Monday, August 25, 2008

Shove Over, Sam

# 16. August 25th, 2008, 3:48 pm

The way Hillary acted in the primary was and is inexcusable. She and Bill obviously can’t handle the fact they are has-beens. It’s now time for them to get out of the way and let younger politicians have their day.

— Posted by Sam

So, you want to know why more than half of Clinton backers are still not sold on Obama? I suspect it's at least in part because of Sam, and other Obama supporters in the media, in the blogosphere and on the ground who manifestly share his views, even if most have been too polite to say so in such stark terms.

Sam's comments remind me of a sermon I heard while I was in college. The Rev. Martin Turner, a curate who was keen to be in all things relevant, told a moral tale about a feeble old lady who insisted on shuffling down the middle of the center aisle going for Communion, blocking everyone else's way. "Isn't life like that," said Fr. Turner, a Brit hired for his accent back in those days when every Episcopal Church worth it's salt had to have a priest with real or phony RP on staff. Old people, he said, needed to step aside and let the Younger Generation have their day in the sun.

I was 19 I think and as far as I could see there wasn't anyone else in that church under 50. I wondered what they made of it. I didn't like it one bit. I hoped to be an old lady one day, and didn't look forward to being told, "Shove over, granny, you're getting in the way."

I sometimes wonder whether Obama supporters who obsess about Hillary and whine endlessly about the obstructive shuffling of her supporters, those "low-information voters," old ladies and angry feminists, are as interested in getting Obama elected as they are in playing She's Fat. Most women remember the game of She's Fat from Middle School days. The idea was that calling someone else fat proved that you were not fat: if you were fat, you wouldn't dare to call anyone else fat for fear of being called fat yourself.

By the same token, there is no better way to prove that you are not a has-been or whiner, a redneck, old lady, angry feminist or other species of loser, and establishing your cool, than calling others uncool. Cool and uncool, like fat, are are states of mind. All 14-year-old girls, from the morbidly obese to the anorexic, believe that they are fat so the only way to establish that they are not fat is by bluffing. Even a plump adolescent girl can establish herself as non-fat if no one calls her bluff and so it is with cool. Support Obama and, even more importantly, trash Hillary and her supporters: if no one calls your bluff you establish yourself as cool. Middle-aged women and even elderly gents like Teddy Kennedy can become honorary members of the Younger Generation by supporting Obama, without surgical intervention.

Maybe that is what was in the heads of the 50- to 90-somethings who heard Fr. Turner's sermon--as background noise while reading the announcements in the bulletin, exploring the liturgy for the Churching of Women or mulling over the 39 Articles: if we agree with his remarks about obstructive old ladies blocking the aisle, then we can't be obstructive old ladies. He certainly didn't make much headway with the students at the college whom he was at pains to impress: I was the only one who ever went to church and I detested him. I don't think the townies were impressed either since Turner soon left for a job somewhere in an especially soggy part of East Anglia which couldn't have paid nearly as well.

Shove over, Sam, and give the Democrats a chance on this round.

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