worst anti-Hillary rhetoric still comes from within our own ranks.

We tried to point out the flaws in his plans, his slim chances at election, and his lack of real leadership or support for other progressives. Invariably, someone in the thread would get angry and start personal attacks. Debate about history or individual proposals was very difficult.

We got tired of battling the completely backwards perceptions that Hillary was the problem with Citizens United, Panama, and Honduras instead of being part of the solution. Those we debate always shift focus to “well what about XYZ?” or simply stop responding. Reputable news sources couldn’t be brought as evidence; even 538’s math, with models locked in before the election, was deemed partisan in their number reporting.

Eventually, most of us snap. We got tired of the labels and the notion that we’re working against fairness and democracy. We started to notice that cries of “election fraud” only happened in states Sanders lost, and that proven fraud by Sanders staff was ignored. We took note of which “news” sites were thin feel-good or easy-outrage clickbait blogs. We felt personally hurt when Hillary was painted as dishonest or mean or selfish.

So we yell back, or post Bernie memes, or unfriend people who’ve become toxic. We usually feel bad about it and often delete our angry responses. We’re trying to take the high road, because that’s what the DNC is about. That’s what Hillary is about.

So yes, you’ll sometimes see an angry reply from a Hillary fan. From our perspective, we’re only giving back 10% of what we take.

Sanders fans undoubtedly feel the same way, as what they see as our first big chance for change gets sidelined, locked out and ridiculed.

It’s not yet time for full reconciliation within the Democratic Party. When that time comes, perhaps after the convention, I do hope we’re able to step in each others’ shoes, let go of the vehemence, and put that energy toward our common goals in 2018.

[Reddit thread]

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Jay is Editor In Chief of The Agonist, veteran and technologist.

21 CommentsLeave a comment

    • Meh. I believe people willingly throw themselves on their own swords. Barring discussion and controversy has the effect of making a site boring.

  • Yes, reconciliation could come, but what’s in it for Sanders? Ian says nothing.

    If he comes in from the cold and actively supports Clinton, it leaves his “followers” embittered, having been sold out again.

    I don’t think it’ll come to this, but apparently talks are desired between the Green party and the Sanders’ camp. It could elevate the Green party as the locus of disaffection going forward; but leave us with whomever the Republicans ultimately nominate. Some Democrats have made a point of seeing Sanders as not being a Democrat – (and not helping down-ticket candidates). They should be careful what they wish for.

    Update: Mr. Sanders promises a convention fight because Clinton won’t have enough pledged delegates: Sanders vows to fight on, promises a contested convention. Seems there’ll be no acquiescence before then, if ever.

    • In a two candidate DNC convention with a clear delegate winner there’s no such thing as “contested”. From what I hear he’ll get enough support to give a twenty minute speech asking the DNC to adjust its platform.

      I’ve come to the conclusion he’s being misled by over-zealous advisers. It’s not like Tad Devine doesn’t understand the delegate system he helped create.

      • Yes, those # are so special and I wonder what bernie will do in the end. I have him selling out to f$$$$$$ the demodog party. Then that’s if there isn’t charges filed against her on the little server deal and I don’t think that will happen ever.

        The best govt. money can buy. War for ever, praise dog.

  • Eventually, most of us snap. We got tired of the labels and the notion that we’re working against fairness and democracy.

    Actually, one could believe “most of us” are Dogmatic in “most of us’s” beliefs, and that is the reason for anger, or an authoritarian response to a challenge.

    Ian Welsh has an interesting view.

    Some of us are of the opinion that Hillary was, is, and will be bad.

      • Well, we all voted the rascals in so every single American is responsible for every single thing the government does, right? I don’t claim Bernie is a dovish as I would be, but HRC is 110% hawk and 110% imperialist. I have a problem with that.

        The real problem I have with Bernie is that the presidency may be out of his weight class. I don’t sense enough gravitas and authority in him – he may not really understand power and how to use it. The fact that he recognizes the misuse of power doesn’t imply he would handle it better. HRC is comfortable and adroit with power; perhaps too comfortable. .

        • The point is that policy is enacted and implemented by groups of policymakers. Quite large groups, actually. This tendency to blame actions on individuals or small groups is seldom terribly accurate and even less frequently at all useful as an interpretational tool. Lamentably, your problems are much, much larger than small numbers of “bad” people at the top of the hierarchy.

          What this type of “bad people” rhetoric *is* useful for is helping people like Mike paper over the fact that their interpretations of events trend from the micron thin superficial through the lazily derivative to the largely fictional. The fact that significant audiences swallow this bullshit so readily is a potent explanation for why your expressed policy options are so narrow and the alternatives so completely crappily developed.

  • The real reason Bill Clinton thinks Hillary should be president

    NJ.com via Raw Story, By Claude Brodesser-Akner, May 28

    Woodbridge, NJ – In an interview with NJ Advance Media on Friday, former President Bill Clinton argued that serving as U.S. secretary of state is the best training for the presidency than at any other time in modern memory.

    “This is the first time I can remember the domestic and international responsibilities are so tied up together,” Clinton said during a visit to the Reo Diner in Woodbridge.


    “It’s very important that the next president be strong enough in international relations,” Clinton said. “You know, keep us safe, but also: Give us the space we need to keep growing (economically). Because if we get stronger, it’ll drag the right world in the right direction, and a lot of these tensions will go down.”

    The former president argued that Hillary Clinton’s expertise in global diplomacy wasn’t merely helpful, but practically a job requirement for a president who’ll run a nation that’s nearly a fourth of the economic output of the global economy.

    “We just had a report in the last couple weeks that America’s growth was dragged down in the last quarter,” the former president said. “At a time when we’re hiring people, wages are finally rising, we’re coming back, was dragged down by all this trouble in the world.”


    “If you think we can live together and grow together so we all rise together, you should be for her,” Clinton said.

    “If you don’t think that’s true, and that we all have to fight over a dividing pie, with walls, you shouldn’t. And that’s really the decision people are gonna have to make.”

  • Clinton Email Scandal Links:

    Informed Vote 2016: Do I Really Need to Worry About Hillary’s Emails? Yes. She Will Be Indicted. (Full Form)

    For any casual observer, these positions today would be the statements of a conspiracy-theorist, or someone spewing right-wing propaganda. This is why I’ve painstakingly written close to 20 pages to explain (and even litigate) these positions, and address every potential question you may ask. But my main purpose isn’t to convince you of anything (despite the title), this endeavor is primarily journalistic. Here are the facts, here are the perspectives, and take from that what you will, whether she is found guilty of criminal activity or not. I have really tried my hardest to separate suspect behavior from criminal behavior (for the law sticklers out there) because all I want to do is actually find out if the person who looks to be the Democratic nominee for President, and who I may end up voting for in the general election, will be forced to resign before (or after) she assumes office. This is our generation’s Watergate scandal.

    Salon: Time to care about damn emails: Hillary Clinton has a serious legal problem

    Law Newz: Hillary Clinton’s Emails Now Might Finally Take Her Down – speculation about how this might resolve. (Spoiler: Biden/Kerry 2016!)

  • Justin E.H. Smith is a philosopher. Unlike most of his kind, he seldom discusses philosophy per se. He uses the tools, methodology and skills of philosophy to investigate and examine real-life circumstances and events; mostly cultural or social. This is one of the few times I’ve seen him bring his acumen to bear on a specifically political matter..
    Everything he writes is worth reading. Particularly this.

    The negative coverage has still been coverage, and Trump understood this, and rode on a wave of craven media complicity to where he is now.

    It is too late for the media to rewind and to undue the damage of their profit-driven legitimation of the impostor.

    I know many of my friends on the left will say: “Fine then, good riddance to that order that has brought so much pain to the world,” and it is this sentiment that has many of them asking, at present, whether, once Sanders is out of the picture, Trump might in fact be preferable to Hillary Clinton. […] what the crossovers from the left are leaving out, or preferring to overlook, is that when these promises of improved well-being are made by the far right they come at the expense of, and with the express intention of hurting, not only representatives of the Establishment, but also anyone who is not a member of our ‘nation’: a loose category that can be defined not only in terms of citizenship, but in terms of race, ethnicity, or religion.

    I think two things must be done in the coming months. First, just like in the defeat of fascism seven decades ago, socialists, communists, and anarchists need to recognize in this case that they do have common cause with the Establishment, including with the Establishment right. [my bold]

    Second, I think it is crucial to engage with Trump supporters and with those who might cross over to Trump (some from among Sanders’s disaffected followers) without condescension and by patiently highlighting the multiple respects in which Trump in fact does not represent their interests, the multiple respects in which he is a betrayer, and, if it helps, the multiple respects in which he is not, at all, what might be called a patriot. As to the last of these, I think it is important to emphasize –and I think Trump supporters are certainly intelligent enough to follow this line of reasoning– that what Trump represents is not anything distinctly American, but rather is only the local variation on a political ideology that is currently recrudescing throughout the world, that this ideology is incompatible with American patriotism, and that it is now and in the past most closely associated with regimes that are hostile to the United States. Again, a Trump presidency would amount to a capitulation to these regimes.

    I will support Bernie Sanders’ campaign for as long as it useful in pushing the Democratic party towards important progressive goals; and I will support Hillary Clinton when the time comes, faute de mieux, in order to prevent the rise of a fascist regime and the end not so much of democracy in America –for there is plenty of argument as to whether true democracy has ever been achieved– but even of the ideal of democracy.

  • Gaius Publius: Bernstein – The White House Is Terrified the Clinton Campaign “Is in Freefall”

    Naked Capitalism, By Yves Smith, June 1

    Yves here. The last few evenings, Lambert and I have been arguing over what I call the “Clinton decay path” which I’ve analogized to the runup to the crisis in 2008. Then, the officialdom very much thought they could keep things together till after the Presidential election. We know how that movie ended.

    As of late 2007, I was assessing the odds of a really bad outcome (which I did not see as a massive financial blowup, but a Japan-style bumping downhill over a period of years) as 20-30%, which I regarded as uncomfortably high. I told Lambert I thought the Clinton train wreck odds were in that range. He thought it was more like 30% than 20%.

    This post indicates the odds are even higher than that. I see two implications in the Bernstein official messaging beyond those that Gaius describes. One is that the Obama Administration has been blindsided by how bad the underlying fact set is, and they recognize that even worse is likely to be exposed. Someone as image-conscious as Obama would be particularly put off by that.

    But the panic is also a clear indication, and perhaps as important, another message, not just to Clinton but to Team Dem, that the Administration can’t, or won’t but is making it seem like can’t, do what it takes to save Hillary’s bacon.

    And I suspect it really is “can’t”. The FBI has enough autonomy that if they find real dirt on the Clintons, they will leak like crazy if the DoJ does not pursue the case in a serious way. That would make the Administration complicit, and Obama does not want his final months in office tainted by his Administration touching the Clinton tar baby any more than it has to. In addition, the Judicial Watch cases are proceeding, and the judge, having had the Clinton side deal with him repeatedly in bad faith, is not going to cut it any slack. The fact that there is an independent effort, completely outside the Administration’s control, pursuing the server mess, also makes it riskier for the DoJ to do nothing if Judicial Watch exposes damning documents.

    • Libertarian VP Candidate Blows Republicans’ Email Hopes To Smithereens

      Crooks and Liars, By Karoli Kuns, May 31

      Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld joined Chuck Todd for an exclusive interview to launch their quixotic campaign to woo the Republican Party into Libertarian ranks.

      For the most part, the interview covered the usual topics you’d expect from Libertarians. Privatize the VA, voucherize everything, get rid of the ACA and implement Health Savings Accounts instead, and more.

      But then there was a moment where former Governor Weld shattered Republican dreams and Donald Trump’s talking points about Hillary Clinton’s email.

      Weld changed the topic they were discussing and brought up the whole Hillary email hoo-ha, telling Chuck Todd it is going nowhere. When pressed by Todd on why he thought so, Weld replied, “I’m speaking as a former director of the criminal division of the Justice Department. There’s no criminal intent, and with no criminal intent there’s no indictment.

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